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Tick Preventative


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Hi all,

For 3 years I have resisted anything other than natural preventatives and twice daily combing for flea and tick control.  That approach was working well until we move to the North Carolina mountains.  Our two dogs are on longer walks on trails with more overgrowth.  Despite my efforts this spring I’ve found several ticks on them, the last one today was engorged.  So I’m sadly considering a new approach.

I’ve read so many bad things about reactions to the medications but I know ticks carry serious diseases which is a risk as well.

Topicals seem to be a little safer but with the dogs licking and biting each other that doesn’t seem prudent.  What are others of multiple dogs using?


Thanks very much!


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I never realized that having multiple dogs would be a problem after a Frontline treatment. Can you separate the dogs with a baby gate for a 24 hour "quarantine" period after applying? Or perhaps the vet could recommend safer (oral) alternatives which I believe do not require a "do not touch" period after dosing, but the question remains... Are oral meds less safe than topicals? There may be no easy answer to this dilemma. 

You already discovered that a tick bite is probably a sure thing in your infested area. The chances that your dogs would have a bad reaction to a topical might be much less than the more likely risk of a tick bite. 

I hope the vet can offer you a solution you can live with. Good luck!

Edited by sanford


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I’ve had two Cairns for years and used Frontline, but never had an issue with them licking each other in the application area.  Maybe you can just change when you apply it, like before they are crated for the night or when you go away.  That would give it time to soak in and dry.

I changed from Frontline because it seemed to be less effective in the past few years.  We live in the Ozarks in Missouri and find ticks about 10 months out of the year.  I’ve been using Nexguard and have been pleased with it.  It’s not topical but the possible side effects or risks from taking an oral med vs. the problems from a tick bite made it worth it to me.

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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I live in Saint Louis, and I usually only find about 1 tick in the spring, but one is enough. I don't like to use the preventatives either but feel the benefits outweigh the risks. We have used frontline gold (topical) and bravecto (pill) with no side effects and both have been effective' We take our two on trips with us and that makes me feel like they are a little safer. We have cats too and some of these treatments while safe for the dogs are toxic to the cats if they lick the dogs fur. Hope you find something you like.

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I live in tick infested country- especially deer ticks so we use protection year round. Frontline didn't work for Angus.Advantage was was too messy and hard to get it down to the skin. Switched to Bravecto. No fuss and no side effect and protection for three months at a time. Works for us in central north Pennsylvania where Lyme disease is very common. Better the medication than the sometimes severe effects of the disease.

Edited by Hillscreek
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Thanks everyone for the input.  Our vet has recommended Nexguard.  I just need to get beyond my fears as I’ve read so many horrible things online about side effects but tick bites come with their own set of risks.

It makes me feel better to know others are using oral meds successfully with their cairns!!


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