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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32722
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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We recently used Frontline + on our Golden Retriever on 20th

Customer Question

We recently used Frontline + on our Golden Retriever on 20th July. She subsequently developed what we believe to be central vestibular disease, became paralysed in her back legs and we had to have her put to sleep on 26th August. We have read online that this product can cause an adverse reaction to the nervous system within dogs, so is this a just a coincidence?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.

Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin While any dog might suffer an idiosyncratic (peculiar) reaction to a drug, Frontline (fipronil) has a very wide safety profile and so although there's no manner in which I can prove that Megan didn't have such a reaction, I believe it's unlikely. My condolences for your loss of Megan. Frontline is not systemically absorbed. (Weil, 1997) Fipronil is detected on the hair shafts but is never detected in the dermis and adipose tissue, suggesting that it is absorbed and accumulated in the sebaceous glands, from which it is slowly released via follicular ducts. It has been tested and can be used in kittens and puppies as young as 8 weeks of age. It is easily removed by bathing in the first 48 hours after application before it is absorbed into the sebaceous glands. (Weil, 1997) In toxicity studies, the application of Frontline® spray to dogs and cats at a dose five times higher than recommended for 6 months did not cause any clinical, biochemical, hematological, or cutaneous abnormalities. (Consalvi, 1996) Oral doses equal to 87 pipettes in dogs and 20 pipettes in cats showed no adverse reactions beyond drooling and occasional vomiting. A few skin hypersensitivity reactions have been reported, most likely to the carrier. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your reply. Our vet did tell us that Frontline isn't systemic, so this confirms his advice.


Because her illness appears to have come from nowhere, we wanted to look at any possible cause.


Once again, many thanks for your advice. It has been very helpful


Best wishes


Andrew and Pam

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
You're quite welcome, Andrew and Pam. I'm tardy again...this time because I've been on planes all day long.

You may receive an inappropriate follow up from the site ostensibly from me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Please disregard the info request.