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When a dog or cat scratches an itch, the owner’s back shivers. Having fleas and ticks in your home is the last thing you want, not to mention the risk of spreading disease-carrying parasites to your family. To help protect your pets and people from this fear, we’ve compiled a list of vet-recommended flea treatments and symptoms.
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All of the products we recommend are for treating fleas, but sometimes fleas aren’t the only parasite you have to deal with. Depending on where you are in the country, there are many endemic worms to avoid, including internal parasites such as heartworms and roundworms. Also, some treatments can be used in different ways or in different ways. So, please consult your vet. Your veterinarian is your best source of advice on proper treatment based on your pet’s medical history and the prevalence of pests in your area.
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Bravecto lasts up to 3 months, so it can be applied less often than other topical treatments we recommend (it also comes with a chew for dogs with sensitive skin). However, a prescription is required. See below for therapeutic doses for small or large dogs.
Bravecto is one of the brands that offers a heartworm protected version for cats as young as 3 months. However, Bravecto requires a prescription. See the link below for links to appropriate amounts for cats on weight requirements.
Who should use: Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs and Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats The idea is 3 months between treatments and their main concerns are fleas, American Bulldogs, black paw flags and brown dog tags. . (for dogs) or fleas and black claws (for cats). Bravecto is available orally if you have a dog that happily swallows its chews instead of feeding treats around its neck. Bravecto kills these insects in a 12-week cycle and also kills individual star mites (dogs) and American dog mites (cats) that are only 8 weeks old at that time. You have 4 weeks to see your dog or cat.
What it does: Our vets agree Bravecto is one of the best flea treatments and is recommended for cats and dogs. This is the only brand that recommends buying a single dose and leaving 3 months between applications. However, if you live in an area where you can see constellations like the eastern, southern, and south central states, you may be better off with a monthly treatment like Frontline Plus. Bravecto protects against lone star symptoms for only 8 weeks (12 weeks for other types of symptoms). This means your pet will not be protected from orphan symptoms for a full month between Bravecto treatments or stronger treatments (PDF).
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Bravecto is one of two prescription medications that protect cats against heartworms, roundworms and hookworms. (Revolution also protects cats from certain parasites.) According to the American Heartworm Society, there is no cure for heartworms in cats, so you must first protect your cat from heartworm infection.
Bravecto Chew and Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs provide 12 weeks of protection against fleas, black-footed ticks, American dog ticks and brown dog ticks and 8 weeks against individual ticks. But they do not protect the heart. The chewing method is convenient because you don’t have to apply a nasty sticky residue to your pet’s fur. However, when using this formulation, the insect is not exposed to the pesticide unless it bites the pet. In comparison, this substance is distributed in the fur and oil glands of pets, so when an insect strikes the fur, it is the mites. (Choose a topical ointment if your pet is more sensitive to insect bites than a topical ointment.)
Bravecto Topical Solution for cats provides 12 weeks of flea and black-footed tick protection and 8 weeks of American dog tick protection. Bravecto Plus for cats provides protection against fleas, black-footed worms, heartworms, roundworms and hookworms for up to 8 weeks.
Known Side Effects: Adverse neurological reactions such as ataxia (lack of coordination), seizures and tremors. Other known side effects – Vomiting, hair loss, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dry skin, itching
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Variants: Bravecto Chew for Dogs 4.4-9.9 lbs, 9.9-22 lbs, 22-44 lbs, 44-88 lbs, 88-123 lbs. Bravecto Dog Topical Solution 4.4-9.9 lbs, 9.9-22 lbs, 22-44 lbs, 44-88 lbs, 88-123 lbs. Bravecto Cat Topical Solution 2.6-6.2 lbs, 6.2-13.8 lbs, 13.8-27.5 lbs. Bravecto Plus Cat 2.6-6.2 lbs, 6.2-13.8 lbs, 13.8-27.5 lbs
Revolution Plus for Cats treats more pests (fleas, earthworms, roundworms, hookworms and some types of worms) than any other treatment we recommend. However, you will need to order more each month and you will need a prescription. See below for versions suitable for light and heavy cats.
Unlike other treatments, this method kills fleas and also affects dog ear mites, scabies and heartworms. But American dog tags are the only cure. It requires a doctor’s prescription and must be applied monthly. See below for versions suitable for light or heavy dogs.
Who should use it: If you have a cat and don’t mind asking for monthly meds, Revolution Plus for Cats covers a wide range, including fleas, ear plugs, roundworms and some other symptoms. If you have a dog and are not overly concerned about symptoms, Revolution for Dogs can help protect against heartworms and earworms.
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What it counts: Revolution Plus protects your cat from more pests than any other product. This is an excellent solution for cat owners in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. This is because it is the only recommended topical treatment for Atlantic mites that live in this area. According to the VCA Hospital, it treats ear mites, the second most common pest after fleas. Like Bravecto, Revolution Plus protects against parasites commonly found in kittens, such as roundworms and hookworms. It is also effective against fleas, black-legged tapeworms, American dog tapeworms, Pacific tapeworms, earworms, roundworms, hookworms, and heartworms. (We do not recommend this guide because the non-Revolution Plus version for cats is ineffective at repelling ticks.)
Revolution for Dogs offers protection against a narrower range of pests than other flea treatments we recommend, but it only prevents heartworms. Revolution does not protect the brown dog tags found around the world. (Bravecto, Frontline, and Seresto fight these.) Revolution kills fleas, earworms, sarcoma mange, dog rot, and ringworm.
Breeds: Dog Revolution 5.1-10 lbs, 10.1-20 lbs, 20.1-40 lbs, 40.1-85 lbs, 86-130 lbs. Revolution Plus for Cats 2.8-5.5 lbs, 5.6-11 lbs, 11.1-22 lbs
Frontline Plus is the most effective over-the-counter topical treatment for flea and tick protection. However, it must be applied monthly and cannot fight parasites such as heartworms. See below for proper dosages for dogs of other weights.
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This no-prescription monthly treatment for cats protects against the same pests as dogs (and guarantees the same monthly schedule).
Who should use it: Frontline Plus for dogs and Frontline Plus for cats are over-the-counter medications that are easy to get. Consider this solution if you have dogs and cats and want to protect against different pests on the same schedule.
What the treatment does: Frontline Plus is an over-the-counter flea and tick treatment recommended on the same schedule for dogs and cats. Although the two versions contain different active ingredients due to the different species, dogs and cats can be put on the same application schedule and deal with the same pests. Both treatments kill fleas, lice, dog star mites, American dog mites, deer mites and brown dog mites. So you don’t have to mix and match different treatments to ensure each pet gets the same level of protection as your home. In comparison, Bravecto offers four models that protect against different insect combinations, but has a limited range of cat products. This can be a problem for dog and cat owners who want to protect their pets from multiple parasites with a single dose. Frontline Plus takes the guesswork out of it, so pet owners can focus on playtime, not flea bath time.
Frontline Plus is the only non-prescription program product we recommend. In the meantime, you can get a new box
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