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Discussion Starter #1
We are currently using Activyl Tick Plus topical, but our vet recommends that once our mpoo is 6 months old (next month), we switch to Bravecto chews (it's what the practice recommends for all dogs over 6 months). Me always being the one to do my own research online, I started looking into Bravecto and am reading all the horror stories. I just don't know who to believe...the vet who says it's safe and gives it to all her patients? Or the people online who say they lost their otherwise healthy dogs to it. I hate getting into these conversations with my vet where I question what they recommend, and if the vet says it's safe my DH believes it is, but I really struggle with it.

For those who use Bravecto, what eased your fears about it despite all the negative media?

For those that are afraid to use it, what do you use instead? If your vet recommended it, were they understanding when you said you didn't want to use it?
 

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I've used both Bravecto and Nexgard without issues. There is also a third similar product out there now that some vets are recommending.

My take on all the anecdotal hysteria is that these drugs probably lower the seizure threshold in some way in dogs who may already be predisposed to seizures. I initially used Bravecto because it was the only one labeled for use in breeding stock, and my bitch was intact at that point (as an aside, I wouldn't use anything like that in a pregnant/nursing bitch). But if the seizure thing made me nervous, I would use Nexgard or Simperica, just because they clear out of their bodies sooner in the event of a problem. I also make a point to use Interceptor rather than ivermectin for heartworm prevention, because I think there is some evidence that ivermectin can both independently lower the seizure threshold in susceptible dogs and interact with other drugs.

One thing that makes me skeptical of a lot of the online noise about Bravecto is that the issues are all over the place--it's been accused of harming every body part from nose to tail. I'd give it more credence if the overwhelming majority of reports had a common theme, as with the melamine-tainted dog food back in '06.

I wouldn't use any of these drugs just for fleas. But ticks are a much more serious issue, at least where I am, and the risk of Lyme and other tick-borne nasties justifies the risks of an oral med.
 

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We had no reaction when we gave it. We gave it to our Standard in around October 2017 we were having a flea problem. It worked well. We also gave it to our small terrier who is alive and well. She was at the vet because she ate something bad and the vet suggested it when I mentioned fleas. We waited until she had recovered from her food binge to give it

In February 2018 she was diagnosed with a brain illness. I posted in the Poodle Health section at the time https://www.poodleforum.com/29-poodle-health/261010-standard-neuro-problem.html

I did not do any online research and have no desire to. I had no reason to believe it was Bravecto but I also to this day do not know what caused it. According to her breeder all her other relatives are alive and well as far as she knows including her parents. With my next dog I will feed differently, she ate primarily dry proplan and will change in other ways. We did not have a happy ending
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your views on this. I do plan to at least bring up my concerns with the vet before making any changes. I know she will tell me it is safe and that it's her preferred flea/tick prevention, but I would also like to see what else they offer and her opinions of the various options.

Saphire, I am so sorry to hear about your experience with your girl. How awful. My eyes teared up when I went back and read your earlier post on the health board. Reading stories like that is exactly why I become so paranoid in trying to make the right choice on medicines, vaccines, etc. Our dogs are not just pets...they are our children and we don't want to see them suffer. We hope that, God willing, we might get 15 or so years with them. I had a mpoo growing up who lived to 17, and I've also seen my parents lose one at only 4. We want to make sure we're making the best choices and it's so hard to know what's right.
 

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We used to use Iverhart and Advantix II, but because of some resistance to Advantix in our area we switched the poodles to Bravecto and Peeves to a Seresto collar and all of them take Interceptor. We never have had any problems with any of these products. The poodles get the Bravecto because I can't put a 2nd collar on them since they do AKC performance sports.
 

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I will not do a collar because then my children are essentially wearing it as well every time they cuddle with the dog.

The irony is that I am in general into organic food, diatamaceous earth (which has its own issues) and natural flea killers. I do not put pesticides on my lawn and do not use bug spray containing deet. This was probably the only time I used a conventional flea killer other than one time trying a topical which was not effective. I did vaccinate according to a conventional schedule but was not overly aggressive about it. Her last shots had been in January 2017, more than a year earlier
 

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Love Bravecto! Both the Dobby, our standard, and Emma our senior mini schnauzer mix get it, and have gotten it since summer of 2017 when I could not keep the fleas in check, regardless of what I did.

I'm with @verve, if it can be used on breeding stock, it's probably pretty safe.

My friend who is director of operations at a fairly large shelter, uses it on shelter dog for mange successfully, and has not seen any reactions. She is who suggested it to me. All of her dogs get it, my dogs get it, and my mom started her ****zu on it as well. Everyone is doing great on it.
 

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My dogs all get nexgard and heartgard. My terrier has been on it 7 years no adverse reactions. Renn is on it too. The only difficult part is he doesn't really like it so I have to disguise it. All our other dogs just scoff it down like a treat.
 

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We've used Bravecto for a couple of years now. It's been very effective, and neither dog has had any sort of problem with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the replies. It seems like for the most part, everyone on here is having a good experience with Bravecto or other oral meds. I just got so nervous about it after reading everything online, but I do realize those negative accounts have to be taken with a grain of salt.
 

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you really do need to take things online with a grain of salt. You have no idea if the animals had any other health issues, or had gotten into something else that caused the issue.

I can tell you, I had not used ANY flea prevention for about 8-10 years. I was working with a holistic vet and he was very anti-chemical. I raw fed, didn't vaccinate, and didn't use any chemicals in or around my house. This, even though I was director of operations at an animal shelter, and had access to a large selection of different items I could purchase at cost.

However, there came a point when I could NOT keep fleas off our 14 year old schnauzer mix. Despite bathing, and using essential oils, and adding things to the food. I have the majority of natural pet care books out there, and was having little success with anything I tried. It was getting ridiculous, and when we started seeing them in the house, my husband freaked out and insisted I do something, anything.

That is when my best friend introduced me to Bravecto, and said they had great success with it at her shelter, all of her animals were on it, her siblings had all started their animals on it, and it was labeled as safe for pregnant and lactating animals, which few preventatives are. I gave it a try, treated the house to get rid of any lurking fleas in the carpets, and never looked back.

There are some great items modern medicine has given us that make our lives and the lives of our pets easier, convenient, and more comfortable. I now work with a natural vet, who is not as strict, and while she doesn't love flea preventatives, she understands that sometimes we have to make choices for the comfort of our animals and our families.

All this to say, I understand your hesitation, and your need for research, I am the same, and had to overcome the same fears.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All this to say, I understand your hesitation, and your need for research, I am the same, and had to overcome the same fears.

Good luck!
Thank you for this! I truly appreciate your reply and sharing your own personal background. We have an appointment tomorrow but it's just with the vet tech for a lyme vaccine, and I know they'll be giving us our next dose of preventative during that visit. I think we likely have another Activyl coming since he's not quite 6 months yet, but I'll be more open minded now when the vet wants to switch us over.
 

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Smudge has been on Bravecto for 5 or 6 years now - we were early adopters, since he had a couple of bad flea attacks (i think getting them from the dog park). He's an oversize toy (almost 6 kg, nearly 30 cm at the shoulder) and we just use the chew appropriate for his weight. He is definitely a toy - if you have a mini next to him, the difference in bone weight/size/density is obvious, even if they are nearly the same size - Smudge's bones are definitely finer.

We've never experienced any problems with Bravetco - and it was our vet who suggested it in the first place.
 

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Had agonized over this for quite a while after I lost both my dogs (doing the natural thing that comes so much easier to me DE, Tick check twice a day, Eos etc) One dog had unexplained seizures (Vet blamed Lyme) other dog had slow progressing kidney disease (Vet blamed Anaplasmosis). Had friends who swore up and down that Bravecto is the thing - my vet recommended the Soresto collar. I also told her (like you mentioned) that my grandson is totally unreliable about not touching it. Vets response was he could be chewing it and nothing would happen.... In the end I figured that the collar can always be taken off IF there is any sort of reaction from my (at that point 5 pound) poodle. Well he not only had zero reaction he hasn't had a single tick since he has put it on! Not even one tick! Quite miraculous for our region - and we are very active - lots of outdoor hikes in our local Preserve and his hair is quite long on his legs. Before my Poodle, my au naturell dogs used to be full of ticks when we returned from our hikes (it was 2 - 5 per dog before they were allowed in the car and then again 2 - 5 when we got home for second inspection. The collar is truly remarkably effective.
 
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