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February 17, 2007


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What type of shampoo can I use on small dog using frontline? She is itching constantly!!! Can I simply bathe w/water and dishsoap, something that doesn't have flea chemicals?


Hello, Robin,

Dishwashing soap will probably be very drying to the skin. Dog and cat skin has a lot different pH balance and is much thinner and more delicate than human skin. We occasionally use Dawn for de-greasing animals that have become contaminated with motor oil or machinery grease, but I wouldn't use it for routine bathing.

I would recommend a soap-free hypoallergenic pet shampoo, like HyLyt EFA. Your veterinarian should be able to help you with this.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hi, love your site, have been reading through the archives after finding you via a Google search.

We just started our two (inside-only) cats on Advantage, as in they received the first dose this morning. Should we be okay with this? We put it on the base of their skull where they can't reach it (though it didn't stop them from trying!), so they can't lick it off. And like I said, they never go outside and we do not bathe them. Should the Advantage last all month?

Thanks for any info you can provide. Once again, love your site!


Hello, Sarah,

I think you will be happy with the Advantage on your house-cats. It is a good product, but it can't stand much bathing. Since most house-cats don't get much bathing, this should be no problem.

For my patients that go in and out, I really like Revolution because it also gives me heartworm prevention and protection from ear mites (which require direct contact to catch, so no problem with your house-cats).

Thanks for reading and writing.



Advantage nearly killed my cat. Three days after treatment (his behavior got worse and worse starting from the first day of treatment) he was listless and lying on the floor, unwilling to get up, shaking/seizures, unable to eat or even drink. I thought he would die that night - and stayed up with him all night - and took him to the vet first thing in the morning.

He had to be hospitalized and fluids given intravenously... and the first thing the vet asked was "Has he been poisoned?"

No, he wasn't poisoned by anything other than the Advantage - as it started the night I put it on him.

I would not recommend this product to ANY ONE who loves their animal - especially not for cats!


Oh - one thing I forgot to mention:

I even ran into a VET who, when I quizzed her about the effects of this poison (Advantage) said she would personally NEVER recommend Advantage to any animal.

That was the only vet I talked to who knew the scoop on just how many pets had died or were sickened by this horrible product.

It also "ate" a hole in my cat's neck where I put the original application of the product - and the hole refused to heal for weeks... bleeding and weeping - as if it had literally burned into his skin (which it had).

I will never use another commercial flea product again (whether it's vet-recommended or not). Some vets out there do know (and tell) the truth. They are rare, though. Most of them seem to care more about their sales of the product than the life of your animal, sadly.

I truly hope no one else's pet has to go through such a horrific experience - as it nearly killed my cat and broke my heart to see him like that.

As for Dawn: it may cause dryness, I don't know, or flakiness of the skin. But after that incident we did use Dawn and it killed every single flea and my cat was still healthy. It won't, however kill flea eggs. And the cat most likely won't like a bath. But it's better than having a sick animal. (Dawn will not sicken your animal; it is used on wildlife to clean their skin/feathers/fur etc. of oil after oil spills and has helped save many, many animals. Including mine - because I used it to wash off the Advantage (it is the only product recommended to remove Advantage).


Hello, Alexis,

I am sorry that you have had such a terrible experience. This is the first time I have heard of such a thing with Advantage, and I know that many people use it with no apparent problems.

Even when such an occurrence is rare, that is no consolation when it is YOUR beloved pet.

I suspect that you and your veterinarian have reported this adverse event to the manufacturer. If not, you should.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Thank you for responding - I appreciate it.

Well, we used Advantage on this particular cat three times. The first time, all he did was seem a little "off" - the second time, we noticed he was lethargic but not enough to warrant a vet visit. On the third time, he literally almost died from the product - which we couldn't understand because we only used it about once every year and didn't have problems before (other than a little odd behavior and lethargy).

Also, the dose we gave him on that last time was a SMALLER dose than we usually gave.

I don't understand why it happened but I know I can't trust it anymore.

I do thank you for your concern for my cat. You're right, it really is no consolation when it's a pet that you love.

I would love to trust Advantage again, but due to that last experience and the fact that my cat is very much loved, I just can't.

Thank you for responding to me ... have a good evening.



My dog swims a LOT. In the pond and in the pool. Will that remove advantage the same as a bath will? I know you said rain wouldn't have any effect.


Front Line Plus

@Marceia If he goes under water it is a possibility.

Jennifer Nichols

My cat nearly died from Advantage also. Our experience was almost exactly the same as Alexis'. I had used the product several times previously (more than 3 times) and it got worse each time until she had to spend several days in the vet hospital and get hydration treatments.

Another similarity that I'm noticing, that I've been wondering about, is that we both used product that was probably at least a few years old. Well, I know I did, and I assume if Alexis only applied once a year that she bought at least 3 applications which would make the last one 3 years old. I wonder if the chemical breaks down and becomes more toxic with time...


I will have to remember to check with the manufacturer on this. Most drugs are stable and effective long beyond their "expiration date". The date simply reflects the length of time the manufacturer has proven it will last.

Even when they are losing potency with age, there are apparently very few that then change into something toxic. No doubt there are instances of this, but it doesn't seem to be much of a problem. People would be dying like flies,as most hardly ever throw out old medicines. They "save a little in case I get it again later".


Can I use dog frontline on my cat if I use the correct dosage?


The only Frontline product that I am presently using is the spray. The spray is dosed in pumps per pound, regardless of cat or dog.

For the topspot, we had too many complaints about the product not giving full effectiveness for a full month. People asked if they could use a bigger size, use it more often, etc.

For dogs, we are now using Vectra 3D. With cat patients that we are seeing, we recommend Revolution. For over-the-counter sales, plain Vectra (no permethrin for ticks) made for cats.

My recollection on the Frontline is that Merial says that they are formulated in different concentrations. They did not recommend giving the dog product to cats when last I checked, but my recollection may be faulty.

If you call Merial they will certainly tell you not to.

Cats and dogs absorb things differently sometimes and it would be safest to stay with the cat product.


I have two cats who get flea treatments each month. Advantage works well on one cat, however for the other it caused complete hair loss and skin irritation at the application site (back on the neck). The fur did regrow slowly and the irritation healed. I can now only use Revolution sucessfully on the sensitive cat.


Hello, Cora,

Thanks for sharing your experience. There is no product that works for everyone.

The insert on Revolution notes that there may be hair loss at the site of application as a routine thing. We see it every once in a while.

Revolution is a go-to product for us, we really like it, but nothing is perfect for everybody.

Thanks for reading and writing.


We were told by the vet that Vectra would work for fleas on our small dogs, it didn't at all. Tried Frontline Plus, it helped but still seen 5-6 adults crawling and biting everyday-reduced the # of fleas, but didnt get rid of them. Then we finally found success when using Advantage II. The fleas are all gone, and every now and then she will bring in a hitchhiker and it will die within a few minutes of being on her. Advantage II is the best!!!!


Hello, Beth,

We have had very good results with Vectra 3-D. The Advantage II is very similar in active tick ingredient.

I am glad that you are having good results.

Did you treat the home and yard initially? If not, it doesn't matter what you use, you would keep seeing fleas.

John Doe

There's actually two very similarly named, similar products: Advantage and Advantix II. Advantage is fine for cats, but Advantix is deadly. Don't mistake them!


That is why the product is labled K-9 Advantix II. For many people "K-9" makes them think of dogs, as it should. The labeling clearly states it is not to be used on cats, as they permethrin in it is deadly to them.

Alas, people do not always read the labels, nor follow directions.


advantage just killed my cat 2 nights ago. I am devastated. The vet told me it was from the advantage. They tried to wash it off but he was too sick. He had seizure after seizure, and could not walk. He was in a lot of pain and shaking and crying. He also lost his bowels in the car on the way to the ER. It was an awful way for him to go, poisoned to death, and it is my fault because I am the one who put the advantage on him.


Hello, Aaryn,

I am sorry for your loss. This is a very surprising case. Imidacloprid (the stuff in Advantage) generally just sits on the skin, and is not absorbed. It is generally considered a very safe product.

There are other products that contain tick-control, such as K-9 Advantix II, that are usually deadly to cats. They are labeled for dog-use only, though.

If your cat was just terribly sensitive to the ingredient in Advantage, this is an incredibly rare occurrence, and there is no way you could have predicted such an outcome. You certainly shouldn't feel guilty about making a bad choice.

There was no way to predict such a thing.

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