Preventic Tick Collar

Products used to prevent or control ticks include Frontline, Preventic collars, Permoxin Insecticidal Spray and Wash, Advantix and Revolution. Tick prevention should continue throughout the tick season, in conjunction with daily checking of the pet's skin for attached ticks.

There is a wide range of products available for tick control. They work in slightly different ways, have different lengths of protection and cover different ticks.

The active ingredients commonly used to kill or repel ticks include fipronil, permethrin, amitraz and selamectin.

Amitraz is a neurotoxin which affects a tick's central nervous system. Amitraz poisoning causes hyper-excitation, killing, repelling or prevents the parasite's attachment.

The chemical is thought to paralyze the tick's mouth parts and inhibit feeding. It causes attached ticks to detach from the affected pet. Amitraz also works through contact, with the tick not having to bite the pet to be poisoned. However ingestion increases the speed of death.

"Amitraz also works through contact, with the tick not having to bite the pet to be poisoned. However ingestion increases the speed of death."

While the product is very toxic to ticks, it can also be toxic to dogs. If dogs consume amitraz, it can be fatal. The initial signs of toxicity include sleepiness, weakness and lethargy. This can progress to vomiting, staggering, diarrhea and disorientation. Without treatment, coma may result. In severe untreated cases, toxicity can result in death. If owners note any of these signs, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

To avoid the likelihood of toxicity occurring, amitraz-based products should not be used on dogs which are sick or recovering from sickness. Chihuahuas are particularly susceptible to amitraz toxicity and should not be treated with this product.

Preventic collars consist of a thin strap of PVC plastic impregnated with amitraz. This slowly releases the product in concentration sufficient to kill all four common ticks for up to three months. The powder is insoluble in water and has a very high affinity for skin and hair.

The collars remove about 95 per cent of ticks within 24 hours, and 100 per cent within 48 hours. The collar should be removed when you bath or wash your dog, and be replaced when your dog is dry. It will take up to 24 hours for the collar to re-establish protection.

Manufacturer Virbac recommends that the dog be inspected daily for ticks in high-risk areas. Biting or chewing collars can be fatal to a dog. Signs of toxicity normally occur within about two to six hours of ingestion of the tick collar. The collars should not be used in puppies less than 12 weeks old.

Demadex Dog Wash is an amitraz-containing product primarily aimed at mange (mite) treatment, although it is also effective against ticks. Treatments need to be repeated weekly for best efficacy. The product should be diluted at 5mL per 1L of water, sponged onto the dog. It should not be rinsed off prior to drying.

Selamectin is the active ingredient in Pfizer's Revolution. It is a macrocyclic lactone (ML), and thus works on a variety of internal and external parasites. It interferes with nervous transmission in ticks and prevents nerve impulses being initiated or transmitted along nerves. This results in a lack of muscle activity, a flaccid (floppy) paralysis and death of the parasite.

Revolution is a topical liquid which is applied once a month to the skin at the base of the neck. When Revolution is applied it rapidly translocates around the body. It is absorbed into the bloodstream and is re-secreted back onto the skin via the sebaceous glands. As with fipronil, these glands serve as a depot, which secrete the product for a whole month.

Summary: The use of tick prevention products is recommended throughout the tick season. Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate product for your pet. Daily checking of pets for attached ticks is also recommended. If a tick is found, it should be removed immediately. Do not touch it with your fingers, and ensure it is pulled out gently backwards, grasping the tick as closely as possible to the mouth parts to avoid leaving the head embedded in the pet's skin.

It is a good idea to keep the tick in a sealed jar to assist the veterinarian to make a diagnosis in the event a tick-related disease is suspected. If you do suspect such a disease, take your pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible. The earlier treatment is started, the better the prognosis.

Frontline website, Merial.
Frontline Plus, Frontline Top Spot, Frontline Spray Labels. Merial Ltd, Duluth Ga.
Chin A. et al. Persistent Flea Infestations in Dogs and Cats controlled with monthly topical applications of Fipronil and Methoprene. Aust Vet Practit 35(3) pp 89-96, 2005.
Report of Adverse Experiences, 1998-2003, 2004. Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
Young D.R. Evaluation of Imidacloprid pls Permethrin vs. Fipronil Topical Treatments to repel and Kill American Dog Ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) on Dogs. Suppl Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet. 24:4(B), pp 17-20, 2002.
National Pesticide Telecommunications Network Fact Sheet: Fipronil. National Pesticide Information Center.
National Pesticide Telecommunications Network Fact Sheet: Permethrin. National Pesticide Information Center. Extension Toxicology Network Pesticide Information Profiles: Amitraz.
Product label, Preventic. Virbac Corporation, Fort Worth Tx.
Preventic Website, Vribac.
K9Advantix website, Bayer Corporation.
Product label, K9 Advantix. Bayer Healthcare LLC, Animal Health Division, Shawnee Mission, Ks.
U.S. Prescribing Information: Revolution?. Pfizer Animal Health .
Revolution for dogs website, Pfizer Animal Health.
Cats of the Revolution website, Pfizer Animal Health.
Permoxin Insecticidal Information. Dermcare-Vet website.
Product label: Demadex Acaricidal Dog Wash, Delvet Pty Ltd, Seven Hills, NSW.

Frontline® is a registered trademark of Merial
Revolution® is a Pfizer registered trademark
Advantix® is a registered trademark of Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Germany.
Preventic® is a registered trademark of Virbac
Permoxin® is a trademark of Dermcare-Vet Pty Ltd.