Corgi getting preventive flea medicine applied

Why pet owners are switching to online vet care with Dutch

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  • Unlimited video visits and follow-ups

Being a pet parent means caring for your dog or cat's overall health and wellness by providing them with the preventive medications they need to live a happy, healthy life. Many pet parents take their dogs to the vet annually for exams, where your vet will run blood tests to check for heartworm and other potential diseases before giving you a prescription for a heartworm prevention medication.

However, heartworm isn't the only disease-causing parasite pet parents have to worry about. Ticks, fleas, and intestinal worms can infest your dog's body, causing serious harm if not treated correctly. Unfortunately, many pet parents wait until their dog is itching or showing symptoms to take action, but some medications can prevent dangerous parasites in the first place.

Several medications are available to help prevent and treat heartworm, ticks, fleas, and worms like roundworms from harming your dog. Preventives like Simparica Trio are designed to protect your pet from parasites, and there are many Simparica Trio alternatives your vet might prescribe.

Keep reading to learn more about Simparica Trio and Simparica Trio alternatives to determine which is right for your pet.

What Is Simparica Trio?

Many diseases and illnesses are easier to prevent than treat, such as heartworm disease, Lyme disease, flea allergies, intestinal parasites, etc.

Simparica Trio is a prescription preventative medication for dogs designed to protect them from heartworm, ticks, fleas, roundworms, and hookworms.1 It's one of the most popular flea and tick care products because it protects against many parasites, including potentially deadly heartworms.

It also protects against parasites that can cause Lyme disease in dogs, acting as a three-in-one preventive and dewormer. The active ingredients in Simparica Trio include the following:

  • Moxidectin: Prevents heartworm
  • Sarolaner: Eliminates ticks and fleas
  • Pyrantel: Treats roundworms and hookworms1

In well-controlled lab studies, Simparica Trio was proven 100% effective in preventing the growth of heartworm in dogs.2 In addition, if you see dog scabs from fleas and need fast treatment, this is one of the best solutions available. In another study, Simparica Trio was proven to kill fleas in just four hours with an effectiveness of 100% after 8 hours, ultimately killing fleas before they could lay eggs.2

And finally, in another study, this medication began killing ticks on dogs within 8 hours, drastically reducing the total number of live ticks in 24 hours.2

Studies show Simparica Trio kills 100% of fleas within 8 hours of treatment

Side Effects

There's no doubt about the efficacy of Simparica Trio, but many pet parents may wonder about this medication's potential safety and side effects. Simparica Trio is considered safe and is generally well tolerated in adult dogs. In a field safety and effectiveness study, Simparica Trio was given to dogs to prevent heartworm disease.

List of common Simparica Trio side effects

The most common side effects found were:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Hyperactivity2

Of course, not every medication is right for every dog, so you should contact your vet if your dog has any adverse reactions to this medication, regardless of how mild they may seem.

Dosage & Administration

Simparica Trio is an oral medication given once monthly with a recommended dosage depending on body weight. The typical dosage is 0.54mg/lb of sarolaner, 0.011mg/lb moxidectin, and 2.27 mg/lb pyrantel.2

Of course, this is something you won't have to worry about since your vet will write you a prescription, and the box will list your dog's weight range to ensure you're getting the right dosage, depending on their weight.

Safety

As mentioned, Simparica Trio is a safe medication for the prevention of parasites in dogs. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, Simparica Trio is not designed for cats. Therefore, you should never give your cat your dog's medication. Zoetis, the company that developed Simparica Trio, has a separate product designed specifically for cats, and there are plenty of Simparica Trio alternatives for the different species.

In addition, if your dog, for any reason, doesn't consume the entire chewable, they could be at risk of parasites. If you miss a dose, give it to your pet as soon as possible, and make sure they consume the entire pill. Since Simparica Trio is a monthly preventive, it should be given on a set schedule every 30 days. If you forget, you could be putting your dog at unnecessary risk.

Like with all heartworm medicine, your dog should be screened for heartworm beforehand since this medication is not effective at eliminating existing adult heartworms.

As always, if you have any concerns, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Alternatives To Simparica Trio

While Simparica Trio is well-tolerated by most dogs, your vet may recommend Simparica Trio alternatives for any number of reasons. However, it's crucial to understand that not all offer prevention against the same parasites, so it may be worth discussing all your options with your vet to find the best one for you and your pet.

While there are technically no safer alternatives to Simparica Trio because there's the potential for side effects with any medication, your vet can determine which is best for your pet based on their health and needs. In addition, if you're looking for a cheaper alternative to Simparica Trio, you might benefit from discussing it with your vet. A few common alternatives to this effective preventive medication include the following:

NexGard SPECTRA

If you're looking for a monthly preventive that protects your pet from heartworm, ticks, fleas, and intestinal worms, NexGard SPECTRA is a common, cheaper alternative to Simparica Trio. Another monthly chewable tablet, it contains afoxolaner, a flea and tick preventative that eliminates fleas quickly by causing paralysis and subsequent death.3

Now, it's important to remember that not all NexGard products have the same levels of protection. For instance, NexGard chewables only protect against fleas, ticks, mites, and flea tapeworms, while NexGard Spectra protects against all of those parasites plus heartworm, hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm.3

Bravecto

Bravecto Plus is only available for cats but can prevent fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworm. This medication offers two months of protection, but unfortunately, there isn't an alternative available for dogs.4

On the other hand, Bravecto for dogs only targets fleas and ticks, so you won't get heartworm or intestinal parasite prevention.5 However, this medication might be a good alternative to Simparica Trio if you already use a heartworm preventive.

Bravecto stands out because it offers 12 weeks' worth of protection against fleas and ticks, so you only need to give it to your dog once every three months.5 However, since it doesn't protect against heartworm, you'll need to find another solution to protect your pet from heartworm disease.

Bravecto is available in two forms — a chew and a topical solution, giving you an option for how to administer it to your pet.

Revolution Plus

Revolution Plus is a Simparica Trio alternative for cats. Of course, you should never give your cat your dog's medication because they require their own formulations. However, you can give your pet a preventive created by the same company that brought you Simparica Trio — Zoetis.

Unlike Simparica Trio for dogs, Revolution Plus for cats is a topical solution that prevents parasites, such as fleas, ticks, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, and heartworms. With just one application a month, you can protect your cat, and it's safe for kittens as young as eight weeks old.6

List of Simparica Trio alternatives

Sentinel Spectrum

Sentinel Spectrum is another alternative to Simparica Trio for dogs. These monthly chews protect against heartworm disease, dog allergies to fleas, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms.7 In a study, Sentinel Spectrum was proven safe for puppies ten weeks or older. In addition, these chews were taste-tested, with results indicating 99% of dogs are willing to eat them.7

Advantage Multi

Advantage Multi is a monthly topical broad-spectrum heartworm, parasite, and flea medicine for dogs. Unfortunately, it doesn't protect against ticks, so you'll need another solution provided by your vet.8 This alternative to Simparica Trio may be best suited for dogs who don't like receiving oral medications, but it doesn't provide as much protection as other alternatives. However, one monthly dose has been proven effective at killing worms.8

Dog owner holding her black and white dog

Final Notes

When considering alternatives to Simparica Trio, what's most important is determining the level of protection you want. Simparica Trio is a favorite among vets and pet parents because it allows you to effectively protect your pet from various parasites, including heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks, with just one monthly chew.

However, the right option for your pet will depend on various factors, including their health, preferences, and overall needs. For instance, some dogs may not like taking chews, so other options like topicals exist. Luckily, your vet can help you find the right option, whether an alternative to Simparica Trio or multiple preventives taken around the same time every month.

Try Dutch today to learn more about parasite protection and which options are best for your pet based on their health needs.

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References

  1. "Simparica Trio." Zoetis Pet Care, www.simparicatriodvm.com/

  2. "Simparica Trio®." U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=0f83bcf4-7e89-479f-a980-4cb40456ee78&type=display.

  3. "Nexgard Spectra® Protects against Fleas, Ticks, Mites, Heartworm and Intestinal Worms." NexGard SPECTRA® | Flea, Tick, Mite, Intestinal Worm Treatment & Heartworm Prevention | NexGard Range, www.nexgard.com.au/products/nexgard-spectra.

  4. "Flea and Tick Treatment & Heartworm Prevention for Cats: Bravecto®." Us, 27 Mar. 2023, us.bravecto.com/cats/bravecto-plus-for-cats/.

  5. "12-Week Protection for Dogs: Bravecto®." Us, 27 Mar. 2023, https://us.bravecto.com/dogs/bravecto-for-dogs/.

  6. "Revolution Plus." Zoetis Petcare, www.zoetispetcare.com/products/revolution-plus.

  7. "Sentinel Spectrum Chews." Merck Animal Health USA, 2 June 2022, www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/species/canine/sentinel/sentinel-spectrum-chews.

  8. "Advantage Multi® for Dogs." Advantage Multi® for Dogs, https://my.elanco.com/us/advantage-multi-dogs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $11/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.