Dog worm and flea medication. What are the most effective drugs regarding cost & efficacy? a28

..... Anonymous dog drug box

We all like to keep our dogs healthy, not only for their and your sake, but also the vet bills. The only thing you can do besides daily walks and a good varied low fat meat diet is to give them preventative medicine. For dogs this generally means placing a medication liquid on their skin or giving them a chewable drug treat that contains a chemical that kills either fleas or worms.  But with so many choices on the market, how do you provide your dog with full cover, most efficiently at the best price?

You may just use what your vet recommends or what is cheapest on the shelf, but here are some important points you should keep in mind.

Consumer treatments are for preventing parasites using your dog as a host. Not only can these parasites cause severe irritation to your dog, but they can also cause death. What you really need to know about these products is the difference between them, their efficiency and their relative cost. This article will mainly concentrate on how to combine medicines for your specific circumstance. Please note that information on specific brands have mainly been sourced from pharmaceutical sites and online retail sites and is considered accurate at time of writing - July 2011.


These medicines are meant as preventative medicines, meaning that not all of them may not work as well once a dog is infested. If you observe strange behaviour or see parasites on your dog that the current medication does not treat, don’t delay in seeing your vet.

There are many dog medications on the market. On one of the links in this sites resource section you will find an online store selling thirteen different brands.  This is because they often have different active ingredients, ways of administering it to your pet (oral or liquid on the neck), and different parasites that they attack. You will also note that there are only a few manufacturers who provide the majority of the drugs available.

The medications are often segmented into specialist subcategories:

  • Kills fleas only
  • Fleas, lice and ticks
  • Fleas, and all worms, except heart worm
  • Fleas, ticks, all worms including heart worm.

It appears that the most severe medical conditions are caused by heartworms. This is because heartworms can grow up to 30cm long and live in the heart and blood vessels of the dogs lungs, affecting circulation and damaging tissues. While the heartworm eggs can be killed by dog heartworm medication, the adults usually cannot be treated by medication alone which can lead to heart failure and death.

Dog Medication RESULTS

So what should you do or buy?

Ideally you want to protect your dog against fleas and ticks, and ALL dog associated worms including heartworm.

As you can see from the brief summary above, there are many tricks and traps involved in the field of dog medication. Many vets recommend using a yearly heartworm injection so that if you miss a monthly medication dose you don’t put your dog at risk for this very dangerous worm.

In theory you can buy flea, general worm and then heart worm medication all separately. But not only does this add to the inconvenience, it may cost more. And as some of these parts may require monthly dosing while others are two or three months, it complicates the schedule considerably.

If you are extremely regular with dosing your dog, then the All in one (commonly called three in one) medications may be the way to go. You won’t have the concern about missing the heartworm medication and you will save yourself a vet visit (which must be added on top of the cost of the heartworm injection medication). If you don’t completely trust yourself with skipping a month, perhaps buy a flea and broad spectrum worm treatment and go to the vet for yearly heartworm medication.

You should also be aware if the medications you choose also kill ticks and lice (not all 3 in 1 medications include this option). You might also need to see if your dog is allergic to any of the shots, or if the product gives the protection that it claims to do. This last suggestion can be difficult to gauge as the information on drug efficacy is nowhere near as thorough as human tested drugs.

In selecting medications you also need to choose where your dog sits in the weight segment of the drug. For instance if your dog is at the high end of medicine segment (such as medium dog) you might prefer going with another medication where your dog weight falls in the middle of the dog drug segment – ensuring that it has a strong enough dose.



Lets see what real world online costs might be comparing full spectrum, to individual products to individual products plus vet heartworm treatment. In the examples we are assuming the medications are for a 19 Kg dog.

Example 1 – Separate flea, general worm, heart worm medication

Flea medication   Advantage For Dogs 10 To 25kg.  Red 6 pack - $55.84.  So one month = $9.31

General worm (not heart worm) = Drontal - Medium Dogs.  1 x 5 Chew Pack - $24.26, 1 chew per 10kg. one treatment lasts three months.  Thus for a 20Kg dog, it needs two chews. Two chews cost $9.70 but they last three months. So one month treatment, buying the five pack would cost $3.23 per month.

Heartworm only = Proheart Green - 11 To 22kg. Each tablet treats one dog between 11 and 22 kgs in weight for one month. Green 6 Pack - $22.43. One month treatment costs $3.74 per month.

TOTAL monthly cost = $9.31 + $3.23 + $3.74 = $16.28

Example 2 – Combined DOG flea, worm and heartworm medication

Advocate  (Bayer) For Dogs 10 To 25kg  Red 6 Pack - $85.66. Monthly cost is $14.27

Sentinel Spectrum (By Novartis ) medium dogs 11 to 22kg . six pack is $84.80 monthly cost is $14.13

Example 3 - Flea, and all worms excluding heartworm + Vet heartworm injection

Need two medications: a flea medication and a general worm.

Flea medication   Advantage For Dogs 10 To 25kg.  Red 6 pack - $55.84.  One month = $9.31

General worm = Drontal - Medium Dogs.  1 x 5 Chew Pack - $24.26. Monthly cost = $3.23

Vet injection = Proheart $93.50 for 12 months. Cost per month = $7.79

Total cost per month = $9.31 +$3.23 +$7.79 = $20.33



Selecting the appropriate medication for your dog is one of the most important things you can do for them. However even after making choices you may find that your dog appears to be sick soon after administration because it has some form of allergic reaction. This naturally means that you will need to rethink your medication strategy.

For instance for dogs that have sensitive skin or regularly have bathes or immerse themselves in water, tablet forms of all drugs may be preferable to applications meant to be administered on the skin.

Then when you have narrowed down how you wish to treat your dog, you may want to see what the cost for the total treatment is PER MONTH for your dog.

This article is not definitive or meant as medical advice. As always if you have a medical question about your dog, please consult your vet or another suitably qualified professional.


Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to



Examples of some of the major brands and their ingredients.


This is the most basic dog medicines. Below are some of the major brands:

Advantage’ (by Bayer, made in Germany) is a liquid in a tube to be administered once a month and it kills fleas (ctenocephalides spp) and flea lavae, and “controls” lice (Trichodectes canis. Linognathus setosus).  “Active Constituent” is 100 g/L Imidacloprid (10-25 Kg dogs dose)  You will note that Advantage does not claim to kill lice and it does not kill other parasites such as ticks that are quite prevalent and dangerous for dogs in warmer climates such as from Sydney upwards.

Advantix (bayer) is a flea and tick treatment it has 3 or 6 x tubes in a pack and has the active constitute of 100 g/L Imidacloprid, 500 g/L Permethrin

Capstar (Novartis USA brand) has 6 tablets per pack and is for dogs 11 to 57kg in weight.  The tablets contain 11.4 or 57.0 mg of nitenpyram (a class of neonicotinoids). Dosage depends on the size of dog you want to treat.

Frontline Plus (Made by Merial Australia Pty Ltd) is for flea and tick control, comes in 3 PIPETTE & 6 PIPETTE PACKS, contains two active ingredients fipronil, kills the adult fleas, and (S)-methoprene, kills flea eggs and prevents larval and pupal development.

Proban For Flea Control, 50 Tab Pack  Tablet are to be administered every second day at the same time of day. 1 tablet per 10kg bodyweight. safe to use with Sentinel, Frontline, Advantage and all pyrethrin based products. not be used with other organophosphate "OP" products, such as rinses sprays or collars.

Revolution Red for Medium Dog 20-40 lbs (10-20kg)  (Manufactured by: Pfizer) Revolution kills both the eggs and the adult fleas, but also protects against heartworm. Prescription needed in some countries.


Proheart 6 is the longest lasting preventative heartworm medicine on the market. Administered by injection given by a veterinarian it protects from heartworms for six months. Alternatively consumer versions such as Proheart Green - 11 To 22kg come in packs of 12 to be used once a month.

Heartgard Plus (Frontline product, by Merial) HEARTGARD30® Tablets for Dogs. Treat once a month to prevent heartworm, Green pack (active ingredient is 136 mcg of IVERMECTIN) treats 12-22kg dogs.


Drontal for Dogs (BAYER) for the control of all gastrointestinal worms in dogs including roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm (including hydatid tapeworm). It is in tablet form uses three different drugs: The synergistic febantel/ pyrantel combination is active against roundworms and hookworms and is highly effective against whipworms. Praziquantel protects against tapeworms. One treatment controls all gastrointestinal worms for up to 3 months. Available in 3, 10 and 35 kg dosage.

Endogard is a liver flavoured all-wormer tablet which is used for the treatment and prevention of all intestinal worms, including roundworm, hookworm, whip and tapeworm (including) hydatids in dogs. Active Constituents - Oxibendazole 22.5 mg/kg, - Praziquantel 5 mg/kg   Endogard For Medium Dogs (1 tablet treats 10kg): 4 tablets per card. Treat every 3 months.

Milbemax for dogs (by Novartis) treats and controls intestinal worms. Offers protection from: Tapeworm; Roundworm; Hookworm; Whipworm. Treatment lasts for 3 months.  Can help control heartworm to an extent, as long as given monthly.

DOG MEDICATION  - ALL WORM including Heartworm (does NOT include flea medication)

Canimax all wormer for medium dogs inc. heartworm. Packs include 4 tablets (80gm) – where 1 tablet is given per 10 kg of dog. Canimax all wormer tablets are for the prevention of heartworm disease and treatment of roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm (including hydatid tapeworm) in dogs. Re-treatment is required every six weeks.

Interceptor Spectrum (Novatis USA) - Prevents heartworm, Kills and controls intestinal worms – tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm and whipworm. It is in the form of a monthly chewable tablet. Its brochure compares itself to Heartguard Plus and says that its competitor does not protect against whipworm and tapeworm.


Advocate (BAYER) Active ingredients 100g/L Imidacloprid, 10g/L Moxidectin. Requires monthly applications. Eliminates fleas and flea larvae, heartworm, hookworm, roundworm and ear mites. Advocate also kills whipworm, mange mites and lice. Delivery method is by pipette. Does not kill tapeworm?

Sentinel Spectrum (By Novartis ) – A 3-in-1 parasite protection against heartworm, intestinal worms - including tapeworm - and fleas. Give one chew tablet per monthly


Dog Walkers Melbourne

Dog Walkers Melbourne is a professional dog walking and pet sitting service. We also provide 24 Hour Dog Day Care Services in Melbourne and surrounds. We love dogs as much as you do, and that’s why we are here.

Why not call us and try our service and see for yourself. Call 0402 262 875 today.

Contact Us

sample0402 262 875


             facebook  twitter  youtube

Find us on Google Map

Custom Services

Like Us on Facebook