What is Stronghold?
Stronghold is a liquid medication, applied topically to the skin on the back of the neck which is used to treat and prevent flea and other parasites in dogs and cats. Stronghold contains the active ingredient selamectin, an insecticide. Stronghold is manufactured by Pfizer Ltd and comes as individual pipettes of solution to be applied monthly. Stronghold comes in several different sizes so that dogs and cats of various weights can be given an appropriate dose. Stronghold for dogs and cats comes as packs of 3 & 6. Stronghold can only be obtained from a veterinary surgeon.
What is Stronghold used for?
Stronghold is used to treat and prevent fleas (Ctenocephalides spp.) in both dogs and cats. It is very useful as part of a management regime for flea allergic dermatitis (FAD). In addition Stronghold can be used to treat ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) and to prevent infection with heart worm (Dirofilaria immitis).
In dogs specifically, Stronghold can also be used to treat adult, intestinal roundworms (Toxocara canis), sarcoptic mange caused by Sarcoptes scabiei and infestations of biting lice (Trichodectes canis).
In cats, Stronghold can also be used to treat adult, intestinal roundworms (Toxocara cati) as well as adult intestinal hookworms (Ancylostoma tunbaeforme) and biting lice (Felicola subrostratus).
· Stronghold should be used monthly
· Stronghold can be used in animals older than 6 weeks of age
· Animals should also be greater than 2.5kg before receiving stronghold
· Stronghold is a POM-V so can only be obtained from a vet or with a prescription from a vet.
· If you suspect any side effects from Stronghold then call your vet
· The dose of Stronghold needed will be determined by your vet
· The dose of Stronghold depends on weight so weigh your pet regularly
· Stronghold should be stored under 30oC and out of the reach of children.
· Stronghold is generally very safe is used as advised to do so by the vet
· Stronghold should only be used topically, never into the mouth or ears
· Stronghold should not be used in animals less than 6 weeks
· Stronghold may cause mild and temporary hair loss at the site of application
· Stronghold may cause clumping of hair at the site
· Stronghold may leave white powder at the site of application
· Keep your pet away from fire for 30 minutes after application or until hair is dry
· Do not bath your pet or let them swim for 2 hours after applying Stronghold
· If your pet manages to lick the Stronghold then they may salivate excessively
· Stronghold may cause temporary and reversible neurological signs
· If you suspect any side effects then contact your vet for advice
Dosage and Administration
· Stronghold should be given once a month
· Stronghold is applied topically to the skin on the back of the neck
· Stronghold comes in single dose, plastic pipettes
· Stronghold comes in various sizes for accurate dosing
· The dose of Stronghold is dependent on weight so weight your pet regularly
· Stronghold can be used in pregnant and lactating animals
· There are no interactions between Stronghold and most common veterinary medicines
· Stronghold is used to treat a wide variety of parasites in dogs and cats
· Continued use of Stronghold will also prevent parasites
Stronghold size (mg)
Combination of pipettes
Stronghold size (mg)
Further information about Stronghold
Stronghold is a colourless to yellow liquid medication that is applied topically to the skin on the back of the neck, once a month. Stronghold contains the active ingredient selamectin which is an insecticide. Stronghold comes in single use, plastic pipettes and is manufactured by Pfizer Ltd. The pipettes come in foil blister packs and each box contains 3 pipettes. Stronghold for cats is also available in boxes of 6 pipettes. Stronghold comes in a variety of sizes so that cats and dogs of various weights can be appropriately dosed.
Stronghold kills the adult fleas and stops any viable eggs being produced. It also kills the larval stages of the flea so it stops reproduction and breaks the flea life cycle. It is recommended to use Stronghold monthly to both treat and prevent fleas, most importantly through the flea season, starting treatment a month before the fleas become active. Stronghold is also used to treat and/or prevent a number of other parasites such as mites, roundworms and lice. The dosage of Stronghold needed to treat these parasites is as follows:
Roundworm: treated with a single dose of Stronghold.
Hookworm: treated with a single dose of Stronghold.
Lice: treated with a single dose of Stronghold
Sarcoptic mange: treated with a single dose of Stronghold for 2 consecutive months
Ear mites: treated with a single dose of Stronghold in cats, dogs may need a further dose after 30 days
Heartworm: Year round monthly treatment with Stronghold, at least starting a month before and ending a month after exposure to mosquitoes
Although a single dose of Stronghold is sufficient to treat most of these parasites, it is recommended to use Stronghold year round as prevention as well as treatment.
Stronghold can be used in animals over 6 weeks of age, including pregnant and lactating animals. Collies react badly to other drugs in the same class as selamectin but Stronghold has been shown to be safe in these Collies even at 5x the recommended dose. Occasionally mild and temporary hair loss may be seen at the site of application of Stronghold and if the animal licks off the Stronghold, hyper salivation may occur. Transient neurological signs may occur. You should not apply Stronghold to a wet animal and you should avoid your pet becoming wet for 2 hours after application. Stronghold is flammable to you should keep your pet away from fire for 30 minutes after application or until the hair is dry. Stronghold may leave a white powder on the hair after application but this should go within 24 hours.
Further Information about dosage and administration
Stronghold is applied to the skin on the back of the neck, monthly. To open the plastic pipette, hold it upright and push down on the cap as a small spike in the cap will then break the seal on the pipette. Part the hair and squeeze the entire contents of the pipette onto the skin just in front of the shoulder blades in a place that your pet won’t be able to lick it off. Avoid contact between Stronghold and your skin and wash your hands after applying Stronghold to your pet.
Stronghold is available in a range of sizes so that dogs and cats of varying weights can be given an appropriate dose. Each size of Stronghold has different colour packaging for ease of identification. A summary of which size of Stronghold is needed by various sizes of dog and cat is shown in the table below.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What is Stronghold?
A. Stronghold is a liquid containing selamectin, which is used in the prevention and treatment of fleas, lice, roundworms and mites.
Q. How is Stronghold given?
A. Stronghold is applied to the skin on the back of the neck, just in front of the shoulder blades where your pet cannot reach to lick it off.
Q. How often do I need to apply Stronghold?
A. It depends what you are treating. Sometimes a single application is enough but it is recommended to apply every month for prevention of infestations.
Q. Can Stronghold have any side effects?
A. Sometimes mild hair loss can be seen at the site of application but it is only temporary.
Q. My bitch is pregnant and I have just seen a flea on her. Is it safe to use Stronghold?
A. Yes, Stronghold is safe for use in pregnant and lactating animals and can reduce the flea burden on the puppies or kitten until they are 7 weeks old.
Q. My pet has just chewed a pipette of Stronghold, what should I do?
A. You may see excessive salivation or drooling. If this is not resolving or you see any other signs then call your vet for advice.
Q. My dog has received two pipettes of Stronghold today by mistake, will this cause any problems?
A. It is very unlikely. Stronghold has been tested at 10x the normal dose and no adverse effects were seen.
Q. Can I buy Stronghold from the chemist or from the internet?
A. You can’t buy Stronghold from the chemist as it is a prescription only drug but you can but it from internet pharmacies if you have a prescription from your vet.
Q. I have three dogs and one has fleas, do I need to treat them all?
A. Yes. You need to treat all “in contact” animals, both dogs and cats.
Q. I have just noticed fleas on my cat, can I use half of the Stronghold pipette I have for my dog?
A. No, you will need to get the Stronghold specifically for cats form your vet to ensure the correct dose is given.