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I'm Back! to answer your burning questions

by Katie McKay | Nov 02, 2015

I have been a delinquent. It has been far too long since we chatted about dogs and dog-related things. If you’ve learned one thing about me, it’s that I love science. But perhaps my need generate a spirited scientific discussion has made me forget that sometimes people just want to talk about their dogs and sometimes they read this blog because for what it’s not…..too science’y’. Perhaps that’s good for all of us, to keep things simple so we can help our dogs. I can’t abandon my love completely of course, we still need each other and science to have good talks. Bill Nye (the science guy) once said, “Everyone out there knows something you don’t.” Let’s learn from each other, from our stories and from talking about our dogs just as we all love to do. And I’ll stop trying so hard to write a textbook.

It’s never not a good time to talk about fleas and ticks, so off we go!

I got an email recently from a fellow NRGRR rescue volunteer. 

Hey Katie!  It looks like my vet is really pushing Bravecto as a flea and tick preventative...a chewable treat that lasts up to 12 weeks.  Of course, we have been using the topical treatments.  Any thoughts?

Bravecto is an FDA approved oral protectant but it is a different active ingredient than what you are used to in the topicals....so #1 you would need to make sure and watch your pup when you give it. Just like anything else every dog reacts differently and some may have side effects like vomiting, allergic reactions like hives, swelling, itchies, and GI upset like diarrhea. I would make sure you can watch her for at least 48 hours closely. It’s chewable and therefore rapidly absorbed in to the blood stream. The tough part about oral dosing is that if they do have a reaction....it's not as easy as just washing it off....you have to provide supportive care until they recover and that can sometimes be in a hospital setting and for days.

There are plenty of people that use orals and have no problems...just be aware and be prepared. One final note about Bravecto is that it covers fleas and ticks for 12 weeks but not all ticks. The Lone Star tick is only covered for 8 weeks and since you can only dose every 12 weeks you are left with four weeks of non-coverage for that type of tick. We see enough of the Lone Star (causes Erlichia) that I just kept my guys on the topicals. In fact I did the Seresto collar this year and that worked well for my girls.

It’s up to you...the topicals can be messy and a pain and less effective if you bathe your dog a lot or they swim frequently. The orals are clean and convenient and compared to Nexgard (the other new oral flea/tick preventative, it kills much more quickly. Also Bravecto lasts three months and Nexgard only lasts about 30 days. 

For more information, you can read my blog about New and Shiny Things, where I talked about Bravecto and Nexgard.  Get the info you need to have a good discussion with your vet and don’t forget to ask questions! 

So how about you guys?  Anyone having great success with new treatments? What’s working for you and what are you using?

Cheers!

Katie