Written By Barbara Walters 8/1/2017
Milo joined our family in October of 2014 when he was just 12 weeks old. He was one of 6 puppies that were found abandoned on the side of a road and taken to the local animal shelter by a good samaritan. It was love at first sight as he looked at me with his beautiful brown eyes.
Like responsible dog owners, we took Milo to our vet to be checked out and was deemed to be very healthy. We enrolled him in obedience classes to socialize him and teach him good puppy manners. He flourished with the love and training he received.
As directed by our vet, we made sure we stayed up to date on his vaccinations. At six months, our vet strongly recommended we put Milo on a flea and tick preventative. The scare tactic of possible illness or death due to just one tick bite worked. Truly not knowing what the best option was, we asked out vet to make a recommendation and she confidently recommended BRAVECTO telling me it was completely safe and a perfect option that only had to be taken once every three months.
Trusting my vet, I put Milo on BRAVECTO April, 8, 2016. That day changed Milo’s life forever.
Two weeks after being given BRAVECTO he suffered his first seizure. It was a gran mal seizure with the scary foaming of the mouth, body stiffening and jerking, urinating and defecating that goes with it. We notified our vet who directed us to monitor him and let her know if he had another. Two weeks later, Milo had another gran mal. Ten days after that he had another. Twelve days later, he had another. The vet diagnosed him with epilepsy and put him on Phenobarbitol. The seizures continued with relative regularity every 10-14 days with no decrease in frequency since starting Phenobarbitol.
As scheduled, I gave Milo his second dose of BRAVECTO on July 8, 2016. He seized that night. I was getting worried wondering if there might any correlation to the BRAVECTO since he was fine before taking it so I started my research on BRAVECTO for any information on adverse reactions.
Three days after giving the dose, I discovered the Facebook group called DOES BRAVECTO KILL DOGS and was horrified by what I read. Stories of dogs dying with more stories of dogs sick and declining. I read story after story of death and crippling illness after dogs were given BRAVECTO. It was at that point I made the correlation between BRAVECTO and the onset of the seizures and fear engulfed me. Would Milo become another statistic?
Interestingly, I noticed the membership of this group was 28,ooo members. That number has nearly doubled in just 3 years!! As quickly as the fear hit, the determination to get Milo healthy became paramount and I began an immediate detoxing. It was at that point I vowed to NEVER give another dose of BRAVECTO to my dog.
Learning that the chemicals in the BRAVECTO could be at the root of his seizures, filling Milo with more chemicals and possibly damaging his already taxed liver was not an option. An alternative approach was taken which included changing his diet to healthier, homemade food and adding natural supplements to detox his liver and eliminate the toxins. We truly felt we could get Milo through this and return to normal.
By this point we added Zonisamide to his regimen to get his weekly seizures under control. We lived each day on edge wondering and worrying if, or when, the next seizure would hit. The time of day didn’t matter and we were always on guard. We had the ‘routine’ down pat and were always prepared with towels and ice packs.
For months we struggled to get the seizures under control. Milo went through 4 rounds of detox but his labs still showed issues with his liver and blood.
After his first birthday, Milo was referred to a neurologist and put on a third medication, Keppra, since the first two still weren’t getting the seizures under control. Initial results were positive and we were able to go 14 days seizure free. It didn’t take long and the frequency increased again.
This ordeal was a rollercoaster, emotionally and physically. Seeing my boy running and playing was the up, seeing that change the next minute while going into a seizure was the down. I could stay strong for the family as we would get through each seizure but when I fell, I fell hard often crying for hours afterward.
Since I was the primary care giver for Milo, I became very attune to his every behavior. I knew when a seizure was about to hit, I knew when he was clustering, and I knew when he was clear. I was on constant alert with sleep a commodity at this point. I even installed a camera to monitor him while away from
home. We didn’t want to miss a seizure and have potentially not survive it. Through it all, I still felt we could overcome this, after all, he was our retirement buddy. He HAD to survive this!
By January 2017, we were no closer to having the seizures controlled. One Friday night, Milo wouldn’t stop seizing and we ended up taking him to the emergency hosptal where they put him in a medically induced coma with the intent to ‘reset’ his brain to stop the activity. This was the longest and most fearful weekend of our lives with our boy.
By Sunday, he was out of the coma and all activity had stopped. We were able to bring him home and felt hopeful this was the turnaround we were looking for. Unfortunately, that was short lived and within the week he had another seizure and was put on a fourth and final medication, Potassium Bromide.
The neurologist told us that by the time a fourth medication is added, consideration should be given for Milo’s quality of life. He would not return to his vibrant, youthful life as we knew it. He didn’t have much of a quality of life at this point given the terrible side effects of all the combined medications. The truth was staring us in the face..we knew what we had to do.
On Sunday, May 7, 2017, a week before Mother’s Day, we put our beautiful boy to sleep and let him cross the rainbow bridge to live seizure free.
I will NEVER give another dog BRAVECTO or any other internal flea/tick preventative.