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pikehunter

Imitation Frontline?

22 posts in this topic

I'm normally not one skimp on dog products - I figure the cost is simply protecting the investment - but I was walking through the pet aisle of the local Target last night and saw a flea and tick control product by Hartz that does all the same things as Frontline. Same tube, similar application procedure ... but for $9.99 for three months worth of doses.

So the obvious question is this: Am I missing something?

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Ive used Biospot in place of Frontline for a number of years. My dogs have never have an "attached" tick using either product. Not sure about the Hartz product.

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I put frontline (2nd application of the season) on my dog Tuesday night. Went to the field for training Thursday evening, came home and pulled 9 ticks off her. 4 were attached. The reason I share this is you can not trust it 100%. It makes a HUGE difference but I suggest still checking after being out. This was name brand Frontline Plus.

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From my understanding ticks will still attach, however the frontline will kill them before they can transmit lyme disease. It doesn't act like a repellent we put on.

Its not fullproof, but better than nothing.

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This time of year we have a LOT of ticks, I can go for a walk with my dogs in the CRP and when I get back the ticks are having 'tick races' up my legs and I can pick 10-20 off each dog. When I apply the Frontline, it takes a few days to get rid of the ones that have attached to each dog, but then I'm good to go, I won't find any attached ticks on the dogs - but I will find them crawling on the dogs. I check them every day and after about 3 weeks I start finding ticks attached, at first around the eyes and on the ear tips, then all over. Then its time to apply Frontline again. By July the ticks are mostly gone and I stop applying the Frontline. But you have to keep checking, you'll find the occaisional tick, even into Oct.

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I was talking with a guy at the dog park that tried it. I don't know about the effectiveness, but he said that it had a really strong perfumey odor that he didn't like.

I've had good luck with K9 Advantix, although it's a no-no if you have cats.

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I used Hartz several years ago and I thought it was effecive. RW your friend was right, it does have a pretty strong odor. If I remember correctly it goes away after awhile. I have swtiched to Boi-spot myself, but feel in a pinch or emergency, I wouldn't be afraid to use it. I do use a Hartz flea and tick spray in conjunction with drops when I am hunting in severe tick country, ie. Snake River and Solona State Forests etc. and I think it helps to some degree repel ticks.

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Thanks all, for the info. I'm going to give it a try and will let you know if I notice anything worthy of pointing out.

And you're each right about still being vigilant. I spend alot of weekends in the tick-infested Glenwood, MN area, and I was pulling them off my pup two weeks after our last visit. But the frontline did its job, as I didn't find any "blowin' up" with blood.

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I personally would use frontline or k9 advatix, esspecially if your dog comes in regular contact with them. Hartz is a very budget low potency formula. How many vets sell hartz? If you are worried about price use either petmeds dot com or DR. Foster Smith dot com you will save money. Ticks are out all warm weather season months. Not only the first couple like one poster said. Lymes disease is much harsher on dogs than us humans. I know of a few dogs that have died from it. I find more ticks on my dog in september and october until hard freezes that any other time. It is not the large dog ticks that one should be worried but the deer ticks. I would not risk my pets life to save a few bucks.

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The name brand stuff is a cheap investment when you consider the cost of the dog, training, etc...

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I've used Hartz for the past three years on my lab, I've never had to pull off an attached tick. It does have a perfumey smell and the hair is oily for about 3 days before it absorbs in.

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Agreed on all counts.

I'll be going back to Frontline next month, but not because of a lack of effectiveness. The pooch hated the stuff. Eight hours after it was applied he was still trying to shake it off and acting a lil funky.

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Another vote for Bio-Spot. Stuff has worked great for my dogs.

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I put a lot of money into my dogs in training and entry fees. I would love to use something as simple as Frontline or Biospot. The research I did left me with a enough doubt that I do not use any thing but spays (horse spray typically with the same chemical as biospot), I guess I home hoping the sprays wash off easier. The horse spray on my pant legs keeps the ticks off as well.

Do a Google search on Biospotvictims.

The chemicals in all of these products are made to kill things dead. There were enough problems related to Biospot that I researched the chemicals (different) in Frontline that I am concerned about using any of them being in contact with my family through playing with the dogs, or prolonged contact on my dogs.

I have had personally had Lyme disease, most of my dogs have tested positive at one point or another even though they get the vaccine. A few weeks of Doxycycline and everyone is good to go.

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I've used the hartz stuff, biospot, and frontline. I have hartz right now, my dog doesnt mind it, it has a purfumy odor, but she's an outside dog and it makes her smell nice grin

Havent had any problems with ticks.

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Pretty decent article in the St. Paul paper today about this exact topic. Worth a read if you have a chance.

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Pikehunter,

I'm not going to get a chance to read this article. Any chance you could sum it up for us?

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the hartz cr@p has the same poisons in it that are sprayed on a field to prevent bugs from attackin crops, u wont see me use it. I use to be a professional dog trainer and had to apply products to dogs each month (provided from the owner) and it was like 80% frontline and 20% k9 advantix never seen any other product used

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I can do you one better ... story pasted below. Mostly common sense stuff, but shows just how careful you need to be with what you put on your dog.

___

Those easy-to-apply insecticides can make your dogs or cats sick; EPA received 44,000 complaints last year

By Debra O'Connor

Peter Bohnel's Bichon Frise, Abby, left, had a severe reaction -- including neurological problems -- after Bohnel applied a "spot-on" tick-control liquid. His Pomeranian, Reggie, got sick after licking Abby. (Pioneer Press: John Doman)It's that itchy time of year, and when Peter Bohnel found a tick on his dog Abby, a bichon frise, he headed to the store for a flea-and-tick-control product. He found Frontline, which his veterinarian had recommended and which he'd used before, but he went with a cheaper product, Sergeant's Silver.

At home in Lindstrom, Minn., Bohnel followed the package's directions and applied the "spot-on" liquid along his dog's spine.

His sweet white dog went berserk.

"She's running from room to room screaming. I could see the line down her back, it's red, I could start seeing blisters form," he told the Watchdog.

Bohnel checked the Sergeant's box — he couldn't find a contact number to call — which said if a dog was "sensitive" to the product, it should be washed.

"I gave her literally three baths," he said. "I took her out (and) she started going into shock. She started shaking. Her temperature elevated to 104, 105." A normal temperature for a dog is about 101 degrees.

It was a Sunday night, and his vet's office was closed, so Bohnel rushed Abby to an emergency animal hospital.

"I brought her in, and ... I thought, 'Here, I did it. I killed my dog,' " he said.

In the emergency room, Abby was given Valium to stop the dog's muscle twitches, said Bohnel's veterinarian, Meaghan Swensen of Lindstrom's Lakes Veterinary and Surgical Center. "She was having trouble standing and holding her body up."

Abby also was given intravenous fluids to replace what she'd lost from drooling and to lower her stress level, Swensen said.

Back at Bohnel's home, another dog was having problems, too. Reggie, a Pomeranian, had licked Abby after her baths and was vomiting uncontrollably.

A few days later, after both dogs were feeling better, Bohnel asked the Watchdog to warn dog owners about the problem. The Watchdog wondered if Abby and Reggie were unique, but discovered many online complaints about different kinds of flea-and-tick-control products, including Sergeant's. She called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates pesticides.

According to the EPA, about 28,000 complaints about the products were reported in 2007. Last year, the number jumped to 44,000. Some dogs just had skin irritation; others had seizures. Some died. Spot-on products were the most commonly reported as bothersome — they last about a month in the body versus shampoo treatments, which are effective only for a few days, said EPA veterinarian Kit Farwell.

Along with complaints to the EPA, the poison control center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gets a lot of calls about the use of flea-and-tick products, said veterinarian Steven Hansen, who is a toxicologist there.

He said many negative reactions are the result of inadvertent overdoses: Pet owners figure if a little medication is good, a lot must be better. Or they give the correct dosage but use multiple products, like spot-on and tablets together.

Animals also can be genetically predisposed to react to the pesticides in these products. For example, a dog may be unusually sensitive because of a subtle liver abnormality. Or a dog can be allergic to any of the ingredients in the medicine, even the base material that the chemicals are mixed with. Allergies may not form on a first use but can occur later, so pet owners always should carefully monitor their animals after every application.

Animals that are old and debilitated, pregnant, have thyroid problems or are excessively overweight or underweight are more at risk.

Whatever the cause, reaction to the product can overstimulate the nervous system, possibly leading to seizures, high temperatures, multiple organ failure and even death, Hansen said.

Keep in mind, Hansen said: "These products are designed to kill things."

TALK TO YOUR VET

Based on the jump in consumer complaints, the EPA is investigating the products and met with several manufacturers this month. Only 16 companies make the flea-and-tick-control products, but some identical treatments are sold under multiple brand names, said Kimberly Nesci, a team leader in the EPA's pesticide programs office.

Study results are expected as early as July, and depending on what its analysis shows, the EPA could end up banning some products.

The Watchdog asked Sergeant's Pet Care Products about Bohnel's case. Spokeswoman Jennifer Windrum initially was defensive and asked for details.

"Three-fourths of bad reactions are caused by misapplications," she said. "We don't know for sure that he applied it correctly."

Sergeant's considers that a big problem. In 2005, it started a consumer education campaign called Look at the Label (lookatthelabel.com), urging pet owners to pay attention when they apply what can be a dangerous chemical.

Plus, Windrum said, 44,000 incidents is a small number considering the number of dogs being treated with such products. "It has to be put into perspective," she said.

Windrum also noted Sergeant's products aren't the only ones that sometimes cause problems.

"This is industrywide," she said, including over-the-counter and vet-dispensed pesticides.

Still, Sergeant's has had some issues of its own.

"Sergeant's recently reformulated a couple of their products ... because they weren't comfortable or satisfied with the reactions that some of the pets were having," Windrum said.

Those products are Gold Squeeze-On for dogs and Sentry Pro XFC.

No flea-and-tick product is 100 percent safe, said veterinarian Sandra Koch, a board-certified dermatologist at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine. Plus, she said, there are many new products on the market.

Her recommendation?

"Always consult with your veterinarian," Koch said. "There are multiple products out there. Are they using it for prevention or for treatment? Is there an infestation already? Is the animal exposed to both fleas and ticks?"

One over-the-counter product she recommends is Frontline Spot On. It's effective, she said, the active ingredients are safe for humans as well as dogs, and she hasn't heard any complaints from her patients.

According to Frontline's Web site and a customer service technician, though, the company sells only to veterinary clinics, not online or in stores.

But overall, both Swensen and Koch advise pet owners not to ignore the perils of fleas and ticks.

"We see a lot of Lyme disease and a lot of another tick disease, anaplasma," Swensen said. "Those diseases can be very difficult to treat."

PROTECT YOUR PET

Here's more tick-and-flea treatment advice from Sandra Koch, a veterinarian who is a board-certified dermatologist at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine:

Don't put Fido's medicine on Mittens. Some ingredients that are effective on a dog (permethrin and pyrethrin) can kill a cat.

Don't expect a natural concoction to work; none has been proven scientifically.

If there's an adverse reaction, immediately bathe the animal with soap and water and call a veterinarian.

Avoid bathing the animal or letting it swim for 48 hours before and after applying a topical product.

Don't apply the product on a sore.

Consider prescription products for specific uses: Comfortis, a monthly tablet just for fleas, is good for a dog that swims a lot. Revolution and Advantage Multi include a heartworm preventative. Vectra 3D also protects against mosquitoes.

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Thanks for posting this pikehunter. It says in the article that frontline is only sold at vet clinics and that is where I get mine but I did see Frontline in this week's Fleet F. ad. Is it different than the stuff I get from the vet?

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My vet said it is. Of course, maybe he is biased, but most vets I have ever talked to honestly care more about the pets than anything else, and I trust them - heck that is where I would bring my dogs, so I have to trust them. I buy it at the vet, might cost more, but not much.

I don't know "how" it is different, just that he said it was. Take it with a grain of salt, I guess wink

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My vet said it is. Of course, maybe he is biased, but most vets I have ever talked to honestly care more about the pets than anything else, and I trust them - heck that is where I would bring my dogs, so I have to trust them. I buy it at the vet, might cost more, but not much.

I don't know "how" it is different, just that he said it was. Take it with a grain of salt, I guess wink

I heard this from a vet also, and the concept ticks me off. So is Frontline selling an inferior product in their same package to stores? Do stores get the outdated stuff? Or...are vets just lining their own pockets, wanting you to buy from them? Frontline is SERIOUSLY tarnishing their own reputation IF they are willing to sell store shoppers something less than top-notch. Why would you let your product have a double standard. My kids pet their dog when they wake up each morning, and before going to bed every night; can we trust Frontline...or have they no pride in their product?

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