Scared about Ticks? You Should be! And Vectra 3D is your Best Defense
Years ago I got an email from a longtime listener to DOG TALK®, about a show in which Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins spoke strongly about the need for topical tick repellents for at-risk dogs (those in tick-infested areas of the country, and especially those dogs who run loose in tall grass or woods). She and I both sang the praises of Vectra 3D and the listener was upset because he used a similar product that he said also had the active ingredient permethrin, that repels and kills ticks before they bite.
He said: “I have used Advantix for years, and Smokey and I walk in tall grass every day in the park next to my home where there are deer and I have yet to see a tick since using Advantix on Smokey. Being in Georgia, there are also tons of fleas and in the summer mosquitoes, and the mosquitoes avoid Smokey like the plague, again due to the Permethrin. Even though I think that there are some downsides to Permethrin, I still use it because I think the ticks and mosquitoes are a bigger threat to the health of the dog. What I do strongly disagree with is your guest acting like using permethrin is perfectly safe, and one shouldn’t worry about it at all. Not true, in my opinion. Maybe the new formula in Vectra 3D that your guest is telling us about is better for flea control, but the focus of her discussions on Vectra 3D on your show seems to be tick control and permethrin.”
I was sorry that a DOG TALK® show frustrated him, but I am glad that he did have protection for his dog and that it was working. (I also know that very recently the editor of The Whole Dog Journal personally praised Frontline as working well for her, and then proceeded to recount how many attached ticks she pulls off her dog after every walk! In my book that is not an effective action of a product meant to repel and kill — but everybody has a different set of expectations, I guess!).
As the years have gone by, I continue to learn from Dr. Elizabeth about the resilience of these parasites and how they are not as susceptible to the products with older technology that have been on the market a long time. The longer I use Vectra 3D and learn from her about the ever-increasing dangers from ticks and fleas, the more I want everyone to get the product for their dogs, too.
I share Dr. Elizabeth’s enthusiasm for Vectra 3D (she is the company’s liaison to veterinarians) because it is an effective anti-tick product that also inhibits the entire life cycle of fleas — with the newest technology of an IGR (insect growth regulator) to wipe out all life stages of the flea, and mosquito-borne diseases are no picnic, either. But there is an important difference in how Vectra 3D protects a dog: the patented applicator tip puts the product right on the skin, where it gives the most protection, and the dilution of permethrin in Vectra 3D is such that it spreads better across the skin and dries within 2 hours on the dog, after which time there is no danger to people or cats who touch those treated areas.
Our listener must have misheard comments Dr. Elizabeth made about the “total safety” of using such a product, since that was not Dr. Elizabeth’s point. She was explaining that safety is relative — and that permethrin is a substance that has been used on human products (soldiers uniforms, mosquito netting, Nix head lice shampoo) for a very long time without causing problems. Her point was that there is always some risk with everything in life, and we have to make choices. Some of us believe that using Vectra 3D is safer than the alternative of running the risk of getting a tick-borne disease. Dr. Hodgkins’ point about the safety of using permethrin on a dog at risk for coming into contact with ticks was that everything in life is potentially dangerous, that everything carries some risk, so it is a matter of weighing the risks versus the benefits and where tick-borne disease is concerned, the scales definitely tip in favor of using Vectra 3D. The bottom line is that using a product with tick repellent/killer is an essential safety measure, given the severity of the disease that can result otherwise.
TIP: How to remove a tick that has attached: While this has yet to happen to my dogs because I keep Vectra 3D on them every 30 days, if your dog should get an attached tick, this trick in how to remove it quickly and safely came from a newsletter of Friends for Pets in Sunland, California — the Weimaraner rescue where I got my first Weims, Lulu and Billy Blue.
Take a cotton ball and squirt liquid soap on it. Place the soap-soaked ball on the attached tick and leave it for 20-30 seconds. The tick will release during that time and will be stuck on the cotton ball when you lift it away. No need to try to use a tick remover or tweezer to pull it off.
photo credit: left-hand via photopin cc
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