Skip to main content

Are the combination chewable heartworm/flea/tick medications safe for my dog?

Related News

Comment35

  1. tb

    I recently switched to a natural heartworm prevention due to two of my four dogs vomiting after each monthly dose of a chewable. I live in an area of the US that has a high rate of heartworm infection. Are there any viable, natural methods of prevention you can recommend.

    1. Michelle

      Curious……What are the natural products you are using?

  2. T Allen

    Thanks for writing about this! I live in a severe Lyme area and was wondering if any of these would stop the ticks from biting long enough to prevent disease transfer. From what I’ve learned about Lyme and it’s co-infections (I’ve been infected) any tick bite for even a few minutes can transmit these diseases.

    Can you give us any info the use of repellents? I want to use herbs etc but if they aren’t highly effective the risk is great. Is Picaridin any safer on animals then Deet? Is my indoor cat at risk from contact with the dog or his bedding with any repellents? Thanks!

  3. MikeN

    My girl would get severe diarrhea from Trifexis so we switched to topical Revolution. We’ve noticed zero side effects with its use and find that it protects from fleas very well.

  4. TN Resident

    My local pet supply store, Wags & Whiskers, has recommended “Wondercide”. It’s a natural product with only 3 ingredients:cedar oil, lemongrass oil, hydrated silica. It claims to kill and repel fleas, ticks, AND mosquitoes. It also has other benefits- http://www.wondercide.com. I have only been using it for a week but am pleased so far. I decided last year I’m not giving my pet any more insecticides like the monthly heartworm and flea pills.

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      Please give your dog heartworm preventative of some kind. I want your dog protected from this horrible disease

    2. Nouble

      Even though it’s great that you’re trying to avoid the synthetic chemicals, make sure they’re safe for your pet. You do not want to end up poisoning them.

  5. Ann Marie

    Both of my Golden Retrievers have had a sever reaction to Trifexis. My English golden female Maggie had to be rushed to our vets where she spent the entire day, had I not been home to see the foaming mouth and almost complete inability to stand I am not sure she would be with us today. My vet to this day will not blame the Trifexis, however that was the only thing that had been given to her and had been changed! I don’t believe one needs to be a doctor of veterinary medicine to put it together I just believe our vets need to start challenging the b.s. of the shots, drugs and foods out there and not be completely complacent with the, this is the way it’s always been done attitude.

  6. Peter

    I am happy to see an explanation of how these drugs work using plain words.

    Since these ingested insecticides are systemic, users are assuming serious risks. They work by “attaching” (my word) to (blood) plasma for distribution throughout the body. The insecticide reaches the highest concentrations in fat, followed by liver, kidney and muscle. As a metabolic process, the insecticide is “persistent” and slowly eliminated from plasma… this is how it stays concentrated for long periods between doses. The dog eliminates the insecticide primarily in his/her feces. Secondarily, the dog’s renal system works overtime to cleanse the blood and eliminate the “toxin” and this is why dogs experience adverse reaction primarily in kidney or liver failure. The list of side effects goes on and on. These products are incredibly dangerous.

  7. Debbie

    I would love to hear more about natural. I ha e used shoo oil on their collars which worked for years but with the increase in flea population it couldn’t keep up. I had to go to comfortis especially as my one developed bad sores from the bites. Really hate ingestion of chemicals but what else is there that is as effective?

  8. Joy

    I was thinking of switching from Frontline + to Nexgard. I live in an area that has high rates of tick borne disease. Not so sure after reading this. My vet and his staff swear by the Nexgard.

  9. Luvs dogs

    Yes! Please, please recommend some natural alternatives to these medications. I’m sure that there are plenty of pet owners that would love to switch to alternative heart worm, flea, and tick preventatives but we aren’t given any info so that we can do so. I’ve been using do Terra’s terrashield & applying it like Frontline along with Neem spray whenever I walk my dog. I would really like to try some other recommendations if anyone has any? I’ve already lost one dog to cancer & can’t help but think that he got it from these chemicals.

  10. Robin Sherwin

    I live in Portland Oregon. Fleas and to some degree ticks are a problem In the summer we have a lot of mosquitoes but fortunately heart worm isn’t a big problem here. I used topical products until I read how toxic they are. When they break down they are even more toxic! Finally I bought a tag for my dog to wear on her collar which emits a energy that repelled bugs. (Google it)

    I didn’t have much faith in it, but it came with a money back guarantee. I was amazed to watch the mosquitoes buzz around her but not land. I considered buying one for myself!

    You have to ensure that there are no fleas to begin with, which is easy when the temperatures are freezing and you can give your dog a flea bath first. I used it for many years with very good results, until we chose to put her down at 17 due to multiple health issues and weight loss. I was glad that we did not have to use toxins on her as she also had lymphoma.

    1. Linda

      Robin, what tag are you speaking of? Name? Thank you!

  11. Lori S.

    I am concerned with the responses asking for natural mosquito, flea and tick remedies. I think that people forget how deadly insect-borne diseases are. Heartworm and Lyme disease are epidemic in some areas and are very serious. Yes, there are risks to drugs, but there are also risks, serious ones, to avoiding drugs. I have adopted two animals who already had heartworms. The cure was grueling (and risky) for them and their lives were shortened from the disease. If you don’t want to go with newer drugs that haven’t been around long enough to be well tested, a reasonable concern, then consider using older meds, such as Frontline and Heartgard.

    I am hoping that those of us who want safe food are not becoming anti-science and anti-vaxers, as that will be dangerous to our pets, and will also lower the movement’s credibility.

    1. melly

      i disagree with you yes lot of disease are rampant but the use of chemical is not a solutions
      i personnelly do not use any chemical on my dogs and cats if i need to use any product i get the natural herbal spray on for tick and mosquito from Mercola.com
      the only product that i use is interceptor for heartworms and i only use it for six month
      i never had any flea on my dogs or in the house in the last 20 years
      none of those chemical company care about your animals they only do it for profit
      nothing to do with science

    2. Nouble

      I guess you’re just going to gloss over the fact that Frontline and Heartgard have caused plenty of pets to fall ill.
      https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/frontline.html (They don’t seem to have a place for Haertgard complaints and reviews.) Also, I feel that your last sentence gets a little off track.

  12. Dianne

    I know I have ticks in the back part of my yard, but I am loathe to cut the bushes down. I wish I could borrow a few chickens for a day. They are supposed to be good at tick removal.

  13. e d barber

    My friends and I used this homemade bug repellent for our horses. It worked well for several of the barn’s dogs too. It was 1/4 Skin so Soft (Avon), 1/4 citronella oil, 1/4 apple cider vinegar and 1/4 water. Spray it on. It kept flies and mosquitoes and ticks off the animals in the summer. None of the animals had any side effects but one owner got migraine headaches if she did the spraying.

  14. Nina Wolf

    Win-win. That is exactly the problem. Charge us to cause the problem, charge us again to fix the problem. The growth of the trend to see animals and family member and treat them as well as we possibly can has a downside: we get duped. We want to do the best we can, so we fall for the have heavy marketing, the tales of all the bad things that will happen if we don’t vaccinate all the time for everything, the warnings that this national brand flea and tick protection is absolutely necessary. Bias. Just remember that word: bias. When a pet food company or a professional gives you advice, ask what bias they have. Who is paying them to say this, who paid for the studies they are citing? Follow the money.

  15. Diana

    There are natural flea/tick products on onlynaturalpet.com. I have some on order, so cannot comment on effectiveness. There are many positive reviews, tho so chk out the website to see for yourself. I am not a rep, just a pro dog trainer of 20 yrs. I never give my dogs heart worm meds as I would rather treat the issue than give meds unnecessarily. They are tested yearly for HW, with never a positive. Only vaccine given(as adults) is rabies. My dogs are fed clean diets are are happy, trained and well exercised. I have always used Frontline, but will be trying out all natural flea/tick products this year. We live in Georgia.

    1. Karen Mitchell

      Hi Diana, If you wish to learn more on PMR or BARF diets (Prey Model or the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet), natural remedies, prevention and supplements, there’s my Facebook group “As Nature Intended”. If you have problems finding it, message me direct in FB. I don;t think I’m allowed to share the link
      Cheers

  16. Cathy Alinovi

    This is a fantastic discussion – I will followup with some suggestions for next week’s blog.
    Dr Cathy

  17. Kat Steele

    http://www.ahvma.org/ I recommend looking for a holistic vet in your area, to see what they recommend (that is what I plan to do this year). We have used the chewable heart worm medication for years w/o issue but I am concerned with the newer multi-purpose chewables and using the topicals. Additionally, Frontline seems to have lost its ability to keep tics off my dogs (at least that has been our experience the last 2 years) and we have a huge issue with dear tics and Lymes disease in our area…Cats are also now getting heart worm; while I have not gone down that path with our cats yet because we keep them indoors, mosquitoes do get indoors somehow (as well as ride in on the dogs fur).

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      We have no Holistic vets in my area, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Had one and she retired. I wish we had one

  18. Nellie

    One of my dogs almost died from Trifexis. She was completely unresponsive the morning after she received her second monthly dose. After spending the day with the vet she was better, but had lost the use of her back legs. Fortunately with the vet’s supportive care she was better by day 2, but I’ll never give her that crap or anything like it again. I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve read about a lot of peoples’ dogs not pulling through after taking this drug. I can’t even believe I thought it was a good idea to put them on this now that I know more about what it is and how it works… Just common sense, don’t feed your pets poison. Would you eat poison?

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      That is horrible, glad she is better

    2. Nouble

      I’m so sorry that you had such a horrible experience. I’m glad that she’s better!

  19. Karen Mitchell

    To answer this articles question. NO!! Avoid these toxins like the plague!!!

  20. Nouble

    Some time last year, I stopped trusting those medicines when I noticed the EPA label on their product. Wait a minute. They handle the environment; what are they doing producing medication? (Then again, that would explain the toxins.)

    I feel that there are two medications you should avoid. The one first is Trio Shield Trio. Even though I haven’t heard much about it (yet), I’ve heard that some people compare it with putting water on your dog then expecting that to repel parasites. The second one is Sentry cat products. I’ve read several reviews that said they used permethrin even though it’s toxic to cats. (Even though it’s not on the list, it doesn’t have to be put there.) On top of that, a lot people reported ill-effects even after following instructions.

  21. Pam grimes

    With all my dogs, some very allergic I have never had any problems with Heartguard. I only use a small drop of frontline for fleas if they have one. That is extremely rare. I tried a non pres. brand once and they got sick and allergic. Never use a flea collar.

  22. Margaret

    Has anyone had any experience using simparica?

    1. Paula Stewart

      Watched my 5 year old german shephard have his second seizure today. Gave him samparica yesterday. He seems fine for now.

      1. Rocky

        That’s upsetting! Is he okay? I’m trying to figure out how to proceed. Guessing I’ll just stay with Advantix and sentinal chewable.

  23. Cher

    Yes, had a bad experience with Simparica. Our dog 14 yrs old has always been healthy. Yearly vet visits. We have used frontline plus on her for fleas snd ticks for many years. Our vet switched her to simparica.our dog now has open wounds where she has bit and ripped her hair out. She has tsken only three doses (1 per month) the first two have caused this biting open sores, last dose she was vomiting and had diarrhea within 2 hours of taking it. We have spent close to 500 dollars treating her with antibiotics, antiitch and steroid pills. Will continue to keep a recovery cone on her until the Simparica clears her system. Could take about 72 days for all traces to be gone.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *