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Dear Dr Fox: My two rescued Yorkies, 7 and 8, are generally in good health. They are domestic animals and rarely like to walk. They go to the backyard and do their business and come back quickly. Walking was sheer calamity, dragging them on.

They have been on the prescription revolution to prevent parasites. What do you think of this medication, which is administered monthly to the neck? Is there a natural substitute that you would recommend? They rarely see other dogs and are up to date with their vaccines. They see the vet every year, except when something goes wrong.

Also: Yorkies are known for tooth decay. What can I use to minimize this problem? – HLM, West Palm Beach, Florida

Dear HLM: Repeated human exposure to selamectin (the medicine of Revolution) while handling and petting dogs treated with this medicine may present potential health risks, particularly to veterinarians, veterinary technicians, trainers / handlers – dogs and pet owners, according to research published in the journal Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods.

Rather than relying on this drug to prevent heartworms, ask your vet to give you ivermectin, which is taken by mouth. To control fleas, use the steps built into my article titled “Preventing Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitoes” on my website (

When it comes to your dog dental health concerns, you should get your dogs used to brushing their teeth and encourage them to chew rawhide chews made in the USA and free of chemicals. See my review “Dental Problems in Pets”, also posted on my website.

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