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Animal Drug Safety Communication: FDA Alerts Pet Owners and Veterinarians About Potential for Neurologic Adverse Events Associated with Certain Flea and Tick Products 9/20/18 https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm620934.htm


Condensed info per TAPF
What should I know?

  • The FDA considers products in the isoxazoline class to be safe and effective for dogs and cats but is providing this information so that pet owners and veterinarians can take it into consideration when choosing flea and tick products for their pets.
  • Isoxazoline products have been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures in some dogs and cats;
  • Although most dogs and cats haven’t had neurologic adverse reactions, seizures may occur in animals without a prior history;
  • Many products are available for prevention and control of flea and tick infestations. You can discuss all options with your veterinarian to choose the right product for your pet.
What products are in the isoxazoline class?

  • The FDA-approved drugs in this class are
    • Bravecto
    • Credelio
    • Nexgard
    • Simparica
 

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I remember seeing reviews online and hearing from people about issues like this. I'm glad the FDA is putting out an alert...at least they are acknowledging there is an issue for some animals. I have hesitated to use Bravecto and similar products because of what I was hearing. Seresto collar works well for us here so I will stick with that for now.
 

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Our vet actually prescribed Nexgard and we've been using it.
I will ask her to see what she thinks!

The Seresto collars...
I was hesitating because Rumo has an incredibly thick neck ruff (more husky-thickness than GSD thickness - he actually has layers of fur that hang from his neck) so I was wondering if enough of the chemical would penetrate to be effective...
 

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This part of the warning is pretty important:


"The FDA carefully reviewed studies and other data on Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica prior to approval, and these products continue to be safe and effective for the majority of animals. The agency is asking the manufacturers to make the changes to the product labeling in order to provide veterinarians and pet owners with the information they need to make treatment decisions for each pet on an individual basis. Veterinarians should use their specialized training to review their patients’ medical histories and determine, in consultation with pet owners, whether a product in the isoxazoline class is appropriate for the pet."
 

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Oh dear. My boy been with Bravecto for 2 months now, got it from the vet. About to have some more next month... I should talk to the vet...
 

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All of these products tell you not to use on animals with a history of seizures. It's well known, at least to vets and staff, at least it should be.

That said, I have used Nexguard and Bravecto on my seizure having lab and have no issues.
 

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That said, I have used Nexguard and Bravecto on my seizure having lab and have no issues.

We've used a lot of Nexguard in our rescue too -- and we're dealing with dogs without any known vet history, often in terrible shape. We tend to have more than our share of crazy side-effects on a huge range of drugs pop up simply because of the population we're vetting, and the lack of a history.

When dogs show up covered with ticks, it's so important for us to use something effective that will get all of them, even hard-to-find tiny ones in little nooks and crannies that even careful exams can miss. Nexguard has been really helpful for those dogs. It's also been wonderful for off-label use treating bad demodex in HW+ dogs (where high-dose ivermectin isn't possible).

We've also used Bravecto to a lesser degree. We haven't had side effects from it either, but we have a smaller sample size to compare.

It's worth remembering that Trifexis/Comfortis also has seizure/adverse event reports. We've had whole threads about the weirdness of the unpredictability of which ones react to that product.

Frontline has other issues -- the EPA classified it as Group C (possible human carcinogen) based on rat studies finding increased thyroid tumors (though my recollection is that the rats were fed fipronil at high doses). I also have a vague recollection of some osteosarcoma correlation too, but I can't put my hands on the research right now and might be mis-remembering. Here's the official Fipronil info:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/fipronil
Fipronil Technical Fact Sheet


Ticks transmit awful diseases that can kill dogs, or destroy quality of life. Tick diseases aren't always easy to treat. Fleas aren't just annoying -- an infestation can suck enough blood to make a dog anemic, and even kill puppies (and even mild cases can still transmit other parasites or trigger allergic reactions that are absolutely miserable). For those in warm climates where EOs just aren't enough protection against really voracious bugs, not using parasite prevention has its own dangers too. So please try to keep a balanced perspective and talk with your vet about your dog's history, your environmental concerns, and the disease profiles in your area, to make good, evidence-based decisions for your individual dog!
 

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Ticks are terrible where I live in Oklahoma. I bit the bullet this summer and tried the Nexgard. Worked better than anything I’ve ever used, and no side effects. I also had a concern with using a topical because of my cats.
 

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It's not an if, but a when my dogs will get tick illness if I do not treat them. I have used Bravecto and been very happy with it for a couple years. Well worth it. I've had two dogs almost die of tick illness. I vowed to never allow that to happen again. As far as I've seen, Bravecto is far the lesser of the two evils. Ticks are here to stay, and more tick illnesses pop up every year.
 

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Deja is on Bravecto, doing well on it, and Griff on Trifexis (as a pup he was too young for Bravecto). What I have noticed though is that he itches from Trifexis. I gave him his third dose yesterday and within two hours he itched like crazy. Called the company and they told me that indeed it can cause itching. Duh! It took three doses before I saw the pattern. I am going to take them off flea meds next month until early summer. Will give them garlic to hopefully deter the fleas that are surviving the wet and cold. We started to have fleas when stray/dumped cats moved in on our property. The coyotes are back so hopefully they take care of that issue.
Any suggestions welcome.
 

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It's not an if, but a when my dogs will get tick illness if I do not treat them. I have used Bravecto and been very happy with it for a couple years. Well worth it. I've had two dogs almost die of tick illness. I vowed to never allow that to happen again. As far as I've seen, Bravecto is far the lesser of the two evils. Ticks are here to stay, and more tick illnesses pop up every year.
Will the bravecto prevent the tick from biting completely? Ticks are the only pest or problem we've ever had to treat for and that was many many years ago.
 

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Bravecto isn't a repellent, but it kills the ticks once they attach. The tick dies within a few hours of biting- I find dehydrated ticks on the dogs, but never live ones. It is 'supposed' to kill the ticks before they can transmit the bacteria that causes disease. So far, I've seen this to be true.

I tried every other flea/tick med and Bravecto (or Nexguard) is the only one that is working where I live. Ticks were really bad this spring. Soaking clothing in permethrin is also supposed to work, but I think the ticks are becoming immune to that unfortunately.

We are so far north, we used to really not have any ticks, but the march of climate change (and steady stream of southern dogs shipped to the north) seems to have brought all the bad stuff up here. Oddly enough, the snap of very hot weather ths late summer, seems to have kept the ticks in check for a bit this fall.
 
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