To our Atlantic Vet Family:
This past Friday, the FDA published an animal drug safety communication (https://bit.ly/2PQ0kjh) about potential adverse effects associated with a class of chemicals called isoxazolines. Isoxazolines are a synthetic chemical class that has broad spectrum insecticidal effects against a number of parasites such as fleas and ticks.
Most available products, such as Nexgard (Merial), Bravecto (Merck) and Simparica (Zoetis) are for oral administration in dogs. We do often recommend Bravecto topical for cats which is also an isooxazoline. Isoxazolines are rapidly absorbed in the blood and distributed throughout the body of the dog or cat. Once ingested by a parasite, isoxazolines cause paralysis and death.
The focus of the communication was regarding the occurrence of neurological adverse reactions such as seizures, muscle tremors, and ataxia (unsteadiness, loss of coordination) in some dogs and cats. The FDA is asking all manufacturers to communicate these risks more clearly through their labeling to both consumers and veterinarians.
Impact of Announcement on the Atlantic Vet Family: LOW
Atlantic Veterinary Hospital continues to recommend Simparica for dog over the age of 6 months, Nexgard for dogs under the age of 6 months and Bravecto for cats and dogs over the age of 6 months.
Our recommendation is based on the following:
Since we began recommending oral flea & tick preventatives, we have had no adverse neurological side effect among our patients.
The risks of not administering monthly flea & tick preventatives are significantly more impactful to a dog and their family. At Atlantic Vet, cases of lyme disease, flea infestations, and anaplasmosis, by far exceed even the least adverse side effects of these preventatives. Killing ticks through preventatives also prevents human family members from tick-borne illnesses such as lyme and anaplasmosis.
Atlantic Veterinary Hospital does not recommend these preventatives to dogs with known neurological problems.
If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding these products and your dog or cat, please do not hesitate to contact us either by email at email@example.com or by phone at (781) 631-8881.