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Bravecto is used to kill fleas and to help prevent flea infestations. Bravecto for dogs targets the brown dog tick, the black-legged tick, and the American dog tick for 12 weeks. The medication also kills the lone star tick for 8 weeks. 

This veterinarian-approved anti-parasitic is safe for use on puppies and dogs 6 months of age or older. The weight of the dog must be at least 4.4 pounds. Read on to learn about the dosage, efficacy, side effects, and other considerations for Bravecto.

Dosage

Bravecto for dogs is administered in proportion to the dog’s weight. The active ingredient in the ectoparasiticide is fluralaner. This medication belongs to the isoxazoline group, an FDA-approved drug for controlling fleas and ticks. The following dosage information is for both the chewable tablet and the topical solution.

  • Toy dogs 4.4-9.9 lbs – 112.5 mg

  • Small dogs >9.9-22.0 lbs – 250 mg

  • Medium dogs >22.0-44.0 lbs – 500 mg

  • Large dogs >44.0-88.0 lbs –1000 mg

  • Extra-large dogs >88.0-123 lbs – 1400 mg

  • For dogs over 123 lbs, verify the dosage with your vet

Dosage Instructions

When administering the topical solution, the twist-and-use application tube is opened, and the dog’s hair parted between the shoulder blades to begin the application. Apply in one or two spots between the shoulder blades and along the back for full-body protection.

To administer the chewable medication, give it along with food. Make sure that your dog consumes the entire tablet. If it breaks or crumbles, that is fine, but the full dose must be eaten.

Efficacy

Bravecto is highly effective. A controlled study of both the topical and oral Bravecto for dogs showed 99% efficacy. The Bravecto Chew starts to eradicate fleas within 2 hours and ticks within 12 hours. 

The Bravecto Topical Solution reduces fleas within 24 to 48 hours. Within 48 hours, the black-legged, American, and brown dog ticks will be 93% eliminated. The lone star tick is killed at a rate of 90% after 72 hours. 

The length of efficacy of the medication varies depending on the type of tick. The range of effectiveness against the Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick), and Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) is 12 weeks. The protection against Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick) is just 8 weeks.

Flea coverage is effective for 12 weeks, even with bathing and swimming over the 12 week period. 

Side effects

Bravecto for dogs has no known contraindications. However, there have been side effects noted. With the Bravecto Chew:

  • Vomiting

  • Decreased appetite

  • Diarrhea

  • Lethargy

  • Polydipsia (excessive thirst)

  • Flatulence

There have been seizures and adverse neurological effects noted in dogs in rare cases. Veterinarians are aware to use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures.

With the Bravecto Topical Solution:

  • Vomiting

  • Hair loss

  • Diarrhea

  • Lethargy

  • Decreased appetite

  • Moist dermatitis/rash

Considerations

Before using any medication on your dog, discuss your concerns with your vet and ask questions if necessary.

Drug interactions

Presently, there are no known drug interactions with Bravecto (fluralaner). Still, discuss with your vet any vitamins, holistic therapies, or supplements your pet is taking. 

  • As mentioned, Bravecto should be used in caution in dogs with a history of seizures

  • Puppies under the age of 6 months and/or weighing less than 4.4 pounds should not be administered this ectoparasiticide

  • The medication has been approved in dogs who are breeding, pregnant, or lactating

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

Dogs with the MDR1-related drug toxicosis of the central nervous system (often herding dogs) sometimes have reactions to tick and flea medications. A study performed with Collies known to have the MDR1 mutation showed no toxicity to oral administration of Bravecto for dogs.

To note, Bravecto has shown to help clear up flea allergy dermatitis, which is seen in dogs who have soreness, redness and papules on the skin due to flea bites.

Frequently asked questions

Do all ticks and fleas carry disease?

Fleas can carry tapeworms. Ticks can pass on several illnesses, including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Using Bravecto to eliminate and prevent ticks and fleas will help to keep your pet healthier.

How do I know if my dog has fleas or ticks?

If your dog has fleas, you may see:

  • Intense itching

  • Rubbing and chewing the skin or limb

  • Sores, redness, scabs

  • Restless behavior

  • Hair loss

  • Visible fleas moving about, often in the groin and on the belly

  • Specks that fall from the dog, when put on a wet paper towel will turn red

A dog with ticks may exhibit the following:

  • Shaking of the head 

  • Constant biting at the same spot

  • Scabs from the biting

  • If your dog contracts an illness like Rocky Mountain Fever, they may run a fever

How do I remove a tick?

Removing a tick

must be done carefully. Use fine-pointed tweezers to grasp the head of the tick. When pulling the parasite off, do not grasp or squeeze the body. If your dog has an infestation, have a vet remove them.

How does Bravecto work?

Fleas and ticks ingest the Bravecto when they feed on your dog. Once applied or ingested, the medication works quickly and makes its way to tissue fluids under your dog’s skin.

What happens if my dog vomits after eating the Bravecto Chewable?

It is best to check with your vet before administering any more medication. The vet may say to redose. However, if the vomiting occurred more than 4 hours after the dose, absorption has most likely taken place. If you feel your dog is vomiting due to an adverse reaction, contact the vet right away.

I gave my dog a dose before the 12 weeks period was up. Is that okay?

Let your vet know the situation. Bravecto is known to be safe when given at three week intervals, so an adverse reaction should not occur. Still, it is best to contact the vet and discuss it.

Can I bathe my dog or let them swim after a topical treatment of Bravecto?

Wait three days after the medication has been applied to your dog. Then, it is no problem to bathe them or let them swim as often as you want.

Do I need a prescription for Bravecto?

Yes, a prescription is required. This is important to ensure the correct dosage for your dog. Your vet will explain the proper usage of Bravecto, the only medication for fleas and ticks that gives 12 weeks of protection with a single treatment.

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