Is it Safe to Give Simparica to Dogs?
Yes, it is safe to give Simparica (active ingredient Sarolaner) to dogs over six months of age. Simparica is an FDA-approved flea control product and ticks preventative, available in the form of chewable tablets.
In veterinary medicine, Simparica may be used extra-label in the management of sarcoptic and demodectic mange as well as ear mites. Simparica is a prescription medication, meaning you need to talk to your trusted veterinarian before use.
The active ingredient Sarolaner is a member of the isoxazoline class. It works by inhibiting the function of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate receptors. In other words, Sarolaner affects the neuromuscular junction, causing death due to uncontrolled neuromuscular activity.
Is Simparica Bad for Dogs?
Simparica may trigger some abnormal neurologic signs in dogs with and without a history of neurologic disorders. The safe use of Simparica is not determined in breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs.
Do Vets Recommend Simparica?
Based on the BudgetPetCare.com analysis, Simparica scores 4.5 out of 5 in vet ratings, which means it is a product frequently recommended by veterinarians. However, we must note that vets do not recommend Simparica in dogs with seizures because of the high risk of neurologic adverse reactions.
What does Simparica do for a Dog?
Simparica prevents and treats infestations with fleas and ticks. Off-label, it is used to manage ear mite infestations, sarcoptic and demodectic mange.
Simparica for the Control of Dog Flea Infestations. Simparica protects dogs from the widespread cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). As a direct result, it prevents flea allergies in dogs sensitive to flea saliva. Signs of flea allergy dermatitis include erythema, alopecia, papules, pruritus, and even pyodermatitis. By preventing fleas, Simparica also protects dogs from certain intestinal worms transmissible through flea bites.
Simparica for the Control of Tick Infestations in Dogs. Simparica is efficient against five common tick species, including the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum), the Deer tick or Black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum), and the Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). By preventing ticks, Simparica protects dogs from tick-borne diseases.
Simparica for the Control of Dog Ear Mites. Ear mites in dogs are common. They live inside the ear canal and feed on ear wax and oils. The presence of ear mites leads to ear infections that are painful and irritating. Simparica can be used to prevent and treat ear mite infestations.
Is Simparica a Good Flea Treatment for Dogs?
Yes, Simparica is a good flea treatment for dogs. Simparica offers safe and efficient monthly flea and tick protection. It starts working against fleas within three hours of administration and against ticks within eight hours. Plus, Simparica’s protection lasts for five weeks (35 days), and it does not decrease at the end of the month.
What are the Side Effects of Simparica for Dogs?
The most common side effects of Simparica in dogs are vomiting and diarrhea. Other adverse reactions like lethargy, anorexia, itching, and increased thirst are possible but not very likely. In some dogs, Simparica may cause abnormal neurologic signs such as:
- Tremors and Seizures
- Decreased conscious proprioception
- Loss of coordination or ataxia
- Decreased or absent menace response.
There are no known contraindications for using Simparica in dogs. However, as mentioned, its use in dogs with neurologic conditions requires extra caution.
Simparica Dosage for Dogs
The recommended minimum dosage of Simparica for dogs is 0.91 mg per pound of body weight (2 mg/kg) once a month. For more straightforward use, the Simparica chewables are available in different strengths, including:
If you accidentally miss giving your dog its monthly Simparica dose, provide it as soon as you remember and then continue with the monthly dosing schedule.
Simparica for Dogs Usage Guidelines
Simparica is given by mouth, with or without food and water. The Simparica chewables can be offered as a whole or broken up and mixed with the dog’s food. If the second approach, make sure the dog ate the complete dose and part of the dose is not lost. The chewables can also be given directly into the dog’s throat same as all tablet medications.
If your dog vomits less than one hour after giving Simparica, you need to re-dose. However, if the dog vomits between one and three hours of administration, it is safe to assume that part of the product is absorbed. In such a case, you should not re-dose your dog. Instead, talk to your vet about using a backup, like a monthly flea spot-on treatment or collar. If the dog vomits more than three hours after dosing, the complete dose is fully absorbed.
You can start with Simparica at any time of the year and use it year-round without interruption, at monthly intervals. The effectiveness of Simparica does not decline at the end of the month. In fact, Simparica offers persistent protection from fleas and ticks for 35 days thus giving your dog a few extra days of protection in case you are late with the monthly dosing schedule.
If living in a home environment with multiple pets, you need to treat all of them. Otherwise, the likelihood of flea reinfestations is high. Also, keep in mind that the adult fleas need to feed on the dog for the active ingredient to work. Therefore, do not be surprised if there are still fleas on your dog after giving Simparica.
Always keep the Simparica chewable tablets in their original package. Store in a cool and dry place, at room temperature and away from direct heat and light. Incorrect storage may affect the product’s efficacy.
Simparica Alternatives for Dogs
You can boost your dog’s protection and use Simparica Trio instead of the regular Simaprica. In addition to Sarolaner, the product contains two more active ingredients – Moxidectin and Pyrantel Pamoate. Together they protect dogs against fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites (adult roundworms and hookworms), and Dirofilaria immitis (which causes heartworm disease).
If Simparica is not the right flea and tick protection product for your dog, you can try some other preventives. Here are some popular (safe and efficient) Simparica alternatives.
NexGard for Dogs. NexGard is the first flea and tick product of its type and uses Afoxolaner as its active ingredient. It comes in the form of beef-flavored soft chew and protects dogs from fleas and ticks for one month. Off-label, NexGard can also be used in the treatment of mange (sarcoptic and demodectic).
Trifexis for Dogs. Trifexis is another monthly preventive product in the form of a beef-flavored chewable tablet. Trifexis includes two active ingredients – Spinosad and Milbemycin Oxime. It can be used for the prevention of flea infestations. Trifexis is efficient against intestinal worms and prevents heartworm disease, too. However, it does not work against ticks.
Bravecto for Dogs. Bravecto is a top-notch, great-tasting flea and tick preventive product for dogs. The active ingredient in Bravecto is superior and more potent than the active ingredients in similar products, thus offering protection for up to three months. Extra-label, Bravecto is also used against scabies and demodectic mange.
Comfortis for Dogs. Comfortis is a tasty and soft chewable tablet made with Spinosad as the active ingredient. Spinosad is fast-acting and starts working within 30 minutes. The product kills adult fleas before they lay eggs and offers lasting protection for one month. Comfortis is not efficient against ticks and cannot be used in puppies less than 14 weeks of age.
If your dog is a fussy eater and giving monthly chewable tablets is a challenging task, you can go for a spot-on treatment or collar. Here are some popular topicals and collars for dogs.
K9 Advantix II for Dogs. K9 Advantix II is a broad-spectrum topical with three active ingredients – Permethrin, Imidacloprid, and Pyriproxyfen. K9 Advantix II protects dogs against ticks, fleas (of all life stages), mosquitoes, biting flies, and chewing lice. Same as the chewable option, the product requires a prescription.
Frontline for Dogs. Frontline is another monthly spot-on preventative. It features Fipronil as the active ingredient and works against ticks, fleas, and chewing lice. The main advantage of this option is that it is an over-the-counter product. However, same as with all topicals, it needs to be applied on a completely dry dog.
Seresto for Dogs. Seresto is an odorless and grease-free collar that kills and repels ticks, fleas, and chewing lice. It also protects dogs from sarcoptic mange and flea larvae. Seresto has two active ingredients – Imidacloprid and Flumethrin. Unlike chewables and topicals, it offers long-lasting protection for up to eight months.
Finally, as you can see, there are many different products against insects and acarines. They all have both advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, we strongly recommend talking to your vet about the best choice for your dog. Do not forget that the information in this article is not a substitute for veterinary consultation.