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Ask the Veterinarian/Safe flea/tick for sensitive skin/etc. and Ear question- Thanks in advance!


Hello and thank you in advance for your time and insight. I have emailed you before about my German Shepherd puppies' ears and appreciated your help so I have another couple of questions. He is 5 months, two weeks now and now and I am looking into various methods for preventing fleas and many different ticks, as I live in a wooded area and frequently hike. My dog is an "inside" dog and often around people, including children, so I want something that cannot cause chemical harm to humans, but will also be effective in keeping ticks and fleas off of the puppy so he doesn't bring them in. He seems to have sensitive skin so I also don't want to put something on him that could irritate it. I bought K9 Advantix II to use on him but am apprehensive since my vet said it has carcinogens- he is all about "NexGard" now but I was not happy at all with it as it made my puppy sick (the first few days) the two times he was given it and my vet hadn't told me it only kills, not repels, and that it only kills the dog tick. So, what would you suggest? Also- he is moving his ears around more and they are now more erect with the exception of the upper half of the ear, which is still floppy/soft, though he still at times has short moments where they stand up perfectly- at his age and now that he is finishing up teething, do you still think he has a chance for them to stand up permanently? Thanks again and my apologies for such a lengthy question! Thank you for your time!

The Nexgard rarely causes any upset stomach.  It is in a milk protein base with some beef flavoring.  I would try it again next month, but I would give it in 2 different times.  Give half of it in the morning and the other half in the evening.  Even though it is labelled for the American Dog tick, it is effective against many other ticks, but that's the one tick that they could get quickly approved for by the FDA.

As far as the ears, we know that dogs at that age are having pain in the mouth from teething and the eruption of the permanent molars.  We often see the ears drop during this time.  But almost all of the ears stand after the teeth come in.  You can exercise the muscles that control the ear by clapping, whistling, calling his name or offering a treat to him in a high voice.  

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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