Frontline Spray For Horse: How Does it Work?

Keeping ticks and mites off the horses is a daunting task and the treatment can be tricky as well. These pesky parasites are widespread in the horse’s environment and your horse may be harboring them without you even knowing. They are known to carry diseases and cause inflammation at the site of attachment.

Therefore, look for the early signs and treat accordingly before the matter gets out of hand.

There are several treatments and medications for ticks prevention, one of them is using Frontline Spray. The products used to keep ticks and mites at bay do not stay effective for long.

Most equestrians have used Frontline Spray on horses and witnessed desirable results. Still, many horse owners are doubtful whether it is safe to use the said spray because it is not purely a horse product. You will find all the essential information here to give you more clarity.

Frontline Spray For Horses

Manufactured by Merial Animal Health, Frontline Spray is a liquid medication used for the prevention of ticks, fleas, and other parasites.

It is a commonly used product for dogs and cats and quite effective as well. However, it is not labeled for horses and that’s what makes people skeptical whether they should use the spray on the horse or not.

As per the anecdotal reports, it seems safe for horses. Even though it is a medication for dogs and cats but many vets recommend it for horses showing mild symptoms or early signs.

Frontline Spray Formulation

Frontline Spray comes in various sizes and preparations; Frontline Spray, Frontline Spot On, and Frontline Combo Spot On.

Frontline Spot On is not a prescription drug, so, you do not need the permission of a vet to use it on the horse.

On the contrary, Frontline Spray and Frontline Combo are POM-V medications which means you will need a prescription from a vet to get them from a medical store.

How Does Frontline Work?

The main ingredient in the composition of Frontline Spray is fipronil which is an insecticide used to treat fleas, ticks, and lice.

Fipronil works by interfering with the nervous system of insects by blocking receptors of the neurotransmitter GABA. This kills the fleas within 24 hours of attaching to the animal.

It does not stop the parasites from attaching to the animal but kills them in 24 hours giving them no time to spread diseases.

It will help relieve the discomfort caused by these parasites. This treatment does not take days to work, just 24 hours to know about its effectiveness.

Frontline Combo Spot On contains an extra ingredient along with Fipronil. It contains S-methoprene which belongs to a class of drugs called insect growth regulators (IGR’s). It inhibits the growth of eggs, larvae, and pupae in the adult flea.

Parasites Killed By Frontline

Frontline Spray prevents the attacks of a variety of parasites. It assists in preventing flea infestations, ticks, and biting lice. It can also be used to treat several mites as well such as Sarcoptes and Harvest mites.

Breaking the Fact Equiderma Spray for horses

Effectiveness Of Frontline Spray For Horses

Most horse owners question the effectiveness of the treatment as it is not purely a horse product. As per some users, it is effective when the problem has not gone out of hand.

Also, many ticks have developed resistance to the active ingredient of the spray, Fipronil. It can not be as good or effective a treatment as pyrethrin-based products.

Besides the effectiveness, it is designed for dogs and cats, therefore, it will be expensive to use for the horses.

Some horses would certainly need more applications in large amounts. As the product states, it kills the parasites within 24 hours. So, after spraying the horse with Frontline, keep a close eye and see if there is a decrease in the number of fleas, ticks, and mites attached to the horse.


Treatment with Frontline Spray needs to be repeated frequently in case of flea allergy dermatitis or high environmental flea challenge.

If recommended by the vet, apply as per the dosage instructions of the veterinarian.  

Common directions of use include spraying it on the legs, belly, tailhead, and forelock of the affected horse every 1-3 weeks. Apply it at skin areas where horses can not reach to lick off. 

It can be applied both as a spot-on or a spray. Avoid spraying it on the wet hair and damaged or infected skin.

Do not bathe or let the horse swim for 2 days after application. Wear gloves or other necessary safety accessories when applying the Frontline Spray.


The following tips will help you be on the safe side, so, follow them to avoid unpleasant circumstances

  • It should only be used topically and the dosage may depend on the pets’ weight or as prescribed by the veterinarian.
  • If you suspect any side effects or your pet has accidentally received an overdose of Frontline, call the vet immediately.
  • It is fatal for rabbits
  • This spray is flammable so, store it in a cool place
  • The pet may experience mild and temporary skin irritation at the site of application.
  • In case the pet licks the spray, you will likely see hypersalivation and vomiting.

Alternatives to Frontline Spray

If Frontline spray failed to prevent ticks, mites, or lice, worry there are many more options to try. Use other alternatives like Permectrin CDS, Ultraboss, Equispot, or Vectra 3D.
In brief, if you are still skeptical about the usage even after knowing all about the Frontline Spray, it is better to consult the vet, explain the situation, and ask for advice.

Iqra Maryam is a passionate equestrian who has spent her life researching and writing about equine. She remembers playing with her pony more than toys and friends! With time, she managed to train her Pony and did all research related to the well being of her friend. She trains young equestrian and writes thoughtful articles on them. She believes each horse is a new learning experience and it sparks up her equine passion.

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