Bravecto for dogs is an FDA-approved flea and tick preventative that has one of the longest therapeutic effectiveness for its chewable tablet formulation at 12 weeks. Each chewable tablet contains the active ingredient fluralaner. It starts killing adult and juvenile fleas as well as ticks within 2 hours of its administration. It also exerts its tick-killing properties against black-legged ticks, brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, and Lone Star ticks. Bravecto for dogs continues killing these ticks for 12 weeks except for the Lone Star tick for which Bravecto’s tick-killing capabilities only lasts for 8 weeks. It effectively gets rid of all fleas and ticks currently infesting dogs while providing a blanket cover that lasts 12 weeks to prevent re-infestation. Bravecto for dogs can be given to puppies that are aged at least 6 months or those that weigh at least 4.4 pounds. It is only available upon the valid prescription of a duly-licensed veterinarian.
Bravecto for dogs is especially formulated for the management of two very common infestations known to affect dogs of all breeds.
- Elimination of fleas and prevention of reinfestation
Fleas are a very common problem among dogs. And while these flight-less insects don’t necessarily cause deadly diseases, they do harbor some of the most tenacious microorganisms in the planet. Studies show that Bravecto can kill fleas present on the dog within 2 hours of administration, reaching at least 98% killing efficiency rating within the first 12 hours, and achieving full 100% coverage within the first 48 hours. Its effects last a whole 12 weeks. The initial 48-hour therapeutic window is what effectively kills any fleas that are present on the dog’s body. The remainder of Bravecto’s therapeutic effectiveness is what helps prevent reinfestations. Anecdotal evidence shows that fleas that go near a dog that was given Bravecto die instantly.
- Treatment and control of 4 species of ticks
Bravecto is also indicated in the management of tick infestations, particularly the species Ioxedes scapularis or the black-legged tick, the Rhipicephalus sanguineus or brown dog tick, the Dermacentor variabilis or American dog tick, and the Amblyomma americanum or the Lone Star tick. Ticks carry with them deadly diseases such as ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Not only do these pests cause disease in dogs but in humans as well. Bravecto has been shown to be at least 93% effective against brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, and black-legged ticks, with a clinical effectiveness achieved 48 hours after administration and lasting 12 weeks. Bravecto was shown to be at least 90% effective against the Lone Star tick with a maximum effectiveness achieved after 72 hours of administration and lasting 8 weeks.
Benefits of Bravecto
Bravecto for dogs is an effective flea and tick treatment that has one of the longest-lasting therapeutic effectiveness for its class. It provides the following benefits:
- Helps kill fleas in as short as 2 hours, achieving full flea protection within 48 hours
- Helps kill 4 species of ticks
- Very convenient once every 12-week dosing
- Requires only 4 treatments in 1 whole year compared to 12 monthly doses for other brands
- Comes in easy-to-administer chewable tablet formulation, minimizing wastage and ensuring adequate dosing
- Minimizes the risk of missing a dose because of its unique quarterly administration
How Bravecto Works
The secret to Bravecto’s effectiveness against fleas and ticks is in its active ingredient, Fluralaner. The substance is known to inhibit a couple of pathways in the arthropod’s nervous system. Fluralaner, as well as other isoxazolines are classified as non-competitive gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor antagonists. What they do is that they bind to the GABA-gated and glutamate-gated chloride channels in the flea’s and tick’s neurons and muscle cells.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is well-known as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. In fact, it is the nervous system’s principal neuroinhibitor. What it does is that it serves to dampen or prevent the transmission of nerve impulses across the neuromuscular structure. This leads to overall relaxation. Since Fluralaner acts by non-competitive antagonism of the GABA receptors found in chloride channels, there is a sudden influx of nerve impulse transmission. Like opening all the flood gates of a dam, this sudden surge of electrical impulses causes abnormally rapid, uncontrolled, and unsynchronized electrical discharges. This leads to seizures and eventually the flea’s and tick’s demise.
On the other hand, Fluralaner’s effects on glutamate receptors are more direct since glutamate is recognized as the exact opposite of GABA. If GABA inhibits nerve impulse transmission, glutamate facilitates transmission. Fluralaner acts on glutamate receptors to further open the chloride channels allowing for an even greater outflow of nerve impulse transmission. When combined with the electrical discharges resulting from the inhibition of GABA receptors, glutamate receptors further increase the intensity of electrical impulse transmission. This heightens the seizure activity and improves the killing effectiveness of Fluralaner.
It is worth noting that Fluralaner has a greater affinity for invertebrates than in mammals. This makes it especially mean against ticks and fleas, but safe in dogs, cats, and even humans. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that it will not pose any danger to those who may be sensitive to the drug.
Potential Side Effects
Bravecto is considered safe. Field studies reveal that there were no life-threatening or very serious adverse reactions connected to the administration of Bravecto. The most common side effects that were ever reported included the following:
- Lethargy or weakness
- Increased thirst
- Decreased appetite
However, there are reports of seizures occurring in dogs with a history of seizure disorders, although there have also been reports of seizures in dogs even without a prior diagnosis of the disorder. As such the medication should only be used with guidance from a veterinarian.
Things You Should Know about Bravecto
Bravecto is an FDA-approved flea and tick treatment that is available only with veterinary prescription. It works by causing seizures in fleas and ticks resulting in their deaths. It can be given to dogs as young as 6 months old or those that weigh at least 4.4 pounds. Bravecto is available in 5 different Fluralaner strength formulation starting at 112.5 milligrams per chewable tablet. Its acaricidal and insecticidal effects last as long as 12 weeks minimizing monthly dosing and missed doses. However, because Fluralaner causes seizures in arthropods and insects, there have been instances of having exactly the same concern in dogs that may be hypersensitive to Fluralaner.
What You Should Tell Your Vet before He Prescribes
It is important to tell your veterinarian if your dog has ever been diagnosed with a seizure disorder or you have observed it to have seizures at one point in its life. There are no known contraindications to Bravecto. However, caution should always be taken when administering Bravecto to dogs with seizure disorders.
How to Give Bravecto to Your Dog
Bravecto for dogs is administered only once every 12 weeks to dogs that are at least 6 months old or that weigh at least 4.4 pounds. However, if the main issue is severe infestation of Lone Star ticks, Bravecto can be administered every 8 weeks.
Bravecto comes in different strengths of Fluralaner with each packaging corresponding to the recommended weight range of dogs with the minimum dosage being a single chewable tablet of Bravecto containing 112.5 milligrams of Fluralaner. The following is the recommended dosage administration of the flea and tick preventative:
- For dogs weighing 4.4 pounds to 9.9 pounds, give 1 chewable tablet of the TOY DOG formulation containing 112.5 milligrams of Fluralaner
- For dogs weighing 10 pounds to 22 pounds, give 1 chewable tablet of the SMALL DOG formulation containing 250 milligrams of Fluralaner
- For dogs weighing 22 pounds to 44 pounds, give 1 chewable tablet of the MEDIUM DOG formulation containing 500 milligrams of Fluralaner
- For dogs weighing 45 pounds to 88 pounds, give 1 chewable tablet of the LARGE DOG formulation containing 1000 milligrams of Fluralaner
- For dogs weighing 88 pounds to 123 pounds, give 1 chewable tablet of the EXTRA LARGE DOG formulation containing 1400 milligrams of Fluralaner
- For dogs weighing more than 123 pounds, give the corresponding combination of Bravecto formulations
You can give Bravecto to your dog at any time of the year. For optimum effects, Bravecto should also be given with food.
What to Do If You Miss a Dose
It is virtually impossible to miss a dose of Bravecto because of its once-quarterly dosing. However, in the event that a scheduled quarterly dose is missed, it should be given right away and the quarterly dosing must be rescheduled to follow the time of the new administration.
What to Do in Case of Bravecto Overdose
In case your dog suffers a seizure right after the administration of Bravecto, it is imperative that you bring it to the vet at once. Seizures are always serious manifestations which can lead to death.
Some Drug Interactions
Literature says that Bravecto is safe to administer with other medications such as anthelminthics, vaccines, steroids, and antibiotics. However, it is still best to inform your vet about any medication or supplement your dog is taking.
Bravecto for dogs is an effective means of controlling flea and tick infestation. It is highly-valued for its 12-week therapeutic efficacy. The only concern is the issue of seizures in susceptible dogs.
- Bravecto, USBravecto
- Bravecto Chews, 1800PetMeds
- Fluralaner: Safety Summary for Use on Dogs and Cats, Parasitipedia