PetMeds® Frontline Plus Questions

 
Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
Some of the more common recent questions I’ve received in the clinic regarding f and its use for flea and tick prevention in pets. A big concern I often receive is the quality of Frontline Plus being carried by online pharmacies like 1800petmeds and whether it is the same as those used and sold by veterinary offices. The truth of the matter is that Frontline Plus is a prepackaged product by Merial, and is the exact same one carried by 1-800-PetMeds as your local veterinarian. Improper application is one of the most common reasons for flea treatment failure

Another common question is, “Why does my pet still have fleas after applying Frontline?” (after a few consecutive months. The most common reasons for flea treatments failing is typically because of improper application, or more commonly failure to treat the environment of the pet, including the home and yard; where 80% of the flea life cycle occurs. Along the same line, some products, however will work better on some pets than others. So, if there are still fleas even after properly treating the home and using Frontline Plus for several months, I would suggest having your house professionally treated by an exterminator and/or change to a different product such as Advantage.

If a pet still has fleas, many veterinarians will use the product more frequently than once monthly, sometimes as often as once every 2-3 weeks. However, this process is often considered to be “off label use,” and I would not use the product this way unless first speaking with your pet’s veterinarian. If a client is currently using a different topical such as Revolution or Advantage, it is safe to change to Frontline Plus after 3-4 weeks from the date of last application of the other product. While Frontline Plus is labeled as waterproof, I usually advise clients to wait at least 24 to 48 hours before bathing their pet. Side effects to Frontline Plus are rare but may include hair loss/skin irritation at site of application, (rarely) digestive upset, (and even rarer) immunological reactions of the blood or neurological reactions like seizures. Again, these are very rare, as most pets tolerate this product quite well.

Read Related Posts on PetMeds® Blog:

  1. PetMeds® Frontline Top Spot Flea Control
  2. Advantage 2 Flea Control Pet Medication
  3. PetMeds® Why You Should Never Switch to Grocery Brand Flea & Tick Pet meds
  4. Pet Reactions to Topical Flea Products
  5. PetMeds® Winter Flea Control

38 Comments

  1. Traci Clark
    Posted August 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    My dogs are itching from recent flea bites. I have gotten the fleas under control, but theya re still itching. My sister has some Chlorpheniramine 4mg but was dispensed 9/20/07. I am afraid to give this to my dogs but I have heard that meds usually have a 5 year shelf life. Is it safe and if not, what can I do? I have 3 dogs and cannot afford to take them to the vet right now.

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  2. Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    You picked a great topic for this post and you wrote about it well. I have seen a couple of other websites with similar content but no one has performed a better job than you on writing about it.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thank you so much for your kind compliments. We all certainly try hard.

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  3. Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi I have one dog two cats and cannot praise Frontline enough – it is easy to apply and works straight away – my pets are flea free and happy.

    [Reply]

  4. Debbie Cochran
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    We used the Frontline Plus on 5 cats. Only 1 cat is still itching and loosing fur on the back of it’s hind legs. The cat was healthy and nice looking B4 this treatment.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Make sure treat home for fleas as well. Also consider antihistamine such as chlorphenirimine at dose of 2 mg twice daily to help with itching.

    [Reply]

  5. Pat Webster
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Is Frontline Combo from Canada the same as or equal to Frontline Plus as they indicate made by same company

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Not sure as dont have experience with front line combo from Canada. I would ask drug company

    [Reply]

  6. darciholm
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    what if i double dose my dog with frontline

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Should not be a problem.

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  7. LisaD
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I’m getting a dog and already have a (indoor) cat. Is it safe to use frontline on the dog or could I be putting my cat at risk?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    There should not be a problem in using front line on dog with cat in house

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  8. dottie leipert
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    my vet gave me nitenpyram pills for my dog for fleas, she is already on frontline, how does the nitepyram pills work?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    The nitenpyram pills work as an insecticide to kill adult fleas by paralyzing the nervous system of the flea, while not affecting the pet’s nervous system in any way. Marketed as capstar, these oral pills work very quickly to kill adult fleas, but you will need other topical medicines such as front line or advantage or oral program to control the immature stages of the fleas.

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  9. Posted April 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Have a 20lb. dog and 80 lb. dog, it I bought a package of Frontline for the smaller dog, could I use 2 or 3 doses for the large dog safely? We only need this for boarding and don’t need it at home, so I’m trying to save money.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Using 2 doses would be fine on larger dog.

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  10. Carol Greek
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I have chihuahuas and I use up to 22lbs of Frontline Plus and Interceptor monthly. The day after I gave my older dog this (she is 5) last night she had like a seizure. It was like her legs were pulling up and her neck was extended. She was not shaking, but was really unable to walk or stand on her own for about 5 minutes. Then she was fine as though it never happened. Do these drugs ever cause this kind of side effect?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    On rare occasions, topical pesticides of any kind can cause neurological reactions in sensitive pets.

    [Reply]

  11. Marie
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I heard from another dog owner who has treated her dog with success for years with Frontline Plus. She said that all of a sudden, Frontline ceased to be effective. Coincidentally about a month later while at my vet’s office, I asked to purchase a package of Frontline Plus that I, also, have used on my dog successfully during the 8 years I have had her. My vet said he doesn’t sell it anymore because he has found that, for some reason, Frontline seems to have lost effectiveness. There it is – the same observation from two totally separate sources.

    Has there been any talk of this in the larger veterinary circles.

    I tried Advantix II, but that caused serious flaking on my dogs skin. I am now trying Advantage II, and I will see what happens. I would like to return to Frontline, however.

    I await your reply

    [Reply]

  12. Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I have used frontline plus for as long as it has been – i have 5 dogs and 3 cats and this year (not missing a treatment) i was so full of fleas both on the animals and in my house – i called the merial company 2 times with no explanation and i am so dissapointed in that i have never ever had fleas before and what a problem ridding myself of them. – i have flea bathed all 8 animals – flea combed – bombed – dusted – and am slowly winning – i started with advantage II for both animals and seems to be working – frontline has really dissapointed me after years of faithful use.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks for sharing. There have been increasing reports of some resistance to some of the topical flea products developing.

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  13. Michelle Fochtman
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I have always used frontline plus on my animals and up untill the last couple of months it has stopped working I keep finding fleas on my dog. I’m upset because it is expensive to begin with and now I have to pay to get rid of the fleas that I shouldn’t have because I treat my dog and cat every month. My last dog was on frontline plus for years and I never had a problem with fleas or ticks. I wonder if they cut back on the active ingredients in this product?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    No ingredients are the same. Some people have reported flea outbreaks in treated animals. Try alternative product like comfortis from 1800petmeds.

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  14. Jen
    Posted October 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I have been using Certifect on one of my dogs, and the others in the house were using Advantix. I had typically been using Frontline Plus on the dog who was getting Certifect, and have used it numerous times in the past. After 6 months of use of Certifect, the dog had fleas. The other two dogs who were on Advantix did not. They all sleep on the same surfaces, often right next to each other, and two of the dogs, the one on Certifect and one on Advantix sleep in my bed with me every night. So, the Advantix treated dogs were definitely exposed. I’ll be putting the one dog back on Advantix. My mom bought Frontline for the other two dogs, which will be returned.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks or sharing. Sounds like good plan to put dog back on advantix.

    [Reply]

  15. Mali
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I applied Frontline Plus on my dog couple of hours ago and then now, he’s itching. Why’s that? Is it normal?

    [Reply]

  16. Tina
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I have a 26 lb indoor cat that got out for only a few minutes and now has a ton of flea dirt. I gave him a flea bath to with Sentry and also applied the monthly Sentry treatment. This didn’t work. My order from 1-800-PetMeds for Frontline plus should be arriving in a day or so. I will give him another bath before I apply it. My question is, since he is so big, can I double Dose him?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I would not double dose him. Try oral capstar and program as well from 1800petmeds.

    [Reply]

  17. dottie leipert
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I use frontline plus on my dog, she is 42 lbs.I used the pills that are for dogs 25-44 lbs. Should I go to the higher dose or keep it at the smaller one. (she is so close to 44 lbs.}Thanks

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Staying at the lower dose should be fine as long as she is not a puppy and growing.

    [Reply]

  18. Betty Sudiono
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi. I’ve been using Frontline for my cats regularly once every 4 weeks for the last 2 years, and just recently tried Frontline Plus. My question is, if I use the same product for a long period of time, do I need to change to a different brand such as Revolution, because I heard mix information about this, 1 vet told me to change every once in a while to avoid the cat being immuned to the medicine, and another Vet told it is fine to use Frontline or 1 brand without changing it once in a while. Which one is correct? Tx.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    As long as front line is working for you I would continue using it. If start to see fleas, change to different product like revolution, etc

    [Reply]

    Betty Sudiono Reply:

    hi,
    my experience using frontline, I see fleas usually after 3rd week, is that normal? or maybe like you mentioned in the article about frontline, it’s the way I’ve been applying it, not always correct, mainly because the cat could not stay still.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Could be inappropriate application or could be heavy flea infestation. Some cases need more frequent every 3 weeks application.

  19. Posted March 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Symba, my 3 yr old tabby gets treatments about every other month in the cold season hence, she is not used to it and squirmed enough that Instead of applying the advantage on her skin, it made it on her fur which is fairly easily reachable to her. Can I just apply another in the correct area? Or I was thinking 3 weeks like the previous question? Thank you in advance Doc.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Ryan…..I would wait a few weeks before reapplying. You can use oral comfortis if fleas remain a problem in meantime.

    [Reply]

  20. Posted April 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    ok I was wondering is there a pill out there I can get for my dog I belive she as a hormone imbalance form her surgery and gained a lot of weight we stil owe 8 hundred on her bill yet couls we purchas a pill from petmeds or some where to help her hormones and a pil to help with her weight we have cut back on everything for her walk and run her no luck thanks

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    No magic pill for what you are asking about. Have thyroid checked at vet to see if thyroid levels are low.

    [Reply]

  21. LAURA
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I HAVE A NEW 8 WEEK OLD KITTEN, SHE WAS TREATED WITH SOME TYPE OF TOPICAL FLEA MED BOUGHT AT A 99CENT STORE BEFORE SHE WAS GIVEN TO ME.
    NOW, SHE STILL HAS FLEAS. HOW CAN WE HELP HER, AND PREVENT OUR HOME FROM BECOMING INFESTED?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Try oral comfortis or topical revolution from 1800petmeds as my first choices.

    [Reply]

    LAURA Reply:

    thank you for your response. is it okay to give this same kitten fronline plus? it has been 3 weeks since the first topical flea treatment was applied. she is now 11 weeks old

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Should be fine to apply.

  22. terry woody
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    my dogs got a bath and were dried good and I am still seeing a lot of fleas can I reply frontline after 1 week

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I dont usually apply more than every few weeks. consider alternative flea product like comfortis from 1800petmeds.

    [Reply]

  23. carolyn
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    can I put frontline on my dog that is pregnant?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I dont like using front line on pregnant pets.

    [Reply]

  24. Brandon
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Hello, out of desperation I gave my dog hartz ultra guard pro when I found she was fighting some fleas. This was late at night after vet closed and all I had on hand. About six days later, I gave her a bath and applied frontline plus. Was this okay? Will I see complications from this double dose and if so, what signs/symptoms should I be on the lookout for?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I dont think this extra front line dose will be a problem.

    [Reply]

  25. Joan
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s time for my four cats to use frontline for the fourth month in a row. They still have live fleas all over them. Is it safe to use a flea shampoo on them just before the next treatment?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    i think not a problem as long as 48 hours apart from next treatment

    [Reply]

  26. Marcia Heiter
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I have to treat 2 cats with Frontline for the first time. What if one of them gets in contact with the Frontline that I applied on the other cat.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Try to prevent this by keeping them apart for a few hours. If in doubt of exposure have vet assessment

    [Reply]

  27. Ricky Samsonia
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I used Frontline Plus for several yrs on my 3 cats. After noticing that frontline’s effective had decreased I have been using Advantage ll for about a yr. I still have a supply of frontline and would like your opinion if frontline’s effectiveness may return after a yr of non-use on my cats. Also would it be ok to use frontline one month and advantage the next month. Maybe like that the fleas would not become immune to either. Any thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    No problem alternating flea products monthly. I dont think this issue has ever been studied.

    [Reply]

  28. valerie
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I have 3 cats all inside/ outdoors. As soon as they got fleas this summer I bathed them and waited 2 days till I applied front line plus for cats. My long haired kitty still has them crawling all over, its been 8 days…the other 2 seem better but I’ve seen some on them 2 just not as many. I have not seen a flea in my house and I wash everything once a week. Should I wait the remainder of the 30 days and apply another dose or try something else? I don’t want him to suffer the fleas or possibly get tapeworm.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I have found front line not as effective as it used to be in some cases, as well as people often forget to treat the environment or home of pets, where most of flea life cycle occurs. I would try a different product like comfortis from 1800petmeds.

    [Reply]

  29. leanne
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I used wilkos own flea treatment on my cat 3 weeks ago and it’s not done a thing. Can I use frontline so soon or wait another week? Thanks in advance

    [Reply]

    leanne Reply:

    Never mind due tomorrow. Thought I.would get a quick reply

    [Reply]

  30. Ernestine Joseph
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    i used a Hartz ultra Guard on my 37 lb.dog then i realized it stated on the tube ‘for dogs over 60 lbs’ should i bathe him right away to take the il off? . is my dog going to break out out? is he going to be okay?

    [Reply]

  31. Ernestine Joseph
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    i used a ultra gaurd on my 37lb. dog then i read the tube (which i should have done 1st) and noticed it stated for ‘dogs over 60 lbs.) will my dog be okay? will it make him sick? should i bathe him and take it off?

    [Reply]

  32. Ernestine Joseph
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    i used an “ULTRA GUARD on my 37lb dog…then i noticed the tube says ‘FOR DOGS OVER 60 LBS. will my dog be okay?

    [Reply]

  33. Ernestine Joseph
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    i used an “ULTRA GUARD on my 37lb dog…then i noticed the tube says ‘FOR DOGS OVER 60 LBS. will my dog be ok

    [Reply]

  34. Sandra
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Can I apply frontline right after my dog’s bath or do I have to wait

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Although it is supposed to be water proof, I usually wait 48 hours after application to bathe your pet

    [Reply]

  35. Barbara
    Posted August 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I have always used Frontline on my two cats with no problem but this summer it has not worked at all for the last three applications.It seems to have no effect whatsoever on the fleas. I have treated the house. Can I use another treatment before waiting four weeks and which would you recommend?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I would try another product like oral comfortis from 1800petmeds.

    [Reply]

  36. KMT
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I applied hartz spot treatment to my dogs 8 days ago. Didn’t work and of course I would have used if I had known. I’ve bathed them 3 times with Dawn within 3 days following. I have them a capstar that worked for the 24 hours but they are itching again. We are getting in a car for a 15 hour drive to move. Can I give them advantix and a cap star before we get in the car 10 days after the hartz so we make sure we do t take any fleas with us?
    I do t want to make them sick or hurt them with to many chemicals. We are bombing the house which will be empty for awhile but we do t want to take any fleas with us they are small dogs

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I dont think you have a choice but to use another flea medicine like advantix, as well as capstar as needed to treat adult fleas.

    [Reply]

  37. Caroline Henry
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I have used Frontline and Advantage off and on for my golden retriever with average success. In the area we live my vet says that over the past years the fleas have built up resistance to both drugs. 2 years ago my dog developed cancer, Mast Cell Tumor, Grade II Stage. We only found one tumor and had it successfully resected with wide margins and to date no other tumors. At the time of diagnosis I stopped all topical flea treatments and only occasionally used Capstar through the warmer months in Coronado, CA (San Diego). This summer however in uncommon humidity we are having a horrible time with fleas and I have done Everything non systemic. I have two vets and one oncologist and they all want to give comfortis or some other oral pesticide. I am frankly concerned about giving oral pesticides of this magnitude to a cancer dog with an already compromised immune system and have read hundreds of bad reviews about comfortis as well as the new Seresta (sp?) collar. Any other treatments or thoughts come to mind? Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    With a history of mast cell cancer, I would try natural flea treatments like the one from vetri science, which you can google on line, as well as http://www.wondercide.com or http://www.cedarcide.om It also may help to consult with a holistic veterinarian. If you have to use chemical preventatives, I would consider topical revolution, which I find safest of the bunch in my opinion.

    [Reply]

  38. Caroline Henry
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    thank you so very much, I appreciate your opinion. Someone mentioned Skin So Soft Oil diluted half half with water, an Avon Bath oil with side effects of a bug repellent is also affective on dogs. I have been using this with success over the past few days if I spray him before and after our walks. If I go to another topical I will try Revolution which I have never tried before. I have tried Wondercide flea repellent and my golden seemed to have a reaction to it – very lethargic, seemingly depressed and a bit sick overall. A holistic vet is also an option, but I would be surprised if they could suggest anything holistic I haven’t researched and tried over the past few years, and I am not in a hurry to a fourth vet to our mix, it’s hard enough juggling 3 with different opinions! :) Thank you again for your response, I will look for the vetri science treatment online.

    [Reply]

    Caroline Henry Reply:

    One last question, the Vetri Science topical you mention above contains 9.7 % Fipronil which is the same ingredient as Frontline – 9.8% Fipronil. Is there something I am missing about “the natural” recommendation you mentioned or is there a different flea treatment you were referring to from Vetri Science? Thanks again.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Caroline. I am not familiar with fact that vetri science is using a fiprinil based product. As far as I knew it was an essential oil and/or cedar product. I would contact the vetri science company directly for clarification on this issue.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Caroline. Also consider some of the great natural products for flea/tick control from my friend Bill, owner of http://www.fiestapetdeli.com

    [Reply]

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