Is Bravecto safe for dogs?

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 more information, check out these two articles: Homemade Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs & Best 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.

Priyanka
I gave my 1 1/2 year old dog Bravecto today for the very first time. I usually read about the drug before giving it to him and today I made a mistake of not reading up on it. After reading all your comments here, it is clearly not a safe drug to be giving our dogs. How do I get the drug out of my dogs system before it can do some serious damage?
Christina haylett
I gave our dog bravecto last spring. He didn’t want to take it and I made him. The very next day he wouldn’t eat his food or treats. He was a 60 pound lab and loved to eat until I gave him bravecto.5 months later he was dead. He slowly declined and was never the same after giving him that drug. I didn’t research it before I gave it to him. I figured if it was at my vets it must be ok. Please be very cautious about this drug.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss, Christina.
Raquel
Currently trying to save our yorkie , had bravecto 5 days ago and his kidneys are shutting down . Going to the vet 2 times a day with iv fluids , vitamins . HAS ANYONE HAD THEIR DOG SURVIVE ?!? What were the treatments
Lucy kite
There’s a Facebook group on Bravecto with lots of information. It’s recommended you detox your dog.
CC | Saving Cats, Dogs and Cash
While I have not personally lost a dog to Bravecto, I have lost a dog to prescription meds so I know how painful it is to injure or lose a dog after doing something that you think will help them. My heart breaks for everyone who has gone through or is going through this nightmare with Bravecto. To those that have been affected negatively by Bravecto, please join the Facebook group titled ‘Does Bravecto kill dogs?’ and share your story there to help others. At the moment, the group has 42k members. If your dog is currently suffering from the side effects of taking Bravecto or you suspect your dog is, I know that group has a detox protocol that they recommend. I’m sorry I don’t have it or I’d share it here. Please don’t let your dog just suffer from the side effects, as this is a long-term medication meant to stay in your dog’s body and continue killing fleas and ticks on a long-term basis. Detoxing is necessary to get as much of that poison out as possible so your dog can start healing.
Peggy H. FUSTON
I gave my Havanese Bravecto three days ago. He has been throwing up since. He goes to the vet tomorrow. First time he has ever thrown up. I know it is the Bravecto.I will never give him this horrid medicine ever. It kills dogs.
ANDREA STRICKLAND
The vets never admit that it’s those poisons that they push on ppl to give their pets . It’s all about the money for them!! Same w the over vaccinating!!!
kathybirch
My two year old mini poodle was given a bravecto chew on 8/1/2018; it was not his first one. Two hours later, he was laying on the floor and when got up, his hind legs were wobbly. He remained lethargic for several weeks, experiencing twitches in his legs and difficulties on standing. His labs showed elevated liver enzymes and his symptoms worsened to include confusion, staring into space, not knowing who I am, not responding to his name or commands, and periods of vomiting and inability to drink fluids. I am still in a wait and see mode as to what the outcome will be, but regardless, I will never again use this or any other pesticide on either of my dogs.
Jackie Sawrantschuk
my dog also stares in corners, loss of hearing, hindend falls under her at times, sensitive to being touched
Raquwl
How is your dog doing ? Our family dog had it 5 days ago , still trying to recover
Sunny
I have a nine year old border collie mix. He has had issues with seizures on/off for the last 4 years. He is normally very happy, active and very energetic. Typical Collie!
Then, these “episodes” started occurring a few+ times a year. He would seem fine, then look scared and weak. Then he would lose control of his muscles and either fall over or not be able to get up. Drooling became excessive and his eyes looked dialated and “lost”. He would lose his bladder and shake uncontrollably. These episodes would last for about 5-30 minutes; leaving him tired and weak. I have tried to correlate the episodes with medicines, food, weather, seasons, activities, etc. He has also had episodes of itchiness/scratching. We have not noticed any dry patches or redness. (I thought it could be the Bravecto wearing off and he had a flea or two?) I have taken him to the vet for regular visits; as well as additional visits when the earlier seizure-like events occurred. We hoped to diagnose “what” happened to treat or prevent further episodes. We ran test and all was good. Fortunately, he doesn’t have enough seizures to warrant sedation-type meds so we did “nothing” but hope that his last episode was just that— his last.
Our vet has also pushed Bravecto for him during this time- even after our concerns about the med were raised at each visit. He kept assuring us the medicine was safe. It is expensive and the rebates were hardly worth the effort it took to receive! But through all our complaints and concerns, we were still assured it was our best & safest option. My rationale was it was tested and approved by a reputable pharmaceutical company!?! Plus, our dog even liked taking it … it was his “treat”!
Our dog’s last episode was two weeks after giving him his last dose of Bravecto – – two months ago. Can I 100% say Bravecto was the cause of his seizures? No! Will I give him another dose of Bravecto? Absolutely NOT! I’m ashamed it has taken me this long to realize I probably, and literally, may have been handing him his poison!
Sadie Cornelius (Admin)
So sorry to hear about this experience!
Jenny lings
Last year my border collie Merlin suffered a bad flea infestation went to the vet who gave us
Bravecto tablet. A few days later he had a bad seizure he is 7yrs old and has never had a fit before. This was the first time I have used it and it is the last. He has had fits after using this bravecto for over seven months before they stopped. He has always been a healthy dog before this. I am convinced bravecto is the cause of this. My son has just got a puppy and has taken him to the vets yesterday and in this puppy pack they have given him is bravecto tablets I was very annoyed as this could have dire consequences for a 9 week old puppy.
Laura
My daughter’s vet recommended giving her French Bull dog Bravecto. He said it was safe and he used it on his dogs. After giving her the first dose, her dog started drooling and having seizures. She took her back to the vet. He did blood work and said she was in excellent health but had slightly elevated liver enzymes. Nothing to worry about. The seizures continued so he placed her on an anti seizure medication. The seizures stopped. When it was time for the second dose, my daughter hesitated but gave it to her dog trusting the vet. Her dog had 5 grand mal seizures in less then 6 hours. She rushed her to the vet. He put her on phenobarbital and 5 mgs Valium rectally. Five grand mal seizures later she was rushed to an Emergency ER. She was told there that her dog was in respiratory distress and the seizures had caused her to burn up inside. The only choice they had was to euthanize her. One day she was healthy the next day at 12:44 a.m. she was dead. I called Merck and filed a formal complaint. I also contacted the FDA and am filing out a complaint form with them. I got all her medical records. The problem is the vets don’t follow through in contacting the FDA about adverse reactions. Too much paperwork involved. It is up to us as animal lovers to take the bull by the horns and file the complaint with Merck and the FDA. I hope my daughter loosing a healthy dog because of giving her something that no one questioned was a severe reaction to a medication will save other dogs.
Wendy
I am so sorry this happened and I am surprised that the veterinarian gave the medication after the apparent reaction to the first dose.
Did you ask your vet to follow up? Often in addition to paperwork, the company will require a post-mortem exam and other tests. We should partner with our veterinarians to let them know this is important and we are willing to do all we can to make sure the companies are aware and the reactions are on the record. When we have reactions to our own medications, we have to report them to the companies and FDA, my doctor has always provided the information for me to file the report. I am not aware of him filing forms but the company may contact the doctor because I provide the information on my doctor. Of course, there are privacy issues with people’s records and not necessarily with animal’s records.
Mabyn
We have 2 West Highland Terriers. Our female started having ‘tremors, stumbling, shuddering, tipping over after having been given Bravecto. She also developed dry scaly patches on her skin in numerous places. Unfortunately, our Vet didn’t even record her ‘shakes’ in her file and said the scaly patches were most likely because that breed is prone to skin problems. She had never had anything like that before and when it first appeared 3 years ago, she was 12 yrs old. She started the shakes at the same time. I felt it was related to Bravecto as I knew Bravecto affects the neurology of the insect. The act tried to reassure me and said her limping was due to her age and arthritis. Because ticks are so rampant in Ontario, I gave it the benefit of the doubt. This year I gave both dogs the initial dose and we observed her tremors were worsening. Her character changed markedly as well. She started acting very insecure and sometimes seemed like she was a ‘few minutes behind reality’. The other disconcerting thing is she went deaf. I felt it was related to the Bravecto as well. I only found one other reference to Bravecto and deafness but there may be more.
In August when both dogs were due for their 2nd dose, I just couldn’t bring myself to give it to them. I just thought it absolutely does not make sense to give a chewy tablet filled with toxic insecticide to a pet that you dearly love and are trying to give the best to. Last Wednesday, the day before the FDA released their warning to the public that Bravecto causes seizures, tremors, stumbling and the like, I took the remaining 4 doses ( for both dogs) back to the Vet stating that I just couldn’t bring myself to giving them to my dogs. The Vet assistants were very dismissive and made me feel I was over reacting and didn’t know the facts etc etc. They even took the warning insert from the box to review the cautions from Merck, the manufacturer. I responded by saying ‘Do you really think the manufacturer, Merck, are going to list those side effects?’
I really did not appreciate the dismissive manner with which they responded to me. Even though for the past two years at our dogs annual check up, I clearly signalled that I felt the tremors and even the deafness was related to Bravecto, our Vet did not even record my intuitions in his notes.
My husband texted me the FDA public warning late Friday night, 2 days after I had returned the Bravecto to the Vet. I can’t begin to describe the guilt I experienced Friday night after the confirmation that the Bravecto causes seizures and tremors, stumbling and lack of coordination. Earlier that Friday morning, my female had great difficulty coming up the stairs outside. We had installed rubber mats both on the stairs outside and even in the house because with her tremors and lack of coordination ( again I remind you the Vet told us was old age and arthritis) she had great difficulty going up and down the stairs. When she did come in from outside after having had difficulty going up the stairs, she went to go down the stairs to our basement, which than God are carpeted, and fell about one third of the way down head over heel. She came sheepishly into the room, very disoriented after the fall and had one of the worst tremors I had ever seen her have which lasted much longer than any she has experienced before. She has then several times a day, like ‘shudders’ and trips over her own feet. Most times very unsteady on her feet, limping around and whenever she is standing, she is always leaning like the tower of Pisa. She just broke out with a new series of scaly patches at a few spots around her body with one large patch under her front leg.
I am devastated by the confirmation from the FDA about the toxicity hazard of this product. I can’t believe I made the intuitive decision the day before the Public Warning that I had returned the product to the Vet. I wish in my heart of hearts that I had followed that same intuition when I first had it 2 years earlier to not give it to them. My male has not presented like my female but he is 4 years younger.
I hope this helps anyone with identifying the symptoms of their own pets.
It’s just not worth taking the chance.
We are using ‘Cedarcide’ , a natural non toxic spray made from the Texas Red Cedar and NO, it is not the cedar oil that is dangerous for cats.
We have had great results with it over the last 12 years and sincerely wish we had simply stuck with it but when we moved to Ontario 4 years ago, we were overwhelmed with the tick crisis so thought we had better use the Bravecto because of the fear of Lyme disease.
I read reports from a vet in England who proved one dose of Bravecto can stay in the dogs system for even as long as a year! So even when you stop dosing them, they still have it in their system and will continue to present with the side effects.
Imagine giving the prescribed 3 or 4 doses! Imagine the concentration of the pesticide in their system!
Like GMO foods, Monsanto states that the pesticide Round Up that they use in their GMO’d seeds would not leak into the guts of the people eating GMO’d food but guess what, it does! Round up affects the ‘gut’ of the insect so you can imagine what it is doing to humans!
The American Paediatric Society tried to get the FDA to do something about it as they were seeing a huge increase of children presenting with serious intestinal disorders at very very young ages. Your intestinal health is the foundation for your immune system and now they are documenting that tour intestinal health has direct impact on your mental health.
We really don’t know what we’re doing,
do we?
I am sure the leakage of the poison in Bravecto is the same as the leakage of Monsanto ( which was recently bought out by Bayer pharmaceuticals )
They know what they’re doing for profit, without conscience or integrity and we, out of fear compromise our better judgement and feed poison to our beloved pets. Imagine, they were looking into making a Bravecto like tablet for humans like our neurology hasn’t been affected enough in this life.
No, we do not know what we are doing.
Dana
DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT! We gave it to our 1 year old English bulldog thinking it was safe because our vet gave it to us and recommended it, about a week later she began to not eat, lay around and sleep more then usual, and she stares into space like she’s not even there, DO NOT GIVE THIS TO YOUR PETS
Jo Downes
I gave my 4 year old healthy Labrador Bravecto and within 3 days he was having seizures. These happened daily for 2.5 weeks but have fortunately stopped now (he’s not had a seizure for 10 days). His bloods were normal when they were tested a week after taking Bravecto despite these seizures. I will never give him it again. I feel lucky he is still here and he seems not to have any long lasting effects.
Faye
My 1 year old Newfoundland was given his first dose of Bravecto then shortly after got his 1 year booster shots and had 2 gran mal seizures that night. He then proceeded to have 8 more gran mal seizures in a four hour period. They were so bad he suffered brain damage. We knew it was medicine related but did not know until now which medicine took our baby away. The damage is not reversible and the makers of this horrible medicine should be held responsible. I hope soon we will hear the class action lawsuit is being launched. They need to be stopped before they kill more beloved animals. I am sick of hearing their excuses and then getting the brush off from a vet. Don’t allow anyone to tell you to use this medicine. Please tell everyone you know and save a pet from harm.
Karen Shadle
See the newest alarming cautions from the FDA about neurological deterioration from Bravecto. News came out3 days ago. I gave Bravecto to my 15year old dog about 3 weeks ago. Within a few days he couldn’t walk well because his hind legs were weak; the following day he lost strength in his front legs. He developed ataxia and fell several times. He didn’t seem tsee right. He would walk into furniture, go to the closet door to be let outside instead of the back door. He PACED for 48 hours straight, including on the bed, which he just walked off the end of. He didn’t interact with me. Drooled. Doesn’t seem to be able to turn his head and look to the right. He hasn’t vocalized ONCE since this started. He is now more steady and sleeps at night. I saw him wag his tail for the first time yesterday, so there seems to be some improvement. Notifying FDA and Merck the manufacturer.
Isa Blue
I’ve just read many comments about Bravecto and, in my point of view, Bravecto is for plagues control in strong dogs. I’m not encouraged to give Bravecto to my old problem-dog because I’ve heard that it could cause few fatal intoxications.
Ava Swartslander
I gave Bravecto to my “Allergy Boy” a 7 year old Dalmatian—I will NEVER use it again! Within 3 days he was scratching so violently I had to put him on Apoquel to try to get it under some control. I do not like using Apoquel–but he was almost raw in places. Bravecto made our 1 year old Dalmatian itch and had no (itching) effect on our 10 year old Dalmatian. I will NEVER use it again! I would NOT recommend it for any allergy dog–it seems to aggravate the allergies.
Tracey
This is happening to one of my three pit bulls. She’s the only one having side effects. She’s raw and nothing helps. I’m going to call her vet and ask about apoquel. Thanks.
Gloria Tate
My dog died of mask cell tumor Cancer from this shit on August 18th don’t give it to your dogs get some cannons oil
Deb
Thank you for your advice and so sorry to hear about your dog.
Lisa butler
I just gave bravefecto 2 my two Shih-Tzus for the first time today they both weigh about 8 pounds so far I have seen little Improvement neither one of my girls have gotten sick yet.. where can I find this oil you’re talking about
fred smith
do not put oil on malignant tumors. Go to a veterinarian.
Annie Benabdallah
I tried looking up cannons oil, but I couldn’t find it. Can you tell us where to get it? My son’s corgi has had shaking, weakness, balance issues, staring into space, and terribly itchy skin. He’s improving a tiny bit each day, but I’d like to know something that could help him.
Deanna R. Roache
I gave my 13 lb longhair chihuahua her first Bravecto this orning. This evening when she went to bed, she started to vomit violently. She finally stopped after alot of throwing up, and is now asleep. I am so worried as to what will happen tomorrow? I will call the vet for sure.
Joel Ritter
Never again will I give my 8 year old basset hound Bravecto! He took this medicine for quite some time before ever having a reaction to it. However, when he was given his dose in early April of this year, he became violently ill with bloody vomiting and bloody diarrhea. After bloodwork and x-rays, he was diagnosed with pancreatitis. After several weeks of medicines, altered diet and well over $1,000 in vet bills, he finally recovered enough to become his normal self again, though on a very strict diet (no treats, etc..). Not realizing that Bravecto might have truly been the cause of his pancreatitis (though he had never before had this problem), we again gave him his Bravecto dosage according to schedule. Again, he had a severe reaction to the medicine, with vomiting and diarrhea. Though he was not diagnosed with pancreatitis this time, he was an extremely sick dog with an ulcerated esophagus, other digestive issues and general listlessness. After shelling out close to $1,500 this time, our Berkeley is just beginning to return to his normal, loving self. Bravecto should be removed from the market. You never know when your four-legged family member might become violently ill or worse when taking this medication. I will go back to using topical flea treatments in the future. And another thing, I still have not received my $15 rebate check from Merck as yet, although it has been more than 8 weeks since submitting the proper paperwork to them.
Jackie
Gave my 18 month old Victorian bulldog Bravecto today and Tyson’s hours later began to violently vomit. She had not been given or eaten anything she should not have had. She is a very bouncy pup under normal circumstances. I have now decided to look for other forms of giving flea and tick treatments as I don’t feel it’s fair to put her through this. She did not want to take this and we had a To resort to trying to hide it in cheese and beef and ham slices but eventually managed to get it all eaten by her. Now we feel guilty for giving it to her. Won’t use this again.
Scott
Too many people here are making the mistake of association with causation. Just because something happens (i.e. seizure, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) after a medication is given, does not mean the medication is what caused it. That is not how causation works. One can read the product insert if they are interested in the potential side effects of the medication. In many cases, Bravecto had less side effects than the control group. Likely, those that had severe problems with their dogs on Bravecto likely had other health issues that were the cause of the illness.
Andrew
Oh, come on, Scott. Give that tired argument a rest. There are too many dogs out there who have gotten sick or died from these flea pills — it’s no longer anecdotal. Your “reasoning” is the one used by the pharma companies and by vets who want to look the other way.
Annie Benabdallah
You know, Scott, the FDA doesn’t usually issue warnings and demand new warming labels for drugs that are harmless. While I agree that you can find endless information on the internet to support any crackpot idea you can come up with, this isn’t one of those times.
Eva Murray
Scott. You must work for Bayer.Lame statement to say the least. You are clueless,uneducated and actually just plain stupid!!!
Tina
One of my friends just lost 2 of her digs to Bravecto
Catherine
Wow, never again. Gave my 8-year-old Great Pyrenees her second dose of the season on Monday July 23 and she is only now (July 28) eating again and pooping/behaving normally. I didn’t make the connection three months ago when she had diarrhea and loss of appetite, silly me. No wonder I never got my $30 mail-in rebate, they’re probably losing in litigation. I am grateful that my dog has the constitution she has and my heart goes out to those whose dogs don’t/didn’t. Going back to Revolution, though it’s pretty nasty too. At least it never nearly killed my dog.
Jonathan M Jackson
Revolution killed my puppy. must be very careful of accidental ingestion. even the smallest amount is lethal.
Bridget
Correction to my comment. In the one study linked to my previous comment, they killed 32 Beagle dogs to test if Bravecto would kill fleas. And I quote “On day 168, all dogs were sedated by intramuscular injection of ketamine and xylazine and thereafter euthanized by intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbitone as per study plan. A complete post-mortem examination was performed on all dogs “. Do we want to purchase flea treatments for dogs that were tested on other dogs who were ultimately killed for the purpose?
Deb
I stopped reading here, couldn’t read the link. I will never buy this stuff ever for that reason….a dog, truly mans best friend, that is disgusting.
Bridget
In one clinical study on fluralaner (the ingredient in Bravecto) they tested it on 168 dogs in a laboratory. They killed the dogs so they could weigh their organs. So yes, Bravecto kills dogs. Many dogs. They tested it on them to see if it made them sick – and then killed them. You can become informed here.