Background: This laboratory study compared the efficacy of Bravecto™ (fluralaner), formulated as a chewable tablet, with the efficacy of Advocate® (imidacloprid/moxidectin), formulated for topical administration, against naturally acquired generalized demodicosis in dogs.
Methods: Sixteen dogs, all diagnosed with generalized demodectic mange, were randomly allocated to two equal groups. Bravecto™ chewable tablets were administered once orally at a minimum dose of 25 mg fluralaner/kg body weight to one group of dogs, while the second group was treated topically on three occasions at 28-day intervals with Advocate® at a minimum dose of 10 mg imidacloprid/kg body weight and 2.5 mg moxidectin/kg body weight. Mites were counted in skin scrapings and demodectic lesions were evaluated on each dog before treatment and at 28-day intervals thereafter over a 12 week study period. Deep skin scrapings (~4 cm(2)) were made from the same five sites on each dog at each subsequent examination.
Results: After single oral administration of Bravecto™ chewable tablets, mite numbers in skin scrapings were reduced by 99.8% on Day 28 and by 100% on Days 56 and 84. Mite numbers in the dogs treated topically on three occasions at 28-day intervals with Advocate® were reduced by 98.0% on Day 28, by 96.5% on Day 56 and by 94.7% on Day 84. Statistically significantly (P ≤ 0.05) fewer mites were found on Days 56 and 84 on the Bravecto™ treated dogs compared to Advocate® treated dogs. A marked decrease was observed in the occurrence of erythematous patches, crusts, casts and scales in the dogs treated with Bravecto™ and in the occurrence of erythematous patches in the dogs treated with Advocate®. With the exception of one dog in each treated group, all dogs exhibited hair regrowth ≥ 90% at the end of the study in comparison with their hair-coat at study start.
Conclusions: Single oral administration of Bravecto™ chewable tablets is highly effective against generalized demodicosis, with no mites detectable at 56 and 84 days following treatment. In comparison, Advocate®, administered three times at 28-day intervals, is also highly effective against generalized demodicosis, but most dogs still harboured mites at all assessment time points. Both treatments resulted in a marked reduction of skin lesions and increase of hair re-growth 12 weeks after the initial treatment.