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Question
Posted by: Elle | 2006/04/21

Continuing treatment for dog with flea allergy

My 6 year old retriever was recently diagnosed with a flea allergy, i.e if she gets one flea bite she starts to bite and scratches like mad and has to go to the vet for a cortisone injection. For the past 3 months I have been treating her with frontline plus which seems to do the trick and keep the fleas away. I also treated her bedding etc. Frontline comes in packs of threes, and I have now treated her with it 3 times (once per month). I have heard that fleas normally occur during summer. Should I now continue with the frontline indefinitely, or should I again start with it only after the winter season.
And if I do continue with the frontline indefinitely, wouldnt she build up some kind of resistance to it, and then there is a chance that after a while it might not work anymore?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Generally, because fleas live indoor it is an all year problem and treatment should be continued throughout the year. Your dog will not become resistant to the product. Occasionally fleas can develop tolerance of a particular product. An alternative product can then be obtained from your vet. This is uncommon.

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2006/04/22

The makers of frontline say that you should continue to use it year round. I've found it ok to stop in winter and start again at the first sign of trouble in summer - but on the other hand, my dogs don't have any allergy problems. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the packaging says it provides protection for 'up to two months' in the case of fleas, which gives a bit of leeway. So you'll have to decide - it's a risk you take, but I reckon interrupting the application would probably work, provided you start again early enough in the summer. Save a bit of money too - this stuff is expensive - work out what it costs by the litre!

As regards immunity: it's not the dogs that become tolerant, in this case - it would be the fleas. I've been using Frontline for quite a while without problems, but I do know that some products in the past have ended up not working so well. However, the manufacturers are usually on top of this kind of thing, and of course they don't want to lose their customers, so I suspect they'd tweak the formulation to make sure no tolerance develops.

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