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Revolution - a smart choice for your dog?  Or a recipe for disaster?

My daughter and granddaughter just moved in with us, bringing their three Dobermans.  Two are older dogs, sisters and littermates to Samantha.  We have two others as well, a youngster and a very old dog.

We all live in Florida.  Since it doesn't freeze here, fleas, ticks and worms are terrible problems.  While I don't like to dose animals with too many chemicals, home remedies just don't cut it.   We've used Heartguard for years, which prevents infestations of heartworm as well as intestinal worms such a the dangerous hookworm.   In addition in warmer months, which is a lot of the year, we use Frontline, rubbed in between the shoulder blades, to control ticks and fleas.  In cooler months when we have less pests, we use spray and an occasional dip.

This is not addressed to those of you who refuse to use chemicals.  Is it a bad idea?  Yes.  But it's the lesser of two evils.  I'm highly allergic to flea and tick bites, our old dog is allergic to fleas, and both pests carry diseases.   In this climate, there is virtually no other way to control them.

Several years ago during a very warm period, my daughter's home was inundated with fleas and ticks, and granddaughter Jackie is a magnet for flea bites.  Their vet suggested they use a one-step remedy - a new product called Revolution.    It did solve the pest problem.  A while later the vet said it didn't work for a lot of people, but that's because they didn't apply it correctly.

When my daughter moved in with us, faced with the possible consequences of having six (6) Dobermans in the same house (in defense, one is very elderly and three are old) she persuaded us to try Revolution.  I called our vet.  He said he would order it for us but he was highly skeptical and dissatisfied with the results of this product.

A few days later my daughter's young male, Roger, an incredibly sweet dog, had a convulsion near dawn.  He hadn't been ill, but had been less active for a few weeks, which my daughter attributed to the move. He'd been vaccinated and supposedly checked for parasites in March.  A couple of hours later he had another small seizure.  Needless to say, he was at the vets before the vet arrived. 


 

What a horrid and nasty surprise!  Roger was absolutely full of hookworm.  He had virtually no blood left in him and should have been dead some time before.  His blood sugar was sky high and his oxygen level on the floor.  He was transfused, given vitamins intravenously, etc.  Labs and x-rays.   Unfortunately, he was not only too sick to withstand worming, but had heart damage as well as severe intestinal inflammation, and whenever the Phenobarbital wore off he went back into constant seizures, indicating brain damage.  He had to be euthanised.

None of the other dogs or our two cats had hookworm.  We sprayed yard and patio with a Clorox spray, picked up every shred of dog poo, and had all our pets dosed as a precaution on our vet's recommendation.  We have another dose of wormer scheduled for next week.  After that the Heartguard should prevent a re-occurrence.

Nowhere on the Revolution package does it state directly that it doesn't protect against hookworm, which is one of the greatest dangers to animals here in Florida.   Their vet didn't tell them.  Our vet said that at a conference of veterinarians recently they all had experienced problems with Revolution.  

What is the advantage over an Ivermectin product such as Heartguard and a pest control like Frontline or Advantage?   Only one - you don't have to give them a monthly tidbit they like to eat anyway.  Roger paid a very high price for this new, improved "treatment", as did my daughter and all of us.  We had been so delighted to have a young, agreeable, well-behaved dog as an eventual companion to our Sasha when we lose the other four to old age in the next two or three years.  

Please, if you are using this product on your dog, be aware that it DOES NOT protect against hookworm!  I personally believe that recommending this product in place of a two step treatment is a disservice to dogs and to their owners.

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