A recent article alerted to me to the toxicity of one of the most frequently prescribed anti-flea treatments for pets – Frontline. On the vets advice we previously used this product on our cat and another treatment is due soon. So I thought I had better do some research on the side effects of Frontline before the next treatment. What I found shocked me!
Frontline contains 2 very powerful poisons – Methoprene and Fipronil. You can find lots of information on both these poisons by Googling “side effects of….” The following is a brief summary.
Fipronil is a slow acting poison that seeps into the body of insects and stops the nervous system from working thus paralyses the insect. Fipronil is classified by the World Health Organisation as a hazardous pesticide. It is also classified as a Class C carcinogen which means when tested it caused tumours in rats and therefore there is theoretical risk it could cause cancer in humans. In sufficient concentrations it is fatal to fish, bees and birds. In humans and animals if Fibronil is ingested in sufficient quantity it can cause vomiting and seizures.
The second ingredient Methoprene is an insect growth regulator. It interrupts the normal levels of insect growth hormone thus stopping juvenile parasites such as fleas reaching maturity. If it is doing that to insects what unseen effects is it having on the insides of Rover or Cuddles the cat?
The following advice I found on the internet about Frontline I assume was meant to be reassuring – I found it the exact opposite:
Because Firpronil and Methoprene are strong insecticides take precautions when using Frontline. Watch for any signs of allergic reaction in the dog or cat. Some animals are sensitive or allergic to the ingredients. If the animal shows signs of itching, restlessness, vomiting, lethargy or breathing difficulty take it to the vets.
The list of possible side effects for cats was much longer than that for dogs and included: temporary skin irritation, constant itching, redness, and inflammation, hair loss at application site, drowsiness and fur discoloration.
Of course both the manufacturers of Frontline and the vets will tell you when used correctly the product is perfectly safe and to a degree that is true. Millions of pets are regularly dosed without any visible harm. However, having now done due diligence on Frontline it is not something that I want to put on any cat or dog or have these chemicals “floating around the house”. Do you?
Why Would You Want To Wage “Chemical Warfare” On Your Pets’ Skin?
There are several natural alternatives featured on this site HERE!
Billy No Mates Herbs – Similar ingredients to tincture but in a dried form that can be added to a dogs food – Tub £14.99.
Natures Defence Flea and Tick Repellent – contains Hibiscus, Quassia, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Lemon grass. Applied to back of the animals neck or dilutes and applied as a spray. Per bottle £3.99.