Just a few drops of Revolution on your dog's shoulders can kill both internal and external parasites. However, the parasiticide is only available for use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian, according to the Revolution company website.
How Revolution works
Revolution is a brand name for the pesticide selamectin. There are good reasons why Revolution is by prescription only. It is well worth the nominal charge for the veterinary visit to ensure that your dog is getting the correct medication for its parasite needs. Once you get your veterinary prescription for Revolution, nothing is stopping you from shopping online for the best deal.
It's safe for puppies over 6 weeks old and is used to kill fleas, heartworms, intestinal parasites, and scabies mites. The medication gets applied between the shoulder blades where it absorbs into the body. It's secreted onto the skin by the sebaceous glands, killing fleas and mites as well as internal parasites, according to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine.
Revolution is applied once a month. Its application also kills the American dog tick but doesn't thwart the larval stage of fleas, ticks, or mites, according to Mississippi State University. However, it does prevent flea eggs from hatching and terminates heartworm larvae.
Beware of ordering online
Revolution is offered by various online entities as available without a prescription. The prescribing information leaflet for both includes verbiage that it is against federal law in the U.S. to use the drug without an order from a licensed veterinarian.
That means if you order it from a country where there is theoretically no prescription needed, you're still guilty of a federal crime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that many online rogue companies sell counterfeit or unapproved versions that could harm your dog or have no effect. The meds could contain a different active ingredient, have too much or too little, or include other harmful components.
Beware of frauds, warns the FDA. Signs that you could be dealing with a rogue pharmacy include:
- Allowing you to buy Revolution or other meds without a veterinary prescription,
- Sending spam emails offering cheap pet meds,
- Shipping worldwide but with locations outside the U.S.
The FDA also notes that many of the sites display Canadian flags, but sometimes are located far across the globe. Without regulation, there's no way to know that what you're getting isn't going to be ineffective or harm your dog.
Consider the letter of the law
According to Elder Law, the FDA and customs officials usually use "enforcement discretion" and allow non-narcotic prescription drugs for personal use to enter the country in no more than a 90-day supply. That means that your three-pack of Revolution likely won't wind you up behind bars.
However, the FDA's official policy allows for the 90-day supply rule for personal use for drugs that aren't approved by the FDA for use in the United States. The drug must be for a severe condition for which U.S. treatment isn't available and the buyer must provide contact information for the treating doctor. That means ordering Revolution online without a prescription is technically illegal.
Protect your dog's health
The visit to the vet considers your individual pet's health status. For example, Revolution is a heartworm preventative that targets larvae migrating through the bloodstream. However, it won't kill adult heartworms that begin the cycle anew. A heartworm test is a crucial step in the treatment plan before determining the best course of action, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Revolution: What is Revolution?
- Revolution: Prescribing Instructions
- UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: Dermatology Fact Sheets
- Mississippi State Univerity Extension: Control Fleas on Your Pet, in Your House and in Your Yard
- U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration: DEA Warning — Purchasing Drugs Online May be Illegal and Dangerous
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: How to Buy Medicines Safely From an Online Pharmacy
- Elder Law: Buying Prescription Drugs From Canada, Legal or Illegal?
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Is It Legal For Me to Personally Import Drugs?
- American Veterinary Medical Association: Prescriptions and Pharmacies for Pet Owners (FAQ)
- Canadian International Pharmacy Association
- Pharmacy Checker: Home