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Discussion Starter #1
Ugh....Can anyone with a herding breed tell me what you are giving your dog for heartworm now that Interceptor is not being made anymore?? The only options I've been given are Advantix II for fleas and ticks with no heartworm meds or Revolution or Trifexis for fleas and heartworms and the new tick collar for the ticks. I am not comfortable using the new tick collar, because we handle my dog ALOT and she goes in my daughter's bed. I don't want that stuff rubbing off. At this point, I think I may just skip the heartworm preventative and just have her tested yearly until the start the Interceptor again.
 

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I would definitely go with Trifexis or Revolution. Heartworms are a whole lot more harmful to your dog than an occasional tick. Btw, you should have your dog tested for heartworm yearly even when she's on preventative in case the preventative failed. My vet won't even prescribe heartworm meds (I buy a year's supply at once) without first having her tested. The meds can be harmful if given to a dog who is already HW positive without your knowledge.
 

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1. You can have your dog tested for the MDR gene, which is the gene that causes problems with Heartgard in herding breeds. They don't all carry this gene, so your pup might be OK on Heartgard.

2. Definitely don't prioritize tick prevention over heartworm prevention (not to mention the other intestinal worms that the heartworm meds prevent). Ticks are gross but heartworm is really horrible (and the drugs to treat it are in a shortage). If it comes down to it, I would do Trifexis and either check for ticks daily, or Frontline (doubling up on anti-flea) if you know you're going to be in a heavy-tick situation. This is likely what we will end up doing. Not so bad for the short run.

3. I consulted the internet and it sounds like Interceptor is being produced again (i.e. the factory is reopened) and apparently will be back on the market in August. Maybe you can beg your vet for a couple of months' worth, or call around? Vets in my area were saving their stock for dogs with sensitivities.

BTW, I'm not sure that Revolution is OK for dogs with MDR. You would want to ask your vet about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am VERY uncomfortable using Trifexis. First off, the idea of an oral pesticide just doesn't sound safe to me. Plus, it's just too new. I've also read reviews that said it is not very good. None of the vets around here have it at all. One vet says they will not give me Iverhart because my dog has collie in her. Another says it is perfectly safe in recommended dosage. What the heck??? I know MANY dogs that have had ticks on them in my area. There are also quite a few coming down with Lyme's disease. I truly don't know what to do.
 

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Just as a clarification.

ALL dogs have the MDR1 gene, it's dogs who have a mutated copy of this gene that have problems with specific medications.
 

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I am VERY uncomfortable using Trifexis. First off, the idea of an oral pesticide just doesn't sound safe to me. Plus, it's just too new. I've also read reviews that said it is not very good. None of the vets around here have it at all. One vet says they will not give me Iverhart because my dog has collie in her. Another says it is perfectly safe in recommended dosage. What the heck??? I know MANY dogs that have had ticks on them in my area. There are also quite a few coming down with Lyme's disease. I truly don't know what to do.
First off, Revolution is also an "oral pesticide." The only difference is which anti-heartworm drug it uses. I've heard good things about Trifexis, but it is sort of expensive. I would not listen to reviews, honestly. It's not actually "new," either. The combination is new, but the component drugs are obviously not. It's a combo of Interceptor and Comfortis, both of which have been around for years.

If you're worried about Lyme, there is a vaccine for that. Better than nothing.

Have you asked your vets about testing for the MDR1 mutation? If you're that worried, it might be worth it. It sounds like your vets might be unaware of the possibility? There is some disagreement about what drugs are safe for dogs with the mutation. Some vets even say Interceptor is not safe.

Also, what is your general location? I know heartworms are much more prevalent in some areas, but I cannot imagine a vet in my area ever recommending against using heartworm preventative. Have you read up on heartworm? I would rather pick ticks off my dog every day of my life than risk putting her through that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So if I have my dog tested for the MDR1 mutant gene, and she doesn't have it, it would be safe to give her Ivermectin? My vet told me that Revolution was a topical. I didn't realize that was also oral. We live in NE Pennsylvania. I've had one vet say that heartworm is quite uncommon here, and many people just get their dogs tested yearly. My dog reacts badly to the Advantix II now. She squirms and itches for days after having it applied. She is a dog that will let us do ANYTHING to her, but we have to take her to a groomer to have that applied. It was the same with Frontline. I've heard Revolution is gentler, but again, it doesn't include ticks.
 

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Revolution is topical, not oral. On the package it now claims to kill dog ticks, and in my research I found that it very likely works against other ticks, too. But their approval process is different than the process for other products (it's considered a drug instead of a pesticide) so they can't say it. I don't know HOW well it works against ticks, but probably at least as well as Frontline. . .which has never worked very well against ticks, IME. There is some concern with using Selamectin on dogs with the mutant gene, though.

The active flea-killing ingredient in Comfortis/Trifectis isn't really a pesticide (well, OK, anything that kills pests is technically a pesticide), look it up; the way it works is really very interesting.
 

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The test is real easy. You take a cheek swab and send it off to the University of Washington. You can have a dog that is normal/normal which has no reaction to medications, normal/mutant which I think it is dosage related to the meds, and my girl who is mutant/mutant and can't have them what so ever. It was good to find out because she also can't have immodium or flagyl/metronidazole both of which are used for diarrhea.
 

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My bad, yes Revolution is topical not oral. I just meant that the drugs are very similar and from a drug reaction standpoint, I believe it doesn't matter whether the drug enters the bloodstream through the skin or otherwise. (If I'm wrong about that, someone please correct me)
 

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I use Trifexis for fleas and heartworm and Frontline for fleas and ticks on my herding breed dog. Yes it doubles up on the fleas but I've found that Trifexis doesnt last the entire month for the fleas and because the ticks are so bad in my area he really needs the tick preventative. I only do this in the summer and then just give the Trifexis the rest of the year.
 

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Norvatis will be releasing Sentinel soon according to what my office manager (told to her by the reps from the company.) Something about the fact that Sentinel was not produced in the same plant as Interceptor. I have used both interceptor and comfortis together they are the same meds that are in trifexis it's just the cost is so high. Plus the ticks are extremely bad this year as we had no winter. Both of my dogs were tested for the MDR1 mutation. One is normal one is not. It is great information as there are other medications that can cause problems in a dog with the mutant gene.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Is everyone sure that this online test is reliable? My dog is due for her heartworm preventative in 2 days, so I know the test will not even be here, much less tested by then. One thing I've read in my research is that many vets say the amount of ivermectin in the canine preventative is too low to cause issues. I did give her Iverhart last month, because my previous vet told me it was safe. I'm thinking that since I'm down to the wire here, I might have to do it for one more month.....or do you think it would be safer to just order the test and wait for the results, skipping a month?

As far as Trifexis, since it doesn't repel or kill eggs, can't you still end up with the fleas and their eggs in your home?
 

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I did give her Iverhart last month, because my previous vet told me it was safe. I'm thinking that since I'm down to the wire here, I might have to do it for one more month.....
I'm wondering about this too. Biscuit is a muttsky, but clearly with some herder in her, likely Sheltie. We've had her on Interceptor because the vet said it was a safer bet in light of her white feet, and we never bothered to do the DNA test because we like Interceptor and it didn't seem worth the trouble. But the rescue gave her Heartgard right before we got her (same ingredient as Iverhart) - and she was fine. If a dog does OK with one dose of Ivermectin, does that mean they're likely not sensitive? Or can the problems turn up later?

As for Trifexis and fleas, my understanding is that a)fleas need a host to breed and b)Trifexis kills the fleas on your dog before they have time to lay eggs.
 
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