Atlanta based “reporter,” Jim Strickland who “broke the story” of Trifexis (his last dose of sensationalist nonsense hurled at our industry) has struck again against an important veterinary product that is even safer than Trifexis and most other preventive in the canine and feline market. Based on claims from a dog owner whose dog died after his third dose of Bravecto (Bravecto is a 3 month flea/tick preventive, so that would have been the third dose in a 6-7 month period) that it killed her dog, Jim Strickland jumped right on it and reported on the “danger” of Bravecto. With rampant social media and a small but ever present ilk of people that are bent on seeding distrust of veterinarians and the industry, it has steadily gained steam in pet forums and inevitably (like Trefixis and Convenia before it) has reached the status of having a “Bravecto Kills Dogs” Facebook page.
When I first heard about this, I thought at first that perhaps this time around, the “story” would fizzle out and that I would not find myself in my exam room having to explain that the misinformation pet owners are getting on the internet or through the usual suspects in the pet industry that have no medical training or veterinary clinical experience is simply not true. Unfortunately, that did not happen and I have dealt with it enough at this point that I decided it is time to blog about it.
Once again, I write about misinformation at the risk of inevitably attracting internet trolls that will comment on my post and accuse me of being in the tank of Big Pharma who bought me my (non-existent) yacht and is funding my (imaginary) upcoming vacation to Hawaii…among other horrible things they will call me. But is worth it for the people that would sooner accept the word of a biochemist and experienced veterinarian over that of grieving pet owners seeking closure and a reason for the devastating loss of their pet, and a “reporter” that is all to ready to exploit them.
Here is the REAL truth about Bravecto. My clinic has been dispensing Bravecto for over 2 years and have only found it invaluable for the prevention of fleas and ticks for the duration of 3 months, but we have found it exceptionally, even unusually, safe. The FDA data supports our observation. Bravecto’s active ingredient, fluralaner remains in the circulation of dogs and cats unchanged metabolically exerting its flea and tick killing effect for 90 days. It is gradually eliminated in the feces over time. Since no reaction occurs in the body to alter fluralaner to facilitate its clearance, there are no toxic byproducts generated, nor are the primary organs of detoxification – liver and kidneys – adversely affected by the molecule since no modification occurs within these organs.
Before the FDA will approve a veterinary product, they generally require what is known as the LD50 of a drug, which is the lethal dose by which a drug will kill half the patients it is administered to. In both dogs and cats, the FDA waved this requirement for Bravecto because at 10 times the dose, there was not one fatality in test subjects, let alone the 50% necessary to publish the data. This is nothing short of astounding.
Clinically, I have found the product not only incredibly safe (among 1000’s of dispensed doses, I have seen only one case of transient lethargy and one case of mild and self limiting diarrhea), but very effective in the prevention of fleas and ticks. By preventing these external parasites we not only protect our pets and families from these nuisances, but we prevent deadly diseases that they transmit, such as parasitic anemia, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Yersinia Pestis (Bubonic Plague) to name a few.
“Reporters” like Jim Strickland that exploit grieving pet owners for his own gain and the ilk that are all to willing to jump on the next conspiracy theory about the evil veterinary industry accomplish nothing but scare good people into denying their pets a product that is not only safe but optimizes their health by protecting them from very real health threats.
If you ever have doubts about “information” like this, I would encourage you to ask your veterinarian. As I have stated repeatedly, any one of us could have had much more lucrative careers in other branches of health care, but we chose veterinary medicine because we care and the vast majority of us act for the benefit of your pet as their advocate first and foremost; not as the evil minions of Big Pharma as some would have you believe.
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality throughout a number of subjects and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.