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Flea and tick control options

What options are available for flea and tick control in pets, and how do they work? Dr. Lee discusses insect control options with a pet parent.

Flea and tick control options

Q: Pixie, my toy poodle, has been using a popular topical liquid for fleas and ticks, but the monthly applications don’t seem to be killing the fleas as well as they once did. What do you suggest?

A: Three categories of products are effective alternatives for flea and tick control.

Your first option is a different topical liquid, preferably one that contains permethrin, which repels and kills fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other insects.

Note: Mosquitos transmit heartworms, and since I live in an area where heartworm disease is common, I apply a permethrin-containing liquid to my dogs’ skin every month to supplement their monthly heartworm medication. (Common brands are K9 Advantix II and Vectra 3D.)

A second choice is a chewable tablet that kills fleas and ticks that bite. Credelio, NexGard and Simparica are monthly options; Bravecto is given every three months. Your veterinarian probably carries one of these medications.

A third product that works against fleas and ticks is a collar such as the Seresto collar, which lasts for eight months.

If Pixie continues to have problems with fleas, talk with her veterinarian.

Editor’s Note: Insect-borne pet diseases—like Lyme and Heartworm—are on the rise this year due to the impact of climate change. Dr. Lee shares import information about a 4Dx detection test and prevention tips.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

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