Selamectin in Dogs

by Lydia Janssen
    Selamectin protects dogs from parasites outdoors.

    Selamectin protects dogs from parasites outdoors.

    Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

    Selamectin, commonly known by the commercial name Revolution, is a preventative medication meant to affect a wide range of parasites. While selamectin is not appropriate for some dogs, the medication is widely prescribed as a preventative: Giving it monthly prevents dangerous parasitic infestations and parasite-borne illnesses in most dogs.

    How It Works

    Selamectin comes in liquid form in a small tube. To administer it, you'll clip the applicator end of the tube and carefully squeeze the liquid on the skin between the dog's shoulder blades. The medication absorbs through the skin into the dog's bloodstream, where it protects against heartworm in the blood and tissues. The medicine selectively redistributes to the skin, where it prevents parasites that live on the skin. One dose is enough to cover a month of parasite protection.

    What It Prevents

    Selamectin prevents heartworms by killing the parasites in their young form in the blood. It repels ticks and kills both flea eggs and adults, eliminating more than 90 percent of flea infestations within the first month of treatment. It can also help treat ear mites and sarcopic mange, a condition caused by mites burrowing under the skin. The broad range of parasite prevention can also help prevent illnesses like Lyme disease, parasitic anemia and the severe side effects of heartworms.

    Dogs Who Shouldn't Take It

    Certain dogs shouldn't take selamectin for health reasons. It is unsafe for puppies younger than 6 weeks old. Sick, weak or underweight dogs should not take this medication. Dogs who have heartworms in their systems should not take it; this is why veterinarians insist on a fecal test before starting a selamectin prescription. At any rate, you'll have to talk to your dog before you begin a regimen.

    Effects for Humans

    Selamectin may cause mild irritation to humans who pick it up from their dog's skin. A small amount may transfer while handling or petting a dog, so this is a concern for veterinarians, groomers, trainers and other professionals who work with recently treated dogs all day. It can be irritating to the skin and eyes; a few people suffer from hives and itching in response to selamectin. Be sure to wash your hands after administering the medication, and allow it to dry fully on your dog's skin before petting him.

    Photo Credits

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    About the Author

    Lydia Janssen began her career writing news articles for the SPCA to connect adoptable pets with their potential owners. She moved into professional writing in 2009 and uses her experience as a dog trainer, SPCA kennel worker and veterinary technician to bring quality information to responsible pet owners.

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