Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Make your own Frontline Plus kit

If you are a pet owner who has an outside dog, or if you take your indoor dog on outdoor walks, blood-sucking fleas and ticks can be a nuisance.  Squirrels, raccoons, and rodents can carry fleas and their eggs onto your lawn.  If you go hiking, flea eggs can hitchhike on your shoes.  While you may keep your dog very clean, fleas may still find a way onto your pet’s fur.

Female fleas can lay 20 eggs at a time, up to 500 eggs in their lifetime.  These flea eggs hatch in about 12 days.  Fleas can transmit serious conditions like tapeworms, bubonic plague, typhus and stomach flu.  If you’ve ever had an itchy flea bite, you know that it is annoying as hell. 

We walk our puppy Abby 3 to 4 times a day.  It’s been a relaxing way to get some low impact movement on a regular basis.  Since I no longer bike to my office, I wake up at 6am every morning to take Abby on a brisk 20 to 30 minute walk.  She is full of energy. 

Abby picked up a few hitchhiking fleas on one of her outings.  We noticed her scratching her fur, then picked off the few fleas we found with tweezers.  Our friend gave us 2 months worth of a topical flea treatment made by Hartz; we used it right away.  Luckily, Abby’s flea problem has not come back and we did not have a flea infestation at home.  I’ve heard how absolutely terrible a flea infestation can be.

Frontline Plus
Frontline Plus is one of the most popular over the counter flea and tick products.  It kills 100% of adult fleas within 12 hours and 100% of all ticks and lice within 48 hours.  It’s also waterproof in case your pet likes to swim.  Frontline Plus is topical and applied monthly.

Frontline Plus comes in a variety of sizes, designed for dogs of different body weight.  For instance, Frontline Plus for small dogs is designed to work on dogs 22lbs or less.  Frontline Plus for large dogs is designed to work on dogs between 45 to 88lbs.  Both products have the exact same cost and the exact same active ingredients.  The only difference between the “large” and “small” Frontline Plus products is the amount of medication used per dose. 

Frontline Plus “kits”
If you have a smaller dog, one simple way of saving money on flea treatment is to buy Frontline Plus large dog size, and then use a sterile syringe to measure out separate doses. 

I found out that a lot of people are selling these “Frontline Plus kits” on eBay.   When you break it down, all you need for your own “kit” is a sterile syringe and a container to hold your flea medication.  There is no need to buy one of those Frontline Plus kits online.  You can make one yourself, for much cheaper.  Buying a 10 pack of sterile syringes ensures that you won’t need to worry about reusing the same syringe. 

I bought a 10 pack of sterile 1cc/ml syringes on Amazon for $2.95 and free shipping here.  Then I used 2 older contact lens cases to divide up the medication.  You can order a 3 pack of contact lens cases for $3.97 with free shipping here.  You can also order a glass vial on Amazon for $6.99 with free shipping here.  It was easier for me to use some old contact lens cases I had at home.

Measuring the proper dosage of Frontline Plus
We picked up a 6 pack of Frontine Plus for large dogs at Costco.  The price for the large dog and small dog medication was exactly the same.  Only the dosages for the large dog and the small dog are different

For a small dog (22lbs or less), each monthly application contains 0.67ml of medication.

For a large dog (45 to 88lbs), each monthly application contains 2.68ml of medication, 4 times the quantity of the small size.

Since the small dog size is for dogs up to 22lbs, and Abby is only around 13lbs, we gave her a dosage of 0.4ml.  Dividing up the medication, each large dog dosage unit should provide us with between 4-6 months of small dog treatments!  This 6 pack of Large Dog Frontline Plus can be extended to last us between 24 to 36 monthly doses, 4-6 times the flea coverage as buying the small dog size.  Since fleas are not usually a problem during the winter season, this one purchase should last us a very long time! 

Frontline Plus for very large dogs
One fact I was not previously aware of was the fact that Frontline Plus comes in a “very large dog” 89-132lb. size, which has a 4.02ml monthly dosage size, which is 6 times the size of the small dog sized dosage.  If we were to use a 0.4ml monthly dosage for Abby, we could get 10 monthly flea treatments per single very large dog dosage!

If you divide up your own Frontline Plus dosage, make sure you measure out the EXACT dosage of medication that your dog needs.  An overdose of medication can cause serious harm to your pet, such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and respiratory problems.  Read the markings carefully on your syringe prior to applying the medication.    
Here's Abby happy and flea free!

We try to buy in bulk whenever possible to save money.  This applies to purchasing flea treatment as well.  We got the idea of dividing up Frontline Plus medication from a friend of our friend, who is a licensed veterinarian.  What has been your experience with fleas?

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