Protecting Your Pet Where the Parasite Meets the Skin
Dr. Byron Blagburn Comments on Topical Products, Vectra 3D®’s Repellency & Fast Kill
The nationwide spread of Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Heartworm disease continues to increase. As part of its “Why Wait for the Bite?” campaign, Ceva Animal Health is asking leading experts to join in the conversation about parasite bites, help educate pet parents on how disease transmission occurs, and explain how the attributes of topical parasiticides and Vectra3D® can help protect our pets.
Byron Blagburn, MS, PhD, DAVCM, is a noted parasitology professor and researcher. Dr. Blagburn is also a past president of the American Association of Parasitologists and the Companion Animal Parasite Council.
“In my opinion, the best parasite-stopping options for today’s veterinarian combine both repellency and rapid speed of kill following contact, when the parasite meets the skin of its potential host. Vectra 3D® offers an added benefit by preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases,” says Dr. Blagburn.
“Of course, speed of kill is crucial as well. We want parasites to die after they contact the surface of the pet so they can’t infest other animals or the home environment.”
He says “active repellency” is the key in selecting a topical preventative medication.
“Topical products act from the outside-out. There are some topical products that when you place them on the dog’s skin, these are actually absorbed and enter the blood vascular system. These are systemically active just as with oral products. But we are after an active repellency. We are after topical products that exert their effects topically.”
According to Dr. Blagburn, “The nice thing about a product like Vectra 3D® is that it’s very fast-acting and also has repellency properties. For fleas, one active ingredient repels fleas or keeps them from biting. For fleas that remain, the second ingredient works very quickly to limit the amount of biting and feeding. It’s a combination of killing them quickly or driving them away from the pet before they get a chance to bite. We call it a flushing effect. That’s a strategy that works for ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and other parasites.”
Protect Against Heartworm Disease
In addition to avoiding irritating bites, Dr. Blagburn notes that such preventatives as Vectra 3D® are becoming more important as heartworm disease, which can be fatal to dogs, spreads across the country.
“Heartworm is now in every one of the lower 48 states as a result of pet travel, pet fostering, and rescues from disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. It continues to spread and increase in prevalence in animals not on prevention. Veterinarians are doing a good job as advocates for prevention but pet owners don’t believe or maybe don’t realize their pets are at risk.”
Multi-Modal Is the Best
There’s also good reason to employ a dual approach to preventing deadly heartworm disease in dogs. “Your veterinarian is going to assess other parasites that you have to deal with in your environment,” Dr. Blagburn says. “These may be internal or they may be other external parasites. That’s why I’m a strong proponent of using a multi-modal strategy, using products that we have to use anyway, but selecting those products – topical and oral – that enhance other strategies for preventing disease.”
He compares using multiple strategies in controlling parasites to enhanced safety in cars. “It’s like putting good tires on your car, keeping your car in good running condition, and wearing a seatbelt all the time. You are ensuring the likelihood that your trip will be safe because you are adding all of these factors that increase safety,” Dr. Blagburn says.
Watch for more information from Dr. Blagburn in the coming months. See his guest columns and video interview on www.goodnewsforpets.com.