Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is Frontline or Other Spot-On Flea and Tick Treatments Safe for Dogs and Cats?

It's flea and tick season.

Interesting article from last year on some problems pet owners have had with these pesticides.

"The year long investigation, conducted by a team of veterinarians assembled by the federal agency, concluded that certain pets – small dogs between 10 and 20 pounds – are most susceptible to the problems, which include rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures."

We have been using Frontline successfully now for a couple years.  With all the walking in the hills that we do, I pull ticks off of Chloe and Bailey quite often.   I actually pull them off myself after many walks.  I wonder if they make Frontline for humans?

 The report tends to show that smaller dogs (under 20 pounds) are affected with negative reactions.

A long-time dog owner / breeder of Vizslas suggested that with Vizslas, not to use on pups until they are over 6 months old.

Too young for flea and tick pesticides

Makes sense to me, but then I'm not a vet or animal professional, so take any and all advice with caution.

Actually, I don't like to give advice, but just hopefully pass good information on.


Anonymous said...

Interesting... My breeder suggests Frontline Plus, she has tried several on her V's and settled on that. My boss uses Advantix. I must say that on the whole I don't find a whole lot on Luna despite how many ticks we have around here and how much she is out. Whatever I'm doing must be working, Wyatt too has not really had many.

My ultimate goal is just to keep my dog healthy to fight any side effects of vaccines and diseases she may catch at some point in her life. So far so good.

Cindy Mommsen said...

We have a big tick population on the trails in Marin. I'm always checking the dogs for ticks after every hike. I've been using cedar oil and I have to say it's been pretty effective and it's not toxic like frontline or those other products. I do have to spray it on them before every hike, but it only takes 5 minutes and it smells good.

Rod Michaelson said...

From Marilyn in the SF Bay Area:

"Frontline is NOT a tick repellant, and as someone who lost a beloved dog to
bacterial endocarditis from an infection introduced by a tick bite, I have no
use for such a product. If the tick bites, it's already too late to prevent the
myriad of tick-borne diseases.

In addition, aside from toxicity issues, Frontline is losing its effectiveness,
and its manufacturer is working on this problem with reformulating, with mixed

I highly recommend the Preventic collars. They REALLY WORK as tick repellants!
Thoroughly tested by my two vizslas in East Bay parks during the rainy season.
I found out about them from my vet, who said they are the ONLY proven tick
repellant products out there.

The reason you don't see them on the shelves is that they have a short shelf
life, and the pet stores and the vets don't want to absorb the loss of unused
collars. So you have to order them online. Sometimes the Petvet store has them
in stock -- but they run out fast because they seem to be the only store
carrying them in the area.

For my 50 lbs Vs, the smaller size works (barely), and costs about $14 each.
They last about 45 days -- official guidelines 30 days. Getting soaking-wet
shortens effective life, so I take them off when the dogs swim (along with their
electronic dog door tags). The collars take 24 hours to be effective.

They do not work on fleas, so you have to use a product like Confortis for flea

Also, if you have cats that lick your dogs a lot, you should not use Preventic
collars. They are toxic to cats. (I have cats that sleep with the dogs -- but
they don't groom them.)

Meanwhile I use Frontline on my cats who go into the wild grassland (luckily the
other two head the other tick-free direction), and I still find myself pulling
ticks off of them. Seems to work for flea control, though."

- Marilyn

Rod Michaelson said...

I will order some for the season and see how Bailey and Chloe's do with them. Fleas do not seem to be a problem but ticks are everywhere we walk in the East Bay.

Rod Michaelson said...

From my friend Juliet in the UK:

Just to add my thoughts!

As some of you know (or suspect!), I'm very anti using any drugs/chemicals on my
boys unless absolutely essential & am a big advocate of "natural rearing". I, therefore, don't use any pharma preventative measures for fleas or ticks & this
is despite living close to the New Forest (in the UK) where ticks are prevalent.

Radar & Rio get garlic in their diet every day & I use either Garlic Oil or Neem Oil topically for flea/tick prevention. Both garlic & Neem are completely
natural & can be easily applied (a quick spray under the chest & from the shoulders down the back!) can even use both these things yourself...they are a bit smelly though!


Anonymous said...

Hi I also read that coconut oil is very effective to keep the ticks away. Some people feed their V's with coconut in their food or you give some coconut oil on their fur. Read about it!! It 's working quite well. Coconut oil has a special acid which ticks don't like.