A guide to canine parasiticides - Veterinary Medicine
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A guide to canine parasiticides

VETERINARY MEDICINE SUPPLEMENT

Editors' note: These product descriptions and the quick reference charts are summaries only.* Readers are responsible for reading and becoming familiar with the entire manufacturer's product label or package insert and are encouraged to do so. This product guide contains selected parasiticides intended to be available to pet owners primarily through licensed veterinarians in the United States. This product guide is not intended to be a complete listing of all parasiticides available to veterinarians and to the public.

Advantage

Advantage (Bayer Animal Health), a monthly topical, contains 9.1% imidacloprid. It treats and prevents flea infestations in dogs and puppies 7 weeks of age and older and kills 98% to 100% of fleas within 12 hours. Larval stages of fleas in the dog's environment are killed after contact with a treated pet, and Advantage remains effective if an animal gets wet. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before use on medicated, debilitated, aged, pregnant, or nursing animals. It comes in four tube sizes for dogs.

Advantage Multi for Dogs

The once-a-month topical solution Advantage Multi (Bayer Animal Health) contains imidacloprid (10%) and moxidectin (2.5%). It prevents heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis and kills adult fleas (Ctenocephalides felis). It also treats and controls infection with hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala), roundworms (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina), and whipworms (Trichuris vulpis). Advantage Multi is for use on dogs and puppies that are at least 7 weeks old and weigh at least 3 lb. Dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infection before administration. Safety has not been established in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. Serious adverse reactions may occur if dogs ingest the product. Do not administer the product orally, and do not use it on cats. Ensure that the treated dog or other pets cannot lick the product from the application site. Children should not come in contact with the application site for two hours after application. Use with caution in sick, debilitated, or underweight animals. Advantage Multi is available in four tube sizes for dogs.

Capstar

Capstar (Novartis Animal Health) contains nitenpyram in two tablet sizes and is administered orally based on body weight. The product can be used in puppies and dogs 4 weeks of age and older and weighing at least 2 lb. It starts killing adult fleas within 30 minutes of administration and shows 90% effectiveness within four hours in dogs. It does not have an effect on fleas in the environment and can be used with other flea products to prevent and control fleas. It is safe for pregnant or nursing bitches. Dogs may scratch temporarily in response to the fleas dying.

Cestex

Cestex (Pfizer Animal Health), which contains epsiprantel, is a single-dose oral treatment for removing the tapeworms Dipylidium caninum and Taenia pisiformis in dogs. Cestex should not be used in puppies less than 7 weeks of age. Safety in pregnant or breeding animals has not been determined. It comes in four tablet sizes.

Comfortis

Comfortis (Lilly) contains spinosad for use in dogs and puppies 14 weeks of age and older. The monthly chewable tablet starts to kill fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) 30 minutes after administration and is 100% effective within four hours of administration. Use Comfortis with caution in breeding bitches and in dogs with pre-existing epilepsy. Safety has not been evaluated in breeding males. It is available in five tablet sizes.

Droncit

Droncit (Bayer Animal Health) contains praziquantel and is available in tablet and injectable forms. It is used to remove the tapeworms Dipylidium caninum, Taenia pisiformis, and Echinococcus granulosus and to remove and control infection with the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. The injectable solution can be given subcutaneously or intramuscularly. Droncit has been tested in breeding and pregnant dogs, and no adverse effects were noted. It is not intended for use in puppies less than 4 weeks old.

Drontal Plus

Drontal Plus (Bayer Animal Health) Taste Tabs and tablets contain praziquantel, pyrantel pamoate, and febantel and are available in three sizes. Drontal Plus is used to remove the tapeworms Dipylidium caninum, Taenia pisiformis, and Echinococcus granulosus; the hookworms Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala; the roundworms Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina; and the whipworm Trichuris vulpis. It also removes and controls infection with the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. Do not use this product in pregnant animals, puppies less than 3 weeks old, or dogs weighing less than 2 lb.

*Sources: Manufacturer product labels or package inserts, manufacturer Web sites, Companion Animal Parasite Council tables (www.capcvet.org), and the Compendium of Veterinary Products Drug Label Database (North American Compendiums) accessed online through the Veterinary Information Network (www.vin.com) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org).

Frontline Plus for Dogs

Frontline Plus for Dogs (Merial) contains 9.8% fipronil and 8.8% (s)-methoprene. It is a spot treatment that should be applied monthly to control ticks and chewing lice and at least every three months for flea control. It kills adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae and prevents eggs, larvae, and pupae from developing. It kills all stages of brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), and deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and prevents and controls reinfestations. It also eliminates chewing lice infestations and helps control sarcoptic mange infestations. It is waterproof and can be used on breeding, pregnant, and lactating bitches. Do not use on rabbits. It is available in four sizes for puppies and dogs 8 weeks or older.

Frontline Spray

Frontline Spray (Merial) contains 0.29% fipronil to control fleas, ticks, and chewing lice. It should be applied no more frequently than every 30 days to kill adult fleas and all stages of brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), and deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis). It also helps control sarcoptic mange infestations in dogs. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before use on medicated, debilitated, aged, pregnant, or nursing animals. Do not use on puppies or kittens less than 8 weeks old, and do not use on rabbits.

Frontline Top Spot for Dogs

Frontline Top Spot for Dogs (Merial) contains 9.7% fipronil to control infestations with fleas, ticks, and chewing lice in dogs age 8 weeks and older. It comes in four sizes of applicators for dogs. Monthly topical application will kill adult fleas and all stages of brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), and deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis). It also helps control sarcoptic mange infestations. It is waterproof and can be used on breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before use on medicated, debilitated, or aged animals. Do not use on rabbits.

Heartgard

Heartgard (Merial) contains ivermectin and eliminates the tissue stage of Dirofilaria immitis for 30 days after infection, preventing heartworm disease in dogs. Dogs should be tested for heartworm disease before Heartgard is initiated. Heartgard has a wide safety margin at the recommended doses in pregnant and breeding dogs and puppies age 6 weeks and older. Some dogs of the collie breed may be sensitive to ivermectin if given at more than 16 times the target use level. Heartgard is given orally monthly and is available as either chewables or tablets in three sizes for dogs.

Heartgard Plus

Heartgard Plus (Merial) chewables contain ivermectin and pyrantel and are available in three sizes. The chewable tablets are given monthly and eliminate the tissue stage of Dirofilaria immitis for 30 days after infection, preventing heartworm disease. Dogs should be tested for heartworm disease before treatment. Heartgard Plus also treats and controls infection with the ascarids Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina and the hookworms Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, and Ancylostoma braziliense. Heartgard Plus has a wide safety margin in pregnant and breeding dogs and puppies age 6 weeks and older. Some dogs of the collie breed may be sensitive to ivermectin if given at more than 16 times the target use level.

Interceptor Flavor Tabs

Interceptor Flavor Tabs (Novartis Animal Health) contain milbemycin oxime. The monthly tablets prevent heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis. Interceptor also controls infection with the hookworm Ancylostoma caninum and removes and controls infection with the roundworms Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara canis and the whipworm Trichuris vulpis. Interceptor has been tested safely in pregnant females and breeding males and females. Do not use in puppies less than 4 weeks of age or weighing less than 2 lb. Dogs should be tested for heartworm infection before starting treatment. Interceptor Flavor Tabs come in four sizes for dogs.

Iverhart MAX

Iverhart MAX (Virbac Animal Health) is a chewable tablet that contains ivermectin, pyrantel pamoate, and praziquantel and is given at monthly intervals. Iverhart MAX prevents heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of Dirofilaria immitis for 30 days after infection. It treats and prevents infection with the roundworms Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina; the hookworms Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, and Ancylostoma braziliense; and the tapeworms Dipylidium caninum and Taenia pisiformis. Dogs should be tested for heartworm disease before treatment. Certain dogs of the collie breed may be sensitive to this product if given at more than 16 times the target use level. It is recommended for dogs 8 weeks of age and older. Iverhart MAX has not been evaluated for use in pregnant or lactating bitches. Safety studies revealed testicular hypoplasia in some dogs that received three and five times the maximum recommended dose monthly for six months. Use with caution in sick, debilitated, or underweight dogs and dogs that weigh less than 10 lb. Iverhart MAX comes in four sizes for dogs.

Iverhart Plus

Iverhart Plus (Virbac Animal Health) is a flavored chewable that contains ivermectin and pyrantel and is given at monthly intervals. Iverhart Plus prevents heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of Dirofilaria immitis for 30 days after infection and treats and controls infection with the ascarids Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina and the hookworms Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, and Ancylostoma braziliense. Dogs should be tested for heartworm disease before Iverhart Plus prevention therapy is initiated. Certain dogs of the collie breed may be sensitive to ivermectin if given at more than 16 times the target use level. Iverhart Plus has a wide safety margin at the recommended dose in breeding animals and pregnant or lactating females and puppies 6 weeks of age or older. The product comes in three sizes for dogs.

K9 Advantix

K9 Advantix (Bayer Animal Health) contains 8.8% imidacloprid and 44% permethrin. It is administered topically monthly to repel and kill deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis), American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), and Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum). It also kills and repels mosquitoes and fleas and kills the larval flea stages. And it repels and prevents blood-feeding by biting flies. Advantix is effective after bathing and swimming. Do not use this product on puppies less than 7 weeks of age. K9 Advantix can cause serious harmful effects in cats; it is also toxic to fish. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before use on debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant, or nursing dogs. The product is available in four tube sizes for dogs.

Nemex Tabs and Nemex-2 Oral Liquid

Nemex Tabs and Nemex-2 Oral Liquid (Pfizer Animal Health) contain pyrantel pamoate to remove the roundworms Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina and the hookworms Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala. They also prevent reinfection with T. canis in puppies and adult dogs and in lactating bitches after whelping. Puppies can be treated beginning at 2 weeks of age, and lactating bitches should be treated two or three weeks after whelping. Nemex tablets come in two sizes, and the suspension comes in a palatable caramel flavor.

Panacur-C

Panacur-C (Intervet) contains fenbendazole granules 22.2% (222 mg/g) for the treatment and control of infection with roundworms (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina), hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala), whipworms (Trichuris vulpis), and tapeworms (Taenia pisiformis). It is safe for puppies 6 weeks of age and older, adult dogs, and pregnant bitches. Panacur is available in three packet sizes.

Preventic Tick Collar for Dogs

Preventic (Virbac Animal Health) collars contain amitraz (9%). The collar has activity against ticks starting within 24 hours of application and kills ticks for as long as the collar is worn (up to three months). Do not use on puppies less than 12 weeks old, and do not use on cats. It is suggested that the collar be removed before bathing. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before use on debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant, or nursing dogs. Dogs wearing Preventic collars should not be treated with other monoamine oxidase inhibitors or with tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or pressor agents.

Program Flavor Tabs

Program Flavor Tabs (Novartis Animal Health) contain lufenuron to be given orally monthly after or with a meal to puppies and dogs 4 weeks of age and older to prevent and control fleas by preventing the development of flea eggs. It does not have an effect on adult fleas, so a product that kills adult fleas may also be needed. Program comes in four tablet sizes for dogs.

ProMeris for Dogs

ProMeris for Dogs (Fort Dodge Animal Health) is a monthly topical single spot application that contains metaflumizone (14.34%) and amitraz (14.34%) to kill fleas and ticks. It controls flea (Ctenocephalides species) and tick (Ixodes scapularis, Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus) infestations on dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older. Do not use on animals other than dogs, and consultation with a veterinarian is required before using the product on aged, debilitated, medicated, pregnant, or nursing animals. ProMeris is waterproof and available in five applicator amounts for dogs based on body weight.

Proticall

Proticall (Schering-Plough Animal Health) contains permethrin (65%) to kill and repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes and prevent reinfestation of adult fleas and the ticks Ixodes scapularis, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Dermacentor variabilis, and Amblyomma americanum. It also protects against dog lice (Trichodectes canis) and mites (Cheyletiella yasguri). This topical product should be applied monthly and may be used on puppies as young as 4 weeks old. It may be toxic and is potentially fatal if applied to or ingested by cats. Do not use in households with both dogs and cats. The product is also toxic to fish. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before use on aged, debilitated, or medicated dogs. Proticall is available in 1-ml tubes and is administered based on body weight.

Revolution

Revolution (Pfizer Animal Health) contains selamectin to be given topically monthly to prevent heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis and to kill adult fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) and prevent flea eggs from hatching. It also treats and controls ear mite (Otodectes cynotis) infestations and sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) and controls infestations with the American dog tick Dermacentor variabilis. Dogs should be tested for heartworm disease before treatment. It has been tested safe in breeding males and females, pregnant and lactating females, puppies 6 weeks of age and older, and avermectin-sensitive collies. Do not use on sick, debilitated, or underweight animals. It is available in six sizes for dogs.

Sentinel Flavor Tabs

Sentinel Flavor Tabs (Novartis Animal Health) contain milbemycin oxime and lufenuron. The monthly tablets prevent heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of Dirofilaria immitis larvae. Sentinel also treats and prevents the adult stage of hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum), roundworms (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina), and whipworms (Trichuris vulpis). Sentinel does not kill adult fleas; it controls the flea infestation by preventing flea eggs from hatching. Dogs should be tested for heartworm infection before treatment. Lufenuron tablets have been tested safely in breeding males and pregnant females. Do not use in puppies less than 4 weeks old and weighing less than 2 lb. The tablets come in four sizes for dogs.

Tri-Heart Plus

Tri-Heart Plus (Schering-Plough Animal Health) chewable tablets contain ivermectin and pyrantel for dogs 6 weeks and older. The tablets are given monthly to prevent canine heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of Dirofilaria immitis larvae for 30 days after infection and to treat and control infections with the ascarids Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina and the hookworms Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, and Ancylostoma braziliense. Dogs should be tested for heartworm disease before administration. Some dogs of the collie breed are sensitive to ivermectin at more than 16 times the target use level. Ivermectin and pyrantel have a wide margin of safety at the recommended dose level in pregnant and breeding bitches as well as in stud dogs. The tablets are available in three sizes for dogs.

Vectra 3D

Vectra 3D (Summit VetPharm) contains dinotefuran (4.95%), pyriproxyfen (0.44%), and permethrin (36.08%). It is a topical product used to repel and kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes for at least one month. It protects against all stages of fleas, four types of ticks (Rhipicephalus species, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and Amblyomma maculatum), and three types of mosquitoes (Culex, Ochlerotatus, and Aedes species) for at least one month. This product remains effective after bathing and swimming and can be used only on dogs and puppies more than 7 weeks old. Do not use on cats. Also do not use on dogs that are debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant, or nursing or dogs that are sensitive to pesticide products without consulting with a veterinarian first. Vectra 3D is available in four sizes for dogs.

Virbac Long Acting Knockout Spray

Virbac Long Acting Knockout Spray (Virbac Animal Health) contains permethrin (2%) and pyriproxyfen (0.05%) to kill fleas for two months and ticks for one month and sterilize fleas for three months. The spray should not be used on cats. It should only be used on dogs 6 months or older and no more often than once a month. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before using the product on debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant, or nursing animals.

Virbac Pyrethrin Dip

Virbac Pyrethrin Dip (Virbac Animal Health) contains pyrethrins (1%), piperonyl butoxide (4%), n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide (6%), and di-n-propyl isocinchomeronate (4%) to kill and repel fleas, ticks, lice, gnats, mosquitoes, and flies on dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens. It should applied no more than once every seven days and should not be used on animals less than 12 weeks of age. Consultation with a veterinarian is required before use on debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant, or nursing animals. The dip is toxic to fish. The dip must be diluted in warm water per the label directions before application.

Virbantel Flavored Chewables

Virbantel Flavored Chewables (Virbac Animal Health) contain pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel to treat and control infections with the roundworms Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina; the hookworms Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma braziliense, and Uncinaria stenocephala; and the tapeworms Dipylidium caninum and Taenia pisiformis. The product is safe for use in puppies 12 weeks and older and adult dogs. Safety in breeding dogs or pregnant bitches has not been tested. The chewables come in two sizes.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Veterinary Medicine editors thank Jan Grace, RVT, BBA, MSM, for her work in compiling the information for this supplement, as well as Patricia Payne, DVM, PhD, for her assistance.

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