For pet owners, this time of year is usually busy. The weather is finally getting warm and that means more time spent with your pet outdoors. That’s all well and good, but with that warm weather and additional time spent outside comes the increased chance for issues with fleas and ticks. Even if you only allow your dog to play in well-maintained areas, it’s almost inevitable that they will bring home the occasional tick or have certain issues with fleas at some point. That’s why it’s crucial to give them a flea and tick medication that’s both safe and effective. However, it’s not always so easily accomplished. Traditionally, flea and tick medication have been rather harsh and in many cases, pets with certain medical conditions simply can’t handle taking them. The good news is that newer medications are being made available all the time. One that you might not have yet used or even considered is Credelio. It’s a medication that’s used for dogs and many pet owners are singing its praises. If you want to know why, keep reading.
Credelio at a Glance
Credelio is like a lot of flea and tick medications in the sense that it tastes good and that means that dogs typically can’t wait to get their treatment. That’s always a plus, especially if you have a dog that doesn’t particularly like taking medication in the first place. Credelio is a chew that is designed to taste like beef, meaning that you typically don’t have to put forth some epic fight in order to get your dog to take it. The thing that really has pet owners interested is that the medication has been found to be rather effective at eliminating both fleas and many different kinds of ticks. In fact, if you administer it as directed and you don’t miss any doses, it’s been found to eliminate 100% of fleas, typically within just a day or two of administering the medication. By the same token, it gets rid of ticks in about the same time frame, typically within one to two days of giving your dog the medication. Once you get rid of the existing fleas and ticks that are on your dog, the medication is designed to continue killing any additional parasites that might find their way onto your dog. The idea is to get rid of the ones that are already there and then make sure that new ones don’t keep finding their way onto your dog and by default, into your home. It’s worth noting that the company claims that all fleas that are on your dog when the tablet is administered will be fully eliminated within only 12 hours. That’s a pretty bold claim, but most pet owners find it to be true. Even if it takes a bit longer than that, it rarely takes more than the aforementioned one to two days. As such, that makes this one of the more effective medications out there.
How Does it Work?
Unless you’re a veterinarian yourself, you probably don’t want some super technical explanation about how these types of medications work. What you need to know is that this particular medication contains lotilanor, which essentially serves as an ectoparasitic medication. That’s a fancy way of saying that when your dog takes this medication, it creates a neuromuscular problem within the parasites themselves which results in their death. This is accomplished at the cellular level, which is one reason that it’s so effective. As far as pet owners are concerned, one of the truly great things about it (aside from its effectiveness) is that it can also be used in puppies. That’s not something that you can do with most traditional medications of this type, as it can be dangerous to use many of the more traditional products on puppies. In this particular case, you can use it on puppies as young as eight weeks of age, provided they weigh 4.4 pounds or more. However, you should use extreme caution if you plan on using the medication on a dog that’s either pregnant or lactating, as the medication can be passed from the mother to the unborn puppies. It can also be passed on to the puppies from the mother’s milk. Since the medication isn’t safe for puppies younger than eight weeks, this could be dangerous so you want to avoid that at every opportunity. Nevertheless, having the opportunity to successfully treat your puppy at eight weeks is far superior to being told that you have to wait until they are at least six months old before you can begin any kind of anti-parasitic treat. That is especially true if you live in an area where fleas and ticks are a major problem, such as the countryside or states that have warmer climates which see these types of parasites being active almost year-round.
There is another thing about this particular medication that it is important to know. While it is almost always used for flea and tick control, it is also capable of controlling other parasites in your dog’s body. Many pet owners might find this hard to believe, but the medication has been thoroughly studied by the European Medical Association and found to be effective against both heartworms and gastrointestinal worms as well. This is worth getting excited for, because it could potentially mean that pet owners could administer a single medication to handle all of these issues as opposed to administering flea and tick medication and then being forced to administer a separate heartworm medication in order to prevent that disease. This is good news for two reasons. First and foremost, you want to administer as few medications as possible because that automatically reduces the risk of any potential side effects that your dog might experience. In other words, the fewer medications you’re giving, the fewer chances there are for some type of medication side effect to crop up which could potentially harm your dog’s health. In addition, pet owners that can use a single medication for all of these things end up spending less money on prevention every month. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to provide their dog with the same level of care without spending so much money in the process? In this same study, the only thing the medication wasn’t found to be effective against was lungworm, largely because the medication doesn’t work in a manner that is compatible with stopping the way that lung worms manifest in the body. That being said, it was found to be 100% effective against both heartworms and gastrointestinal parasites.
Is It Safe?
Of course, every pet owner worries about whether or not the medication that they give their dog is safe. This particular medication was put under a great deal of scrutiny before it was ever approved for use by the public. As a matter of fact, medical researchers subjected a number of puppies that were eight weeks of age to dramatically increased doses of this particular medication. They begin by giving the dogs three times the recommended dose and then carefully examining them in order to determine whether or not they were suffering any adverse effects. As such, they did physical exams, special neurologic and cardiac exams and also performed a number of tests in the lab in order to look at things on a cellular level. In virtually every case, the puppies were found to suffer no adverse side effects from this overdose. At that point, researchers increased the overdose to five times the recommended dose and performed the same medical examinations. Again, nothing was found that would indicate that this overdose was potentially dangerous across the board. Finally, they performed one last test where these puppies were given eight times the recommended dosage. The puppies remained remarkably healthy and showed no ill effects. As a result, researchers have determined that the medication is indeed very safe. While it’s always possible that a dog can have an adverse reaction to this or any other medication that is administered, this particular medication has been found to be safe even if an overdose is given by accident, provided that the overdose isn’t more than eight times the recommended dosage for your dog’s weight. Considering the fact that the medication comes in chew form that is already designed to work with your dog’s particular weight range, your dog would essentially have to get into the box and eat an entire eight month supply in order to exceed the levels that were demonstrated during these tests.
Potential Side Effects
Despite the fact that the medication has been found to be extremely safe, there is always the chance that your dog will experience side effects. Unfortunately, it is something that is unavoidable and it exists with every medication, even those that are available over-the-counter without a prescription. In this particular case, researchers found that less than 10 animals out of every 1,000 dogs who were administered the medication experienced any side effects whatsoever. Out of those who did, nausea and vomiting were the most common side effects. In some cases, lethargy was also an issue. In some more severe cases, dogs experienced muscle tremors and seizure activity. That sounds absolutely terrifying, but it’s important to remember that muscle tremors and seizure activity is a potential side effect with virtually all flea and tick preventatives. When this particular medication is compared to other medications of its type, it is quickly found to be one of the more effective and safest variations available. That’s precisely why it can be administered to puppies that are eight weeks of age or older, provided they weigh more than 4.4 pounds. There are plenty of flea and tick preventatives out there that cannot be administered to puppies because they are considered too dangerous. If you’re like most pet owners and you’re worried about your dog’s health, this is a medication that most people consider worth looking into because it does have an excellent safety record. As far as any additional potential side effects are concerned, you always have to worry about the possibility that your dog could be allergic to the ingredients in the medication itself. As is the case with any allergic reaction, you have to get your dog to a veterinarian right away because any allergic reaction is a medical emergency. Therefore, you should always watch your dog closely when you give that first dose in order to see if he or she has any type of reaction to it whatsoever. If so, get your dog seen right away and then discuss these concerns with your veterinarian.
Do You Need a Prescription?
Currently, you have to have a veterinarian’s prescription to purchase the medication if you’re living in the United States. It is worth noting that dog owners who are living in Canada can purchase the medication without a prescription. At the moment, that’s not a reality for pet owners elsewhere, but it could potentially be in the future. Dog owners also need to know that this medication is only administered every 30 days. More often than not, a veterinarian will approve anywhere from six months to one year’s worth of medication so that you’re not constantly having to run back and forth to get a new prescription every time. This is just one more tool that can be used in an arsenal against fleas, ticks and other parasites. At the end of the day, it’s all designed to help keep your dog healthy. While there are minimal risks associated with administering this particular medication, the risks associated with not treating your dog for these types of parasites is actually far greater. Fleas can make your dog miserable and cause a number of skin conditions. Ticks, gastrointestinal parasites and heartworms can make your dog incredibly ill and in some cases, cause death. That’s why it’s so important to treat your dog accordingly. If you haven’t considered administering this particular medication, it might be time to have an important conversation with your veterinarian.