Flea/tick/worm treatment

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mikegoodson1
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Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by mikegoodson1 » 12 Jun 2018, 15:10

Hi all,

I have seen a few posts about this (or similar) recently but we tend to give Oscar and Sasha regular (monthly) worm/tick and flea treatments.

At present it's two different products, a worm treatment and then a flea and tick treatment. I cannot remember the product names (as I am at work) but we have been recommended something called Nexgard Spectra (https://www.vetuk.co.uk/pet-meds-prescr ... gs-p-21511), it's one tablet per month that covers for fleas/ticks/worms (amongst other things). *The recommendation came from a friend and not a vet.

I just wondered if anyone else used this product and if so, did they have any comments regarding it?

Thank you.

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zeta1454
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Re: Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by zeta1454 » 12 Jun 2018, 18:50

Hi Mike, as you probably know (see my recent post on the topic of these treatments"), I am very sceptical of the need to subject our dogs to any potentially harmful pesticide treatment with no evidence that they are suffering an infestation of fleas, ticks or worms. All are treatable using the chemical treatments, if required, as and when a dog is affected and only then. Dogs can be easily tested for worms via the vet surgery or by a home test kit through Wormcount. Fleas and ticks would be visible on examination of the dog's coat and skin. A number of the flea / tick treatments do not necessarily protect against parasite borne disease as they require the parasite to feed from the dog in order that they ingest the toxins which will kill them. This is also the case with Nexgard Spectra. From the data sheet for the product:
"Fleas and ticks need to start feeding on the host to become exposed to afoxolaner; therefore the risk of the transmission of vector-borne diseases cannot be excluded."

It would also seem from the data sheet that this particular treatment is specifically for dogs who have been diagnosed with an infestation of "gastrointestinal nematodes" and that once these have been treated, the recommendation is to go back to a separate flea and tick treatment. This is the direct quote:

"Nexgard Spectra can be used as part of the seasonal treatment of fleas and ticks (replacing treatment with a monovalent flea and tick product) in dogs with diagnosed concurrent gastrointestinal nematode infestations. A single treatment is effective for the treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes. After treatment of the nematode infestations, further flea and tick treatment should be continued with a monovalent product.."

The Nexgard treatment has certainly not had good publicity on social media for what that is worth and, as with Bravecto and Lepto4, there are very active and disturbing groups of people who believe their dogs have suffered terrible side effects from its use.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/704330073037200/about/

There is also an article here regarding the product:

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/b ... ives-safe/

Of course it is important to weigh up the accuracy of reports and the balance of risk and benefit when using any product and as I do not use any of these treatment, I cannot comment from experience. The European Medicines Agency 2017 report on current veterinary products did highlight Nexgard as under review due to the large number of reports of adverse reactions and required them to add:
"Neurological signs (convulsions, ataxia and muscle tremors) have been reported very rarely."
To the already stated possible adverse reactions:
"Adverse reactions such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, anorexia, and pruritus were uncommonly observed. These occurrences were generally self-limiting and of short duration."

As a general comment too it is important to note that on the Nexgard data sheet (and on other similar products) it does warn of the overuse (regular use without the dog being actually infested with fleas / ticks / worms) that it does run a very real risk of the parasites becoming resistant to the product and that, in the future, as with certain antibiotics, they will no longer work when they really are needed to treat a sick or infested animal:

"Parasite resistance to any particular class of parasiticides may develop following the frequent, repeated use of a product of that class. Therefore, the use of this product should be based on the assessment of each individual case and on local epidemiological information about the current susceptibility of the target species in order to limit the possibility of a future selection for resistance."

The full data sheet can be read here:

http://www.noahcompendium.co.uk/?id=-45 ... _printview

It is quite disturbing to me that so many vet practices seem to put their immediate financial gain above the welfare of the dog or the future risk to animals' health by selling these anti-parasite products as preventatives rather than treatments for an actual infestation.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

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mikegoodson1
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Born: 23 Sep 2017

Re: Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by mikegoodson1 » 13 Jun 2018, 09:48

Wow! Thanks very much for that reply and taking the time to put it together for me, it really gives me food for thought.

In terms of the Nexgard, the empty pack will go in the bin, not to be discussed again :-s

I guess our rationale around the giving of such treatments, is that where we walk our pooches (as most people do) are in fields/commons/parks where there are all sorts of animals/livestock roaming around and we are trying to reduce the chance of them picking up fleas/ticks/worms rather than treating them once they have already picked them up, as in some cases, it's distressing for them.

I know it's a personal choice and there are arguments for and against - I don't necessarily conform to the idea that these treatments are pushed on us by vets *maybe I am para-phrasing your comments too much, apologies if I am but they definitely don't give you a fully rounded view of why you should or should not regularly treat your pooches with these products and whether they are preventative or not (or bordering on a waste of time).

This is another one of those topics where it can probably get quite heated :( but at the end of the day, we all want to do what's best rather than follow like sheep, so thank you again for your informative post (and the others too) as I need to give this some serious thought, on whether we continue the treatments.

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zeta1454
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Re: Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by zeta1454 » 13 Jun 2018, 12:27

I know that you and all those using flea/tick/ worm treatments for their dogs are doing it out of concern to protect them from any discomfort, distress or illness and, years ago, with our first three mini schnauzers we did use the chemical products several times a year. They were recommended by our vet and, at the time, we thought they were necessary and useful because they were vet endorsed but never actually looked at ingredients or possible side effects etc. It is of real concern to me now but I don't want to upset anyone who does use these as long as they are aware of the limitations, side effects etc. and do feel that they are the best option for their dogs.

Although they would now be a last resort for our dogs if there were no other options to rid them of a parasite infestation, I do realise that everyone must make their own decision of when and if to use products, based on the environment where they live and walk and their dog's activities and health. We do live in the country, backing on to open fields where our dogs do exercise as well as in our large (and partly wild!) garden but we have had no issues of fleas, ticks or worms to date with any of them despite never using chemical anti-parasite treatments. The dogs are raw fed and I add a garlic and fenugreek tablet to their food daily, plus I have on different occasions used either VermX or Diatomaceous Earth given monthly for three days to their food. However, as I have been a bit random with these, all I can say is that our dogs (age from 16 weeks to 11 years old) have had no issues and I know that other people who use these natural supplements do report their dogs to be parasite free. My approach now would always be to start with the most natural solution to any potential health issue and move on to other products if these don't work. There are quite a number of herbal based insect / flea / tick repellents available for dogs to be sprayed on their coat before walks as well as the addition of herbs to the food which is intended to make the scent of the dog less attractive or actively repellent to the blood suckers!:

https://www.anicura.co.uk/dogs/product/repellent/

https://www.myitchydog.co.uk/herbal-fle ... ments.html

https://www.dorwest.com/product/garlic- ... -and-cats/

I think the problem with anything that is used to prevent rather than treat (whether chemical or herbal ) is that although you would know if it didn't work, you can't be certain if the dog does not get fleas etc whether this was down to the product or not. I suppose it is a personal decision too whether to risk not using a product which might then result in a dog getting parasites and needing treatment - a bit of a leap of faith :-)

There is an interesting article from Scientific American regarding mosquito repellents for people that also recommends plant oil based products:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -the-deet/

I do know that some vets are not actively promoting the pharmaceutical products and did not mean to imply that all do this. Our most recent choice of vet practice was a breath of fresh air in that respect! The vet advised that a puppy should be de-wormed up to 12 weeks of age but then that the best approach was a six monthly or annual faecal worm egg screen (plus blood test if required to test for lung worm) rather than using any "preventative" medication. She did not recommend flea treatment unless there was evidence of fleas or definite exposure e.g known contact with an animal that did have fleas. As with all things there is a wide range of approaches by different vet practices and my main worry is really with the increasing number of vet practices (and even the Kennel Club!) now offering monthly payment plans which incorporate regular flea/worm treatments with no suggestion that individual dogs should be getting an individual assessment of risk and benefit before signing people up to this kind of scheme.

Anyway, I hope some of the information and links are helpful to you. I definitely don't want to provoke a "heated" debate but just try to give a different viewpoint from my own experience and encourage people to try and research as much as possible about treatments and pharmaceutical products, especially those that are not being given to dogs to address a diagnosed problem.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

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mikegoodson1
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Born: 23 Sep 2017

Re: Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by mikegoodson1 » 13 Jun 2018, 14:08

All received and understood Leigh and I really do appreciate the time you have taken and your replies.

Like I said, it really has made me think about this more than just going along with the regular giving of tablets - I'll need to pass this by the Boss (my wife) to get her on board/see what she thinks.

Thank you :)

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Re: Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by Oscar 12345 » 13 Jun 2018, 14:32

Mike, I too am very conscious of the chemicals inside these products. I don't worm my dog now, I would only worm when a pup and for pet passport purposes. I use the worm count check twice a year, have to say even with my first schnauzer I only wormed for pet passport purposes which was twice a year. I do use frontline plus but only end May/early June and if necessary August/Sept. Otto is on the grooming table most days being brushed and combed so I would hopefully know if there was a need to do it more frequently. I did try the billy no mates herbs but the amount of herbs that you needed to give every day worried me.
Otto's motto - Everything's a toy unless it's edible...

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Re: Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 13 Jun 2018, 15:56

My vet put Rosie on a monthly worm/flea regime until 6 months old then every 3 months and tried to sell me an annual plan. I decided against the plan but did use Frontline plus and Drontal every month until Rosie was 6 months. Since then I've not used anything. I am carding her twice a week and rolling her coat so I would hope to be aware of any requirement for fleas/ticks.

Can anyone advise me how frequently you need to do a worm count. Their website says every two months is that not a bit excessive?
You're never alone when you own a schnauzer

Oscar 12345
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Re: Flea/tick/worm treatment

Post by Oscar 12345 » 13 Jun 2018, 17:56

Sam

I did some research and the worse months for worms are Spring and Autumn, on that basis I do late April and mid October. Also the best host for worms are dead birds so if your schnauzer has eaten anything dead might be a good idea to test.
Otto's motto - Everything's a toy unless it's edible...

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