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.

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

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

https://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

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/

https://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

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