Within 12 hours of application, Frontline flea and tick control will kill 100% of the fleas on your pet and in 24 hours the ticks will be dead. The frontline flea and tick control is waterproof, it continues working for up to one month even if your pet swims or is washed and groomed. Merial states that Frontline Plus is the “#1 veterinarian-recommended flea and tick protection,” a practical measure of its effectiveness. In order for Frontline Plus to eliminate and kill ticks and kill fleas, it is vet recommended that the life cycle of fleas on dogs and cats must be interrupted by continued maintenance of the recommended dosage for at least 3 months.
Being retired and short of cash at times (with 3 dogs and 3 cats) I stopped using Frontline for maintenance at one point and the fleas and ticks came back. I found that of all the products I tried, Frontline Plus was the most effective for killing fleas and ticks on my dogs and cats. I felt that I could not take the risk of discomfort to my family and flea and tick bourne disease to my pets, so I returned to using Frontline and considered it money well spent. It took about 3 months of application to return the dogs and cats to the flea control and tick control maintenance we had previously. The natural flea control and tick control remedies I tried may have helped, but they did not prove as effective as Frontline.
The active ingredients used in Frontline are fipronil and methoprene, which are applied to one spot of skin on the top of your pet’s neck between the shoulder blades and are diffused and stored in your pet’s oil glands under the skin and then passed by translocation through the hair follicles to the skin in a continuous process throughout the month. Fipronil kills and repels ticks and adult fleas and the Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) Methoprene inhibits the growth of immature fleas. Some things you should be aware of: fipronil is considered slightly irritating to the skin, while moderately irritating to the eyes in both humans and animals.
If you search the Internet for side effects and read all the pet owner reports, you will find alarming reports on all flea and tick prevention products. Some users at 1800petmeds have reported side effects from using Frontline and other flea and tick control products. The most common side effects reported were skin irritation, tiredness, loss of appetite or nervous reactions.
I recognize that individual dogs and cats react differently to the same medicine and their reaction to treatment should be noted and the dosage adjusted or discontinued, if necessary. This is true not just of Frontline Plus but all flea products and tick products and other pet medications.
Even natural substances like cedar oil or garlic can have side effects when the dosage is not right or is overused. I have personally used FRONTLINE Plus on my 3 dogs and 3 cats and have the same concerns for my pets as I have with my own health issues. I try to use a balance of nutrition, exercise, natural medicine. I research information about ticks and information about fleas and I’m watchful for the side effects that flea medication and tick medication might have on my pets. Up to now, in 8 years of Frontline use, neither my dogs or cats have suffered side effects.
Frontline for cats is not separated into different products according to the weight of the kitten or cat, as is the case for dogs. Frontline flea and tick control Plus is purchased according to the weight of your dog. The current weight divisions for dogs are: dog weight up to 22 pounds; 23-44 pounds, 45-88 pounds, 89-132 pounds. I emphasize “current” because these broad dosage ranges are under review by the Environmental Protection Agency to see if packaging changes might be required to make the weight classifications more narrow. Among immediate actions that EPA will pursue are:
· Requiring more precise label instructions to ensure proper dosage per pet weight.
· Requiring clear markings to differentiate between dog and cat products, and disallowing similar brand names for dog and cat products. Similar names may have led to misuse.
· Requiring additional changes for specific products, as needed, based on product-specific evaluations.
· In addition to the immediate actions EPA is pursuing to improve the regulatory oversight of pet products, the Agency is evaluating: (1) a process for more standardized post-market surveillance reporting on adverse effects, (2) the need for submission of more sales information so we can better evaluate incident rates, and (3) how to update data requirements on pre- and post-market testing similar to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) requirements.
Current EPA recommendations for use of Frontline are:
1. “These products are not interchangeable; if you have a cat, make sure that you are purchasing a product that is registered for use on cats (use of dog products on cats can be fatal) or if you have a dog make sure the product you are purchasing is for use on dogs.”
2. “NEVER use dog products on your cat or let your cat near a dog that has been recently treated with a spot on product.”
3. “Following spot-on treatment, keep pets separated until the product is dry. Care must be taken to keep pets separated after application to prevent grooming of one animal by another.”
4. “Always know your pet’s weight and use the appropriate product for your pet’s weight class.”
Considering all thes EPA warnings, it seems to me that if your dog falls in the lower part of the weight class, i.e. a 5 lb. dog in the “weight up to 22 pounds” category, you might experiment with applying to the dog only one half or less of the amount in the tube pipette. Be smart when you apply the liquid. Wait until your pet is drowsy or asleep and part the fur so that the liquid contacts the skin as directly as possible on the neck between the shoulder blades. As far as possible, choose a spot inaccessible to their licking. Do not bathe your pet or let it get wet within 24 hours of applying. Watch your pet in the days after the application and see if you observe any change in behavior or appetite that might indicate side effects. Report any side effects to your vet and to the EPA.
Merial’s consumer telephone number is 1-800-660-1842, if you have further product questions. By choosing the right dose of frontline flea and tick control, applying it correctly, watching for adverse reactions and supplementing proper natural remedies, you will be taking all the right steps for a pet and home free of fleas, ticks and lice.