Whole Dog Journal's Blog November 30, 2010

Topical Flea and Tick Treatments

Posted at 09:35AM - Comments: (33)

[Updated March 3, 2016]

Traveling over the holiday weekend, I spent a night at a friend’s house. I brought my foster dog (and her crate); she isn’t civilized enough yet to be entrusted to the only part-time supervision of my regular pet sitter. I woke up earlier than anyone else in the household, and took the foster dog for a walk. Several times along our walk, she stopped suddenly to scratch. I thought, “That’s weird. I wonder if she ate something that she’s allergic to?”

Have you heard the expression, “If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras”? Fleas did NOT occur to me, although it should have been the very first think I thought of as an explanation to this little foster dog’s sudden need to scratch herself silly. But it’s been years since I’ve had a dog with fleas! Literally, more than four years! They just haven’t presented themselves where I live now. In the Bay Area (where I was visiting over the weekend), though, they are common. I just forgot, somehow. But it all came back to me in a rush when the foster dog rolled over for a tummy rub and I saw several of the hated bloodsuckers scurry across her belly.

I worry about using the topical flea and tick treatments. I hate the idea of applying a deadly pesticide to a dog’s skin – a substance so toxic that it can kill fleas for a month. And yet, the bites of fleas and ticks are awful. The itching caused by a flea bite can cause a dog to literally tear her skin open and infections can set in. Tick bites can transit all sorts of deadly tick-borne diseases. Faced with a potential threat of a reaction to a pesticide and the here-and-now presence of fleas, I drove straight to a pet supply store for a topical flea treatment. I didn’t want to give a living flea population a ride home, or anywhere else.

I think these topical treatments can be overused, and I know that they can cause deadly reactions in some sensitive dogs. I am concerned about the fact that much of the substance that we drip onto our dogs’ skin needs not be identified by the makers of the pesticide; Federal law permits the maker to hide the so-called “inert” ingredients in the preparations, even though they may themselves be quite toxic. (For more about this, see “Are Spot-On Flea Killers Safe?” WDJ February 2002 and “Eliminate Fleas Without Poisons,” March 2002.) And yet, in certain situations, such as an acute exposure to fleas – and one that I hope won’t recur – the substances can be a fast, effective solution, one that puts an almost-immediate end to the torture of flea bites. I wouldn’t put them on a dog every month, and I wouldn’t put them on every dog I own, but they do have a place, at least in my dog-care kit.

How about you? Have you experienced trouble with spot-ons? Or do you rely on them for flea- and tick-preventives?

Comments (33)

I tried spot ons with my german sheperd, then I found this chewable product - nexgard, which is more convinient -

Posted by: PetKingSupply | September 29, 2017 7:27 AM    Report this comment

I use to use toxic chemicals, I use to own a grooming shop prior to topical insecticides used today. So we used some very toxic stuff , anyway, I now live in central Texas and only one time had a flea problem. I tried several natural remedies and finally found what works for me and my eight dogs. Natural Chemistry De Flea. I shampoo with the product, spray the repellent, and use organic diatomaceous earth. I sprinkle their beds, around the floor where they lay. Even around doorways leading outdoors. It got rid of the problem and haven't had a tick or flea in years. I also add it to my horse feed, it kills internal parasites.
Google to see how it works. Very cool!

Posted by: Joan4dogs | February 6, 2011 8:31 PM    Report this comment

I live in an area where fleas and ticks are not normally a problem, so I don't use anything on a regular basis. For summertime trips to the lake where my dogs are exposed to the nasty buggers, I have had very good luck using Frontline.

Posted by: JERRY S | December 31, 2010 5:40 PM    Report this comment

I have a bichon she has had allerys most of her life,she is 8 years old.This summer she has had fleas several times. I used Frontline Plus on her,but now she has lost most of her hair,and has open sores on her back,after reading all of the problems with Frontline,Iam thinking maybe the Frontline is causing the hair loss and open sores.It is now December 3 and I just found a flea.What is the answer?What can I do? Rita

Posted by: RITA T | December 3, 2010 3:22 PM    Report this comment

I have an Aussie mix that has severe allergies and gets regular allergy shots. I tried a prescription spot-on once and she had such a bad reaction that I've never used them again. She is on Sentinel (we live in Florida where heartworm is a year round problem) and that helps. Just keeping her clean and brushed and feeding her a high quality food have kept the fleas at bay for almost ten years now. We have recently adopted a Rhodesian mix and I haven't used any topical on her either. If we plan to take them to a densely wooded park or area, I will use Adams spray aparingly. It's worked for us.

Posted by: CAROLYN E S | December 3, 2010 11:05 AM    Report this comment

I have an Aussie mix that has severe allergies and gets regular allergy shots. I tried a prescription spot-on once and she had such a bad reaction that I've never used them again. She is on Sentinel (we live in Florida where heartworm is a year round problem) and that helps. Just keeping her clean and brushed and feeding her a high quality food have kept the fleas at bay for almost ten years now. We have recently adopted a Rhodesian mix and I haven't used any topical on her either. If we plan to take them to a densely wooded park or area, I will use Adams spray aparingly. It's worked for us.

Posted by: CAROLYN E S | December 3, 2010 11:05 AM    Report this comment

I've had both success and some serious concerns with spot treatments. Worst case I know of was my father's cat was paralyzed for a month after her first and only dose, after it wore off she slowly regained use of her back legs. They had to do phsyical therapy on her through out or she wouldn't have recovered at all. My oldest boxer has had minor tremors from time to time, and the cause could never be identified but now I wonder if it was the topical. We used to live in lyme disease country so we had to take precautions for ticks seriously and frontline was the brand we used. I would only give my 70+ lb dogs half of the recommended dose and only during the spring/summer months ticks were prevelent and we were out and about in risky areas. They would go about 45-60 days between doses as well. We take care to keep the grass, weeds and brush away from our yard now that we live in the country. While lots of people around us have horrible flea and tick problems we have never seen a flea and fewer than a dozen ticks in over three years. (knock on wood). I think a good diet and healthy immune system are the best advantage you can give a dog to thwart the pests, though that doesn't always work either when the environment is overrun with them. The topicals can help, but they cannot possibly be 100% safe and effective for every case. At the very least the pests have to hitch a ride on your pet to be effective, meanwhile they still have time to bite your pet or their human caregivers. And it only makes sense that the pests will become resistent to the treatments over time.

My response to the pest situation is with measured caution. If I see a tick or two, I just thoroughly comb/groom and remove them. If we're getting overrun someday then I might go for the big guns. But I will always take into consideration the health of my pet. One that is weak or suffering from other ailments may not be able to handle the toxins in the spot treatments. I see no need in going pre-emptive thermonuclear strike when it is not necessary.

Posted by: Elizabeth S | December 2, 2010 8:00 PM    Report this comment

I have been a veterinary technician for over 20 years. At least one of my dogs goes to work with me daily. I also live in " deer tick country". I use Frontline Plus monthly year round. I have no fear of using this product over all the others out there. I do not have a flea problem and the ticks are always dead or dying. I find with the products that claim to repel...the ticks just end up biting me as my dogs (big ones too) sleep with me and spend evenings on the sofa with me. The VERY few reactions I have seen over the years Frontline has been on the market, we could not even be sure were associated to it. I continue to use it, and feel better knowing my dogs are protected the safest and most effective way I know.

Posted by: Lisa T | December 2, 2010 5:37 PM    Report this comment

A few things that I have used with success are:
adding Cinnamon (real cinnamon) to the daily diet, dogs dig it, cats not so much. This is something I had not heard until a few years ago and let me tell you it has made a big difference (I put it in my morning coffee too). Even in the worst seasons the percentage of mosquito bites, fleas and other pesky critters went down dramatically.
Diatomaceous earth - totally non toxic, use inside and outside or even on the dog. I put it between all my cushions and mattresses, along all the borders of rooms and the house itself and inside cupboards, etc. In an already infested area it can take a little while, but it works and you can even eat it. Just don't use the stuff designed for pool filters, it is processed differently.
At one point I was in Alabama and had about 15 dogs (I had a rescue). NOTHING was working against the fleas. I relented and bought one of almost all the different topicals and put on individual dogs to see what, if anything, worked. I did not and would not use Revolution, Advantix, Advantage Multi or the other ones that are supposed to cover that many things. I have seen first hand what Revolution can do to dogs, we were given a supply at a shelter I worked at (greater than 50% dogs had some kind of reaction). Eventually the fleas abated. Never did figure out if one brand worked better than another or what was specifically responsible for the decline. But I do know that Frontline Plus and Advantage had just stopped working in that environment.
If I could avoid using them at all, I certainly would. Parasite control is the only thing I am willing to do that is potentially toxic and harmful. It does go against my intuitive feelings about such things. I use them very sparingly and only when needed. The potential problems associated with a flea infestation outweigh my instinct to not use these things. It is not usually more than once or twice a year that I have to use them, thankfully. I have used Capstar, but I am not entirely sure about that either.
For ticks I use the Preventic Collar and keep it in a zip lock bag when I am not out and about in tick areas. Probably the only collar I would recommend. I wish, wish, wish the natural stuff worked well enough to not need these hardcore pesticides, but alas my experience has been that are just to effective enough.

Posted by: Chelsea E | December 2, 2010 12:56 PM    Report this comment

I use K9 Advantix but I'd like to find a natural solution. I tried a cedar oil spray but the smell was way too strong. I had to give my Aussie a bath the next day to remove the oil, it smelled like I had a 50 lb gerbil in the house (and I hadn't used very much). I have started adding garlic to their food and I'm going to see if I can back off the Advantix to once every 45 or 60 days during bug season. I will also research and try some of the other suggestions here. Thanks so much for starting the dicussion.

Posted by: Jennie J | December 2, 2010 12:22 PM    Report this comment

We used to use all those dangerous chemicals like Advantix - (I wondered, if they tell me to wash my hands afterward...how safe can it be?)

We heard about an all natural product called nomoflea from Dinovite, we use their supplement too, man alive - all their products are great.

Posted by: daswonderful | December 2, 2010 10:09 AM    Report this comment

I will never again use topical flea treatments on my dogs. It was required that I have a vet use the topical spot treatment immediately before moving to Hawaii. Putting a toxic product on the largest organ of the body, the skin, just did not make sense. But it was either leave her behind or do the treatment. Right after arriving, she started itching madly and loosing her hair. The local vet said I needed to continue the flea treatments, as she likely was allergic to flea bites. There were no visible signs of fleas, but I did as the vet instructed. She seemed to scratch less for a few days and then it got worse. I took her to another vet who diagnosed autoimmune disease. Now, it is 6 months later and she has liver disease. No one can say for sure what caused her health issues. Even if it was genetic, could the stress to her body from the sudden onslaught of chemicals induced the condition? All I know is that she was a healthy dog before the treatment and now she isn't.
On the rare occasion that I see signs of fleas or excessive itching, I give my dogs a Capstar and a bath. Then I spray their bedding and mine, along with my truck seats and carpet with cedar spray. So far that seems to do the trick.

Posted by: Serena | December 1, 2010 7:19 PM    Report this comment

I am glad to hear that I am not alone with flea problems this year. I have not had fleas for probably 10 years so was caught off guard and probably added to the problem by not addressing it faster. I had used a natural spray called Pet-so-soft for years,more for flies and mosquitoes,though. The catalog I ordered it from was not able to get it in stock but I'm not sure whether not using that allowed the infestation or that it was a coincidence. Either way I had a horrible time and I finally resorted to the Frontline Plus which did NOTHING! I reluctantly finally resorted to bug bombing my house as now we were well into freezing temps. here and they were still showing back up in the dogs. I will definitely be checking into some of these products others have suggested before next summer!

Posted by: Deborah S | December 1, 2010 4:26 PM    Report this comment

We live in a rural area in the South that has fleas and ticks almost all year long. My dogs also spend a lot of time in tall grass and forests as we participate in AKC tracking. I used to use Frontline but noticed that it has not seemed as effective over the last couple of years... One of my dogs has a serious flea allergy and it is important that she not be bitten by a flea so we use K9 Advantix. That product paralyzes and kills the flea prior to biting the dog. We have used K9 Advantix for the past 6 months, always watching for side effects, and it has been working great for all our dogs. (We do not have cats so the product is safe for our household.)

Do I like putting chemicals on my dogs, no... but we rescued one of our dogs after she was abandoned in the woods and was literally covered in big, fat ticks - we stopped counting the ticks when we got to 100 and she is only 20 lbs. She also had a tick-borne illness and had to be on anti-biotics for several months before we could spay her. Seeing what tick-borne illness can do to a dog is heartbreaking... so as long as I do not see any side effects and the K9 Advantix continues to work that is what we will use.

Posted by: Dawna R | December 1, 2010 1:17 PM    Report this comment

I only use topical treatments as well. My dogs love to swim, we hike, and my border collie had seizures when we tried Comfortis (what a mistake!). But this summer nothing is working on fleas. It's not just me, everyone I know has found that Frontline is not cutting it. It still works on ticks, but I still find fleas and one of my dogs is terribly allergic to flea bites, where he loses fur and gets hot spots. But I am desperate. I comb, pick, bathe, use frontline, and still fleas! Is there another treatment that is effective?

Posted by: herdingdogs | December 1, 2010 12:39 PM    Report this comment

Great topic and thanks to everyone for the suggestions and recommendations about what works and doesn't work. Where we live in Central America, fleas and many varieties of ticks are a year round problem. If the ticks are completely out of control, e.g., Maggie comes back with 200 or so seed ticks, then I will apply Frontline to kill them off. Otherwise I use a homemade spray of rose geranium and a drop or two of lavender dissolved in 1 tsp. plain glycerine, then added to 4 oz. plain water. Before we go outside I spray her with this solution, avoiding face and eyes. Because the ticks were so awful this year, I invested in one of the Insect Shield dog bandanas (active ingredient: permethrin, a synthetic pyrethrin reputed to be safe). Maggie only wears this when outside for short periods of time. I still check her carefully daily and do occasionally remove a tick or flea. A new tick removal method that so far has worked very well:

"Tick Removal

"I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to
remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places
where it's some times difficult to get to with tweezers: between
toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.

"Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with
the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20),
the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball
when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I've
used it (and that was frequently, and it's much less traumatic for
the patient) and easier for me. Unless someone is allergic to soap,
I can't see that this would be damaging in any way. I even had my
doctor's wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her
back and she couldn't reach it with tweezers. She used this method
and immediately called me back to say, "It worked!"
Please pass on"

Sorry I don't know whom to credit for the above information, but I have tried it using Dr. Bronner's lavender liquid soap (lavender being something of an insecticide) with great results. The ticks do just drop off.

I'm going to check back to see what other great ideas and tips other WDJ readers have to offer --

Posted by: Carolyn M | December 1, 2010 10:04 AM    Report this comment

Here in Kentucky we have both fleas and ticks. I have two dogs (both house dogs) and two cats (indoor/outdoor) and live in the country with forest all around--lots of deer, squirrels, etc. The ticks have always been a moderate seasonal problem and the fleas not so bad but occasional. I was using Frontline (because it seems to be the least toxic of the chemicals) on all just in the warmer months and had no problems until this year. The ticks were HORRID this spring and summer (we had a wet spring and a hot dry summer, being especially numerous and very aggressive. Also, we had a sudden explosion of fleas. The Frontline alone was not enough. In addition I had to comb and pick fleas & ticks, bath the dogs with medicated shampoo (they both developed dermatitis from even occasional bites), and in between Frontline treatments used a natural repellant type spray called Natural Defense. I also made my own rosemary infused repellant rinse for after baths. All of this still just barely kept the situation under control. My vet swore that there was no reisistance to the Frontline but I wonder. Now that cold weather is finally here we are all breathing easier but I wonder what I'll be in for next year. I am unsure whether to switch spot-on products or not.

Posted by: PJKutscher | December 1, 2010 8:35 AM    Report this comment

It's been great to read of all these natural products to help with external parasites. As a vet in the South of England I have been faced with a new problem in recent years, lungworm. It never used to happen here, but now it does, and there have been fatalities. We have Advocate and fenbendazole as drug therapies. Are there any tried and tested natural solutions to this problem ?

Posted by: pgrant | December 1, 2010 4:24 AM    Report this comment

We've reluctantly used Advantix in the past, but have an active English Setter that loves open fields and hunts year round so really need something effective. We fight ticks more than fleas but have both in the temperate climate we live in here in California.
I just heard about a natural product at the website Mercola.com that I want to research, and possibly buy. I don't like applying strong smells to a dog since their sense of smell is so strong (it must be like being hugged by a heavy perfume wearer)but I prefer THAT inconvenience for him to the discomfort he seems to experience after we apply a spot on treatment. He hides under the bed for hours, despite our attempts to distract him with games, toys or food.
There are some VERY good suggestions in previous comments here that I am interested in checking into and possibly buying; so I thank you all for your informative contributions and look forward to returning and reading more!

Posted by: Cheleste W | December 1, 2010 2:37 AM    Report this comment

I use Flea N'Tick Begone on my animals when necessary. It works well and isn't toxic to my dogs. It's even okay to use on cats. For the yard, we had a tick infestation one year and used beneficial nematodes. We have also used Neem oil in the yard. We hadn't had fleas or ticks in quite a while until we adopted a new dog from the shelter about 2 years ago. He had those nasty stick-tight fleas. It took 2 applications with the Flea N'Tick Begone; and we treated inside the house with an herbal powder we found at Petsmart or one of those places. We haven't had fleas or ticks since then. We have lost 2 dogs to cancer and now don't use any chemicals in the house or in the yard. There are lots of non-toxic options available. If you need to find any of this stuff, try Arbico Organics on the web. They have lots of options for organic and non-toxic options for pets and gardens. We have used them for a long time and love them. And no I'm not affiliated with them in any way, except as a satisfied customer! :)

Posted by: Rainbear | November 30, 2010 7:27 PM    Report this comment

Cedarcide Best Yet really works. My poor Standard Poodle recently showed symptoms of flea allergy this summer. We have a horrible rabbit popluation on our property. We'll be sparying with the Cedarcide outdoor product begining next Spring every two weeks to help with it. It works great for mosquiots too.

Posted by: Diane S | November 30, 2010 5:42 PM    Report this comment

We almost lost a Rhodesian Ridgeback to BioSpot five or six years ago. Although we had noticed that he'd rub his back against the carpet every time we applied it, we didn't realize that his reaction should have alerted us to more serious problems with this chemical. Over two or three years of monthly use, he became gradually more lethargic, less playful and more withdrawn. He seemed to be aging beyond his years. In fact, he seemed to be dying slowly. But we never made the connection (and neither did our vet) until we missed a dose one month. We remembered about a week later, but by that time we had noticed a huge change in his behavior -- he was like a puppy again! We wondered if BioSpot had something to do with it, since that was all that had changed, so I did some research online and found all sorts of horror stories of dogs that had been injured or killed by it. I never used it again and never will on any dog. (Early this year, we fostered a dog for a month whose owner had used BioSpot on her. She had burn scars all down her back, where the fur probably will never regrow.) What I use now to repel ticks is organic rose geranium oil -- just a few drops on my dog's collar when we're in an area where ticks are a problem. And we always check him thoroughly just in case. For fleas, if we find any, we spray him with a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water. I don't know if either of these would work reliably in an area where fleas and ticks are a big problem (they're not where we live), but they're great for our situation.

Posted by: DeborahBee | November 30, 2010 4:26 PM    Report this comment

I stopped putting Advantage on my 10 pound dog 2 years ago. My dog didn't do well on Advantage, I would find more than 10 fleas on him from a walk around the neighborhood while on Advantage so I figure why keep poisoning him with this monthly topical treatment when I can flea comb him after his walks. In addition to flea combing, I put Earth Animal's Herbal Internal Powder and garlic granules in his food daily, he loves them. He also wears Anibio Tic Clip on his collar which is non toxic. I also feed him human grade high quality dog food to keep him healthy. He's not infested with fleas anymore but occasionally I find a flea on him.

Posted by: Sprocket | November 30, 2010 3:19 PM    Report this comment

I have always used Frontline Plus on my 2 dogs because I was told the chemical was topical and didn't absorb into their bloodstream. I recently discussed with my vet an odd reaction my black lab/pointer mix gets for about a week after I apply the frontline. When he goes potty, he will have a constant, light stream of urine for about 2-3 minutes straight, without stopping. I have noted this reaction each time I apply the frontline. I try to use it sparingly from April through Oct and typically only apply every 45-60 days. I will have to do more research into natural flea remedies. I agree, I don't like putting chemicals that will kill fleas for 30+ days on my dogs skin.

Posted by: KELLI B | November 30, 2010 3:04 PM    Report this comment

I would never in a million years use toxic pesticides on my dog. He wears the Medipatch flea and tick collar (which is safe and non toxic) and I also feed him GRR Lick garlic treats daily. However, both of these take about 4-6 weeks to start working. If he were ever infested with fleas, I would spray him thoroughly the Cedarcide Best Yet spray, which is a non toxic cedar oil based spray that you can use on yourself, your dog, or your home. To those of you dealing with infestation problems and the person doing cruelty investigations, I recommend you call Cedarcide and ask how to treat your problems. They will tell you which products to use and how. You can spray yourself with the spray (and I would seriously cover myself from head to toe) prior to entering infested premises. If I found my dog was picking up ticks at a particular hiking spot, I would spray him with Cedarcide Best Yet spray prior to hiking at that area again. I also use Cedarcide's PCO choice on my yard about once every 2 months to keep fleas and ticks out of my yard. A warning to anyone who uses the Best Yet on hard floors: it makes the floors slippery as ice, so be careful when you walk on the floors afterward. Hope this helps some of you.

Posted by: MARY A | November 30, 2010 2:49 PM    Report this comment

Funny you should ask. I've been using Advantage, on 3 different dogs over the last 17 years, with no problem. I used it just once or twice over the summer on the dog (Sheltie) I have now. When bathing him last weekend, I found a live flea- much to my surprise in the Buffalo area at the end of November. So I guess I'm going to buy Advantage and give him a dose. He's 21 or 22 pounds, so I'm going to get the dosage for a 20-lb dog; the next size up is 2.5 times as much.

I'd appreciate an update on these products in WDJ, though. It's more than 8 years since 2002, and I know that there are different combination products that people are using.

Posted by: septembermary | November 30, 2010 1:16 PM    Report this comment

I would love suggestions for controlling TICKS without hurting my dogs or the environment. I've been dealing with a tick infestation for 3 years, from a load of mulch. We live in Texas. I am hesitant to use Frontline or other topical treatments more than every couple months. I don't want to decimate the population of beneficial insects & microbes in my yard with toxic chemicals. The ticks are in the house; we vacuum thoroughly twice weekly, wash the tile floors with a bleach water solution weekly; wash dog beds in hot water & bleach, drying on hot, weekly. We use a chemical free organic pest control company. My household & the dogs are extremely clean. I recently purchased a garlic product & am adding it to the 7 dogs' food; am not up to the recommended dosage yet. Has anyone had success with cedar sprays for the house & yard? Do they bother beneficial insects? What else can I do? This is driving me nuts.

Posted by: Margo | November 30, 2010 12:52 PM    Report this comment

Several years ago one of my dogs accompanied me to the vet school while my recently neutered rabbit's sutures were removed. He arrested in the parking lot. The first question I was asked was "When was the last time you applied Advantage".

It had been over three months prior so the arrest was not from the flea top spot but it did make me think. If that was the first thing a veterinarian at one of the nation's vet schools thought of, did I really want to put pesticides on my dogs again? Needless to say I have never again used Advantage or any top spot treatment. Fleas drown if any shampoo is on long enough, they flee from a good swim in the ocean, and nematodes keep them out of my yard.

In answer to the lady who does rescue, I would do what my husband does when he goes on a search and rescue mission in a tick filled environment. Purchase Frontline spray (which does not contain the ingredients which cause it to be absorbed by the skin) and spray it on your socks and pant's legs.


Posted by: Furrykids | November 30, 2010 12:46 PM    Report this comment

I put Earth Animal's Herbal Internal Powder (yeast free) in my dogs food everyday twice daily and I have no problems with fleas. He still gets an
occasional tick but its rare. Its all natural and I don't have to worry about
using a pesticide.

Posted by: Unknown | November 30, 2010 12:19 PM    Report this comment

I have found that there is a slight correlation between the use of Frontline on my two dachshund mixes and the occurrence of seizures. For the first year of their life I thought their seizures, which would happen about once a month, were caused by poor nutrition, so I took them off Purina and started feeding them Dr. Harvey's (half homemade, half prepared diet). One time it occurred to me that perhaps the seizures were caused by the monthly application of Frontline (our vet couldn't find any other causes). For the next couple of months one of the dogs would get a seizure 24-48 hours within application of the Frontline. That's when we quit Frontline and switched to a holisitc approach using garlic tablets, herbal defense shampoo and spray (sold by Only Natural Pets). Sure enough, within a few months the seizures were gone! I'm not sure that Frontline was the single cause of the seizures, but I think it definitely contributed. Using herbal and natural products is less convenient, but I'll take that over harming my pets!

Posted by: Katherine O | November 30, 2010 12:07 PM    Report this comment

I have recently rescued a puppy and the Rescue recommended that I use Omni Spray for ticks. I just
spray it on the fur before a walk in the woods. It seems to work very well. I like the idea that nothing is going into the blood stream.

Posted by: harbormaster | November 30, 2010 11:31 AM    Report this comment

I went for many years without a flea problem with any of my dogs or cats. Then when I started investigating cruelty complaints I was going into homes where there were severe flea infestations and brought some home :-( I hated having to treat my dogs and cats and would have preferred to have something I could have used myself.....but as a last resort to eradicate the problem I had to apply a topical to all of them. I have used Revolution and Vectra without any ill-affects, but I use it only as needed - so typically once depending upon how many visits to other homes I have to make. I have also used Capstar which is a fast acting pill that works very quickly but only for about 24 hours.

Posted by: Joyce L | November 30, 2010 11:28 AM    Report this comment

I use them in the summer months because I live in an area with a high incidence of both ticks and tick-borne diseases. We also hike in wooded areas regularly, and I have a low-rider that picks up a ridiculous amount of ticks in just seconds. Plus, she's very furry, so it's hard to see all the little critters, even when I do a thorough combing and bath afterwards.

Posted by: CRYSTAL T | November 30, 2010 11:25 AM    Report this comment

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