Concerns About Fipronil
While the typical side effect to Frontline is skin reactions, its active ingredient, fipronil, lists other potential concerns when used on canines.
Skin problems – As stated earlier, fipronil can cause irritation to your dog’s skin. This irritation can go beyond simple itching as the scratching can cause ulceration and open sores.
Nervous system damage – Fipronil is a neurotoxin, causing damage to the fleas’ nervous system. It can have the same effect on your dog, causing symptoms such as convulsions, body twitches, loss of appetite, unsteady gait and other effects.
Carcinogen – Fipronil has been shown to cause thyroid cancer in dogs. Because of its carcinogenic qualities, it is important for the person applying the Frontline product to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and warm water to adequately remove the product from their skin.
Organ damage – Autopsies have shown an accumulation of fipronil in canine livers and kidneys, causing an increase in organ weight. Fipronil has also been shown to alter the levels of hormone secreted by the thyroid gland.
Infertility – Fipronil has also been shown to have an effect on a dog’s fertility. Its use has led to smaller litter size, difficulty in conception, decreased litter weights and increase in litter deaths.
While Frontline products have had successful use in the control of flea populations, there have been negative results seen when dogs have been maintained for extended periods on the products. The fipronil builds up in your dog’s body, giving it the chance to cause problems. If Frontline is your choice for flea control, consider taking a 3 to 6 month break during low flea infestation periods to allow your dog’s body to rid itself of any toxic build up that may have occurred. This will help to avoid the potential of any problems arising from the fipronil.