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Off topic: Comfortis? Safe?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by annie800, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. annie800

    annie800

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    What's the one most trusted product/product combo you recommend? We are using Comfortis and Interceptor. I am open to any school of thought or opinions you have on this subject. Happy to hear your experiences too.:)

    I live in South Florida, so some type of protection is necessary, but I am hoping new advances will make for less adverse reactions or unknown variables in future products. I am not too comfortable with any of these preventatives, but we use them. :p

    Comfortis indicates two issues...serizures in dogs prone to neurological problems and phospholipidosis in ALL dogs aka vacuolation of lymphoid tissue (the severity of the latter is unknown and the cause of either is unknown), but hey, they have no problems making and selling it.

    Ya know, I am definitely not well versed here, but I have read that phospholipidosis occurring in hepatocytes, kidneys, and lungs, is insanely sereve and can cause failure of liver, kidney, and respiratory function. The phospholipidosis in Comfortis is stated to occur in lymph tissue and there is no further explaination of it. We'll see what a few more years in reasearch brings.

    Any experiences with Comfortis? Something you can shed light on? Is this a trusted product for you?
     
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  3. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    For bugs, I rotate Frontline Plus and Advantix. I've found the combo of both is the only thing that keeps the ticks away, which are TERRIBLE in my area.

    For HW, I use Tri Heart or Heartgard, depending on which rep came to our clinic and gave out free samples.

    I did use interceptor for many years, but couldn't get it for free anymore, hence why I switched. It's still a great product, as far as I know, and I definitely recommend it for collie type breeds. If I could get it, I would probably still use it, although my dog is addicted to the heartgard chews.

    Basically, I use which ever products I can get for free or cheap :thumbup::thumbup:

    I know that's not helpful for you, but I'm really not familiar with Comfortis.
     
  4. Bearby

    Bearby UF CVM c/o 2015 7+ Year Member

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    Comfortis is still so new that it's hard to evaluate whether there are any long-term effects in the patients we've started on it. In situations where people have heard about Comfortis because their friend's dog is on it are usually pretty excited about it but they don't know anything about the actual medication. We don't recommend it to every client that walks in the door, mostly because there are those potential medical side effects but partially because we have a tick problem in NW Florida. For that reason, we recommend Fronline Plus. We used to recommend Heartgard as our heartworm and parasite prevention but now we're pushing Sentinel because of its whipworm coverage in dogs. Revolution is usually the easiest to get cat owners to buy because no one wants to pill their cat or have to think about more than flea prevention, so having the parasite prevention in the same tube makes them more likely to be consistant in giving it.
     
  5. annie800

    annie800

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    We tried Revolution, but it caused hair loss and hair color change for our dog. Also, it doesn't cover hookworms which are thriving in our area. I wish there was some product that could ease my mind. I feel kinda stupid using Comfortis when it is so new and so freggin expensive. $15/month.
     
  6. Tobysgirl81

    Tobysgirl81 VMRCVM c/o 2014! 2+ Year Member

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    I don't really have any experience with Comfortis, but I use interceptor on my own dogs (ranging from 10 to 75lbs) and have never really experienced any negative side effects. Typically the general practice portion of my hospital recommends interceptor and frontline, but there are definitely reports of advantage and frontline resistant fleas in our area.

    Heartguard is also used, but less frequently than it used to be probably because of potential side effects in sight hounds and collies and the like.

    My guess would be that because spinosad affects the nervous system of the pests its used for it has the potential to cause similar issues in the patients it's used on. They saw a similar problem some years back in horses that were being fed feed through fly control. The fly control worked by disrupting the nervous system of the flies and while it did it's job pretty effectively, horses started showing neurologic symptoms as well. Unfortunately, as much as we try to make medications specific to one species, there's no garuntees that there aren't similar receptors on the patient you're trying to protect. I think most people have moved away from feed through fly conrol now, but it sounds as if the same issue may be cropping up in dogs.

    I would strongly recommend reading the package insert for information about margin of safety. For example, Advantage has tested that 10 times the normal dose can safely be given ORALLY to a cat without causing any adverse side effects. Advantix showed issues with I think only double the normal amount given in the same conditions. Granted, they're supposed to be given topically, but we all know treatment and compliance only goes as far as owner education and understanding :) Plus, for better or for worse, the inserts usually will indicate what percentage of patients they see reactions in versus other products.

    Otherwise I have no insight or personal experience with Comfortis. But I am now curious. When did it first come out on the market?


     
  7. adunastella

    adunastella

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    I am also in South Florida. We use Comfortis a lot and have good results. We carry heartgard and interceptor and the doctors seem happy with both- it just depends on what the client wants.
    We did have a case come in where a dog was being treated for mange with high doses of ivermectin and when the owner gave the comfortis the dog ended up with an ivermectin toxicity. I read on VIN that they think it may be a similar mechanism to the whole grapefruit and certain meds thing. We have not had a problem with clients giving Comfortis and hw prevention on the same day.
     
  8. Kaydalia

    Kaydalia 2+ Year Member

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    When ticks aren't an issue, I'm a big fan of Sentinel... It's oral (topicals are a pain imo), dogs usually take it well, and it protects against HW, hooks/rounds/whips, AND fleas. It's price is a bit higher, but because of the additional flea preventative it works out.

    Unfortunately ticks in my area (upstate NY) ARE an issue and getting worse every year. Therefore I use Interceptor and Frontline Plus. I think Frontline Plus works better than Revolution for ticks (just based on vet opinions), however you can still find a tick on a dog who gets Frontline... I think it can take 24hrs or so to kill a tick (but it's still safe because it takes 36-48hrs for the tick to transmit disease).

    I'm usually not a big fan of Advantix just because of the risk to cats... And unfortunately I don't have any experience with Comfortis.
     
  9. Morganator

    Morganator Iowa State c/o 2014

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    I'm just curious as to how you know there are resistant fleas in your area? Are these reports from clients or have you seen some scientific data?
     
  10. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    It "supposedly" takes 36-48 hours to transmit disease.
    That being said, I used to use just frontline plus, and my dog ended up with lyme's even after being vaccinated. I check for ticks every day and was pulling quite a few off, so I doubt any were on there longer than 24 hours, plus most of them were dead, so who knows on how long it really takes.

    Once I started rotating products, I rarely ever found ticks on her. I think maybe two in the year I've been using both?

    I don't know what the "science" is behind it, but felt like the ticks were becoming "immune" to just the frontline plus
     
  11. Kaydalia

    Kaydalia 2+ Year Member

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    Eeek! That sucks, I'm sorry!

    While ticks are big problem in my area, Lyme isn't super prevalent yet, so I can't use infection rates to compare how successful Frontline is here... And I know that different tick species react to tick preventative different ways so that may also play a role. Additionally, because of the risk to cats most of our clients aren't interested in Advantix so I don't have enough experience with it to say its more or less effective. However it sounds like it works better for you, which is certainly a vote in its favor!

    I'm just glad when I can talk down someone from purchasing retail flea meds... Too many of those animals end up at emergency. :(
     
  12. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    Well, you know, if walmart carries it, it must be good...:laugh:

    I know exactly what you mean. Our clinic routinely has "contests" and stuff to give away free doses of frontline, just so people can see that it generally does work better than the hartz junk.

    And yeah, I was pretty ticked off (no pun intended) at frontline for a while. I'm really not a big advantix fan, not just because of the cat thing, but also because I have seen more reactions to it than I have from frontline. It is a stronger chemical, so I guess that's to be expected, but that's also why I don't use it exclusively, and I tend to "dose low" on it...my 25 pound dog only gets the "up to 20lb" dose.
     
  13. Tobysgirl81

    Tobysgirl81 VMRCVM c/o 2014! 2+ Year Member

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    Primarily reports from clients. And while that certainly is not 100% reliable, many of them are people who have used advantage and frontline type products for years with success so the margin of error hopefully is lower. The last time I was in private practice (in another area of the country) we were starting to get reports of people using both products and still having flea and tick issues as well. I can't say FOR SURE they're resistant, but there seems to be a growing trend. Given most products have been on the market for 10 + years it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility.

     
  14. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    Agreed. Same here.
     
  15. katryn

    katryn UTCVM c/o 2014!!!! 7+ Year Member

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    We typically don't push Comfortis unless someone's animal has very very horrible topical allergies (with or without a verified reaction to the topicals). Our big qualm with it is that it is not a contact kill product and for some reason in east Tennessee we see an abundance of flea allergic dogs. So allowing the fleas to bite is a no go. Our clients that do use it do seem to like it though and the only side effect we've seen currently is vomiting if the owner gives it on an empty stomach.

    For HW prev. we use Interceptor because whips are common here, but we like Heartgard too. :)

    Personally, I also like the Advantage Multi products, but a lot of vets in the area are skeptical about its affectiveness if the an owner goes and dumps the whole tube on the animal's fur instead of the skin. Considerations on that point total hinge on whether or not you trust Bayer's studies on the issue, but all of the papers on it seem pretty legit and well tested.
     
  16. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    I can also vouch for clients saying that Frontline does not work as well or as long as they would like. Also, Comfortis works REALLY well from what we've heard. Long term effects are a concern, but that's the case with any medicine (human or animal) and so... As long as the animal has no prior conditions and undergoes a physical, we often recommend it if ticks are not a problem.

    I've heard rumor of a cat product by Comfortis... curious to see what comes of that.
     
  17. August West

    August West solar powered 2+ Year Member

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    however, we have had great success with Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Dog Spray on our pups. One has suffered from flea allergy dermatitis and we were uneasy about having to treat her so often with Frontline. The natural dog spray works remarkably well and has a very pleasant herbal scent. :oops:
     
  18. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11 Moderator Emeritus Veterinarian 5+ Year Member

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    Honestly, it's best to talk to your veterinarian about their experience/reading of the literature on Comfortis and find out what works best in your particular geographic region. They're going to be the most knowledgeable/helpful.

    Anecdotes don't equal data. :) And none of us here are doctors. :)
     
  19. SocialStigma

    SocialStigma OVC c/o 2015 7+ Year Member

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    The vets at the clinic I volunteer at swear by Revolution. It's used for both cats and dogs and protects against fleas, heartworm, mites, etc. They say it's easier then giving tablets because Revolution just involves a dab on the skin behind their neck (so they don't lick it off) and it lasts for a month.
     
  20. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    Good point, allie. This thread should come with a disclaimer - it's 100% opinions and hearsay, and it's always best to consult an actual vet in your area rather than assume that what works for such-and-such is best for your pets too.
     
  21. katryn

    katryn UTCVM c/o 2014!!!! 7+ Year Member

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    Good point Twelvetigers, disclaimer added, see below. :laugh:
     
  22. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    Well, there ARE veterinarians on the forum, but they won't be giving any advice on flea medication. :hungover:
     
  23. annie800

    annie800

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    South Florida
    Well, I thought it would not hurt to ask because I have consulted three vets on this topic and everyone gave me different answers.
    One vet was not familiar with phospholipidosis, one calls the product "completely green" and a "miracle product", and one suggests more natural remedies and is anti-flea/tick meds because she has seen seizures occur in patients.
     
  24. katryn

    katryn UTCVM c/o 2014!!!! 7+ Year Member

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    Touche! :laugh:
     
  25. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11 Moderator Emeritus Veterinarian 5+ Year Member

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    No offense meant, certainly. A lot of the "information" being presented here is actually incorrect (at least according to our parasitology class in vet school, taught by the person who is widely regarded to be the world's expert on fleas).

    Instead of getting into a debate about the actual facts, it's easier to point out that a) the plural of anecdote is not data; and b) the best person to answer these questions is a veterinarian.

    And if you have a veterinarian who gives a different opinion than you've heard from others--ask them why and see what makes sense to you. Many, many doctors have differences of opinion on many, many things--but they usually hold those opinions for a reason. If you're really curious, asking them why they think x when you've heard y is probably the best way to go. :)
     
  26. ScottieGirl

    ScottieGirl 2+ Year Member

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    I have used comfortis in my dogs for 6 months now, and have not had any problems. Both of my dogs have different types of skin diseases (chronic demodex, and chronic infections). Comfortis has been a great way to keep the fleas off while treating the skin topically with shampoos which strip off any type of topical flea preventative. In fact, one of my dogs actually had a reaction to advantix and developed an infection where is was applied (I know thats uncommon, but it happened).

    Overall I think its a great product for skin sensitive animals, but would probably still recommend advantix or advantage to someone because the advantix also covers ticks, and the advantage also covers heartworms. Same for the interceptor and sentinel, they cover more parasites, whereas comfortis only covers fleas.
     
  27. Shanomong

    Shanomong 2+ Year Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  28. Bearby

    Bearby UF CVM c/o 2015 7+ Year Member

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    I know that we've been having people say the same thing, that Frontline isn't working anymore. I have been the resident "flea expert" since our last one quit the practice in May of last year. This by no means says that I know everything about fleas and flea prevention, but I'm usually the one who has to talk to owners about the flea cycle and how to go about getting an infestation under control. I've had a few clients tell me that Frontline wasn't working so I set up a schedule with them. I told them how to treat their houses, yards, other pets, and made sure they went home with at least 3 months worth of Frontline. When I called them at the end of the three months, most of them had seen a dramatic improvement in their flea situation and some had completely resolved it. I've found that a lot of people don't understand how to put on the Frontline properly, bathe their pets in a shampoo that contains a soap or detergent (because they buy flea shampoo thinking it will help), treat the one dog but don't treat the three cats that go outside, etc. I've also heard from one of the veterinarians that the more fleas that are on the pet the faster the product is used up. Whether or not this is true, I don't know, but if it is it would explain a lot of the "resistance" talk. Well, at least in this area, we've had horrible flea seasons the past few years...it's time for a big hurricane.

    I believe that on the Revolution insert it states that a small circle of hairloss where the product is applied or change in hair color are pretty common "side effects." When I started my cat on it, he had a tiny bald spot where I put it. Since then the hair has grown back and he hasn't had any more issues with hairloss due to the Revolution. I've always thought it was kinda weird that it covers hooks and rounds for cats but not for dogs. We don't recommend it for any of our canine patients unless they have mange or ear mites, and in that case we just use it as an add-on, just not as impressed with its efficacy in dogs. Oh, and $15/month is about the cost of any flea medication that you buy from a vet, so I'm not sure why you would feel stupid spending the money on it.
     
  29. sumstorm

    sumstorm 7+ Year Member

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    That isnt actually accurate; topical flea preventatives should NOT be stripped off with bathing unless the bathing is within a few days of application (before or after.) If a dog has sensitivities, bathing so frequently that a topical isn't usable is probably stripping the dog of the normal protective oils on the skin, creating even more sensitivity. Topicals are not laying on the surface, they are absorbed.

    I use a variety of products, depending on the pet, the locale, etc. The worst tick infestation we ever had was in the heart of NYC where the only ‘greenery’ were trees located in concrete squares quite a distance apart. I couldn’t believe that every walk (3-4 a day) resulted in removing 2-6 ticks in a concrete paradise.
     
  30. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11 Moderator Emeritus Veterinarian 5+ Year Member

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    Actually, if they're using a therapeutic shampoo (like this poster probably is, since she's been treating her dog for known medical problems)--those shampoos are designed to be used frequently.

    sorry to butt in, I just don't want the poster thinking her vet is incorrect by prescribing these shampoos/bathing so frequently.

    *sigh* this is another example of why I don't think these discussions are very helpful...

    P.S. Shanamong, I wouldn't, either--but it works for him. :) He's known as "Dr. Flea"! *shudder* but nicest guy in the world and a great teacher. ;)
     
  31. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    Anyone use vetra products? Our clinic is going to start carrying that. We had a lecture on it but curious what others think
     
  32. JuniorJumper

    JuniorJumper UF CVM Class of 2014 2+ Year Member

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    I use Comfortis and Iverhart/HG+ (depending on what I can get cheaper or for free)

    Frontline Plus hasnt been working for fleas in this area for awhile now. People are having better luck with Advantage/Advantage Multi.

    If someone is having a tick problem and doesnt want to use FL+ for fleas, we recommend the Preventic collar, it seems to work really well in this area.
     
  33. THEOSU2012

    THEOSU2012 2+ Year Member

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    Hey There,

    I agree with AllieCat and I actually stopped a discussion in the veterinary forum on a similar subject. Too often people can stumble on our forums and then use what we say as "medical advice". Which can then possibly even harm their animals!

    I will say that I got an email about 4-5 months back about comfortis and ivermectin. I'm a big Collie fan, and was afronted at what this email said. Again, we can't trust everything that is sent through email or over a message board. If you aren't sure then see your Veterinarian!!

    Good day!

    Off my soap box now.
     
  34. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    No wonder why I have never heard of Comfortis before. I live in AZ...not many flea problems around here. I think I have seen 2 or 3 dogs with fleas in the 4 and 1/2 years I have been working in vet clinics. We tend to use interceptor and then either advantix/frontline/revolution depending on the pet's specific needs and we do not send home advantix to people who also have cats. For my dog I only give him Interceptor and have never used flea/tick preventative. He has never had fleas. He is currently 12 years old and did get one tick about a year and a half ago; I removed it and he has never had another since (I have no idea where the stray tick came from). I have seen a few tick infested dogs here, but fleas are not a big problem in AZ. And I agree with everyone else, talk to a veterinarian and if you get conflicting ideas ask the veterinarian to explain why he/she recommends whatever he/she is recommending.
     
  35. Bearby

    Bearby UF CVM c/o 2015 7+ Year Member

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    This isn't actually completely accurate either. Some of the topicals are absorbed, but Frontline remains in the sebacious glands where the natural skin oils are, so it's not laying right on the surface, but it's just underneath. As the oils are released onto the hair shafts, so is the Frontline. For this reason, if you are using a shampoo that has a detergent or soap, you are stripping the oils and therefore the Frontline. All of it may not be depleted with a single washing, but it definitely cuts down on how effective the product is. Of course, washing extremely often will also keep the product from working, even if you are using a soap-free shampoo. I know that all of the Virbac shampoos are soap-free because I asked since we send a lot of animals with allergies or skin infections home with them. Didn't want them to have to worry about fleas too.
     
  36. projekt

    projekt UGA c/o 2012 5+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't call it "Green". I'd call it organic. Spinosad is organic because it was discovered as a fermentation product of a soil bacterium found near a distillery. In other words, if you could discover a bacterium that ****s out some organophosphates, they'd be "organic" too.

    Our parasitology professor, Dr. Ray Kaplan, seemed somewhat interested in Spinosad, but it's still a new product and hasn't had years behind it.

    There are adverse reactions with some dogs with all the products, though.
     
  37. sumstorm

    sumstorm 7+ Year Member

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    Really? I thought the bathing limitation in some of these products was 48 hours (24 before and after) and I didn't think any of the therapeutic shampoos were designed for more frequent use than that. Obviously, I could be wrong. I do have dogs on therapeutic shampoos myself, and the shortest cycle I had found was 3 days, and that was considered to be only on the extreme end of a very active issue, with routine use being once every 5-7 days. I would go grab my notes on topical flea preventatives, but it would take a bit to track them down and I have 2-3 exams every week for the next 6 weeks, so don't want to take the time to do so (sorry, being lazy and would rather spend my free time doing more interesting things than fact checking after spending all day learning facts) and even if I did, I don't have time to do the research on every therapeutic and OTC shampoo available for pets.

    Either way, unless bathed within the ‘don't bath' window, it shouldn't greatly affect the efficacy of the topical products because they do not just sit on the skin, but are absorbed, and that is a common assumption about the topical treatments.

    Edit: And, apparently, I am going to have to find my notes, based on the info on front line. I thought they had reworked the product at some point....but again, I could be wrong. anyways, when I get to spring break, it is on my to do list to review again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010

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