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What is the best topical tick preventative these days?

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  • What is the best topical tick preventative these days?

    Back when I worked at a clinic, Frontline TopSpot Plus was the top of the line available. Not sure now. Anyone know what is truly best at preventing ticks?

    We just moved to an area where ticks and Lyme's Disease is prevalent. My husband is already being treated for Lymes and he'd only been out with dogs for less than a week! I want to get the mutts onto something that will kill the damned things dead and fast.

    I'm going to have my old vet back home send me a script and order via mail so just wondering what you all think. I texted her earlier and will get her input when she calls. But we didn't really have any issues with ticks back home so she may not be as well versed.

    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  • #2
    There is none that is best. At least none that can be proven to be the best and you can probably get by just fine with off the shelf products. The only way to lessen your chances of getting ticks on your dogs in this area is to keep them out of the woods and grassy areas where the deers and their ticks lurk. Walmart has a nice and inexpensive generic product and I think Petco and Petsmart have their own equivalents but I don't really know how the formulas compare.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    • Original Poster

      Thanks Lex. I have no clue these days. All I know is that I do NOT need more vet bills due to Lymes. Nor do I need more human bills for the same! Yuck.
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


      • #4
        The best ones are the ones you get from your vet. The topicals sold at Walmart/Petsmart have been proven to have lower efficacy and increased risk of side effects. There's really no "best" product, but my preferred product is the K9 Advantix II which has efficacy against fleas, ticks and mosquitos.


        • #5
          Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
          Thanks Lex. I have no clue these days. All I know is that I do NOT need more vet bills due to Lymes. Nor do I need more human bills for the same! Yuck.

          If you really don't want to go with the generics, go to the discounted/discontinued items section or shelf or whatever the case may be in a grocery store and you can often find topicals there. Poke around the store next time you go to Giant and you might get lucky.
          Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


          • #6
            It is high tick season now where I live, and my husband hikes often with out Golden. Last year it became clear that Frontline had become useless. I switched to Vectra, available only through a vet, and although I think it works a little better than Frontline, it most definitely isn't great. We pulled quite a few ticks off her last night after her Saturday morning romp. I was hoping for more.
            Mystic Owl Sporthorses


            • #7
              I don't think there is a topical that really works well with ticks. The best thing I've found are the Preventic collars that contain amitraz. I've heard they've quit making them though.
              I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.


              • Original Poster

                Well, I have some Frontline Topspot Plus coming via mail from old vet. We shall see. Now...what do I put on my husband other than copious amounts of DEET? LOL

                I had hoped there was a new silver bullet, but I researched more after posting and it appears that it's regional as far as what is still working and what isn't.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • #9
                  I'd just keep him out of the woods for the time being. Where you are is prime deer territory because of Lake Accotink and the wooded buffer zones with parks, so you are going to have to deal with ticks when you walk around there.
                  Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


                  • Original Poster

                    I think he picked up the tick behind the house where the power line easement is. Tall grass, trees, etc. On the trails, there's no grass, not going into any bushes, etc. I don't think he picked up his tick from the dogs. I think he came by it honestly...but I am not going to screw around and take chances.

                    My older dog was vaccinated for Lymes for a long time. But in MI, they just don't like to vaccinate for it. I have to order it in special each year. I choose to do that since I travel with my dog. But it's not prevalent there like here apparently.
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                    • #11
                      k9 advantix is the only one that is working well around here- ticks will still get on your dog, but they should be killed by the drug before they can transmit disease. Frontline is pretty useless, and the tick collars have some scary potential side effects.
                      Your best bet is to do a thorough tick check of your dog and you every day, or after every outing. Keep in mind the deer ticks that transmit lyme are really small. They have to attach and feed for a considerable period of time before transmitting the disease, so most cases are actually acquired by ticks that weren't noticed.
                      DEET on your clothing is the best protection for humans.
                      if you think your dog or you might have gotten lyme, run to get some antibiotics- if you treat early, it's quite easy to get rid of.


                      • #12
                        I switched to Advantix last year because the Frontline did nothing, and am very happy with it. You just need to keep the dogs away from cats until it's dried on them.
                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                        • #13
                          Keep your grass mowed short. You can spray your yard for ticks (and I would). A combination of Frontline Plus and the Preventic collar was the only thing that worked for me in MD. As for your husband, if he's walking where there are ticks, pants tucked into socks. The ticks hang out on tall grass just looking for a ride to happen by. If you can keep a border of bare dirt or mulch at least 3' wide between any long grass and your yard it will help. And they don't die off in the winter.

                          Lyme is nothing to screw around with, and ticks carry other tick borne diseases other than just Lyme. A friend just lost her dog to ehrlichiosis.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wireweiners View Post
                            I don't think there is a topical that really works well with ticks. The best thing I've found are the Preventic collars that contain amitraz. I've heard they've quit making them though.
                            This!! Frontline has become useless and a waste of money. I used the Preventic collar on my Great Pyrennes with very good results. Also treated the ground around the house with Diazinine granules and Pyrethrin 13 spray. Our ticks are really bad in the spring time.
                            The collars are still available in Ok.
                            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                            • #15
                              I work at a vet clinic. I use Scalibor collars on my dogs. They last 6 months, work really well for me, and don't have that nasty odor that previous tick collars did.

                              Another option is Effitix, which is fipronil (frontline) + permethrin. It works better on ticks, but is not safe to use on or around cats, so if your dogs and cats snuggle it might not be the best choice.


                              • #16
                                A friend went to Africa on vacation and bought pants and long sleeve shirts that were bug treated. He said he didn't get any bites with those clothes. Perhaps they have a cold weather version of those insect repellant clothes, or hubby can wear the tropical suit over his regular clothes.
                                Okay, found this, but you can google for more


                                • #17
                                  I use Revolution for barncat and in 8 years have never found a tick on her, where the visiting cats often have a "hitchhiker".
                                  Also works for fleas, earmites and heartworm - so $30 for 3 doses seems like a bargain to me.

                                  Lyme is nothing to fool with in humans.
                                  Has Mr BR been prescribed Ceftriaxone? If not, ask Dr why not.
                                  I work for an infusion pharmacy and that is the GoTo treatment here.
                                  Caveat: most insurance companies will only cover the first 30 days.
                                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                  • Original Poster

                                    All--thx for the recommendations. It's been such a long time since I've had to worry about ticks! I called my vet back home because I didn't want to have to do physical exams here before getting a script. Lord knows we've spent enough this year on vet bills already. I will look into your suggestions and see what the vet here says when I see her again.

                                    @Laura--we don't really have a yard, so all of their outdoor time is on trails and such. We've got a tractor and a push mower but nothing to mow! LOL

                                    @2Dogs--Mr BR was scripted out a round of doxy. He found the tick and extracted it, probably was there for 1-2 days though. Site was red and painful, developed bull's eye. They told him that unless he was symptomatic in about 6 weeks, no point in doing titer as nothing will show up til then and put him on a round of the doxy. I'm not familiar with Ceftriaxone. Do I need to be?
                                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                    • #19
                                      Best, absolute best preventative for ticks for me - having Chesapeakes. Between that super thick oily coat and swimming constantly I almost never find a tick on either of them.


                                      • #20
                                        I called my vet back home because I didn't want to have to do physical exams here before getting a script.
                                        a script for what? you can buy all kinds of effective tick treatments at practically any pet store, or order them from Smartpak or Foster n Smith. No script needed. Foster n smith has a sale going on K9 Advantix II right now, which is one of the better ones being sold these days.