The ticks are back, and most experts agree that tick populations are going to continue to grow in many parts of the country. (See this article in Veterinary Practice News.) In the Upper Valley, we don’t need experts to tell us that the tick populations are growing, nor do we need experts to tell us that there is more Lyme disease in our region then ever before. What we do need to research is the best way to keep these disease-carrying creatures off of our pets.
There are several new products on the market for the 2013 tick season, and the Veremedy Team spent the last month or so evaluating all of the tick-killing options. The results, in a nutshell: Frontline is still he overall leader in the control of tick problems. To understand our rational for this decision we offer the following.
Frontline has been the market leader for years, and though there is no such thing as a 100% effective tick control product, all other products on the market compare themselves to Frontline. The newest product on market is Seresto, a flea and tick collar that combines the old collar technology with newer chemicals. The product comes with a modern price–over $80.00, and some drawbacks. Though designed to work for 8 months, regular swimming will decrease the duration of action. The collar will release if it is stuck on something, but then you have to buy a new collar for your dog or cat.
Activyl is another new product that is applied monthly just like Frontline. Like many of the topical tick products on the market, the active ingredient in Activyl is great for dogs, but harmful to cats. Activyl biggest claim to fame for veterinarians is that the product cannot be obtained from the online pharmacies. While we appreciate the fact that the company that makes Activyl, and for that matter the company that makes Vectra-D as well, are looking out for veterinary hospital profits, at Veremedy, we just want to know which product is effective and safe.
There are a bunch of Frontline knock offs on the market such as ParaStar and Spectra-Sure. These essentially have the same active ingredient as Frontline, but several other ingredients may be missing or will be present in different concentrations. Again, they hope to be as effective as the name brand product, but the companies that make these generics do not have the same guarantee that Frontline has.
In the end, though there are many flea and tick products on the market, we still believe that the safest, most effective product is Frontline. When applied properly and regularly the product is highly effective. So effective, in fact, that if the product is purchased at Veremedy, the manufacturer of Frontline will stand behind the product 100%. Once again this year we have set our promotional price for Frontline below what many low-cost online pharmacies charge. If you have any questions on flea or tick control, please feel free to call us at 802-295-6900.