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Putting Tick Collars to the Test

Clinician's Brief (Capsule)

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Flumethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, has been extensively used as an acaricide in livestock; it has also been used in combination with propoxur in a collar preparation for controlling ticks on dogs. Imidacloprid is an effective insecticide, registered for use in dogs and cats as a spot-on product, and available in combination with permethrin for spot-on use in dogs (Advantix, animalhealth.bayer.com). A study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a collar formulation containing both imidacloprid and flumethrin (Seresto, bayerdvm.com) when preventing Dermacentor reticulatus from transmitting Babesia canis to dogs.

The imidacloprid/flumethrin collar was applied to the treated group (n = 8) 28 days before infestation. No treated dogs became infected with B canis, as confirmed by the absence of specific B canis antibodies and babesial DNA. Tick mortality (96.02%) was recorded 48 hours postchallenge; 100% of ticks were dead within 4 days. All dogs in the untreated group (n = 8) became infected with B canis, detectable in blood smears as early as 6 days post tick-application and developed signs of babesiosis and specific B canis antibodies. The collar was highly effective against D reticulatus ticks 1 month after application and was well tolerated. The speed of kill against infesting ticks is important for blocking pathogen transmission. Funded by an educational grant from Bayer Animal Health.

Clinician's Brief

Commentary
As tick populations expand and tick-borne diseases spread, it is imperative for pet owners to practice effective, safe tick control. The AVMA found that 15.3% of pet-owning households owned a combination of dogs and cats1; any product used in these situations must be safe for both species. Because the active ingredients in the imidacloprid–flumethrin collar remain effective for 8 months and are chemically identical for both species, the collar described in this article can provide safe and efficacious tick (and flea) control.—Sandra Sawchuk, DVM, MS

Source
Prevention of transmission of Babesia canis by Dermacentor reticulatus ticks to dogs treated with an imidacloprid/flumethrin collar. Fourie JJ, Stanneck D, Jongejan F. VET PARASITOL192:273-278, 2013.

1. Vital statistics. Burns K. JAVMA 242:280-285, 2013.

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