Is Frontline Safe? – If you read nothing else please read this!
I’ve used Frontline Plus spot on for my dogs for years and seen no adverse effects, and many vets recommend this product and so I wholeheartedly was going to recommend it. However upon researching for this site I have discovered some shocking news – many people are now asking is Frontline safe for dogs? and evidence points to the conclusion that it is not, since many dogs are experiencing seizures after using this product and some dogs have sadly died.
Moreover Frontline Plus and other chemical flea treatments are also dangerous for people and by the year 2000, 26 deaths of animal workers had been reported.
Read my recommended safe and natural flea treatment for dogs
How to tell if your dog has been poisoned
If you notice that your dog has any of the following symptoms after applying Frontline or Frontline Plus, please shampoo him or her with mild soap and rinse with lots of water as soon as possible and discontinue it immediately.
- Loss of Appetite
- Shallow breathing
- Difficulty walking
- Increased excitability
- High body temperature
- Evidence of Pain such as yelping and whining
If your dog does not improve after washing him or her, or is having seizures please CONSULT A VET IMMEDIATELY.
After researching to find out is frontline safe for dogs? I will certainly not be using Frontline Plus or Front line on my Dogs in future. Fleas and Ticks are dangerous for dogs but so are harmful chemicals, however, don’t worry as I have found some excellent natural flea treatment for dogs alternatives to Frontline and other spot on treatments.
What is the active ingredient in Frontline Plus and is it safe?
Frontline Plus uses like S-Methoprene, a strong pesticide that is, worryingly enough, used in farming. Permethrin (used in K9 Advantix) is well known to be poisonous to cats. Both these chemicals interfere with the nervous system of the fleas and ticks and paralyze and kill them. Knowing this helps us understand how dogs can be getting seizures after using these products.
However, Frontline (as opposed to Frontline Plus) uses Fipronil which although recognised as less dangerous than Permethrin and S-Methoprene is still a powerful poison and has created the similar side effects to Frontline Plus for many dogs according to my research.
Are other flea control products like K9 Advantix safe?
No! Any products that use organophosphates (e.g. methoprene, fipronil, imidacloprid, fenoxycarb and pyriproxyfen and permethrin) are just as dangerous. Flea and tick collars frequently have these chemicals on them too and have casued seizures in dogs, and many flea shampoos, powders, sprays and dips use one of these ingredients.
Brands known to include these chemicals are Frontline and Frontline Plus, K9 Advantix and Advantage, Adams Spot-on Flea & Tick Contro, BioSpot Flea & Tick Control, Defend EXspot Treatment, Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On. This is not an exhaustive list so if your favourite brand of flea and tick control is not on here, don’t assume it’s safe!
For a more detailed report on the dangers of various products, please download this pdf by Kathleen Dudley. Or for a comprehensive list of flea and tick treatments see this site http://www.simplesteps.org/greenpaws-products#/
Would the government allow dangerous chemicals to be used on dogs & people?
Yes! Many people assume that the government strictly regulate the use of pesticides found in pet products. However it wasn’t until 1996 that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) began to even consider that there would be risks to people and pets from using these products. Even today they have done little or no testing to ensure that these chemicals are not harmful for children and also dogs.
The important thing to be aware of is that there is a cumulative effect with using these poisons. The more often pets (and people) are exposed to these dangerous chemicals, the higher the risk of seizures and even death, and this explains why many dog owners were happily using Frontline plus for dogs and other flea and tick solutions, without noticeable problems, but now cannot use it on their pets.
The EPA actually agrees that a child’s exposure to these chemicals from spot on flea treatments on the day for treatment can exceed safe levels by up to 500 times! Even more worryingly the EPA works this out on the assumption that people don’t actually hug their pets!!
The Natural Resources Defence Council is campaigning for the EPA to ban all dangerous pet products and California has already decreed that one chemical – propoxur causes cancer and warning labels must be applied.
Is Frontline safe for pregnant women and children?
Hopefully the obvious answer here is no! Don’t risk harming your unborn baby or your children – stop using this product and any other chemical treatment for fleas now, or find out more below.
How can Frontline Plus, Advantix and other Chemical Flea treatments hurt me and my family?
There are two main ways that these pesticides can harm
- Risk from Poisoning
- Risk from long term effects on the brain and nervous system
Children, pets and petworkers, and pregnant women are at a very high risk.
Acute Poisoning in Children
Children under 6 are the most vulnerable to acute poisoning from Permethrin and other organophosphates. This is partly because their bodies are still developing and partly because toddlers and small children are more likely to spend time on the floor, touching things and then their mouth, making it easy for them to be ingested. Children exposed to organophosphates were 3 times more likely to need urgent hospital care, 5 times more likely to be admitted to a critical care unit and 4 times more likely to die or suffer a life threatening sickness or become permanently disabled, than children who were exposed to other pesticides.
Long Term Health Effects on Children
Studies have indicated that children exposed to organophosphates leads to increased risks later in life to cancer (in animals too) and Parkinson’s disease and also can have irreversible effects on brain development.
Pets being Poisoned
The National Resource Defence Council (NRDC) estimates that potentially thousands of pets have been poisoned by products like Frontline plus for dogs, and points out that cats are particularly vulnerable.
People being Poisoned
People who look after animals for a living are particularly at risk and a report by the NRDC in 2000 noted 26 people who have died from organophosphates poisoning!
THESE CHEMICALS ARE NOT ONLY DANGEROUS TO YOUR DOGS BUT ALSO FOR CHILDREN, ADULTS AND CATS!
Merial (the makers of Frontline and Frontline Plus) not surprisingly are denying that their product is dangerous, and certainly thousands of dogs use it without problems. However too many dogs for it to be a coincidence have experienced strange side effects and in some rare cases even death. Here are some harrowing stories from pet owners who have used Frontline Plus for Dogs, there must be many more who have used other methods and brands of flea and tick control with similar stories.
Stories from other Dog Owners after using Frontline and Frontine Plus
There are numerous stories of dogs suffering seizures and even death after using products such as Frontline Plus and Advantix. Here are some links to people’s experiences and just a few or the stories I have found:
UPDATE: Since creating this blog I have had lots of people share their stories of their dogs being poisoned. You can read most of these comments on this page
“Yes, I had a problem similar to yours and worse. I decided to try Frontline Plus after having used Advantage for my Malti-poo for 3 years. I wasn’t feeling like the Advantage was working as well as it had been for the 1st three years of use. Short of 2 hours after applying Frontline Plus, Bailey was going around wimpering and barely able to walk. He was very lethargic, shallow breathing, a fixed stare and when he tried to get up, it was like he couldn’t get his front legs to work and support his body, so he would give up and plop down and wouldn’t even try to move for the longest time. I had to pick him up for the 1st 36 hours afterwards to take him out to relieve himself. He could barely do that. He wasn’t interested in eating or drinking and I had to use a syringe to force some water into him. This product is suppose to be for small dogs up to 22lbs. Bailey is 6-7 lbs and I know for a fact that it is way too strong for him! Frontline needs to revise the poundage for it’s products before someone loses their pet. I won’t buy this product for my small dog again.”
“my dog is also lethargic after I apply this, I don’t know that there is anyway to avoid it- the danger we face from ticks here in South Africa poses more of a risk then her sleeping more often after the initial application- if anyone else has suggestions or a better brand= particularily one that withstands a dog that loves to swim daily- please let me know!”
“Our neighbors dog actually passed away due to Frontline. I wouldn’t use it.”
“I applied Frontline Plus about 2 1/2 weeks ago on my dog after bathing him. Within a week he was lethargic, not eating, had difficulty walking or standing and had to be prompted to get up and move around. It got to the point of practically carrying him outside. I thought he was having problems with his joints because he would yelp in pain and not want to be touched. He even stopped barking and playing with his squeaky toy (2 of his favorite pass times). I took him to the vet and he said it was arthritic symptoms. He prescribed a daily dose of an anti inflammatory medication. After a nearly a week on the med., my dog wasn’t getting much better. I had been thinking all along that it might be the Frontline Plus. Last night, I decided to give him a bath with baby shampoo and I scrubbed the Frontline Plus area with dish washing liquid to remove it. Within 30 minutes, he was back to his old self again. I am never using Frontline on my precious Sebastian again.”
“I put Frontline on my 11lb poodle mix and within 2 days he has had a seizure. This is the first one since I adopted him in 2 years. We did not use Frontline until now and are discontinuing its use.”
“Lost a puppy recently after applying Advantix. Bayer said that the product is not systemic, doesn’t get into the bloodstream. Should be OK. Even after washing it off with soap and water (waterproof). But after a month of shaking, anorexia, weird head and neck postures, vets., testing and medications Honey was diagnosed with a ‘suspect’ neurological problem. No money for an MRI to confirm. Had to put an 8 month old puppy to sleep as she was not responding well to steroids (more poison) given to her for the problem. Was it the Advantix or a strange coincidence? It was stupid on my part to believe anything a big corporation would tell me. Keep poisons off pets!”
Please feel free to share your experiences below as we need to raise public awareness of this issue!
Safe Flea Treatment for Dogs
Harmful chemicals hurt not only our pets but also our children and ourselves! If you get a natural flea treatment for dogs you can avoid this problem.
So in asking is Frontline safe for dogs, children and pregnant women? I have discovered that the answer is definitely not! I have searched for alternatives to Frontline plus and have found the best safe natural flea treatments for dogs.