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Frequently Asked Questions about Sentinel®
- What is Sentinel?
- The active ingredients in Sentinel are Lufenuron and Milbemycin Oxime.
- How should Sentinel be given?
- Sentinel is given on the same calendar day each month, WITH A COMPLETE MEAL . It can be crushed up or mixed with the dog's food as long as you are sure the dog eats the entire meal at one sitting to get the entire tablet.
- How does Sentinel work?
- Lufenuron works by preventing the linking of a chain of molecules in the flea called Chitin (KI-TIN). Chitin makes up the hard shell of the adult flea, as well as an egg-tooth that flea larvae use to break out of their eggs. Without chitin these stages cannot develop properly and the life cycle is broken. Lufenuron is stored in the pet's body fat and released over the course of 32 days following dosing. Milbemycin interferes with the nerve signal transmission of the L3 and L4 stages (called microfilariae) of the heartworm life cycle, killing them before they develop into adult heartworm. These are the stages present for 50-70 days after the dog has been bitten by an infective mosquito. Milbemycin also treats and controls adult intestinal parasites such as hookworm, whipworm and two types of roundworm.
- How fast does it work?
- Sentinel is 100% absorbed 3 hours after the first dose, killing infective microfilarie, and interrupting the adult flea life cycle at the egg and larval stage. It is cleared from the pet's system in about 2 days. Worms may be seen in the dog's stool as early as the following day, and the effect on the adult fleas is seen as soon as they begin laying eggs.
- When should my pet start taking Sentinel?
- Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the correct date to begin Sentinel, as climates and start dates differ across Canada. As a general policy, Novartis recommends Sentinel be started one month after the onset of mosquito season to be effective against heartworm. If flea season does not coincide with heartworm season, Novartis recommends dosing your dog with PROGRAM for these months.
- How safe is Sentinel for my pet?
- Sentinel has been tested and found safe for all breeds of dog including pregnant and nursing females, breeding males and puppies as young as 2 weeks of age and greater than 1 kg in body weight.
- What about my pregnant pet?
- Sentinel has no effect on conception, litter size, offspring mortality, or any aspect of a dogs reproductive cycle.
- What if I accidentally give my dog more than the prescribed dose?
- Sentinel has a very high safety index. The amount of medication in a 6 card package is not enough to harm your dog.
- The vet saw worm eggs in my dogs stool, does this mean Sentinel is not working?
- Sentinel is working just as it should. When given at the correct dose, Sentinel is Guaranteed to prevent your dog from showing clinical signs of roundworm, hookworm and whipworm disease. Only the adults are removed during a standard monthly treatment and there are always several immature stages of the worm life cycle throughout the pet. The adults are removed, then the immature stages develop into adults and may begin laying eggs before the next dose. But next month the adults will be removed again without the pet becoming clinical for these diseases.
- I saw an adult flea on my dog after I gave him Sentinel, does this mean it's not working?
- Sentinel does not kill adult fleas, so you may not immediately see how effective it is, but rest assured that adults currently on your pet will die off without reproducing. If you wish to take a more aggressive approach to killing the adults Novartis recommends treating your pet with an adulticide for the first month or so.
- I think my pet may have had a reaction to the Sentinel, what should I do?
- Because of its safety index, true severe reactions with Sentinel have yet to be seen in Canada. Suspected reactions are typically a coincidence and do not repeat themselves on re-dosing of the medication. But if you are at all concerned about a reaction with a Novartis product please see your veterinarian, or contact us directly. Difficulties that some dogs experience are vomiting or diarrhea, and these are usually transient and passing. In the same way that some humans are unable to tolerate a relatively mild drug like ASA, some pets may be sensitive to a component of Sentinel and may get the equivalent of an upset stomach. Ensuring the dose is given after the full meal is one way to relieve this. Sometimes direct dosing of a dog with the tablet (forcing it directly down the throat) can stimulate the gag reflex and cause vomiting which is unrelated to the drug itself. If this occurs repeatedly you will need to alter your dosing method, such as mixing the tablet with a meal or crushing the tablet to powder.