Everything You Need to Know About Sentinel Flavor Tabs for Dogs

Generic Name:  Milbemycin Oxime and Lufenuron

Brand Name:  Sentinel Flavor Tabs by Novartis

Sentinel Flavor Tabs are used to control heartworms, fleas, and several common internal parasites including roundworms, hookworms and some whipworms.  This medication does require a prescription, so you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian first.   Prior to writing your dog a prescription, your veterinarian will want to administer a heartworm test to make sure your pet does not currently have heartworms.  

At a Glance:

  • Palatable flavor tablets
  • Once a month oral administration
  • Not effective against ticks
  • Approved for use in dogs only
  • Dosage is based on dog’s current weight

How It Works:
Sentinel Flavor Tabs are used to treat parasites that are found externally and internally in a dog’s body.  They are made up of 2 chemicals, lufenuron and milbemycin oxime, that work together to control parasite infestation including…

  • fleas
  • heartworms
  • roundworms
  • hookworms
  • whipworms

Lufenuron belongs to a class of drugs known as insect development inhibitors / insect growth regulators.  This chemical inhibits flea development within the egg, which prevents fleas from ever maturing to an adult.  The other chemical used in Sentinel is milbemycin oxime.  This chemical acts by disrupting nerve transmission within the flea leading to death.

Visit us and SAVE BIG!  We are currently offering a $7 mail in rebate for every 6 month supply and $40 mail in rebate for every 12 month supply of Sentinel purchased.

Healthy Living: Diet and Exercise

We constantly hear about the importance of diet and exercise in our daily lives.  What we often forget is that a healthy lifestyle is just as important for our furry friends! We can help combat pet obesity by tackling it’s two main causes: poor diet and lack of activity.

Here are some of the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise for your pet:

  • It improves overall health.  Pets that are overweight are more prone to systemic illnesses, such as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  Exercise helps with weight management and improves overall health.
  • It adds years to your pet’s life.  Purina conducted a 14-year study that scientifically showed that dogs that ate a restricted diet lived on average 1.8 years longer than their peers. That’s almost 15 years in dog terms! (Read more about the study here.) 
  • It strengthens the bond you have with your pet. There’s nothing better than a little quality time with your pet.  
  • It brings excitement to your pet’s day and gives them something to look forward to.  Most pets are far too inactive throughout the day.  The most exciting part of an average pet’s day is their owner coming home from work, and this basically entails 5 minutes of unbridled joy, followed by a quick return to the usual sedentary state.  But what if your pet got just as excited every time you put on your running shoes because they knew they were about to go for a walk? Getting your pet out for a short walk entails far more than just the calories burned doing the physical work – it stimulates their minds and keeps them sharper throughout the rest of the day. 

Here are a few tips from our veterinarians on getting started and sticking with it:

  • Getting started is the hardest part. Getting yourself and your pet active can seem like a daunting task, so the most important part is setting goals. Talk to your veterinarian and work together to establish short and long term goals for weight loss, activity, and diet.  Create 1, 3, 6, and 12 month goals for your pet.  In addition, set up recheck appointments with your vet for body condition scoring.  This will get you committed for the long haul and prevent early burn out.
  • Play to your pet’s strengths.  Some dogs love water and nothing is better for cardiovascular and joint health than swimming. Your pet isn’t a water bug? How about fetch or tug of war? If your dog is like mine and is completely driven by his nose (and stomach), try some tracking exercises. 
  • Understand the limitations of your pet at the outset.  When coming up with an exercise regimen, keep age, breed, and pre-existing health conditions in mind.  Running an older, arthritic dog may give them temporary joy and help them to lose weight, but it can cause lingering discomfort the next day.  If you have a flat-faced breed, (aka brachycephalic breed), such as English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, etc., make sure to limit their exposure to heat as there are more prone to heat stroke. Finally, discuss any pre-existing health issues with your veterinarian to find the best means of exercise for your pet.

Our information is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian.  Do not use this information for diagnostic purposes. Always take your pet to your veterinarian to obtain a diagnosis and course of treatment. 

Preparing for the Holidays: How to Keep Your Pet Safe This Holiday Season

A Note from Dr. John:

Who doesn’t love the holidays? Great food, friends, and family galore. And whose pet doesn’t love the holidays? All those people around feeling extra generous with their food and gifts. Here at PetMart Pharmacy, we love the warmth of the holidays, too, but we want to make sure that your furry friends stay safe. Here are a few pointers to help make sure you spend your free time at home with family and not at the vet’s office with a sick pet.

Holiday Dangers to Avoid:
  • Chocolate.  Dogs are particularly sensitive to the effects of chocolate on blood pressure and heartrate, leading to many potentially serious side effects. All chocolates are not created equal in tingling your taste buds or in effecting your dog’s cardiovascular system. The general rule is the darker the chocolate, the more harmful. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous, followed by dark chocolate, then all the way down to milk and white chocolate. The best approach is to prevent your dog from eating chocolate in the first place, so make sure it’s stored away safely. Just because it is wrapped up nice and tidy under the Christmas tree doesn’t mean Fluffy won’t tear that package right open and gobble down a bag full of delicious chocolate—and wrappers! If your dog eats chocolate, the best thing you can do is contact your veterinarian or the Poison Control Hotline (855-764-7661) for advice.  
  • Fatty Foods.  High fat foods such as ham sure taste great to many of us and help bring on those wonderful post-lunch naps. For dogs that rarely eat fatty food, however, ham and other foods can cause severe pancreatitis. This can lead to prolonged treatment, lots of time spent at the hospital, and less time at home with the family. Tempted to give your pet a taste of the wild by offering him or her a turkey or ham bone? Better to avoid the upset stomach or potentially perforated intestines (yikes!) from a sharp bone fragment. Warn Uncle Larry that he pays the bill if he drops the bone!
  • Toxic Plants.  Poinsettias and Lilies can make for beautiful seasonal decorations. However, Poinsettias can cause upset stomach and vomiting for both cats and dogs if ingested. Also, certain types of Lilies (but not all) are very toxic to cats, potentially causing kidney failure if ingested.  Common toxic Lilies include Day Lilies, Tiger Lilies and Easter Lilies. Safe varieties include Peace Lilies, Calla Lilies, and Lily-of-the-Valley. Again, best to play it safe and keep these plants out of reach of your pets.  You can read more about toxic plant varieties on the ASPCAwebsite. 
  • Holiday Decorations.  Tinsel looks great on your Christmas tree, but its twinkle can catch the eye of a curious cat. Although watching your cat bat around some lifeless decorations can be very entertaining, these items can get anchored under his or her tongue if ingested.  This can cause choking, vomiting, and likely requires sedation and removal at your veterinarian’s office. Not a great way to spend the holidays!

Here’s to a happy and safe holiday season from our family to yours! 
Our information is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian.  Do not use this information for diagnostic purposes. Always take your pet to your veterinarian to obtain a diagnosis and course of treatment. 

Heartworm Disease: Why All the Fuss?

(Image from the American Heartworm Society)
A Note From Dr. John:

You’re constantly told to keep your pet on heartworm preventative.  But why all the fuss?  What is heartworm disease, and what threats does it really pose for your pet?

Heartworms are worms that grow in the hearts of cats, dogs, and other canid species (wolves, coyotes, etc). If allowed to grow unchecked, the worms move into the blood vessels of the lungs, causing clinical symptoms such as coughing, labored breathing, decreased activity and decreased appetite. Eventually, untreated heartworm disease is fatal.

Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, (what we call the disease vector), meaning the prevalence of the disease depends of the region where you live. We are located in the Southeast, the hotbed of heartworm disease in the United States. Because of the prevalence of mosquitos, we recommend that all pets (dogs, cats, and even indoor only cats!) be on heartworm prevention year-round. Areas like the Pacific Northwest have much lower prevalence due to a relative lack of the disease vector. It is important to talk to your veterinarian about your individual pet’s risk of exposure to mosquitoes and develop a prevention plan accordingly. The good news is that heartworm disease is a preventable condition with easy once monthly medications.

Prevention is much easier than treatment—easier on your pocketbook and much easier on your pet’s health. Once your pet develops heartworm disease, treatment involves very expensive intramuscular injections that can cause muscle soreness. Pets being treated require strict confinement until the heartworms die off, which can take weeks to months. Treatment can also lead to serious complications, including sudden death.  Prevention, on the other hand, will simply require monthly administering.  Want another great reason to use heartworm preventatives? Most medications also protect against several forms of intestinal parasites and can even prevent flea infestations- all good things!

Now are you sold on heartworm preventative? So am I! Head on over to PetMartPharmacy.com and check out our great selection of preventative medicines at affordable prices.

For more information on heartworm disease, visit the American Heartworm Society

Our information is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian.  Do not use this information for diagnostic purposes. Always take your pet to your veterinarian to obtain a diagnosis and course of treatment.