What is Advocate®?
Advocate® is a convenient, monthly spot-on product for broad-spectrum parasite control in dogs and cats.
What parasites does Advocate ® control in dogs and cats?
Adult fleas (on the pet) and flea larvae (in the environment)
Intestinal worms (roundworms, hookworms and whipworms*)
Demodectic and mange mites*
How does Advocate® control flea infestations?
The active ingredient in Advocate®, imidacloprid, spreads rapidly over the surface of the skin after application. It localises in the outer layer of the skin and hair, and does not significantly penetrate the skin, so can hardly be detected in the bloodstream. Adult fleas feed on blood in order to produce more eggs. When fleas come into contact with an Advocate® treated pet, they do not have to bite the animal to be affected by the active ingredient. Upon contact with the treated pet, fleas are quickly affected. Within 3-5 minutes the flea’s mouthparts become paralysed, making them unable to bite, and within an hour they are killed. Additionally, animals naturally shed their skin and hair. Imidacloprid is also shed during this process into the environment of the animal. Flea larvae that come into contact with and feed upon this biological material (containing imidacloprid) will be killed, breaking the flea’s lifecycle.
How does Advocate® control intestinal worm infestations?
After application, Advocate’s second active ingredient, moxidectin, penetrates the skin, entering the circulation for wide distribution throughout the body. Following a single application of Advocate®, immature and/or adult stages of intestinal worms (except tapeworm) inside the pet’s body will be killed. With continuous, monthly use of the product, Advocate® will also provide continuous protection against new worm infestations.
What is flea allergy dermatitis (FAD)?
Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is a very common allergic skin condition in dogs and cats. Affected animals are allergic to the saliva that fleas inject when they bite. Adult fleas feed on blood, and a single adult flea can bite up to 400 times a day. Flea bites cause intense itchiness, leading to excessive grooming and self-trauma, which causes pain and predisposes animals to secondary skin infections. Advocate® reduces the incidence of FAD as it stops fleas biting with 3-5 minutes and fleas don’t have to bite to die, they are killed on contact.
My client has started using Advocate® but is still seeing fleas. Why is this?
The presence of fleas on an animal simply indicates that they are present in the environment. Approximately 5% of the flea population are adult fleas which may be seen on a pet. The other 95% are in the environment in the form of eggs, larvae or pupae living in cracks in the floorboards, carpet, dirt, furniture and bedding. After biting and feeding on the blood of the pet and reproducing, adult female fleas begin to lay eggs within 36 – 48 hours. One flea can lay up to 50 eggs each day. Flea eggs are slippery, and fall from the coat to contaminate the pet’s environment. Maggot-like flea larvae hatch from eggs within 2 – 4 days and burrow deeper down into carpet, bedding, dirt etc. to avoid light. There they feed on flea faeces and dead skin shed from the pet. Within 5 – 11 days, larvae spin a protective cocoon around themselves to become the most resilient stage of the flea lifecycle - pupae. Inside the protection of their cocoon, pupae develop into adult fleas in as little as 10 days. However, if the temperature is low or if there are no pets or potential hosts nearby, fleas can remain inside their protective cocoon for up to 12 months before hatching. Adult fleas will hatch from their pupae in response to stimuli such as heat, pressure and vibration – signals that an animal is close for them to jump on and take a blood meal. Advocate® does not repel fleas – there is no product available that will repel fleas. But, when they jump onto an Advocate® treated animal, they will not need to bite the animal to be killed – they will be killed on contact, before they can lay eggs. After starting an effective, flea control product on the pet, including Advocate®, it can take weeks or even months to fully get on top of a flea infestation in a home. This is because there will already be many pupae in the pet’s environment from the flea infestation, that over time will hatch, and the adult fleas that emerge will have to jump onto the pet to be killed. As this happens over time, the flea population in the environment will reduce and eventually be eliminated. Environmental control measures (e.g. flea bombs) will not kill pupae in the environment, but can help by killing newly-emerged adults when timed to follow vacuuming which can stimulate some pupae to hatch. Once an infestation is under control, Advocate® will prevent new infestations from taking hold (when used as directed).
My client has an indoor-only cat. Do they need to use parasite protection?
It is important to treat all animals in a household, even if one is an indoor-only animal, as they will still be at risk of parasites brought into the house by the other pets, and if unprotected, will then be a source of parasites themselves. It is advisable to use a parasite protection such as Advocate®, on an indoor-only pet, even if it is the only pet in the house. Because even in houses where windows are screened, it is still possible for a single, heartworm-infected mosquito to enter the house when doors are opened and bite the pet, transmitting heartworm. Similarly, it is also possible for pet parents to carry microscopic worm eggs or larvae into the house on their shoes. If there are small creatures in the house that the pet could hunt and eat (e.g. mouse, lizard), these are another source of intestinal worms and lungworm. And if the indoor-only pet can come into contact with other animals, then they could be exposed to fleas.
A client has a pet with ear mites. Would Advocate® be good for them to use?
Yes, a single treatment with Advocate® kills ear mites. If there is a lot of thick wax inside the ears, then it is also very important that the ears are cleaned while using Advocate®. This ensures maximum exposure of the mites to the active ingredient, moxidectin, as they eat the dead skin cells lining the ear canal.
Why is preventing heartworm disease important?
Heartworm disease is potentially life-threatening in dogs and cats. Heartworm is transmitted between dogs, cats and ferrets via mosquitoes. Adult heartworms live in the vessels surrounding the heart, and in the heart, which can interfere with the normal functioning of the heart and lungs. This leads to symptoms such as coughing, exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing, fainting and in some cases, death. The use of Advocate® monthly prevents heartworm.
My client has a ferret and is concerned about heartworm. Can they use Advocate®?
Yes, Advocate® for Kittens & Small Cats up to 4kg is registered for use in Ferrets for fleas, flea larvae and heartworm control in ferrets over 0.8kg.
A client has a pet that has not been on any heartworm prevention. Can they safely use Advocate® even if the pet has heartworm?
Yes, studies have shown that Advocate® may be safely administered to heartworm-positive animals. However, it is recommended in accordance with good veterinary practice, that all dogs 6 months of age or over should be tested for heartworm infection before beginning preventative medicine. If the animal is found to be heartworm positive, it should be treated accordingly by a veterinarian, but can also safely commence monthly Advocate®, to prevent new infections.
What is lungworm?
Lungworm is a parasite that lives and reproduces in the airways and the lungs of cats. Cats can become infected when they eat snails, slugs, rodents, frogs, lizards or birds infected with lungworm larvae. Once in the gastrointestinal system, these lungworm larvae burrow through the gut wall and migrate to the lungs, causing damage to the lungs and symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Advocate® is the only product that both treats and prevents lungworm infection in cats.
What are the main types of intestinal worms found in Australian dogs and cats?
Intestinal worms infecting dogs and cats include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms (dogs only) and tapeworms. Advocate kills immature and adult roundworms and hookworms in dogs and cats and adult whipworms in dogs. Advocate® can be used safely with Drontal Allwormer (tablets for dogs and cats, chews for dogs) every 3 months to add in tapeworm control.
What is a paratenic host?
A paratenic host is a host which is not vital to the development of a parasite, and in which no further development of the parasite will occur. However, this host will serve to maintain the lifecycle of the parasite.
What are the signs of roundworm infection?
Roundworms live as adults and reproduce in the small intestine of dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are infected by swallowing eggs passed in the faeces of an infected animal, or by eating an infected paratenic host. Additionally, a bitch can infect her puppies before they’re born while they’re still in her uterus (womb), and puppies and kittens can be infected via their mothers’ milk. Consequently roundworm infection is more common in puppies and kittens, causing clinical signs such as weight loss, poor coat, and a pot belly. Roundworms can also cause loss of appetite, vomiting, coughing, depression, gastrointestinal blockage and death.
What are the signs of hookworm infection?
Hookworms are blood-sucking parasites that attach to the lining of the small intestine via their sharp ‘teeth’. They can cause anaemia, diarrhoea, reduced appetite, depression and wasting, and in some cases, death. Pets are infected via ingestion or dermal penetration of larvae. Bitches and queens can infect their puppies and kittens via the milk.
What are the signs of whipworm infection?
Whipworms are also blood-sucking parasites, living in both the small then large intestine. Most infections are asymptomatic, but can cause loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain and straining to defecate, foul-smelling bloody diarrhoea and anaemia. Dogs are infected after ingestion of eggs passed in the faeces of an infected dog. Adults live and reproduce attached to the wall of the large intestine, feeding off blood.
Does Advocate® control tapeworm?
No, Advocate® does not control tapeworm. Advocate® can be used safely with Drontal® for tapeworm control.
From what age can Advocate® be used on a puppy/kitten?
Advocate® is safe for puppies from 7 weeks of age, and kittens from 9 weeks of age.
My client likes to take their dog to the beach regularly. As Advocate® is a spot-on, will it be washed off in water?
Advocate® is water-resistant^ - it remains efficacious after swimming and soap-free shampooing. It is advisable not to allow the dog to get wet within 24 hours of application. With bathing, we recommend bathing prior to administration of Advocate® and then waiting until the coat is 100% dry before applying the product.
* Dogs ** Cats ^ See product label