Any product that uses Fipronil such as Frontline® (Original, Plus, Top Spot, or Gold) can kill your rabbit!! [Updated on: 02/23/22 04:47]

        At one time it was thought Frontline (fipronil) was safe to use with rabbits. Fipronil has induced deaths and the following clinical signs of toxicity: Seizures, Anorexia, Lethargy, Hypothermia, Tremors, Adipsia, Ileus, Agitation, and Hypersalivation. DO NOT USE any version of Frontline® or any other products with fipronil!! This information has been around for 25+ years. Do Not Risk It! Case Examples.

"Fipronil (Frontline) should not be used in rabbits. There are reports of fatalities after its use." - Dr. Frances Harcourt-Brown BVSc FRCVS

       "In rabbits, fipronil induced deaths and one or more clinical signs of toxicity including convulsions, sluggishness, salivation, spasms, tremors, hyperactivity, diarrhoea, emaciation, and perioral and perinasal red discolouration in all groups except that at the lowest dose (100 mg/kg bw). Delays in the appearance of signs of toxicity and death were noted at all doses except the lowest. In particular, convulsions were not observed until days 3-9 after treatment, and some animals did not die until days 11-14 (Gardner, 1988b; Myers & Christopher, 1992)." - Pesticide Residues (1997), World Health Organization & Food And Agriculture Organization.

       "In fact, it is strongly recommended NOT to use fipronil-containing products in rabbits or guinea pigs. It is noted that since 1993, all Frontline® Spray and Frontline® Plus products now carry label warnings against using the products in rabbits: "DO NOT USE IN RABBITS". However, it is also noted that The Frontline® Top Spot products do not have this label warning" - Safety of Fipronil in Dogs and Cats : a review of literature, conducted on behalf of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Fipronil & Problems

Commonly reported clinical signs in rabbits exposed to fipronil*
Clinical sign # of rabbits
exhibiting sign
% of rabbits
exibiting sign
Chart by RRI, data source: DVM360 by Laura A. Stern, DVM,
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center staff.
Just a few of the products that use fipronil that should never be used with rabbits. This, by far, is not a complete list!

Frontline® by Merial Animal Health Ltd.

       Frontline was introduced in 1994 by Rhône Poulenc (Rhône Mérieux’s parent company) based on May & Baker’s Ongar's laboratory work (Rhône Poulenc purchased May & Baker’s Ongar Labs in 1922). Merial was established in August 1997 when Rhône Mérieux (parent company Rhône-Poulenc & Merck AgVet (animal health division of Merck & Co. Inc.) later became Sanofi). In September 2009, Sanofi acquired Merck’s 50% stake and is now the animal health division of Sanofi.

       Frontline® products are now made by Merial Animal Health Ltd., the animal health division of Sanofi, and Zoetis India Limited, a subsidiary of Zoetis Inc. Frontline® uses Fipronil to kill fleas and mites and is safe for dogs and cats only!

       Merial Inc. has the below 'do not use' information on both of their New Zealand and USA Frontline® webpages, in the FAQ sections.

** The graphic clips above are directly from the Frontline® webpage FAQs in New Zealand and the USA.


Houston Rabbit Resource - February 21, 2022
       CRITICAL information for all rabbit owners!

NEVER apply Frontline, Pet Armor, or any other flea/tick medicine that contains the ingredient FIPRONIL, to a rabbit. It is almost always fatal. It can lead to seizures, lethargy, and a long, horrible death for a bunny that can take up to two weeks to occur.

Last week, we were contacted about a rabbit that was dumped on someone’s front lawn. The rabbit was underweight and had severe ear mites. Some kind people took him in, but they weren't aware of how dangerous Fipronil is for rabbits, so they administered it. Then the seizures started.

Although we got the bunny into a foster home shortly after the medicine was given and into emergency veterinary care, he was having numerous seizures, and they could not be brought under control. His seizures were so bad, he would scream in pain. Despite the veterinary office's and his foster mom's best efforts, we were unable to save him.

Please DO NOT give any medicine to your bunny without consulting a veterinarian.

RIP little bunny.

Houston Rabbit Resource

Wonder Bunny Rabbit Rescue, Inc. - December 2, 2015

       This is our very sweet lop named Lucy (Princess LuLu). She came to us a little over a month ago after being treated with frontline for fleas!!!

       Her 2 "brothers" died from the treatment but miraculously she survived!!

       Frontline should NEVER be given to rabbits. It is poison!!

       Wonder Bunny Rabbit Rescue, Inc.

The Lopez Bunny Ranch - October 18, 2015
       One of our followers just lost her bunnies after using Frontline. Please don't make the same mistake.

Besides Frontline and Sentinel, you should also avoid flea collars. Not only can rabbits hurt themselves trying to bite the collar off, the chemical dosage on the flea collar is generally too high.

Flea dips and powders should also be avoided. Baths are very stressful for rabbits, and your bunny could go into shock. Flea powders, including all natural powders, can contain chemicals that are poisonous to rabbits.

       The Lopez Bunny Ranch @FB

Misivet SAC (Lima, Peru) - June 26, 2014

       Misivet posted a video of a rabbit treated with a fripronil based product. It shows the rabbit having continuous convulsions and seizures.

       Misivet writes: "Fipronil is toxic to rabbits. Please never apply it in spray or pipette as it can be deadly. For flea problems they can use imidacloprid or selamectin."

Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group - September 28, 2013

       Did you know that Frontline kills rabbits? Yes, it doesn't just harm them, it KILLS them. Sadly, even many veterinarians do not know this. Please share Mabel's story with YOUR veterinarian.

       Mabel was rescued from the street by a kind person whose well-meaning but uninformed vet recommended Frontline for fleas. Prior to receiving Frontline, she was fine: eating and behaving normally. Within a day of receiving the Frontline, poor Mabel had stopped eating. I took her in and started monitoring her temperature, and got her to the rabbit vet soon after. She seemed like she was starting to get well, but two days later she started having multiple seizures. Mabel died at the vet hospital, and the woman who rescued her, who loved her and would have kept her forever as a pet, was of course devastated.

       This did not need to happen. Please tell all the animal lovers you know: Frontline KILLS rabbits!

       Rest in peace. Mabel. I'm so sorry this happened to you.[1]

The Rabbit Haven - January 15, 2006

       "Little Baby Pooh died after a Veterinarian advised his people to treat him with Frontline. His little sister survived but now suffers from seizures. His people are heartbroken. Please do not use Frontline on or around your rabbits! Click the banner above to read more about the dangers of Frontline and other flea treatments."

Studies & Other Information

       At one time fipronil what thought to be safe for rabbits. References to fipronil being safe for rabbits are rare. One paper from 2007 reports: "In one previous report, ivermectin combined with a single topical application of fipronil spray was found to be safe and successful in eliminating P. cuniculi infestation." - An Ectopic Case of Psoroptes cuniculi Infestation in a Pet Rabbit, Turk. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 2007; 31(6): 423-425.

       The paper they are referencing is from the mid 1980s: Ectopic Psoroptes cuniculi infestation in a pet rabbit. Abstract: "A case of Psoroptes cuniculi infestation of the ears and body of a pet rabbit, with severe lesions on the skin of the caudoventral abdomen, is reported. Treatment with ivermectin injection followed by fipronil application appeared to be safe and was successful in eliminating infection." - Cutler, S.L., J. Small Anim. Pract., 1998; 39: 86-87

       In 2010 Dr. Jenkins published a alert bulletin warning about the dangers of using Frontline with rabbits. This information was published to the main HRS website along with many of the HRS chapters that were active at the time.

       Medical Alert: Problems Reported with Topical Flea Products by Jeffrey R. Jenkins, DVM

       Our hospital has become aware of problems with one of the new topical flea products, Frontline, marketed through veterinarians by Rhone Merieux Inc. To date, we have consulted with veterinarians who have prescribed Frontline resulting in the death of three rabbits; another rabbit has been successfully treated for severe seizures it developed after Frontline was applied.

       The active ingredient in Frontline is not supposed to cross into the central nervous system of mammals, and has proven to be safe for dogs and cats. It kills both fleas and ticks, and is difficult to wash off.

       However, it is important to note that use of this product on rabbits is an "off label use" and has never been recommended or approved by the manufacturer. (This is the case with most pharmaceuticals used in rabbits.)

       Representatives of Rhone Merieux Inc. admit they have received other reports of "adverse reactions" to Frontline when used on rabbits, but would not go so far as to say that they knew if other rabbits had died. They went on to say that they strongly recommend Frontline NOT be used on rabbits or other exotic species.

       Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of San Diego, CA, USA.


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