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Written By Grace Park
Published: 12/12/2020Updated: 12/12/2020
Revolution | Wag!

Selamectin for dogs is a topical antiparasitic. The brand names for this veterinary-approved drug, among others, is Revolution. Dogs six weeks of age and older can be prescribed the drug.

To learn more about how to treat and prevent heartworms, ear mites, fleas, scabies, and American dog ticks, read on. You’ll also gain information on dosage, efficacy, side effects, and more.


To treat both internal and external parasites, Revolution for dogs is a safe choice. The active ingredient is selamectin. This effective topical product is available in single-use tubes, prescribed based on weight (2.7mg/lb). It is important to note that before using Revolution, dogs should be tested for heartworm.

  • Up to 5 lbs – 15 mg tube
  • 5.1 to 10 lbs – 30mg tube
  • 10.1 to 20 lbs – 60mg tube
  • 20.1 to 40 lbs – 120mg tube
  • 40.1 to 85 lbs – 240mg tube
  • 85.1 to 130 lbs – 360mg tube
  • For dogs over 130 lbs, verify the dosage with your vet

Dosage Instructions

Your veterinarian will demonstrate how to apply this topical liquid. Apply Revolution for dogs to a dry haircoat only. Press the cap to puncture the seal on the tube. Part the hair at the base of the neck in front of the shoulder blades. When you can see the skin, squeeze the tube 3 or 4 times, emptying it onto the spot.

Do not massage, and do not apply to broken skin. Do not bathe or shampoo your dog for at least two hours, or the effectiveness against heartworm and fleas will be lessened. The fur may be clumpy and slightly discolored. This is normal, as is a residue of powder.


The efficacy of Revolution for dogs is as follows:

  • Heartworm: Revolution can be given year-round but must be given at least one month after the exposure to mosquitoes and every month over the mosquito season. Efficacy is 100% if given as directed, without delay in between doses.
  • Ear mites: Ear mites will be eradicated after one month when the ears were cleaned, although some dogs will require two treatments. The return of ear mites can be prevented with monthly applications.
  • Fleas: To prevent fleas, apply Revolution one month before flea season begins and monthly thereafter. A clinical field study showed that >90% of the fleas were eliminated within the first month. They should begin to start dying with 4 to 8 hours.
  • Sarcoptic mange (scabies): A single topical dose typically proves effective, but sometimes a second one is needed. The monthly use will control subsequent infections.
  • Ticks: Administer monthly during tick season to prevent ticks. In the case of a heavy infestation, a second dose may be needed two weeks after the first. It may take 5 days to kill the ticks. Consult your veterinarian in this case. Monthly treatments will be needed thereafter.

Side Effects of Revolution

Side effects in dogs have been rarely reported. Studies on ivermectin-sensitive Collies did not show an adverse reaction. The same conclusion was found in Heartworm-positive dogs and dogs of reproducing age. Rarely seen possible side effects are:
  • Hair loss at the medication site
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Salivation
  • Rapid breathing
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives or welts
  • Incoordination
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Death


A veterinarian will discuss the suitability of Revolution for dogs as you look for the right solution for parasitic protection.

Drug interactions

Although, as mentioned, trials involving ivermectin-sensitive Collies did not present reactions to Revolution for dogs, any canine with an MDR1 sensitivity should be considered carefully when the use of Revolution is a possibility. The genetic mutation MDR1 can cause a sensitivity to high doses of medications. If your dog has the MDR1 gene, the following drugs should not be combined with selamectin:

  • Amiodarone
  • Clarithromycin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Diltiazem
  • Erythromycin
  • Itraconazole
  • Quinidine
  • Spironolactone
  • Tamoxifen
  • Verapamil

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

Dogs should be tested and treated for heartworms if the results are positive. Dogs that are sick or underweight should not be prescribed this drug.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I miss giving my dog their dose of Revolution?

Apply the missed dose as instructed by your veterinarian, and let them know that you missed the dose. Never give two doses or extra doses.

When can I play with my dog after the application of the Revolution?

Wait until the product has dried on the application site. Avoid touching the liquid with your hands and wash your hands after administering the drug.

I still see ticks on my dog. Is the Revolution application working? 

The American Dog Tick is affected by Revolution. Discuss with your vet the types of ticks found in your area to decide on a medication to prevent them if necessary.

I see fleas on my dog. Is the application of Revolution working?

The flea cycle is 4 stages. They are continually hatching and reproducing. The immature fleas (called pupae) will be present on your dog’s bedding, in your carpets, and in cracks in the floor. Because of the ever-evolving cycle, it may take 3 to 5 weeks for the fleas to be eradicated. It may also take 2 to 3 monthly applications for the drug to work on all life stages, as the adult flea has to jump on your pet for the medication to work against them. Talk to your veterinarian about cleaning the house correctly to get rid of flea eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults.

Do I need a prescription for Revolution?

Although Revolution is available online, it is recommended that you get a prescription from the veterinary clinic. This way, you are assured of a safe dosage and guaranteed that you are getting a reliable product containing exactly what the packaging says.

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