Bravecto, an edible flea medication so powerful that one dose kills fleas and ticks for three months, is being blamed for hundreds of dogs' deaths worldwide.
WSB-TV Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland has launched an investigation into the allegations that Bravecto is killing dogs. He has amassed a number of records from pet owners who believe the medication caused their canines' deaths.
Pennsylvania veterinarian Elizabeth Carney has seen the damage firsthand.
"We're seeing some of these dogs that just seem to crash for lack of a better word," she said.
Carney and others have petitioned the FDA to add warnings to Bravecto's label.
However, there is not a consensus among veterinarians about the dangers of the drug. Veterinarian West Hamryka of Sugar Hill Animal Hospital in Georgia, for example, has dispensed some 3,400 doses of the drug and even gives it to his own dog.
Strickland has also obtained an FDA report that includes records of 355 suspicious deaths believed to be connected to Bravecto since its 2014 release.
Bravecto has been causing problems outside the U.S. as well. European officials have collected reports of 800 dog deaths across the globe.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck, producer of Bravecto, claims the drug is safe but declined Strickland's request for an on-camera interview. A Merck spokesperson sent Strickland an email stating that of the 34 million doses of the medication that have so far been dispensed, the incidence of serious adverse side effects are less than .01%.
The FDA reports that it is keeping tabs on reports of adverse side effects related to the use of Bravecto, but has not commented on whether or not it will press Merck to make changes to the drug's labeling.
If you use Bravecto, discontinue use immediately and consult your veterinarian before giving your dog another dose.
Pet owners have started a discussion about the potential dangers of Bravecto. Check out the "Does Bravecto Kill Dogs?" Facebook page.
This post was originally published on February 6, 2017.