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Fleas and Ticks are Just Waiting to Meet Your Pet!

All kidding aside, the battle against Fleas and Ticks is one that we see people struggling with all too frequently. Ticks, besides being disgusting parasites to look at, carry some nasty diseases that can have debilitating, even life-threatening, effects on pets and humans.  Fleas are the source of great discomfort to pets, carry disease, cause skin infections, intestinal parasites and even life-threatening anemia in severe infestations.  Once you have an infestation it can be really hard to get rid of.  Do not wait until the weather is warm and fleas and ticks are active to begin using a preventative. Waiting until parasites are active leaves a window of opportunity for your pet to become infected with a parasite transmitted disease.  

New Advances in the Fight Against Fleas and Ticks:

Because fleas and ticks are such prolific breeders, some resistance to older generation preventatives is inevitable and it is important that manufacturers develop new, unique molecules and methods of delivery, to help control these parasites. We’re refining the list of products we are recommending based on what we are seeing and experiencing here on the "front lines" of animal health. We see a wide array of pets with parasite problems and also what products work well and what products seem to be experiencing a lack of, or decrease in, effectiveness.  Some of the popular flea and tick preventatives that have been around a long time are based on very old technology and delivery systems, and while they were much more effective than the sprays and powders they replaced, are now also being replaced by newer, safer and more effective innovations in parasite prevention.  We are committed to only recommending the most advanced, effective and safe products for your pet. Because of this we are updating our recommendations for flea and tick prevention products.

Our Current Recommendations for Flea and Tick Prevention are:

  • Bravecto Oral Flea and Tick Preventative for Dogs
  • Seresto Flea and Tick collar for Dogs AND Cats
  • Activyl Flea Preventative for Cats
  • Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Preventative for Cats - cats at risk of TICK exposure (we do not recommend Frontline for cats that only need a flea preventative due to what we believe is a reduction in effectiveness against fleas  If you are not concerned about ticks we recommend using Activyl) 

Product Overview:


Bravecto is a member of the newest weapon in the arsenal of flea and tick preventatives. It is manufactured by Merck Animal Health.   Using safe and effective extended duration molecular technology, Bravecto Oral provides 3 months of flea and tick prevention in one chewable tablet.  We have been recommending it since July 2014 and have dispensed over a thousand doses with no adverse reactions and exceptional parasite prevention.  In fact, the feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Bravecto comes in a convenient, single-dose chewable tablet and offers:

  • Immediate and persistent flea (Ctenocephalides felis) killing activity for 12 weeks
  • Immediate and persistent tick killing activity for 12 weeks (Ixodes scapularis – black-legged tick (previously known as the deer tick),Dermacentor variabilis – American dog tick,and Rhipicephalus sanguineus – brown dog tick)

The active substance of BRAVECTO, fluralaner, a new ectoparasiticide belonging to the isoxazoline group, is systemically active against fleas and ticks. BRAVECTO is presented as a flavored chew that dogs accept readily. The product can be used as part of a treatment strategy for the control of Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) as a direct result of eliminating flea infestations. The most common side effects are mild and transient gastrointestinal effects.

Seresto Flea & Tick Collars (for dogs and cats)

Seresto is the newest Flea and Tick preventative from Bayer Animal Health. Seresto collars combine “Imidacloprid” for killing fleas and a new molecule, “Flumethrin”, for killing ticks.  The collar utilizes a long lasting sustained release technology.

Two things make this collar appealing:

1.) It is the first (and only) new product since Frontline that kills both fleas AND ticks on both Dogs and Cats.

2.) It lasts for up to 8 months!

We know that Flea and Tick collars are not always the first choice of many people.  There are, however, some definite advantages.  The active ingredients are slowly released and maintain a safe but effective level on your pet for a long period of time.  This is an improvement over monthly applications of spot-ons that tend to lose effectiveness to varying degrees prior to the end of the 30 day application cycle..  It’s a great choice if you tend to “forget” to reapply spot-on preventatives when they are due.  We have had very positive feedback from pet owners that don't mind their pet wearing a fleas/tick collar.

Activyl for Cats

A unique new molecule for the prevention of flea associated problems in cats!

Merk Animal Health launched the new Activyl line of topical flea and tick preventative in the United States in 2012.  What make this product exciting is it incorporates an entirely new insecticidal molecule called Indoxacarb.  Indoxacarb is special because of several things:

It is “bioactivated” —a mode of action that uses enzymes inside the flea to activate Activyl's full flea-killing power.Indoxacarb is an entirely new molecule so resistance is not an issue.

Unlike some flea treatments, Activyl® doesn’t just kill adult fleas, it also stops flea eggs and larvae from developing. Breaking the flea life cycle is important, so your pet is not re-infested by new fleas developing from flea eggs and larvae in your home environment.  It is extremely safe for your pet.

We started recommending Activyl for Cats in 2012  because we were seeing more and more cats that were experiencing persistent flea infestations, even when already on some of the old stand-by products.  The results were truly remarkable, so remarkable in fact that we now recommend it to all cat owners when tick prevention is not a concern.  Activyl for cats contains Indoxacarb for flea prevention. It is not a tick preventative.  Activyl is spot-on applied monthy. We dispense Activyl for cats in 1,3 and 6 month packs.  

For the time being, we will still carrying Activyl Tick Plus for dogs (flea and tick prevention) in single doses for those clients that prefer to purchase parasite prevention on a monthly basis.

Frontline Plus - for cats

Frontline Plus flea and tick preventative is the only product, other than Seresto collars, that is safe to use for the prevention of ticks on cats.  Frontlilne is one of the first spot-on products that came on the market about 20 years ago and has been extremely popular.  We feel (from experience) that it is not as effective as it once was in the prevention of fleas, but we will continue to carry it for those cat owners whose pets go outside and are exposed to ticks.  Hopefully new and more effective flea/tick preventatives for cats will be available soon.


The manufacturers of these products have some great incentives this Spring so give us a call at 485-7133 to find out more about which product is best for your pet.

Don't wait until you see fleas and ticks on your pet, start applying a preventative now! 

Flea and Tick Prevention FAQs in Allenstown

Fleas can infest pets just about any time of the year, although they tend to strike more in the warmer months. Ticks like it a bit cooler and are not as prevalent during the extreme weather months.

Two dogs sitting on a trail, flea and tick free.

If just one pet gets fleas, these biting pests can spread to all of the animals around them. If not addressed, they can infest the entire household and dramatically reduce cleanliness and quality of life.

Your Allenstown Veterinarian Can Assist You with Flea and Tick Prevention

Your Allenstown veterinarian Allenstown Animal Hospital is your source for information about flea prevention and flea medicine. Your veterinarian in Allenstown can also assist with tick prevention and tick medicine for your pet. However, there are some things pet owners can do to optimize flea prevention and tick prevention throughout the year.

The following are some common questions and answers regarding flea and tick prevention:

How can I Tell if My Pet has a Problem with Ticks or Fleas?

The top sign your pet has a pest problem is a persistent itch that causes them to scratch excessively. Fleas also tend to leave reddish droppings that can appear in the pet’s fur or where they sleep. Fleas are quite small but can sometimes be seen hopping on the animal. Ticks are considerably larger and embed their head into the animal’s skin in order to feed. You will have to move their fur and check the skin closely in order to find ticks.

How can I Prevent my Animal from Getting Fleas and Ticks?

Fleas are generally picked up from other animals, but they also live in damp parts of the grass. Ticks live in the tall grass, in shaded areas, and near the rotted wood. They prefer cooler temperatures and there are fewer of them in the warmest months of the year. Keep animals clear of these areas and infected animals whenever possible.

How can I get Rid of These Pests?

Flea shampoos can help cleanse your pet of these invaders, but flea medicine from your Allenstown veterinarian is best for flea prevention going forward. Tick medicine from your veterinarian in Allenstown can help with tick prevention, but if a tick has become embedded, it must be carefully removed. It’s always best if you can get the tick to back out on its own by exposing it to a strong-smelling substance such as nail polish remover. However, if your animal won’t sit still for this process, bring them into your Allenstown veterinarian for assistance.

Contact Us Today

Allenstown veterinarian Allenstown Animal Hospital has been serving pets and their owners in Allenstown, Concord, and Manchester, NH area for more than three decades. Contact us for expert guidance and assistance with issues related to fleas, ticks, parasites and other pest problems.