Q. Should I bathe my pet before treatment?
A. Bathing your pet is not required. According to veterinary industry standards, your pet should not be allowed to swim or be shampooed within 24 hours after applying a spot-on product.
Q. Do fleas need to bite for Activyl® for Dogs and Activyl® for Cats to work?
A. Activyl® remains on the surface of your pet. Fleas get exposed to Activyl® when they jump onto a treated animal. It can enter the flea either by moving through their outer surface (called a cuticle) or if the flea happens to ingest some. Since Activyl® is on the surface of the pet and not in the pet’s bloodstream, fleas do not need to take a blood meal for Activyl® to start working.
Q. Why can I still see fleas after I have treated my pet with Activyl® for Dogs and Activyl® for Cats or other spot-on products?
The fleas you see on your pet are fleas that have newly jumped from the environment on your pet. Those fleas will die soon. It is important to take a three-pronged approach to treating fleas. This is because only a small percentage of the flea population is on your pet. Most of the flea population exists as immature stages (eggs, larvae and pupae) in your pet’s surroundings. Activyl® is active against both adult fleas on your pet as well as immature fleas in your pet’s environment, but it takes some time to clean out the flea population in the house. To help speed this process up, you should clean your house thoroughly (for example, by washing your pet’s bedding and thorough vacuuming of your pet’s favorite spots in the house) to help reduce the number of immature fleas present.
If there is a serious infestation, it may take some time to control. But any fleas you see on your pet a few days to weeks after treatment probably represent re-infestation from fleas emerging from cocoons in the environment. Activyl® lasts for 4 weeks and it is important to repeat treatment on time every month. At least three consecutive treatments are recommended for effective control of flea infestations on the pet and in the pet’s environment, and continued treatment is needed to prevent your pet from bringing new fleas home.
Q. Can my pet swim or be washed after I apply Activyl® for Dogs and Activyl® for Cats?
A. Activyl® has been tested to make sure it is not easily rinsed or washed off. However, Activyl® must first be allowed to spread and dry on the skin. According to veterinary industry standards, you should not wash your pet or allow it to swim for 24 to 48 hours after application. Consult the product label and your veterinarian for more information.
Q. Why is Activyl® only available through veterinarians?
A. Your veterinarian is the expert on your pet’s health and can best advise you on the most appropriate treatment for your pet under the current circumstances. Merck Animal Health supports the Science of Healthier Animals and therefore provides its products to veterinary healthcare specialist only.
Q. When should I start treating my pet for fleas?
Activyl® for Dogs, Activyl® for Cats and Activyl® Tick Plus for Dogs only can be administered as early as 8 weeks of age. Dogs should weigh at least 4 lb and cats should weigh at least 2 lb. There are very few places in the world where there are no fleas. In warmer climates, fleas are present all year-round, while in more temperate climates, fleas are present mainly from late spring through to late fall and even longer, thanks to central heating. To be on the safe side, Activyl® should be applied all year-round to avoid giving flea populations a chance to build up on your pet and in your home.
Consult your veterinarian about using Activyl® on your pet and when to apply it.
Q. Aren’t ticks just active in summer?
A. No. The tick season extends well into fall—even more so with unusually warmer weather—and some tick species are remarkably hardy in winter, particularly if the temperature is above 45°F or 7°C.
Q. Ticks are only found out in the country, right?
A. No, they can be found much closer to home. This is because all sorts of mammals (deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, etc.) can carry ticks into suburbs, parks, and gardens, where the ticks fall off and lay their eggs. One tick species, the Brown Dog Tick, can live indoors all year-round.
Q. How do ticks get on my dog?
A. Ticks are smart hunters. Called “questing”, they congregate in vegetation and grasses—even in tree boughs—waiting for a warm-blooded host to brush by. They are attracted to warmth and motion, and it is speculated that ticks can even recognize shadows! Although they can’t jump, they transfer easily and will crawl long distances to reach a host (sitting in the grass, for example).
Q. How do I know if there’s a tick on my dog?
A. If there’s a tick on your dog, it will have burrowed down closer to the skin. After every excursion you need to take the time to carefully look through your pet’s coat from head to tail, parting the hair as you go. Be sure to check around your pet’s ears, in the “armpits” and between the toes.
Q. What should I do if I find a tick on my dog?
A. If the tick has not attached, it can easily be brushed off and disposed of. If it has attached, or is engorged, it must be removed carefully so as not to leave the mouthparts in your pet’s skin, which could cause infection. Please see the section on tick removal.
Q. What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
A. Your dog will usually have a fever, and rarely, a rash circling the bite area. Different tick-borne diseases have different symptoms: lethargy, temporary paralysis, weakness, etc., so if you see any unusual signs in your dog, contact your veterinarian. Early stages are fully treatable, but if left untreated, can develop into a more serious form of disease months later.
Q. If my dog gets a disease from a tick, is it contagious?
A. Tick-borne diseases cannot be transmitted from dog to human—however, if you have ticks in your area, both you and your dog may be bitten by them and therefore vulnerable to some of the same diseases. You should be just as diligent checking yourself and your family for ticks!
Q. Can ticks infest your house, like fleas?
A. Absolutely, yes. One type of tick, the Brown Dog tick can infest a home as easily as fleas. But unlike fleas (which lay eggs residing on the dog which roll off the dog into carpets, sofas and bedding), ticks lay eggs in cracks and crevasses like floors and baseboards.
Q. What can I do if I know there are ticks outside my house?
A. To begin with, ticks don’t like a neat garden! They like moist, damp areas of tall vegetation, so when you keep your grass mowed and plants trimmed, the environment becomes less than ideal for their development. If you find many ticks, you can use pesticides—but make sure they are safe for your pets and environmentally friendly.