If you were planning on giving your dog Bravecto flea and tick medication but you come across a social media post that says ‘ Bravecto killed my dog’, you must want to get more info on the medication before administering it to your dog. Luckily, in this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about Braveto so by the end of this article you will make an informed decision. So what is the truth? Does Bravecto® kill dogs?
Bravecto Killed My Dog- Does Bravecto Kill Dogs? (No)
It is not logical to conclude that your dog died from using Bravecto without doing a necropsy on your dog to confirm the cause. However, many factors can lead to the death of a dog after taking Bravecto like giving an overdose, an allergic reaction to the active ingredient in the active ingredient or an underlying health condition.
These studies may alleviate any fears you have about treating your dog Bravecto®:
Bravecto® has been rigorously tested to worldwide veterinary drug safety standards, meeting approval requirements in over 70 countries. More information is available in a complete study published in the March 2018 issue of the International Journal of Environmental & Agriculture Research: “Bravecto® chewable tablets have been thoroughly evaluated in multiple countries and are approved as a safe and effective flea, tick, and mite treatment for dogs.”
Lies spread more quickly than truth. According to an MIT study published in March 2018 in Science Magazine, “falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than truth in all categories of information.” On social media, fake news spreads like wildfire. Falsehoods were 70% more common. Falsehoods were 70% more likely to be retweeted, and the authors discovered that “it took about six times as long as the truth to reach 1,500 people.” When reading the “news,” we should all put on our skeptic’s hat.
The Real Story Behind the Bravecto® Rumors
The negative and inaccurate rumors about Bravecto® causing dog mortality began roughly a year after Merck released it to the veterinary market in 2014, following a thorough safety study and FDA approval. The FDA-approved research discovered no clinically meaningful, treatment-related effects, even at 5X the prescribed dose.
More than fifty peer-reviewed articles provide authoritative scientific proof of fluralaner’s (the active ingredient in Bravecto®) safety and efficacy. In one trial, dogs were dosed daily for a year (52 weeks) with no significant adverse events reported. Furthermore, a Snopes examination of Bravecto® discovered that the falsehoods were UNPROVEN.
What is Bravecto?
Bravecto® for Dogs is a flea and tick treatment manufactured by Merck Animal Health.
Bravecto® flea and tick treatment for dogs is available as a delicious chew or as a topical solution that is applied to the skin on the back of your dog’s neck. This solution permeates into the tissues beneath the skin, where fleas and ticks ingest the solution and die within 12 hours. It contains the active ingredient fluralaner, a form of isoxazoline that protects for 12 weeks, implying that you only need to use the medication as a preventative once every three months.
Bravecto® is also used off-label to treat demodectic and sarcoptic mange in dogs, as well as sarcoptic mange in cats. Off-label or extra-label use refers to the use of a medication in a way or in a specific species that is not specified on the drug label. While vets sometimes prescribe drugs for off-label uses, your veterinarian will decide if Bravecto® is appropriate for your dog or cat.
Because this medication is dosed differently for dogs and cats and is administered by weight, you must use the correct species and size medication for your pet. Using cat drugs on dogs or dog medications on cats can lead to serious complications, such as ineffectiveness or an overdose.
Bravecto Topical vs. Bravecto Chews
The mechanisms of action of Bravecto Chews and Topical solutions are fairly similar, with the only difference being how they are administered. While the chews are digested in the stomach and the active component is absorbed via the intestinal lining into the body, the topical, “spot-on” treatment is applied to the skin where it is absorbed and disseminated across the body’s tissues.
How Does Bravecto Work?
Fluralaner is the active ingredient in Bravecto®. Fluralaner is the FDA-approved ingredient that gives Bravecto its near-instant effectiveness against biting pests. Fluralaner begins working nearly immediately after intake by entering the fluids beneath your pet’s skin, where it fights fleas and ticks as they bite. This affects certain pathways in invertebrates’ neurological systems, resulting in convulsions that are lethal to fleas and ticks, but Fluralaner is safe for your companion because it is more effective on invertebrates than mammals.
Fluralaner’s effectiveness stems from its ability to disrupt two important systems in the bodies of fleas and ticks. The first is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-gated channels, which help to suppress nerve signals and calm the body as a whole. Fluralaner disturbs this mechanism by causing huge waves of nerve signals, resulting in uncontrollable seizures and, eventually, death in fleas and ticks. Fluralaner’s action on glutamate-gated channels, which enable nerves to send messages to other cells, works in unison with this. Fluralaner activates these channels, increasing nerve impulse transmissions and the efficiency of Bravecto in the fight against fleas and ticks.
Bravecto also kills and controls four tick species, shielding your pet from infections such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The Bravecto Warning
The FDA issued a memo regarding the isoxazoline family of drugs, which includes the brands Nexgard, Bravecto, Simparica, and Credelio. The specific caution said that there was a risk of neurological adverse effects, including seizures. These medications all belong to the isoxazoline class and are used to treat and prevent flea infestations as well as to kill ticks.
Is Bravecto Safe?
So it’s been known that these groups of medications can produce neurological symptoms, but they’re still regarded as safe and effective treatments because the possibility of this is quite low.
Before a product can be approved by the FDA, it must first go through a series of empirical tests to establish its efficacy and safety. According to one safety research, healthy pets might tolerate 5 times the recommended amount of fluralaner. Some collies have a genetic abnormality that makes them unable to handle ivermectin and other drugs; however, collies with this mutation have been reported to tolerate Bravecto successfully.
Any drug that we provide, and I’ve said this before, has the potential to create negative effects. We must not lose sight of the reason for administering these medications in the first place.
Bravecto has been linked to pet deaths in previous years, according to reports. While concerning, these stories are anecdotal, and no clear linkages have been established so far. European regulators have gathered material and requested that Merck investigate any possible relationship, so we should expect more information as the situation unfolds.
If your dog does not have a history of seizures or is at a higher risk of developing them, they may be a good candidate for taking Bravecto safely. Again, discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.
Bravecto Side Effects
Despite the rarity of side effects, it is best to be ready.
Vomiting after taking medication is uncommon, but it does happen occasionally.
You should speak with your veterinarian if your pet vomits after receiving a chew since they might not have received a therapeutic dose. Don’t just give your pet another medication because overdosing is possible.
This is extremely uncommon (1% of cases) and typically has no itch.
Although uncommon, diarrhea normally goes away on its own and without treatment, but if your dog also seems drowsy and lethargic, you should consult a veterinarian.
Drowsiness for a short length of time after administration has been seen in a small number of pets.
Even while some animals may not vomit, they may still feel queasy and not want to eat; again, this should pass quickly.
These typically manifest as minor dermatitis reactions where the liquid product was applied. You should seek advice from your veterinarian if your pet is suffering from severe itching or if the condition doesn’t improve quickly.
This has only been observed in animals that have gotten a chew, and it doesn’t appear to be related to the topical product.
Some dogs who consume a chew may briefly appear too thirsty afterward; unless this behavior persists, it is nothing to worry about.
Bravecto has a simple dosing system that is available in weight-banded doses. Dogs may handle 5 times the prescribed dose without adverse consequences, according to safety studies.
For small dogs:
Toy dogs weighing 4.4-9.9 lbs should get one 112.5mg dose every 12 weeks, whereas small dogs weighing 9.9-22lbs get one 250mg dose every 12 weeks.
For medium dogs:
Pets weighing 22-44 pounds should get one 500mg dose every three months.
For Large dogs:
Large breed dogs weighing 44-88lbs should receive one 1000mg chew or pipette every 3 months, while extra-large breeds weighing 88-123lbs should receive one 1400mg dose. Dogs weighing more than 123 pounds should be given a combination of chews and pipettes.
Alternatives Flea and Tick Products to Bravecto
Now that you know more about Bravecto, how does it compare to other products? The only available flea and tick treatment that lasts for up to three months is Bravecto. The other products on the market protect pets for one month, with the exception of Seresto collars (7-8 months) and Capstar tablets (24 hours).
Bravecto is adaptable because it can be taken as a pleasant chew with a pork flavor or as an effortless topical “spot-on” treatment. Other products, in contrast, come in a single formulation, such as tablets, topicals, chewables, or collars.
Bravecto targets fleas and ticks while Comfortis and Capstar only target fleas. The target species of various medications vary greatly.
Bravecto Vs. Nexgard
Bravecto contains fluralaner, an isoxazoline medication that targets the neurological system of insects.
The FDA has also authorized NexGard as a flea and tick remedy. Afoxolaner, the active ingredient, belongs to the same medicine class as fluralaner and shares many of the same concerns for side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
NexGard is not approved for use in pregnant or lactating mares, although Bravecto is. Also, NexGard dosage levels are substantially lower than those for Bravecto.
Bravecto Vs. Frontline
Bravecto is available as a chew and a topical medication to protect your pet from fleas and ticks. Frontline is exclusively offered as a topical medication. Bravecto contains fluralaner and Frontline contains fipronil. According to a 2014 study, Bravecto was even more successful at controlling fleas than Frontline and just as effective against ticks.
Comfortis vs Bravecto
Comfortis Chewable Tablets for Dogs
Another chewable tablet that is comparable to Bravecto is Comfortis, although Comfortis does not work against ticks. In contrast to Bravecto chews, which target fleas and ticks and last for three months, Comfortis contains spinosad, which begins to kill fleas in just 30 minutes and lasts for one month.
Capstar vs Bravecto
Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs
Nitenpyram, an ingredient in Capstar, targets flea infestations on your dog for 24 hours. These tablets are short-acting and fast-acting, beginning to work within 30 minutes of administration. They can be used daily. On the other hand, Bravecto is highly effective against both fleas and ticks for up to three months. Additionally, Bravecto is a topical treatment or tasty chew, but Capstar is a tablet that must be given to the pet directly or disguised in food.
Natural Flea And Tick Alternatives
These natural alternatives are only effective if used properly. They also will need to be utilized more frequently and carefully to match the effectiveness of the more potent chemical agents frequently used. And for this reason, a large number of natural remedies “don’t work.” It’s because the pup’s parent isn’t following directions or being diligent enough.
If you’re determined to give your dog a greener treatment, simply be ready to be persistent; otherwise, your dog could contract Lyme illness or have a flea infestation.
You might try some of the popular natural flea and tick prevention products listed below. Once more, first, talk to your veterinarian to find out what they recommend:
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
This is a flexible choice that may be applied directly to your pet as well as to your home’s interior and exterior. DE is a fine powder that kills fleas and their larvae by acting as a drying agent. Use a high-quality food-grade DE to ensure that you can sprinkle it safely on your pet’s bed, rugs, furniture, and other areas where they spend time. Make sure to keep it away from your dog’s eyes, nose, and mouth while applying it directly to them.
Nematodes are often used by gardeners to protect plants from bugs but they can also be effectively utilized for flea and tick control. This can only be used on the ground to kill fleas and tick larvae. Never put on your dog directly.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for people and their pets are numerous. Use a misting bottle to administer a 50/50 ACV to water solution to your dog before she goes outside to help keep off fleas.