Canine Influenza- What You Should Know

There have been 2 deaths reported in dogs in North Carolina from Canine Influenza (CIV). This come on the heels of outbreaks in Florida and Georgia. Tennessee recently confirmed positive cases as well.

US states with Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) infected dogs

We have recommended and required CIV vaccination at Foster Animal Hospital for several years now. Like most flu viruses, the original strain has mutated in to a second strain. Thankfully, there is a vaccine available that protects against both strains. We now have it in stock. The vaccination protocol is for your dog to receive 2 injections 2-4 weeks a part. If your dog has been vaccinated previously against the original strain, we still recommend the 2 injection series. That is because the original vaccine is not indicated to protect against the new strain.

It is especially important that dogs who frequent dog parks, kennels, doggie day care, grooming parlors, rehab facilities, and veterinary hospitals be vaccinated. This does not mean these places harbor the virus. It means when you congregate dogs, the chances of being exposed to the virus increase. Much like children at school, one infected child can infect a whole host of others. Even if your dog stays at home, she is still at risk. Therefore, we recommend all dogs be protected.

From the NCVMA:

Canine Influenza Virus

  • Canine Influenza Virus is spread through:
    • Close proximity to infected dogs (it is airborne and can travel up to 20 ft.; Dog parks are ideal for spreading the virus)
    • Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog runs, etc.)
    • People moving between infected and uninfected dogs
    • 80% of all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it
    • The virus lives up to 24 hours on soft surfaces and up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.
  • Some exposed dogs will be subclinical carriers – meaning some dogs will contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms.
  • Dogs show clinical signs within 24-48 hours and can shed the virus for up to 28 days from exposure.
  • Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment.
  • Dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather are most susceptible to exposure to Canine Influenza Virus.

Symptoms

  • Dry, hacking cough (similar to kennel cough)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Fever (normal temperature is 101 – 102)

Prevention

  • The best protection is vaccination. There is now a single vaccination for both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. The vaccination requires a booster shot two weeks after the initial vaccine. Vaccination provides the best chance of immunity within 7-14 days of booster shot.
  • Isolate sick animals and keep them isolated for up to 30 days after symptoms subside.
  • Practice good sanitation. Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas such as tables, bowls, leashes, crates, etc. Allow items to thoroughly air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes before exposing dogs to them.  Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas
  • Wash your hands frequently, ideally between handling different dogs. At the very minimum, hand sanitizer should be used between handling dogs.
  • Use disposable gowns or wipe down clothing and shoes with a bleach solution between dogs or after leaving an area where dogs congregate.
  • Food/water bowls should be made of stainless steel instead of plastic because scratched plastic is hard to fully disinfect.

Treatment

  • Treatment of Canine Influenza Virus requires veterinary assistance. If you believe your dog may have Canine Influenza Virus, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Untreated, the illness may progress to pneumonia or other, more serious problems. H3N2 can lead to severe secondary pneumonia which can cause extremely sick dogs with potential fatalities.
  • Most dogs take 2-3 weeks to recover from the illness.

Containment

  • Any dog suspected of having Canine Influenza Virus should be immediately isolated from other dogs and should not attend dog shows, day care, grooming facilities, dog parks, or other places dogs gather. Dogs are contagious for up to 30 days once they have started showing symptoms.
  • Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your dog may be showing symptoms of Canine Influenza Virus. If your dog is going to a veterinary hospital or clinic, call ahead to let them know you have a suspected case of Canine Influenza Virus. They may ask you to follow a specific protocol before entering the clinic to minimize the spread of the disease, including waiting in your car until they are ready to examine your dog.
  • Keep sick dogs at home and isolated from other dogs and cats until you are certain the illness has run its course (typically 3-4 weeks).

Consideration for Event Venues

  • Use a bleach and water mixture diluted to 1-part bleach x 30 parts water to disinfect common areas including show floors, grooming tables, ring gates, in-ring examination tables and ramps, and x-pens. Allow solution to completely dry (at least ten minutes in order to assure virus has been killed). Bleach breaks down quickly so solution should be made daily. Keep in mind that bleach becomes inactive in UV light. If mopping use two buckets so as not to cross contaminate areas.
  • When wiping down hard surfaces paper towels are preferred over cloth.
  • Consider having two exam tables at every ring so that they can be cleaned and allowed to air dry frequently in between classes.
  • Provide hand sanitizer in each ring and in grooming areas.

Exhibitors should consider grooming dogs at their cars instead of using grooming areas where dogs are in very close proximity.

OTHER LINKS:

University of Florida

University of Tennessee

NC Dept. of Ag- CIV

 

Please call our office for any questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment. The vaccine is in good supply right now but that may change as the word gets out.

As always, I am an email or phone call away!

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

From docsef’s desk- Parasite Prevention

Mayday. Mayday. Parasite Prevention is needed because heartworms, ticks, and fleas are headed our way!

I feel like in my last few blogs and now with this one, I am beating a dead horse.

http://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/tis-the-season/

http://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/lyme-disease-what-every-dog-owner-in-cabarrus-county-should-know/

http://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/2017/02/

However, the first sentence above really is true. Heartworms, ticks, and fleas are heading our way. No, they actually are already here.

Just this week:

  • I have diagnosed a dog with heartworms who has been on heartworm prevention for the last 10 months but was probably exposed prior to taking the prevention.
  • I have seen a dog infested with ticks who was not on tick prevention.  And I have had other owners tell me they have found ticks on their dog.
  • I have treated several cases of Flea Allergic Dermatitis that only results from a flea infestation.
  • Heck, I found a tick on myself this past weekend!

And these cases are just mine. Compound that with my colleagues within our practice, or my colleagues within Cabarrus County, or even my colleagues in the Charlotte region and the numbers will grow exponentially. And all the while, this doesn’t even include pets that haven’t been to a vet this spring!

So here are my recommendations:

  1. Have your dog tested for heartworms every year. Do this even if he is on heartworm prevention. (see the first bullet point above)
  2. Keep your dog and cat on heartworm prevention year-round. Please understand- there is not enough cold weather in Cabarrus County/Charlotte region to kill the mosquitoes (that spread heartworms) and other pests to warrant not protecting year-round. And understand that heartworm prevention also prevents intestinal parasites that also are unfazed by our mild winter temperatures.
  3. Stay on tick and flea prevention year-round! (see point two above about our so-called winters)
  4. Use products that have great safety data, are newer generation, and are proven to work. Need some suggestions? Here you go:

Heartworm Preventatives we at Foster Animal Hospital sell, recommend, and use on our pets:

Cats: Revolution- Prevents HW, intestinal worms, ear mites, fleas and flea eggs. 

Dogs: Proheart- 6 months injection that prevents HW and is guaranteed to prevent certain intestinal worms. ProHeart 6 Logo

Trifexis- monthly chewable for HW, intestinal worms, and fleas but NOT ticks. 

Interceptor Plus- monthly chewable for HW and intestinal worms. 

 

Flea and Tick Preventatives we at Foster Animal Hospital sell, recommend, and use on our pets:

Cats: Revolution- Prevents HW, intestinal worms, ear mites, fleas and flea eggs but not ticks. 

Cats: Bravecto Topical- Fleas and ticks that lasts 3 months. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Cats

Dogs: Bravecto Chewable- 3 month prevention of fleas and ticks. BRAVECTO pork flavor tasty chew

Vectra 3-D Topical- Fleas, flea eggs, ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, mites, and lice.

There are numerous products on the market. These are the current ones we sell at Foster Animal Hospital and Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons. Our staff is trained and more than happy to help you in your decision.

And I am a phone call or email away with any questions or concerns you may have!

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

From the desk of docsef

Thunderstorms. Fireworks. Text message alerts. Alarm beeps. Guns during hunting season. Construction. Screaming children. TV sound-effects. Traffic noise.

We’ve all heard these and are usually unfazed. (I know some will faze!) But what about your dog? Is she fazed by any of these? Does she start to shake, pant, pace, cling, whine, hide, etc.? Studies show at least one-third of dogs suffer from noise aversion.

For years our pets just had to suffer through it. Sure we tried tranquilizers or other anti-anxiety medicines only to find the storm passed and NOW Fido is sleeping. In recent years innovations like pheromone therapy and thundershirts have helped many. Recently, a new medication called Sileo has been launched. While not perfect, I have been very pleased with the effects. Even for my own dog.

Basically, Sileo is a micro-dose of a commonly use veterinary sedative. It is administered orally and is absorbed by the mucosa of the dog’s gums. It will not worked if swallowed. Because it is a micro-dose, anxiety is relieved with virtually no sedation. My dog Vesey has responded very well to Sileo. I have even used it for her travel anxiety, even though it is not labeled for that issue. My thought is: anxiety is anxiety.

So if your pup doesn’t “enjoy the noise”, give us a call. Sileo may just be the ticket for her!

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Tis The Season!

What? You say it’s not December, and that much is true. But May tis the season to be worried! Worried about heartworms that is. In all actuality we should be worried year-round about heartworms because in the southeast US, heartworm disease is a year-round concern. And for those that aren’t aware, heartworm disease is not just limited to dogs. Cats can develop heartworms and do so at a similar rate that they contract Feline Leukemia Virus infections.

So here are the facts:

  1. Heartworms are spread to dogs and cats by mosquitoes. You know, those pesky little blood-suckers that attack you and me! Remember how mild our winter was this year? If not, the mosquitoes sure do, because they never died off this winter! In fact, Orkin recently ranked Charlotte #9 on their top 50 list of “Mosquito Cities”. (Move over cardinals, we have a new state bird)
  2. It takes 6 months from initial exposure until the heartworms are mature in the heart of dogs and the lungs of cats.
  3. Dogs- Heartworm tests, preventatives, and treatments are very safe and effective.
  4. Cats- Heartworm tests are not reliable. There is no approved treatment. Prevention is the best and ONLY answer.
  5. Many heartworm positive pets are indoor-only or indoor-primarily.
  6. Permanent heart and lung damage will occur with heartworm disease and worse yet death can occur. Oftentimes in cats, sudden death is the only sign of heartworm disease.
  7. The American Heartworm Society ( www.heartwormsociety.org ) recently released the Heartworm Incidence Map for 2016. 
  8. If you didn’t study the map, scroll up and look again. And then look at North Carolina. And then look at the Charlotte region. We are the darkest red and that is scary.

So, what should you do?

Dog owners: Have your dog tested annually (whether on prevention or not). Give heartworm prevention, on schedule, year-round. We use and recommend- Proheart, Trifexis, Interceptor Plus, and Heartgard. If possible, avoid mosquito laden areas. If that is not reality for you, consider using a mosquito repelling product like Vectra 3-D when in those areas. (Vectra 3-D is NOT a heartworm preventative. It is for fleas and ticks and will repel mosquitoes)

Cat owners: Keep your cats on heartworm prevention year round, even if they are indoor only. We recommend and sell Revolution. The beauty of Revolution is that it prevents heartworms in cats and also kills fleas, ear mites, and some intestinal worms.

 

Remember it only takes one mosquito bite. I had a mosquito come through my front door with me last night and she wasn’t even invited!

As usual, feel free to call or email me with any questions or concerns. Heartworm disease is a reality. Sadly, it is a reality that is entirely preventable.

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

 

Hidden Dangers May Be A Mouth Away

Foster-logocropped

For years it was optional for our dog and cat owners to choose whether they wanted dental x-rays for their pets. For the last year, ALL of our dental patients have received dental x-rays. Why you say? Because on a routine physical exam it is impossible to perform a complete dental exam. We now know on the anesthetized dental patient, it is also impossible to perform a complete dental exam without dental x-rays.*  We know this because the dental x-rays have revealed hidden dangers.

teeth2

Take Fido Doe, a recent dental patient of ours. Fido’s teeth were graded a P1 by the veterinarian. (P0 -P4 is our grade standard with P0 being the best) Once anesthetized, Fido’s teeth were x-rayed. The x-rays revealed root fractures of many teeth. There is no way to determine when this happened or why. But the fact remains these teeth had hidden issues that only dental x-rays could find. There is also no way to know how much pain Fido had been in. Dogs and cats are masters at hiding pain. I call it a survival instinct.

Another case in point is Emmy, my own 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer. She had a routine dental performed in June of last year. Dr. Mark Plott and his team performed dental x-rays. Emmy’s right upper canine tooth was basically dead. She had shown no obvious signs of pain and discomfort at home. When they cleaned the tartar from that tooth, there was a slight discoloration near the gum line. Without the x-rays we would have never known about the advanced nature of her problem and her pain. The recommendation was to remove the tooth. Once she healed from the extraction, she was like a new dog. She was playing often and hard with our new puppy. Even acting like the puppy herself!

Dental cleanings are not cheap for dogs and cats. At least they are not cheap at Foster Animal Hospital compared to other places. (no two vet hospitals practice vet medicine the same) The service received here is not cheap either. There is a high value for what we do before, during and after dental treatments. If nothing more, just the fact that we now routinely find hidden dangers during a routine dental treatment by taking x-rays can save your pet years of oral pain and discomfort. And can ultimately save you money. That’s why having a yearly dental  treatment is the best recommendation we can make.

teeth3

*Note- all dental procedures require anesthesia. Our patients won’t sit in the chair with their mouths open!!

For more information on what our Dental Treatment includes visit here:

http://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/veterinary-services/pet-dental-care.html, or give us a call today at 704-786-0104.

Links for more information on this important topic:

http://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/?m=201612

http://www.avdc.org/ownersinfo.html

http://www.avdc.org/radiographs.html

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Refer A Friend!

We love referrals! And we want to reward those clients that refer their friends, family, neighbors, etc.
So, when you refer a friend we will give you a $10 credit on your account here (with the standard small print “not redeemable for cash”!) and we will also give your friend a $10 credit on their account.
The credit can be used for any service or product we have here at Foster Animal Hospital, Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons, or Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center.
Refer A Friend today!
Thanks!

Thank-You

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Lyme Disease: What every dog owner in Cabarrus County should know

lymeprev

NC 2016 CAPC

The top map shows the potential risk for Lyme Disease in each state in the United States. The Companion Animal Parasite Council, aka CAPC, currently shows Cabarrus County as having a “moderate risk of infection” by Lyme Disease in dogs. And the trend is upward.

In short, what should you do:

  • Have your dog screened for Lyme Disease, and other tick related diseases on a routine basis. At both of our sites, routine annual blood tests and diagnostic panels screen for Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Unfortunately, there is no easy screen for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. (The CAPC Data graph above shows the number of Lyme positive cases in North Carolina in 2016, as compared to, other parasitic infections.)
  • Provide tick protection year-round for your dogs and cats. As shown by this winter (2016-17), cold weather is not long enough and consistent enough to kill out those pesky ticks in our area.
  • Be aware that traveling to Lyme endemic areas carries risks for you and your dog. (See the map above.)
  • Consider vaccinating your dog against Lyme Disease. Vaccination should be done if you are traveling to an endemic area, spend time in the outdoors with your dog hiking and exploring, or suffer from tick exposure regularly. There may be other risk factors unique to your lifestyle and environment. The vaccines are safe and effective.
  • Signs of Lyme Disease in your dog include: fever, shifting leg lameness, swollen joints, enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, depression, and anorexia. In general, clinical improvement is observed following initiation of antibiotic therapy. Lyme Disease may also persist in a chronic form resulting in poly-arthritis and kidney damage.

Like most diseases, prevention is the best policy. We use and recommend the following products:

 

vectra 3d

BravectoK9

simparica_middle

crlyme_product

I know I have blogged about ticks and Lyme Disease already. Our staff chose March as “Tick” month. This is because our doctors and staff feel very strongly that our clients be aware of the issues ticks can create in their pets. So please forgive me for being repetitive. We just feel that strongly about protecting your pets AND YOU from Lyme Disease!

I have included some links for your use:

https://www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/lyme-disease/

https://www.capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps/

http://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/

 

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Got Wildlife? Got Dogs?

You’ve seen them all: possum, raccoons, squirrels, deer, rats, etc. They’re in our yards, our woods, our streets. They’re pretty much everywhere. Most are lovely to look at (sorry possums and rats), but some can be spreading a hidden hazard. A hazard that can have life-threatening consequences for your dogs….. and even for you.

LeptoPic

I’m talking about Leptospirosis or Lepto for short. Lepto is a bacterial infection that can be spread by an infected animal through it’s urine and other body fluids. It enters the body through mucus membranes (mouth, nose, etc.), through scratches or abrasions on the skin, and potentially through bite wounds. The disease, if untreated, can cause kidney and liver failure in dogs. And oh by the way, it can cause the same in people. Lepto can even cause death. You may have recently seen reports about a person that died in New York and two others who were sick from Lepto. It has been reported that as many as 50 dogs have been infected in Phoenix. Most experts have felt that Lepto is a rare likelihood but other reports show Lepto is emerging more and more. Perhaps the reports from New York and Phoenix support this.

The purpose of this blog is not to scare you, but to inform you. We recommend vaccinating against Lepto and use the vaccine as one of our core vaccines. Many clinics and hospitals do not. As with any vaccine, we make sure your pet is medically able to be vaccinated prior to administering it.

I have researched to try and find the incidence of Lepto in our area. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find accurate info from a reliable source. Certainly, Lepto is not an everyday, every week, every month diagnosis. But the potential for harm and the understanding that many feel Lepto is on the rise is cause enough to be aware. And cause enough to be protected, don’t you think?

As always, feel free to contact me by email or phone.

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Lyme Disease in Dogs- Becoming A Serious Problem in NC

Tick-tock, Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Or with Spring fast approaching in Cabarrus County, it may be more appropriate to say Tick-tick, Tick-tick, Tick-tick. That certainly conjures up a bad visual!

tick

Historically, tick transmitted disease in our area has been most often limited to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). In fact for years, Cabarrus and Rowan Counties led the nation in human cases. RMSF is a disease that can affect dogs, but is difficult to diagnose. In recent years other tick transmitted diseases have begun to show up in Cabarrus County: Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Within the last 12 months, we at Foster Animal Hospital and Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons have begun screening for Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma on our routine annual lab panels. The results have been eye opening. (Unfortunately, this test is not yet available for RMSF)

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council or CAPC ( https://www.capcvet.org/ ), all three are on the rise in North Carolina. Lyme Disease in particular is one we are watching closely. Lyme has been a real nightmare for residents and pets in the northeast US for years. With the transient nature of people, especially those that travel with their pets, the incidence is moving southward. CAPC’s incidence map shows 51 of the 100 counties in NC, Cabarrus County included, rate as moderate for the prevalence of Lyme positive dogs in those counties. (https://www.capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps/) Mind you, that is just the dogs that are tested. Many thousands of dogs in this state go untested every year.

lymeprev

Lyme incidence

Clinical signs in dogs can range from fever, lethargy, lameness, intermittent and/or shifting leg lameness, stiffness, pain, and loss of appetite. Many dogs do not show signs for quite some time. Many will respond well to antibiotics, others do not.

Fortunately, there are vaccines available to help prevent Lyme infection. We use the latest product that has the ability to eliminate the infection at the tick-bite site, as well as, internally. (https://www.zoetisus.com/products/dogs/vanguard-crlyme/) Many vaccines only protect at the bite site and are not as effective. This technology for this new vaccine is being researched for possible use in humans. What a breakthrough that would be!

I personally have vaccinated my 3 dogs for Lyme. None of them experienced any vaccine reaction, and now I can rest easy knowing they are protected against Lyme Disease. I still use tick preventatives for them even though I rarely see a tick on them. That is because RMSF, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma exist in NC too. Many dogs that test positive for Lyme or the other tick related disease have no tick history. (many people too report they never had a tick when they were diagnosed) The best 3 products we recommend are Vectra 3-D, a monthly topical, Bravecto, an oral chew that lasts 3 months and Simparica a monthly chewable that has great efficacy and is available on Vetsource, our online pharmacy. Vectra 3-D and Bravecto are available at both of our locations.

vectra 3d

BravectoK9

simparica_middle

vetsource1

By vaccinating my dogs and using an effective and safe tick preventative, I have greatly reduced the potential for any tick related disease for my dogs, myself, and my family. After all, our dogs are constant companions in our house and even sleep in our bed! I don’t want ticks in my bed or on me!

tick2

So please don’t hesitate to contact me or our offices for additional information or questions. We can schedule an appointment to give the Lyme vaccines if you wish. The initial series calls for 2 vaccines given 2-4 weeks apart. If your dog has been previously vaccinated with another type of vaccine, we still recommend the initial 2 vaccine protocol to assure better protection because of the new technology.

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Bravecto Concerns

Bravecto is a flea and tick preventative that lasts 3 months. It was approved as an oral tablet for dogs in 2014. Recently there have been media reports of dogs that have been given Bravecto experiencing medical issues and even death. As a veterinarian, I take these issues seriously. I and my practices have dispensed thousands of doses of this product. I personally give it to my 3 dogs- as recently as last night.

Bravecto is approved by the FDA and many countries world-wide. The safety studies show it to be a very safe product. As a vet of 31 years, these products are much safer than the products available 10-30 years ago: such as organophosphates and the like.

Any adverse event a pet has should be reported to your vet and to the company that makes Bravecto- Merck Animal Health. The most common concern I have seen by my clients is vomiting and /or lethargy. (and that is not reported very often) If your pet has experienced this or any other issues, then Bravecto is probably not for you.

I advise my clients that the product is safe. The use of it is a choice. If you are not comfortable with it, then we can make other recommendations. There are numerous products to choose from.

The reality is, unless a necropsy is performed on the deceased animals, we will never know the full truth. Merck and the FDA will not allow a product that is unsafe to remain on the market. As of now and for the foreseeable future, Bravecto will be available.

I have copied and pasted a statement recently made by Merck Animal Health regarding Bravecto. I hope you find this blog and the Merck statement helpful. As always, feel free to contact me at 704-786-0104 or sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com with any concerns you may have.

I hope you have a great day!

 

 

Bravecto: Just The Facts

Many of us at Merck Animal Health are veterinarians and/or pet owners and do what we do because of our love for animals. Their health and wellbeing is our top priority. We know that veterinarians and pet owners look to us to provide accurate and balanced information about our products, which is why it is so important that we share the FACTS about Bravecto.
As you may be aware, fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance, but also pose animal and human health risks, as they can transmit disease (including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, bartonellosis and others).
That’s why it’s critical to protect pets from these parasites and keep them out of homes. Bravecto is the first and only treatment that has been shown to quickly and effectively kill fleas and multiple tick species for 12 weeks in a single dose. It also is effective for eight weeks against Amblyomma americanum ticks.
More than 13 million doses of Bravecto have been dispensed in 60 countries. We are pleased with the overwhelmingly positive responses we’ve had from veterinarians and pet owners from throughout the world about the benefits of Bravecto.
 We are confident in the safety of Bravecto.
 Prior to its first approval by a regulatory agency, the safety of Bravecto was established through comprehensive clinical research studies.
 As part of the product approval process, regulatory agencies throughout the world have reviewed the Bravecto research data and have deemed it safe for sale in their countries, when used according to the product label. Global safety surveillance of Bravecto use has provided additional compelling evidence of the safety of the product.
 In a well-controlled field study Bravecto was used concurrently with other medications, such as vaccines, anthelmintics, antibiotics and steroids. No adverse reactions were observed when Bravecto was used at the same time as other medications.1,2
 The rate of all adverse event reports is classified as RARE. The most common reported events are mild and transient gastrointestinal upset, which are noted on the product label.
 Merck Animal Health’s research scientists have thoroughly reviewed the safety data for Bravecto from more than 55 controlled clinical trials.
 Clinical research data and analysis of adverse events do not demonstrate a causal relationship between Bravecto and liver or kidney issues or cancer.
BRAVECTO: JUST THE FACTS
THE IMPORTANCE OF FLEA AND TICK PREVENTION
EXTENSIVE SAFETY RESEARCH

 As a responsible animal health company, we take every single report of a potential adverse event seriously.
 Whenever possible, we work with the pet owner and attending veterinarian to assemble as much clinical information as we can to try to help determine the cause of a pet’s health issue, and whether or not the product may have been involved.
 It is important to critically examine the facts relating to adverse events vs. anecdotes that are not substantiated by science and medical evidence. A report does not mean causation.
 We report findings to governing regulatory agencies around the world (based on a country’s respective laws and policies), so that they can make a fully informed, scientific assessment about the safety of the product.
 We do this so that accurate safety and efficacy information is available for veterinarians prescribing our products.
 We are Confident in the Safety of Bravecto.
For more information, please visit the Bravecto website. Always consult with your own veterinarian about the health and well-being of your pet, and when making a decision about flea and tick control products.
1 Bravecto Product Label. Data on file at Merck Animal Health and FDA. 2 Walther et al. Plasma pharmacokinetic profile of fluralaner (Bravecto™) and ivermectin following concurrent administration to dogs.

Merck Animal Health Companion Animal Technical Servicesand Pharmacovigilance Team

1-800-224-5318

8:30am-5:00pm EST

 www.Bravecto.com

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com