Fleas and ticks are the banes of every dog owner whether you have a Cocker Spaniel of royal stock or an adopted tearaway. Although fleas lack wings to fly, they exhibit strong hind legs that allow them to hop from one dog to the next with such ease.
Fleas are dark copper in color while ticks can range from shades of brown and red. While fleas enjoy scurrying along your dog’s skin, ticks, on the other hand, love to hang out in warm moist areas such as your dog’s neck, armpits, and inner thighs. Both parasites are happy to cohabit and feed on your pet’s blood for nutrition. Ticks could grow to about the size of a marble as it ingests more blood.
Once these pesky parasites have taken up residence on your pet, you’ll be faced with various frustrating situations, particularly, life-threatening diseases. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to treat fleas and ticks once you suspect your dog has contracted such.
How Fleas Affect Your Dog
Fleas solely depend on your dog’s blood for nutriment. However, each bite can agitate your dog due to the certain compounds present in a flea’s saliva. This causes your dog to nibble on his skin and scratch excessively just to relieve the itch. As a result, your dog could lose some patches of hair.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Apart from hair loss that results from your dog’s unrestrained scratching, more serious complications could further develop from flea bites. This includes flea allergy dermatitis, which is among the most common skin diseases in dogs.
Flea allergy is an eczematous dermatitis skin disease for dogs, which is characterized by severe itchiness and excessive hair loss. Dogs affected with this condition often show hair loss around the neck, down the back of its legs, its lower back, and upper tail.
Other symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis include redness, bumps, pus, and scabs. If left untreated, flea allergy dermatitis could lead to bacterial infections.
If your dog has contracted fleas, you will also need to treat him for tapeworms. There is a high percentage that your dog has tapeworms since it is uncommon for dogs to chew their itchy skin.
Fleas often contain tapeworm eggs. Once the eggs mature, tapeworms will feed on your dog for nourishment and can grow up to several feet. This leads to fatigue and gastrointestinal problems. You may even notice small white worms in your dog’s poop.
Anemia is where the red blood cells that transport oxygen is reduced. Flea bite anemia is more likely to develop in puppies and small dog breeds where blood volume is less. Senior dogs are also susceptible due to their poor immune system. Nonetheless, even large breeds can contract anemia if the infestation is severe.
Watch out if your dog is often lethargic and has pale gums, as these are indications that your dog has developed anemia. Severe cases of anemia could be fatal to dogs.
Hidden Dangers of Fleas & Ticks to Humans
Fleas and ticks would gorge on your blood for an occasional snack. Both parasites bring large health risks to your entire family.
Fleas can transmit diseases to your dog, which are also infectious to humans. Not only are their bites itchy, but they also carry tapeworm eggs that can infect human beings as well.
Ticks are particularly known to spread Lyme disease, which humans can also contract. Bear in mind that there are roughly 800 species of ticks and hence, it is no surprise if they are capable of transmitting not just one type of disease.
There are certain tick species that could cause paralysis in dogs and children due to the neurotoxins present in its saliva. In addition, ticks can transmit Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain, Spotted Fever, and Tularemia among others.
Seek Medical Treatment
So, how do you make sure that your dog’s friends won’t share their fleas with him? Use the best version of drops available and make sure you use the suggested usage. However, choosing the best flea and tick treatment for your dog is no easy feat as the market is swarmed with brands of topical flea and tick medications, all of which claim to be the best.
The top two leading vet-approved brands have already been revealed. Introducing, Frontline and Advantage.
These two brands have received worldwide recognition for very good reasons. To put it quite simply, they are the best. Regardless, you still need to decide between Frontline versus Advantage.
FRONTLINE Plus vs Advantage II
a) FRONTLINE Plus
FRONTLINE Plus is a product from the animal health company, Merial. This product claims to eliminate 100% adult fleas within the first day of topical application, as well as eliminate stubborn ticks within two days.
FRONTLINE Plus promises to give you the opportunity to end the flea life cycle by working continuously for 30 days straight. This product highlights two active ingredients, namely Fipronil and (S)-methoprene.
Fipronil effectively kills adult fleas and ticks by attacking the parasites’ nervous system, causing paralysis and instant death. It spreads across your dog’s entire body continuously via your dog’s natural body oils. The second ingredient, (S)-methoprene, further eliminates the next generation of fleas by attacking the flea eggs and larva. Rest assured both active ingredients work hand in hand to put an end to the flea life cycle and inhibit re-infestation on your pet.
Furthermore, FRONTLINE Plus’ formula is also an effective treatment against lice and sarcoptic mange. It also prevents mosquito bites. Know that the treatment is waterproof. Hence, your pet can have the luxury to enjoy water games and doggy baths each week.
FRONTLINE Plus can be used for puppies as young as eight weeks old as an early defense against parasites.
fast-acting 24-hr treatment and 30 days prevention
safe for puppies 8 weeks onwards
kills all fleas and ticks in all stages
also treats mange and lice
hypersensitive dogs may experience a rash
b) Advantage II
When it comes to flea treatment and prevention, Advantage II by Bayer is one of the brands that veterinarians recommend. Advantage II promises to eradicate all existing adult fleas as fast as 12 hours.
This product is formulated to address fleas of all life stages, including eggs, larva, and fully-grown fleas. Its three-way protection lasts up to 30 days even when there is frequent water interference. Its waterproof formula ensures fleas are killed on contact to prevent re-infestation on your hound and on your house.
Imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen are the active ingredients that make up the three-way protection of Advantage II. Moreover, this product can be used for puppies starting seven weeks old.
kills adult fleas within 12 hours
eliminates fleas of all life stages
30-day flea prevention
safe to use for a 7-week old puppy
cheaper and less chemically harsh
does not kill ticks
Overview: FRONTLINE vs Advantage
Both products are vet-recommended topical treatments that you use once each month.
Advantage II is more affordable compared to FRONTLINE Plus. Likewise, Advantage II features ingredients that are considered gentler and is often associated with fewer side effects. Thus, Advantage II is well-suited for sensitive dogs.
Fleas aside, Advantage II does not address any other parasite, unlike Frontline Plus. FRONTLINE Plus, on the other hand, kills fleas and ticks. It also does a good job of treating mange and repelling mosquitoes. If ticks are also a concern for you, FRONTLINE Plus is the way to go.
Protection against a variety of parasites should also serve as a factor to consider, especially if they are a known problem in your area.
FRONTLINE Plus and Advantage II are both effective in eliminating fleas in all life stages. Both products feature three-way prevention that lasts up to a month. But when it comes to severe infestations and broad-spectrum protection, FRONTLINE is a better choice between the two.
Tips for a Quick & Easy Application
1. Prepare the right dosage by following the provided instructions in the product’s packaging.
2. Get your pet standing still. If necessary, ask help from a friend to hold your dog. You may coax your pet using treats.
3. Part your pet’s fur and apply the drops between his shoulder blades. You need to apply the drops on the areas where your pet cannot lick them off. For larger dogs, you may add some between the hips.
4. Avoid contact with the area where the drops have been applied. Avoid getting your pet wet for 24 hours after application to ensure full absorption.
5. Reapply treatment every month.
It is wise to take preventative measures while your pet has not yet contracted fleas. But if you suspect that your pet has already contracted fleas from his friends, then don’t wait for a severe flea infestation to take place.
Whether you choose FRONTLINE or Advantage, is up to your needs. If you prefer a multi-parasite treatment, opt for FRONTLINE. If fleas are your only concern, then choose Advantage as it features a milder formula and a more affordable price tag.
By choosing the right treatment, you can have the peace of mind that your pet stays protected as he continues to enjoy his canine shenanigans.
Introducing, Frontline and Advantage. These two brands have received worldwide recognition for very good reasons. It's up to you to pick out the best one to fit your needs.