Dog Tick Control with Fipronil

Fipronil, a drug used in flea and tick control products and other insecticides, is an anti-parasitic agent that works by disrupting the central nervous system of insects. The insect's brain and spinal cord are attacked by this chemical, ultimately leading to rapid death. Dog tick control can be accomplished using fipronil at recommended doses, such as those in Frontline products.

Frontline Flea and Tick Control

Fipronil is the main ingredient used in the Frontline flea and tick control products. In this case, fipronil is a topical solution applied through the hair to the dog's skin. It's usually applied near the base of the back between the shoulder blades, or in several spots along the spine of larger dogs. Fipronil is intended to absorb into the skin and hair follicles, but avoid entering the bloodstream of the dog. The product takes about 24 hours to spread over the entirety of the skin.

Fipronil is effective against the brown dog tick, American dog tick, lone star tick and the deer tick. Deer ticks are the main carriers of lyme disease, and many types of ticks have been reported to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This product kills ticks within about 48 hours of application, and continues working for approximately 30 days thereafter. It's waterproof and stays effective even after your dog has had a swim or a bath, though it's recommended to avoid shampoo for at least 48 hours after application.

Fipronil products are approved for dogs at least 8 weeks of age. This drug is also approved for pregnant, lactating and breeding dogs, though some forms may not be recommended for these situations. Fipronil for dog tick control is available by prescription only, usually in vial packs, and is distributed based upon the dog's weight.

Side Effects of Fipronil

Immediate side effects are rare when using this drug. Fipronil is considered safe and effective when prescribed and used as directed. You may decide on alternative treatments if your dog has allergies or hypersensitivities to fipronil or similar treatments, or if you have an older or pregnant dog. Dogs with an allergic reaction to this chemical may experience violent reactions, including seizures or death. Fipronil has caused reactions when combined with other treatments or medications. Overdose is rare, and side effects for accidental overdosing have not been reported. The site of application may remain wet or oily for up to 24 hours, and temporary skin allergy or irritation near the site of administration is possible.

Dangers of Long-Term Exposure

Fipronil is classified as a possible human carcinogen, or cancer causing drug. This classification is based upon studies performed on rats given large doses of it. Using fipronil in spray form has been considered more dangerous for veterinarians and groomers who may be at a higher exposure rate than the general public. Long-term exposure to this drug by inhalation or absorption through the skin should be considered a possible health risk.