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Did Frontline Fail?

Species: Dog
Breed: chihuahua
Age: 5-8 years
I found a flea (or what I thought it was a flea about 2 months ago. I remembered I had some Frontline and applied 1/2 the dose of the treatment as my vet indicated a few years back. We stopped treating our dog with Frontline on a regular basis and only did it as a precaution depending on where we lived. She's mostly an indoors dog since we live in a city though she spends a lot of time in the balcony. I applied another 1/2 does about 23 days ago.
yesterday, when I was playing with her, I saw a couple of pink-red dots near her head in our fuzzy blanket. I touched one of them and it basically dissolved in my finger. I tried getting the other one, but I couldn't pick it up because it got buried in the blanket when I moved it. I don't think it moved. I checked her and I couldn't find anything on her. Should I be worried that the Frontline is not working. Should I give her the full dose next Monday? What should I do?
Thanks

Rosa


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

What you are describing doesn't really sound like fleas. It's possible, but a pink dot that dissolves in your finger isn't really like fleas or flea dirt.

Flea dirt (the feces of fleas) is actually black in color. If you put a piece of flea dirt on a paper towel and put some water on it and smear it it can look pink or sometimes rusty red. But, on the dog it will look black.

So my guess is that there is not a flea problem at all.

With that being said, I am not a fan of putting half doses of medication on dogs even if they are tiny. If the package says it is for use in dogs "up to 22 pounds" or "0-10 pounds" then it really is safe for any sized dog. Using a half dose could result in the product not working because it is conceivably possible that the active ingredient is not spread out exactly evenly throughout the vial. So, you could get one treatment with 90% of the dose and the other half could contain only 10%.

There's no harm in putting a full dose on again, even now. Keep an eye out for more fleas but I'm guessing that there is no problem.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you Doctor Marie. So it's ok for me not to wait for a full dose even though it hasn't been 30 days?
I will check my dog again to make sure I don't see any flea dirt.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Yes, it is safe to reapply Frontline even if it hasn't been 30 days.



Customer reply:

Hi Dr Marie.
I did one more check on my dog last night and I notice black specks in the urinary area. I try to clean it and see if I could remove it and while some of the stuff came off, some of it did not. I wet the few specks I got to see if they would turn red and check if it would turn red and nothing. I checked other areas of her body and I found nothing like that particular area. Should I be concerned?
Thanks


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I've seen dogs often have black specks around the vaginal area and this can be normal. I am still guessing that the Frontline is doing its job.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.