|Barked: Fri Jan 11, '08 4:23pm PST |
|"Toxic" is kind of a relative term, which seems kinda weird, but that's the way our world is! It kind of depends on your definition of toxic whether Frontline might fall into that category. Is "toxic" a material that's simply not labeled GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA? Can doctor/vet prescribed chemicals be defined as toxic, even if they're helpful in ways? Is a toxic material something that will cause harm, or may cause harm? Is something toxic if it shows a negative effect after short term exposure? Long term?
Frontline is NOT is totally innocuous and needs to be as carefully considered as other prescription medications. There are definitely risks associated with it's use. It is a chemical pesticide that you apply directly to your dog. It is supposed to be "safe" if used as indicated, but using it improperly can be dangerous. It can impact not only the dog it's applied to, but other members of the family -- human or not.
One big problem I have with the monthly chemical preventatives is that they have simply not been around for long enough in human/companion animal terms for people to be able to be making the guarantees they are about safety and effectiveness.
On the flip side, insect generations are a LOT shorter periods of time than human or dog ones, and seeing as all life changes and adapts to environmental changes with each generation I think it's kind of short sighted to assume that these monthly topicals will be effective as-is for too terribly long, nevermind what kind of resistance we've helped breed into pest populations! How the generalized environment and more localized ecosystems are being affected by the use of these chemicals, and what will happen over time is something only time will tell.
Questions to ask yourself before using any medicine -- pharmaceutical or otherwise, OTC or prescription -- are:
-- What is this medicine supposed to do?
-- Am I supposed to take/give this medication short term or long term?
-- How does it work? (What is it's mode of action?)
-- Is this medication indicated for my condition?
-- What are the reported side effects and/or secondary effects?
-- Will this medication contradict or be contradicted by other medications, foods, or activities?
-- Do I know how to use this medication properly?
-- Do the benefits of this medication outweigh the risks?
After you've been using preventative or long-term use medications for a while you should re-evaluate:
-- Is this treatment doing what it's supposed to do?
-- Am I still comfortable with what it is and how it works?
-- Am I experiencing side effects or negative secondary effects?
-- Has any new information come out about this medication that I should be aware of?
-- Is the original dosage still what I need to take?
-- Do the benefits still outweigh the risks?
I suppose it comes as no surprise that I'm not a huge fan of monthly topical use, and surely not the way they're being used now! I haven't used a monthly topical on my dogs in over 4 years, though I have used them in the past. (No fleas or other parasites to report in that time.) Overall I have found that they're not all they're cracked up to be, and they definitely aren't worth the toxic load they carry, now matter how minimal that supposedly is.
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