Introduction: Is Bravecto® Safe for Dogs? Everything You Need to Know Before Using Bravecto® Flea Medicine for Dogs
It’s certainly no secret that having a pet can be an entirely fulfilling and rewarding experience—especially when it comes to dogs. With their often-exuberant demeanors, affectionate nature, and unique personalities, dogs can quickly become an integral part of your family.
Of course, every dog parent wants to make sure that their four-legged family member is happy, healthy, and safe, which means regular vet visits and preventative pest treatment.
Now, with an increase in homes that have pets, doggy daycares, boarding, and dog parks, there are endless possibilities to come into contact with a wide range of pests, making it important to find the best flea and tick pill for dogs.
Bravecto® for Dogs
Bravecto® for Dogs may be one of the most popular medications on the market, hailed as being an incredibly effective flea and tick treatment, but it’s also fraught with the most controversy.
Over the past few years, reports of serious illnesses, side effects, and even Bravecto® dog deaths have caused pet owners across the nation to seriously question whether Bravecto® is safe for dogs—or if it should even be on the market.
Before giving Bravecto® dog tablets to your pet, you have a responsibility to understand exactly what that medication entails. In our Bravecto® for Dogs review, we’ll take a close look at the pricing, ingredients, and side effects of Bravecto® chews for dogs to provide a brief overview of what Bravecto® for dogs is.
We’ll also look at Bravecto® for Dogs reviews from actual pet owners—and address the ongoing claims of Bravecto® dog deaths—to show you an honest look at Bravecto dog tablets and topical treatments.
Bravecto® for Dogs Review | What is Bravecto® for Dogs?
Before looking at whether Bravecto® is safe for dogs, it’s important to know exactly what the Bravecto® for Dogs medication is. Bravecto® for Dogs is a flea and tick treatment produced by pharmaceutical company Merck Animal Health.
The Bravecto® flea and tick treatment for dogs is available as either a flavored chew or a topical solution that is applied to your dog’s skin on the back of their neck. This solution seeps into the tissues located beneath the skin; once fleas and ticks bite your dog, they ingest the solution and die within 12 hours.
Perhaps one of the most common reasons why Bravecto® for Dogs is marketed as the best flea and tick pill for dogs is that it is also one of the most convenient. Bravecto® dog tablets and solutions are designed to kill pests for a full 12 weeks, resulting in fewer trips to the vet and longer peace of mind for owners.
According to the Bravecto® for Dogs website, their flea and tick treatment can kill:
- Fleas (12 weeks)
- Black-legged ticks (12 weeks)
- American dog ticks (12 weeks)
- Lone star ticks (8 weeks)
Their website also states that the Bravecto® flea and tick for dogs treatment is suitable for puppies and cats that are at least 6 months of age and weigh at least 4.4 pounds. Bravecto® for Dogs can also be taken by pregnant, breeding, and lactating dogs.
Bravecto® for Dogs Review | How Much is Bravecto® for Dogs?
As with any medical treatment, how much Bravecto® costs will always be a concern for pet owners. Luckily, the cost of Bravecto® for Dogs tends to stay the same, regardless of whether you choose the chewable tablet or the topical solution.
Of course, the Bravecto® for Dogs price will depend largely on where you purchase the Bravecto® flea and tick for dogs treatment. Your veterinary office may be able to provide different pricing.
There are five options for small to large dogs, including Bravecto® for Dogs 4-10 lbs., 22-44 lbs., 44-88 lbs., and 88-123 lbs. While conducting a cost comparison, we found that the Bravecto® for Dogs price for one dose (12 weeks of coverage) seems to remain relatively consistent at $49.99.
See the chart below for a quick comparison of Bravecto® for Dogs prices when purchasing two doses of Bravecto® for Dogs 4-10 lbs., 22-44 lbs., 44-88 lbs., and 88-123 lbs.
|Cost of Bravecto® for Dogs||1-800-PetMeds||Allivet|
|Bravecto® for Dogs 4-10 lbs.||$94.96||$79.98|
|Bravecto® for Dogs 22-44 lbs.||$94.96||$79.98|
|Bravecto® for Dogs 44-88 lbs.||$94.96||$79.98|
|Bravecto® for Dogs 88-123 lbs.||$94.96||$79.98|
Table: Average Cost of Bravecto® for Dogs
Bravecto® for Dogs Review | Bravecto® for Dogs Ingredients & Side Effects
Both the Bravecto® dog tablets and topical solution contain the same primary active ingredient: fluralaner, an insecticide (to kill fleas) and acaricide (to kill ticks). While effective at killing pests, fluralaner is a controversial component of Bravecto® for Dogs.
Insecticides and acaricides are commonly used in varying doses in the fields of medicine and agriculture, but is the fluralaner in Bravecto® for Dogs safe to administer directly to your pet? One good way of evaluating whether Bravecto® is safe for your dog is to consider the types of side effects that your dog might experience.
According to the Bravecto® for Dogs product website, common side effects experienced in clinical trials for the Bravecto chews for dogs include:
- Decreased appetite
Common side effects experienced in clinical trials for the Bravecto® for Dogs topical solution include:
- Hair loss
- Decreased appetite
- Moist dermatitis/rash
Is Bravecto® Safe for My Dog? | Additional Side Effects
While the possibility of experiencing a laundry list of side effects from new medication is nothing new for human subjects, the possibility of a pet suffering through them can certainly be a frightening thought.
The fine print on the ingredient lists for the chewable Bravecto® dog tablets and the topical solution address additional side effects that were seen throughout testing. Both report dogs experiencing seizures after receiving the Bravecto® flea and tick for dogs treatment, which included dogs with no prior history of seizures.
According to Bravecto®, the flea and tick medication is both FDA-approved and vet recommended, making it medically safe for dogs. However, while there will always be some level of risk involved when administering new medication, Bravecto® for Dogs reviews from pet parents suggest otherwise.
Our Bravecto® for Dogs review found reports of significantly more serious potential side effects that should make dog owners question whether Bravecto® is truly safe for dogs—or whether it should be on the market at all.
See the below section for a detailed analysis of side effects that have been reported by other dog owners when using Bravecto chews for dogs.
Bravecto® for Dogs Reviews | Reports of Bravecto Dog Deaths & Serious Side Effects
Part of deciding whether Bravecto® is safe for your dog comes from addressing the concerns, complaints, and reports from pet owners that have experienced the side effects of Bravecto® first-hand.
Sadly, if you search for “Bravecto dog deaths” or “Does Bravecto kill dogs” online, you will find an a long list of blog posts, news articles, and social media groups dedicated to sharing horror stories from pet owners that have given their dog the Bravecto flea and tick for dogs treatment.
In fact, a Change.org petition that called for Bravecto® for Dogs to be removed entirely from the market received just shy of 15,000 signatures. Comments from those who signed the petition detail renal failure, liver failure, and multiple cases of Bravecto dog deaths.
Bravecto® for Dogs Reviews—Social Media
Our Bravecto® for Dogs review found Facebook groups for dog owners across the world to share their personal stories about Bravecto® chews for dogs. The most popular group, titled “Does Bravecto Kill Dogs?” has nearly 39,000 members and contains a wealth of negative Bravecto® for Dogs reviews, with many asserting that their dog died as a direct result of taking the medication.
Bravecto® Dog Deaths & Reviews
Facebook groups like “Is Bravecto Safe” and “Bravecto side effects reported” support widespread claims that Bravecto for Dogs (and other brands of pesticide-based flea and tick medication) may be linked to serious health conditions and, in extreme cases, death.
Bravecto® for Dogs Reviews—In the News
News outlets have also covered stories concerning Bravecto® dog tablets and topical solutions. In 2017, ABC33 interviewed Alyson Griffin, a dog owner in Hokes Bluff, Alabama, whose dog passed away shortly after being given the Bravecto flea medicine for dogs. Griffin says:
As he [her husband] was walking toward [the] door Ringo had a seizure and died right there in his arms. It was really emotional… Bravecto is the only thing we had tried differently that would have been a possibility to cause this.
In a K5 News report, Donald Junker, a resident of Charlotte, NC, discusses his own experience with Bravecto dog deaths, saying:
My wife gave him the tablets—the chewable tablet. He ate it just fine. Everything seemed fine Saturday night…Mother’s day was Sunday morning. My wife always goes out and check[s] out the deck [where he] sleeps on our porch. She goes out Sunday morning, checks on him, and he’s dead.
Similarly, in a report by WSOCTV, dog owner Patti Mastric details the effects of Bravecto for Dogs on her pets, recounting that one dog had a fatal reaction to his first Bravecto dose, while the other had a seizure shortly thereafter.
As Pennsylvania veterinarian Patricia Carney says, “We’re seeing some of these dogs that just seem to crash for lack of a better word.”
Bravecto® for Dog Review | Are Negative Bravecto® for Dog Reviews Legit?
Claims of Bravecto dog deaths and serious health effects are numerous and easy to find, doing little to instill trust that Bravecto® is truly the best flea and tick pill for dogs.
At the same time, however, it is important to note that many of these deaths are currently alleged, meaning that many veterinarians have been unable to definitively prove that dog deaths are directly linked to Bravecto®.
In fact, our Bravecto® for Dogs review found a fact check published in 2015 by Snopes that deems the link between Bravecto® flea medicine for dogs and death as “Unproven” based on the lack of a concrete causal link; however, this report does not seem to have been updated, leaving questions as to where the status of Bravecto® and potentially related dog deaths currently stands.
It is possible that there may be many other factors at play, including an incomplete health history before administering Bravecto® for Dogs. With many pet owners refusing to agree to a necropsy or autopsy, as suggested by K5 News, creating a direct link is significantly challenging, if not impossible.
Is Bravecto® Safe for My Dog?
An additional concern is the unavailability of corporate information surrounding Bravecto® for Dogs and its side effects. Many anti-Bravecto pages and websites reference a 2016 report by the European Medicine Agency that claims to have documented “approximately 2,000 serious cases of adverse reactions from Bravecto® such as seizures, renal failure, liver damage, etc., including 470 deaths.”
Our own Bravecto® for Dogs review was unable to find the original source of this report. However, according to a statement released by the EMA, between February 2014 and August 2017, deaths had been reported in “1,265 dogs worldwide” after using Bravecto® for Dogs.
In fact, a 2016 court case states that the European Medicine Agency was granted an injunction to prevent the release of a toxicology study report on Bravecto®, which included five toxicology studies. Because this injunction was initiated by a competing pharmaceutical company, the injunction was granted as an exception to the Transparency Regulation, “where disclosure would undermine the protection of commercial interests.”
Regardless, the sheer number of conversations surrounding Bravecto® for Dogs and potentially related serious illnesses and deaths is enough to make any pet owner cautious about using Bravecto® flea and tick for dogs—or any pesticide-based treatment, for that matter.
Conclusion—Is Bravecto® Safe for My Dog?
While Bravecto® for Dogs may be marketed as a revolutionary, highly effective long-term treatment for fleas and ticks, there is no denying that the Bravecto dog tablets and topical solution are surrounded in controversy.
Allegations of serious side effects like seizures, liver failure, kidney failure, and death are certainly not to be taken lightly. With thousands of pet owners sharing their stories on social media and on news outlets, we cannot confidently recommend using Bravecto as the best flea and tick pill for dogs.
Based on the wide range of concerning Bravecto® for Dogs reviews, dog parents would do best to stay away from Bravecto® for Dogs and choose a different flea and tick prevention method instead.
Additionally, our review found that the company has not made much of an effort to address the severe consequences reported by dog owners, ultimately damaging the brand’s reputation and level of consumer trust and solidifying Bravecto® for Dogs’ 1-star rating.
Luckily, if you have reservations about using any pesticide-based flea and tick treatment for your dog, there are plenty of natural alternatives to consider that are widely considered as safer methods for pest prevention.
While the final decision ultimately rests in your hands, we also strongly recommend discussing any questions or worries that you may have about pesticide-based or natural-based flea treatment with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is happy, healthy, and pest-free.
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