The Truth About Vectra 3D: FAQs UPDATED

April 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm 31 comments

As the weather warms and the snow begins to melt, it’s time to once again discuss flea and tick prevention! While we do recommend using flea and tick prevention year-round, it’s especially important in the warmer months. We wrote about our switch from Frontline to Vectra back in May of 2011 and we still stand by Vectra 3D as the best product on the market.  Below are some of our most commonly received questions about the product:

Why is Vectra 3D better than Frontline and other products? How does it work?

Unlike Frontline, which works to kill fleas and ticks once they’re on your animal, Vectra takes it a step further by acting as a repellant.  Fleas, ticks and even mosquitoes and mites experience “hot feet” on the skin of your pet and immediately run away!  In addition, the effectiveness of Frontline starts to wane after 21 days, leaving your pet relatively unprotected for that last week of the month.  Vectra 3D guarantees protection throughout the month, from week 1 to week 4.

I have a cat – what precautions should I take when applying Vectra to my dog?

This is important – though Vectra does offer a product for cats, Vectra 3D for dogs CANNOT be applied to cats.  It is toxic to cats and your cat shouldn’t be allowed near your dog after application.  Vectra is guaranteed to dry within 4 hours, so at the very least, they must be separated for that time.  We commonly suggest separating your pets overnight as an added precaution.

How long after applying Vectra 3D can I give my dog a bath?  Take him swimming?

Vectra 3D dries in 2-8 hours and remains waterproof throughout the month.  However we recommend waiting 24 hours before bathing your dog or taking him swimming to ensure the medication has spread properly on your pet.

Is it possible to buy Vectra online (e.g. from 1800PetMeds)?

No, Vectra is only available through your veterinarian.  By selling exclusively to licensed veterinarians, Vectra has an added guarantee that it will only be applied to healthy animals; if your pet has a condition in which Vectra should be avoided (e.g. pregnancy), your veterinarian will not suggest its use.  You can also be sure that you’re getting the right product that hasn’t been tampered with.

How do I apply Vectra 3D?

Vectra works best when applied in multiple spots along your dog’s spine moving from the tail towards the head.  Check out the video, below, for a demonstration.

Are there any side effects of Vectra 3D?

As with any medication, Vectra comes with its own list of precautions.  Common side effects include redness or itchiness at the application site that should resolve within a few days.  A Vectra 3D clinical trial performed in 2007 found that owners saw fewer side effects with Vectra than with K9 Advantix, and it also found that Vectra was easier to use.  Check with your veterinarian before applying on geriatric or debilitated animals.  You also want to be careful not to get Vectra on your own skin or anywhere near the eyes.  As always, give your regular veterinarian a call with any questions or if anything seems out of the ordinary.

UPDATED: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DOG HAS A BAD REACTION?!

As with any medication, some dogs don’t react well to its application.  As the medication spreads over the animal, it can cause a tingling sensation, which can range from a negligible discomfort to extreme skin sensitivity; for unknown reasons, small, white dogs seem to be overrepresented in this latter category.  If your pet is having a bad reaction to Vectra, you should bathe him or her ASAP in Dawn dish detergent, and you can also apply some Vitamin E oil to help soothe the skin.  Please report this reaction to your veterinarian and file a report with Vectra at 1-800-999-0297.

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31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rebecka  |  September 26, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Is it ok to bathe my dog with tick shampoo before application? Or, should he remain dry for application?

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    • 2. Susannah (nurse)  |  September 26, 2013 at 8:58 am

      I think tick shampoo followed by Vectra may be too strong. I suggest just applying Vectra in lieu of the bath.

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  • 3. sue  |  October 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Fleas are in the yard, they jump on her when I take her out, will the Vectra kill them before they can drop eggs? Also, she was just bathed yesterday, beautiful clean coat and this morning there is flea dirt on her with a few dead fleas. Is the Vectra working correctly?

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    • 4. Susannah (nurse)  |  October 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Sue, I would need more information to be able to help you out (e.g. when the Vectra was applied, what you used to bathe her, etc.) I suggest giving your veterinarian a call and see what he or she says. Thanks!

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  • 5. sue  |  October 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    The vectra was applied on Friday, Oct. 4th and she was bathed Sunday.The fleas are either dead or very slow (I can catch them). If they are little, then they haven’t been able to reproduce, right?

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    • 6. Susannah (nurse)  |  October 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks for the information, Sue – that should work just fine. If you’re still finding fleas on her in a week, I would recommend calling your veterinarian.

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  • 7. Tom Belton  |  October 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I treated my 14 pound Rat terrier with Vectra a week ago and because of severe infectation in the house I then gave her a couple of baths with flea shampoo (I soon found out I should not have done that). My question is did the shampoos wash all of the Vectra off the dog and can I reply Vectra again only 1 1/2 weeks since the last application.

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    • 8. Susannah (nurse)  |  October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

      No, but I think reapplying Vectra would be too dangerous. I suggest talking to your veterinarian about next steps

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  • 9. Susan  |  October 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    I applied Frontline to my 30# Cockapoo Sept. 1 and again on Oct. 2, 2013 and the fleas are still present. Vet gave me Vectra 3D today to apply. How soon after the last dose of Frontline can I apply the Vectra?

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    • 10. Susannah (nurse)  |  October 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

      I would think you’d be ok but I suggest checking with your veterinarian.

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      • 11. Susan  |  October 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        Thank you for your reply.

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  • 12. sue  |  October 18, 2013 at 8:45 am

    If Gemma (47 pound Golden Retriever) has been on Vectra D for 2 weeks and fleas are still present unfortunately, can I give her Capstar?

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  • 13. Cindy Condran  |  October 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Is there any way to test my dog’s skin with Vectra before applying the entire does? For example, would it hurt to apply a tiny amount in one spot, wait a day to see if she reacts poorly, then if not apply the balance?

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    • 14. Susannah (nurse)  |  October 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Absolutely, Cindy, that’s a great question! You can do exactly what you suggested – apply a small amount to your dog’s skin and if there’s no reaction in 24 hours, you can assume it’s safe to apply the rest of the tube.

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      • 15. Cindy Condran  |  October 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

        Awesome, that’s what we’ll do! Thanks for the timely response Susannah 🙂

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  • 16. Linda DiMatteo  |  November 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    My vet applied the first dose of Vectra 3D on my dog’s back between the front shoulder blades. It is now 5 days later and I am still finding fleas on my dog. When she applied it, I questioned why she applied it in only one spot, and she told me that is how it is applied. Since then I have gone online and watched the Vectra 3D video which said to apply it in one line down the entire back starting near the tail and moving up to the neck. I became concerned so I took out the instructions in the box which stated the same thing. What is the correct procedure????? Is this why I am still seeing fleas on my dog, and by the way, The ones that I am finding are from midpoint back. Please confirm the way the product should be applied.

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    • 17. Susannah (nurse)  |  November 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

      The correct procedure is to start at the tail and move forward to the neck in one line, just as the video shows on Vectra’s website (http://www.vectrapet.com/Home/How-To-Apply). I’m not sure why your veterinarian didn’t apply it that way – I think it’s worth following up with her on that. Regardless of the application, it’s important that you don’t reapply the dose without her permission.

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  • 18. Kathy Masterson  |  November 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I applied Vectra on my 5 lb. Chug 3 days ago. Since then, she has been gagging & like choking like she was going to vomit – but nothing came out and yesterday & today she has actually gotten sick 3 times so far, but it is just like a sour smelling foamy stomach acid. Is this a reaction?

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    • 19. Susannah (nurse)  |  November 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      It’s hard to say- I suggest taking her to your veterinarian right away so he or she can assess the situation. Good luck!

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  • 20. mmrocker13  |  November 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I put Vectra on my 15 lb, 8 week old, akita puppy (if it matters, he is WHITE) this morning, since he was coming in to my office and it would have all day to dry. It is still wet (7 hours later). I blotted at it a bit, and it is kind of “greasy” looking now, and a bit still comes off on tissue or my fingers if I touch it. I will be headed home in approximately 2 hours.

    My (probably freakish) paranoia is: I have four cats at home. (which is why I put it on when he’d be out of the house all day)

    My question is, what precautions do I need to take? Should I wash the bedding and toys in his travel crate that the cats may touch when we get home? His collar or leash that may have touched it when wet?

    If it is dry by then, do I need to worry at all? He loves to play with the cats, and they all like to go in his crate/area and hang out. I know this is probably unreasonable, but I am starting to freak out and am tempted to wash it off and go get Frontline Plus (or do nothing).

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    • 21. thetrmn8r  |  March 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      I put on a few drops in each location, and move in about 1/2″ increments on my 20 lb (small to med sized) Sheltie. I separate the fur and put it right on the skin. If you get it on the fur and not on the skin, it doesn’t dry in my experience.

      Just a user – I am not a vet.

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      • 22. Susannah (nurse)  |  March 17, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        Yes, it’s important to apply Vectra to the skin rather than the fur. Thank you!

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  • 23. Shawn  |  March 29, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Should I continue to give my dog heartgard to protect from heart worms or is Vectra 3D enough?

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    • 24. Susannah (nurse)  |  March 29, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Thank you for your question. You should also use Heartgard when using Vectra in order to give your dog full protection from heartworms.

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  • 25. Nicole Mesa  |  April 3, 2014 at 3:46 am

    I just had my vet apply Vectra today on my cat. Shes going crazy running around my room. And jumping and itching everywhere could this be a skin reaction to medication. I have been using Advantage for months and she never acted this way. What should I do??

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    • 26. Susannah (nurse)  |  April 3, 2014 at 11:36 am

      I’m sorry to hear she’s not responding well! I suggest giving your veterinarian a call since he or she is familiar with your cat and can give you the best advice. Best of luck.

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  • 27. Κατεβασε την ουρα της.... - Page 4  |  April 12, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Please report this reaction to your veterinarian and file a report with Vectra at 1-800-999-0297.

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  • 28. Floyd  |  April 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Maybe I have overlooked what I’m looking for. So for clarity the Vectra will only repel fleas and ticks and not kill them? I came to this conclusion based on:

    Why is Vectra 3D better than Frontline and other products? How does it work?

    Unlike Frontline, which works to kill fleas and ticks once they’re on your animal, Vectra takes it a step further by acting as a repellant. Fleas, ticks and even mosquitoes and mites experience “hot feet” on the skin of your pet and immediately run away!

    Like

    Reply
    • 29. Susannah (nurse)  |  April 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Thank you for your question, Floyd, my apologies for the confusion. Vectra will work to kill both fleas and ticks if they do attach, but most fleas and ticks will voluntarily leave your pet’s fur because it’s uncomfortable. If they are able to stand the “hot feet” reaction, Vectra will eventually kill them in the same time frame as Frontline.

      Be warned that you’re more likely to physically see a tick or flea while using Vectra because the parasites want to stay away from the skin. That means it’s working!

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  • 30. Dawn Eichenberger  |  April 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I treated my 3.8lbs yorkie with vectra 3D not until i read how to apply it i think i may have applied incorrectly as my vet said just apply to neck and between shoulder blades, im now reading i sould have gone down to the base of his tail. is he still going to get fleas???

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    • 31. Susannah (nurse)  |  April 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Thank you for writing, Dawn. Ideally Vectra should be applied along the base of the spine but it will still work when its applied only between the shoulder blades. Your yorkie will be protected this month, and you can work to perfect your technique next month 🙂

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