Frontline Plus Side Effects: Should I be concerned?

Every pet owner should be concerned about the potential for Frontline Plus side effects — not because they are likely to occur, but because you want to ensure that your cat or dog is not one of the rare ones that responds negatively to the medicine.

The simple fact of the matter is that all medications have some side effects.  And Frontline Plus is no different.

Again, it is a question of severity and frequency when we speak of these matters.

In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they had received more than 40,000 complaints about various spot-on topical flea treatment products. As a result, they issued a warning to consumers and the public to remind them to follow directions as labeled on respective boxes and to remain hyper vigilant when using the products to make sure they catch any potential problems right away. While I in no way want to diminish the pain and suffering of these pet owners nor minimize their concerns, one must place these within the proper context and perspective to have a healthy discussion.

There are literally tens of millions of cats and dogs in America and each month millions of them are given flea and tick medication.  We are talking about a microscopically small percentage of animals having bad reactions.  And we don’t even know how many of these 40,000 cases involved human error of some kind.  This could have occurred when someone gave a flea medication formulated for dogs to their cat, bought and used a product meant for a larger dog on a smaller dog, or even used the product more often than instructed and thus created an overdose situation.  Another example of human error would be the incorrect application of the medicine.  Perhaps, instead of placing the drop on the back of the neck so that their cat or dog could not lick themselves and ingest the chemicals, they instead applied the flea control product to a different part of the body.  Responding to the irritation of the flea bites, the animal bites and licks the area that also now has the medicine directly applied to it.

Frontline Plus Side Effects

Though you should not be paralyzed by unreasonable levels of fear you should by all means, be wary of potential side effects when using Frontline Plus. Here is a list of some of the things you should be watching after applying the medicine to your dog:

  • Skin irritation – One of the most commonly reported complaints is some sort of reaction to the medication manifesting itself in the form of skin irritation. This may result from an allergic reaction by the dog to one of the inactive or active ingredients found in the medication.
  • Nausea and vomiting – Though rare and infrequent, there is evidence that suggests ingestion of the treatment medicine by cats and dogs cause nausea and/or induce vomiting.
  • Lethargy – Owners who have reported deaths of their cats and dogs often report signs of lethargy in their animal.  If you feel your pet is behaving abnormally or becomes listless, seek a professional consultation with your veterinarian.
  • Hypersalivation – Ingesting improperly applied treatments may cause excessive drooling.

If you search long enough, you will find stories by owners claiming that Frontline Plus killed their cat or dog.  When we are talking about tens of millions of animals and tens of millions of doses, it is highly likely that there will be some unfortunate circumstances.  And while no promises or guarantees can be made about your particular situation, the odds of any Frontline Plus side effects seriously harming your cat or dog are infinitesimal.

Tips to Avoid Frontline Plus Side Effects

There are a few things you can do to prevent your cat or dog from suffering any side effects from Frontline Plus.  First and foremost, make sure you are providing your cat or dog with clean water and a healthy, well-rounded diet.  If you are using cheap dog food and letting your dog drink out of green slime infested water dishes, you are compromising their immune system.  Many pet owners swear by adding various natural ingredients to their dog’s water and food to make them healthier.

A healthy dog will stave off flea infestations much easier and also not be as prone to react negatively to medicines.

Additionally, and especially if you are applying the treatment to your cat or dog for the first time (e.g. puppies and kittens), keep a daily log of what your animal ate, exercise routine, trips into the yard, out of the yard, walks and any other details so that you can have a record of how your cat or dog was behaving and what they were doing before and after the application of the flea treatment.  By keeping a log you can isolate potential causes of any negative reaction and possibly determine whether or not the medication is a contributing factor or coincidental occurrence.

Finding the best flea treatment for your dog or the best flea treatment for your cat requires you to take into consideration the potential risks of negative side effects.  Though I personally feel the risks of spot-on topical treatments are incredibly low, you may not feel similarly.