Our thoughts on newer tick prevention drugs
By John Morgan | Dated November 4, 2018
There has been ongoing debate about the use of isoxazoline range of flea and tick preventatives such as Bravecto, Nexgard and Simparica for pets. These are long acting preventatives that are relatively new to the industry. There have been reports of seizures and deaths associated with their use throughout social media.
At Gordon Vet Hospital we have been recommending these products since 2014 and have not treated any neurological complications (seizures, tremors or sudden death) definitively associated with the use of any of these drugs, even after accidental overdosing (double to triple the dose). The only complication we have seen is vomiting after ingestion of a product which is widely reported and managed with a bland diet and avoiding that particular product. While we appreciate there are potential complications associated with isoxazoline drugs, we feel the risks of the use of these medications is completely overshadowed by the reduction we have seen in life threatening tick paralysis cases.
We are in a high Ixodes holocyclus tick area of Sydney and have seen far too many cats and dogs severely affected by tick paralysis and, sadly, passing away as a result of this illness. Since Nexgard and Bravecto were released in 2014 we have seen the number of tick paralysis cases plummet from 150 per annum from October 2013 to October 2014 to 61 per annum from October 2017 to October 2018.
While we can’t eliminate the possibility of “One In A Million” neurological side effects from these drugs we can tell you that these treatments have dramatically reduced the number of pets being affected by paralysis ticks and are literally saving lives.