Is Bravecto safe for dogs?

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Hello. I am writing for your opinion on using Bravecto, the pill that provides 12-week flea & tick protection. My vet is keen on it. My concern is that one of my two dogs has had cancer twice; also she reacted badly (vomiting) to a similar pill when she was a puppy. What is your advice? Thank you

–Gwen

Editor’s Note: For alternatives, check out these two articles: Best Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs & Homemade Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs

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Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I wanted to share my experience with Bravecto. We gave it to our dog Sally this spring per our vet’s recommendation. (FYI, we absolutely love our vet and she has been absolutely fabulous with Sally.) It was a chewable tablet that offered ~4 months of protection I believe. At the time, I hadn’t heard any of the side effects that pets were experiencing or I would’ve asked my vet for more information.

As one of the comment moderators for Canine Journal, my heart breaks reading all of our readers’ comments about what Bravecto has done to your pets. Fortunately, our Sally has been completely healthy and happy and didn’t get sick from the Bravecto. In the future, I will ask more questions up front about potential side effects of medications and do research on what my vet recommends for my dog. I consider us to be very lucky that nothing bad happened to our sweet Sally.

I want to express my sorrow for those of you who have given Bravecto to your dogs and they have gotten ill from it. I can’t imagine how it feels to be in your shoes and I want to thank you for sharing your experiences with our community so other pet parents can be more informed.

Paulene
Please never take it for granted that your dog will always be ok on Bravecto. After all, what you are doing is topping up the poison every few months ! then one day !!!!! there’s no turning back, its like playing Russian Roulette, I have battled saving my dogs life for months. After the first Bravecto she collapsed totally unconscious, I didn’t make the connection, until 3 months later after her next Bravecto she went into full blown seizures. I have battled, I’ve detoxed her and still have her on CBD oil, she is alive but sadly struggling still.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thank you for the reminder. I plan on asking my vet about alternatives at our next appointment for my dog. I’m so sorry your dog had a terrible response to Bravecto.
Neota Howard
Am so sorry about your dog. Bravecto was just recommended by the vet, because they no longer sell, advantage 2. After reading the packaged information and reviews, am afraid to use it. My baby is 17 years old with kidney and liver issues, that aren’t a problem now, so I don’t want to create a problem.
Joyce
Pauline, I am so sorry for what your dog is going through. Sadly, we lost TWO of our dogs after giving them a dose of Bravecto this past fall. Before that, they were healthy, active and had good appetites. We had given them Bravecto before and one of them got very sick. Our vet thought it was a brain infection, so that’s what he treated her for. She got better and was released to come home. She never fully recoverd to her old self, but we thought it was residual effects of the ‘brain infection’. Then four months later we gave them anoter dose of Bravecto. And they both died of organ failure,caused by the active ingredient in Bravecto, Fluralaner.

I don’t know how to get people to understand that just because their dog or cat tolerated it “just fine” the other times they took it, doesn’t mean they won’t eventually suffer a painful, agonizing death. My husband and I did a lot of research on this after they died because Bravecto was the only common factor in their deaths. And what we learned is that hundreds of thousands of pets have died or are now suffering agonizing organ failure or seizures, or both.

Jan
I had no problems with my babies. Put them on Bravecto after a nasty scare with a tick with one of them and within months my amazing girl who had no issues before was diagnosed with a mass n her liver. The specialist said he had seen this with a few dogs but to have gotten so big was hnqiue, not unheard of though unique. Since surgery I stopped using this Bravector or like and she has ongoing issues. My girl was 11 and half and had no issues. JUST after 6 months into using bravecto she has problems. Huge warning. This stuff needs alot more testing on indecent human beings.
Megan Meyers
I wish I had known before I gave Huxley his first chewable on July 12 2018.

The damage isn’t always immediate, it can develop slowly and then hit like a tubesock full of nickels.

Pet parents, please please please don’t ignore the outcries. Bravecto and Nexgard are very popular options that are being PUSHED hard by vets, PUSH BACK.

Please talk to your families and friends, the risk isn’t worth the “reward”. I’d rather bathe in parasites before giving my babies anymore of this flavorful poison.

Timothy Jones
This medication killed my Springer Spaniel of 8 years after 1 dose. Use it at your own risk.
Shari
I had to put down my beautiful dog L.J last summer and I’m starting to suspect it was Bravecto that caused all his seizures. I had given him his first dose in the spring of 2017 and he had no issues with it at all. His dad never had any issues either. We thought this was the best tick medication ever. In the spring of 2018 so almost a year later he had his first grand mal seizure with foam coming out of his mouth. It was terrifying. We took him to the vet and he started him on anti seizure medication. He was in terrible shape. The seizures were all grand mal with foam coming out of his mouth. He would get his head stuck on everything and was walking in circles. I did not like the anti seizure meds so I looked for another kind of natural medication. I put him on cbd oil and he was starting to get better and go for walks again. He was coming back to us. Then we took him back to the vet for his bravecto pill. 6 weeks later he was dead. The seizures got worse and he went blind. He finally had the worst seizure ever and he never got up again. We had to put our baby down. He was a healthy 10 year old dog until I gave him this poison. My vet says he doesn’t think Bravecto caused it at all. My other dog is absolutely fine so I don’t know what to think. Maybe some dogs are fine with it but I don’t think it’s worth the risk. I’m not giving my other dog this pill this year. I miss Lj everyday and I wish to god I wouldn’t have given him this pill.
Brandy
I just want to add to the list. I just put my 10 year old healthy boxer on Bravecto two weeks ago. She is now not eating, lethargic and leaking bloody urine. Based on all of these priors, it looks like we will lose her too. Please don’t risk this med with your pet!
Phyllis
After reading all these posts, I am so scared to think of what my boxer has endured without us even having a clue. She will NOT be getting another dose.
Alaskan Mal Mum
OMG I am terrified reading this. I have literally just given my Alaskan Malamute a chew tablet & the vet even said that it was safe. Now I’m sick with worry that he’s gonna get sick…:(
Venkat
As suggested by my Vet I just gave my 1 year old lab girl Bravecto. I am now repenting what to do next after seeing so many posts. Please advise on how should I get this thing out of her system.
Jon Saxon
I just wanted to drop a response here to add to the discussion. I have given my Chocolate Lab Bravecto for the past 2 years. I saw my first tick 2 weeks ago, so i gave her the first chew of the year. Even though she has done fine on it for 2 years, this time, within a few hours she started acting very strange. I took videos of her and took her to the vet and he said she was having seizures and asked if i had given her Bravecto. Over the next few days she started become lethargic and not tolerating exercise. I took her back to the vet and had a full CBC ran and all her tests came back normal except she had a very high red blood count, as well as a lot of new red blood cells, as if he was losing blood somewhere. After a few more days she started refusing food, so i took her back to the vet yet again and they did x-rays and she had an enlarged heart. She had a chest x-ray done in January and all was normal. All the sudden in March she has an enlarged heart. She is now dying from congestive heart failure and i am having to have my 6 year old Lab euthanized today. My heart is destroyed over this, she is my best friend. Don’t take the chance on using Bravecto. It is VERY convenient to only have to give a pill every 12 weeks, but it might just kill your loved one.
Jan
See my post above. That is similar to my horror. Congestive heart failure – Bravecto should not be sold
valerie
I would never use any of these. Following a dose of Nexgard my dog became VERY sick. Lethargic, wouldnt eat or drink. She was in very bad shape on arrival at the vets office. Diagnosis, autoimmune. (And yes, the vet said that ‘we’ would never be giving our dog Nexgard again.) No one was even sure she would make it through the night or that week.
She has been on strong medications, steriods, immune suppressants ever since. Many blood test and appts to monitor her. Not a day goes by that we are not scared. She was extremely healthy and full of spunk prior to the Nexgard. I feel guilty everyday for giving her the Nexgard.
If you research on -line, you will find many stories of horrible side effects from these tick/ flea meds. Do not put yourself or your beloved pet through any of this. Find a safer alternative.
Joanne
Wow, thought i would do a little research before I gave my 11 year old puggle Bravecto. I only pulled two ticks out of her last year so I have decided to keep her clean again and not give her any tick medication. Will keep diligently checking her every time she comes in from outside.
Ruby Turk
Hi. I always believed in Bravecto until now. Firstly a month ago my 6 yr old husky had a seizure and now is blind. He has a brain tumor. My GS started passing blood in her urine about 2 weeks ago. She has bladder cancer. Bravecto is poison.
Brenda Ingram
Am afraid to give my 10 lb minpin Bravecto as of August 2018 he went blind in one eye and the vet told me he had a tumor behind the eye I accepted this and waited with the vet telling me there was nothing that could be done. One January Saturday morning he woke still seeing in one one but a couple of hours later he was blind in both. I waited worried afraid cause other then the eyes he was wired and playing eating everything was fine. Finally I took him to a surgery and asked if they could remove the eyes which they did no tumor and no cancers and no answers. Am afraid to give him any thing now.
Diana Halllmark
YES BRAVECTO KILLED MY BOXER, two weeks after Bravecto had seizures Vet put on Meds and then head tremors went blind and then died.. The vet did blood work on his yearly all was fine, put on Bravecto and he died 4 months later.. Bravecto is poison
Ashley G
My beautiful, healthy, 5 year old American pitbull died a horrible death 7 days after giving her bravecto 3 month flea and tick “medication”. I will never again trust the vet’s advice and I will always listen to my gut instinct. Something told me on Nov 20, 18 not to give her that chew. Please don’t poison your furry family members!! The pain she undoubtedly felt and the incalculable amount of guilt I feel, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The manufacturer conveniently created this poison so that it can not be detected in regular tests. It is only traceable AFTER it kills your pet and a necropsy is performed (which is very expensive). This same poison is now being used in the drinking water for chickens for red mites. The disturbing part of this is there is only a 14 day hold on the meat and zero days on the eggs!! PS when it was prescribed to my Sadie girl, she didn’t have a flea on her body anywhere.
Adriana
My vet recently recommended Bravecto for my Lhasa Apso. She recommended the Bravecto topical not the chewable pill. I am having difficulty finding any reviews or comments on topical Bravecto, most sites/reviews discuss the chewable Bravecto. Anyone using the topical?
Jason
I know a lot of people have convinced themselves that Bravecto is unsafe. Facts and science prove otherwise. The active ingredient in Bravecto does not even get metabolized. Feel comfortable giving this to your dogs as it is very safe and effective.
Roberta E Byrnes
I guess maybe I don’t know what metabolized exactly is? Doesn’t the dog’s body have to metabolize it in order for it to work?
Peter L
Incorrect. Bravecto gets metabolized, it is just not clear how much and the documentation by Merck tries to couch their ignorance on that or rather their not wanting to tell the facts by stating something like “it often does not metabolize” or similar, so it can fundamentally deny it ever said that it never metabolizes. A legal trick to dodge liability.

The truth is found though in the report of 2016 to the EMA where it states:

“Metabolism
No metabolites could be detected in the faeces of the target animals however in the 90 day oral repeat dose toxicity study in rats as well as in the developmental study in rabbits a metabolite could be detected in substantial amounts in plasma. ”
So if it metabolizes with rats it is highly unlikely it doe snot with cats and dogs.

lisa s. paullin
I’d say use caution with bravecto. 48 hours after first dose my dog (mixed breed 68#)started having hourly bouts of diarrhea. 69 hours from dosing became extremely lethargic. I will not use again.
Brenda
i stopped giving my dog this prescribed medication after hearing about the poisonous insecticide that can cause death. I recently starting giving my Siberian husky Luvsome flea treatment for dogs and it is wonderful and have the same exact ingredients as frontline plus but much cheaper
Zara
I gave Bravecto to 6 out of 7 of my Anatolian Shepherds last June, one female I did not give her because I bred her. As good as it worked to get rid of fleas, I will never use it again. Since that time, one of my sires has been stricken with lameness and my older spayed female has developed lung cancer. It may be coincidental but my gut feeling is this stuff is nastier than fleas.
Lightworker
Here is the full report. It clearly states all the side effects (as mentioned by dog owners on this site) and also admits there is no antidote for fluralaner (Bravecto) poisoning, which is why our little loved ones are dying. The only treatment consists in preventing further exposure together with supportive and symptomatic measures.
After accidental ingestion stomach lavage, as well as administration of active charcoal administration and laxatives, MAY be advisable but as reported here, it may be too late. We have to get this off the market !!
T. Tellado
Wow you have to wonder…we have a wonderful Corgi and he has taken the tablet for 3 years now and we have never had a problem. It is important the animal gets plenty of water and nutrients, but really the main thing is just responsibly regimenting and not combining it with sprays or any other kind of flea/tick. There is such a thing as too much. After all, it’s all just poison but people can die from some of these diseases so a necessary evil.
Joni
I gave my healthy 20 lb mini doodle the 3-month bravecto pill for the first time in Nov 2018. One week later he started having seizures. They were cluster seizures every 2 weeks. After the 4th episode, 8 weeks later I put him onseizure meds. He hasn’t had any seizures since that and I’m hoping now that the bravecto is out of his system, the seizures don’t return!
Diana Halllmark
My 10 year old Boxer who was in perfect health last year. My Vet put him on Bravecto in August… in September he started having seizures. After all the tests the Vet did nothing wrong in his blood work.. Well, Taz passed away today. The Vet pet him on Seizure meds and he had been having trimmers for the last few months, but when this last week Seizure and then he never recovered. Bravecto killed my baby.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry Diana. You are in my thoughts.
Nick
I’m so sorry for all of those who’ve lost their beloved dogs to this drug. On vet’s advice, we gave it to my 4yo 25LB strappingly healthy purebred BT boy on Oct.5th 2018. He wouldn’t chew the tablet, so I got it into him by chopping it up and hiding it in pieces of cheese. 24hrs after oral administration he was a severely stricken animal. I nursed him around the clock for the next several days, and thankfully he pulled through. I will never use it on any dog of mine again.
Nick
If anyone’s reading this who’s as desperate as I was (in the midst of an unfolding disaster) for other owners’ experience/advice for coping with this stuff’s frightening effects, I’ll just fyi/share here what I tried & did, which may or may not have had anything to do with the fact that my dog pulled through this.

Firstly, I wanted to try to get as much of this synthetic/unnatural (fluorinated) stuff back out of his system as possible, but I wasn’t sure what it’d preferentially bind to (i.e., protein/carbohydrate/fat), so I hand-fed him boiled chicken breast, boiled rice, & cheese.

Secondly, I regularly carried his waterbowl over to where he lay and I held it for him so that he could drink lots of fresh water; after a while I’d then carry him to the litterbox so he could pee.

Thirdly, I lay on the floor beside him round the clock until he was well again, so he could feel safe. I gently talked to him and stroked his head so that he knew that I was near, and that I could tell that he was suffering.

On Day 5 (five) he was through.

Never again.

Joanna Jenkins
Just wanted to add our story… lost our healthy fit 9yr old Weimaraner, after one dose of Bravecto… lost his appetite, vomiting, 8 weeks of projectile diarrhoea… vets changed his diet… saw a holistic vet and things settled, but the damage we believe was done. 2 months later he had massive organ damage, liver, stomach, kidneys all hard … and we lost him..
Gina Hernandez
I recently lost my once very healthy shih tzu after giving her this poison! It is poison! It is an insecticide that affects the nervous system of fleas and ticks and unfortunately killed my sweet little dog. She was happy and bouncy and her curious self and 12 hours after taking this poison was staggering, staring in to space, not responsive. She had elevated liver enzymes and eventually died of heart failure and fluid in the lungs. My other pup was unaffected, as far as I know, he seems fine. Do not use this and think twice about giving your animal any ingested pesticides. Your beloved pet could be the ONE that cannot tolerate it and end up just a memory.
Stefanie
First of all thank you all for running this thread and sharing your scary, sometimes devastating, experiences in an attempt to help others make informed decisions for our pets.

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for alternatives that are as effective as Bravecto is supposed to be. Topical treatments are constantly failing and I have to change brands all the time and they never seem to keep my dog protected for the full month. We were out of town and missed a treatment by 4 days once and literally had to move out of our apartment after both fumigation and very expensive flea treatment failed. When it gets really bad I have to sit with a flea comb and soapy water picking fleas off him one by one – I once got over 40 live fleas – and he hates it and now runs away when he sees the comb. The fleas also seem to have smartened up because they no longer hang out on the typical areas fleas like (they used to appear on the parts of his body covered in tan/white hair, now they only hide in the black. They also don’t appear near his tail, abdomen or armpits anymore. lately I only find them on his upper chest.) He’s an indoor dog. Doesn’t visit dog parks or hang out with many other dogs and yet its a constant problem. Furthermore, I cannot take a chance with natural flea products as we are in the midst of a flea-borne typhus epidemic in Los Angeles right now and it’s always flea season here so I need something strong and long-lasting. I love my vet and he insists Bravecto is safe, as has our secondary vet, but this thread is terrifying and I’m scared to give it to my dog.

Another question directed at the administrators – have you been reviewing all the posts to try and determine a pattern of common symptoms? It seems that a lot of people are blaming Bravecto for a lot of different types of issues and so I don’t even know what I should be looking for in terms of potential side effects. Any pattern between breeds? Age? Geography?

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Stefanie, check out these two articles: Homemade Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs & Best Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs.

Regarding your admin questions, we haven’t been analyzing the comments for common threads regarding breeds, age, geography, etc. That would be interesting data to observer and see if there are any commonalities. Something we will definitely consider doing! From what I can tell, there seems to be no pattern I’ve noticed. I’ve given Bravecto to my dog in the past (prior to knowing about the serious issues with it) and fortunately I haven’t had any issues with it. My dog is approximately 4 years old, hound mix, female and we live in Iowa.

juyen
Hey Stephanie. I also live in Los Angeles and lived through a terrible year of flea combs and dawn soap water and countless flea bites all over my body. I have a medium sized dog who is mainly in the house, but we had a horrendous infestation of fleas and mosquitoes in our backyard when we came home from a long vacation in July. I inquired on NextDoor to see if this was a neighborhood problem and found out that it was in fact a city-wide phenomenon. Summer time has always been the worst for fleas, but last year was really crazy and I fear that will be the norm.

I have been living in LA for 10 years now and my dog has been taking some form of flea and tick medication either topically or orally until early last year when she reacted badly to taking Comfortis. This was an oral medicine that was to last a month and once administered, my dog vomited, showed lethargy, and had small to large, multiple lesions in her mouth. I knew that all pharmaceutical flea and tick medicine is just some form of pesticide/insecticide in smaller dosages that are supposed to be safe for our pets and never felt good about giving it to her, but with how bad the infestations get, i felt i had no other choice. however, after I saw these lesions, i decided that her body could no longer process the pesticide and stopped giving her any brand of flea/tick medicine. I found one product that seemed to work well. Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Control concentrate for the yard (we used cedar and lemongrass) seemed to work well to kill the infestation in the back yard. We got the population numbers of both fleas and mosquitoes down significantly, not entirely since rats, raccoons, feral cats, etc. roam there, but it worked so well that we kept spraying the yard every time we saw any fleas in the flea trap. As for my dog, i had to comb her, bathe her regularly to keep her flea free, but she now suffers from Flea afflicted dermatitis so she’s just constantly itchy.

I got an application of BRAVECTO when a friend of mine raved about how well it worked for her cat, who also reacted badly to Comfortis. She mentioned that is gets rid of Flea afflicted dermatitis so i was really excited to try it out on my dog so that she can live itch free. After doing some reasearch and reading about how other dogs have reacted to it badly or caused deaths, I’m reluctant to try it out. Did you end up giving it to your dog? I empathize with your flea ordeal last summer. It was insane. I really hope this year will be easier for us and our dogs 🙂

Macy
Trifexis, Revolution, Credelio are all options.
Marion
Ive been using Bravecto for some time. Its been very effective for ticks and fleas. I have 3 large dogs. My 8yr old German Shepherd started coughing, losing weight and suddenly his abdomen is enlarged and hard. Took him to the vet. He has huge mass in throat and also in his liver. Been given 3-4 weeks to live. I told one of my best friends. She has lost 2 Bull Mastiffs since october. One was still a puppy. Same symptoms. Now her Dachshund is dying of same symptoms. She has always fed her dogs raw diet from her brothers farm. The only thing our dogs use in common is Bravecto. I stay in South Africa and the vets are denying its Bravecto. Even though staff at the Vet Shop and 2 other vets I know, have confirmed the suspicious about Bravecto and have also lost dogs with exactly the same symptoms. I for one do not believe its a coincidence.
Tiffany
We have a rescue mastiff he was given Brevecto almost 3 weeks ago from the prior owner and has had 2 seizures in the past two weeks. He has never had seizures prior. How long will this poison be in his system. And has anyone found out if this will now be his new normal? This poor guy is so confused.
brenda
I am worried I gave my dog a bravecto tablet yesterday and now he has a rash today. how do I get this out of his system.