Robert Lavan(1*), Dorothy Normile(2), Rob Armstrong(2) and Wendy Vaala(2)
1- Center for Observational and Real-World Evidence, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA
2- Merck Animal Health, 2 Giralda Farms, Madison, NJ, USA
Background: Fluralaner is a novel isoxazoline compound and the only systemically distributed ectoparasiticide approved in the United States for re-dosing at up to 12-week intervals for flea and tick control in cats. Other feline ectoparasiticides, including other systemic isoxazolines, are approved for re-dosing at monthly intervals. A survey developed in 2016 to assess the satisfaction, preference and adherence of dog owners prescribed fluralaner as an ectoparasiticide with the treatment and veterinary flea and tick protection recommendations was adapted for completion by cat owners in the USA.
Aim: The study objective was to use cat-owner survey data obtained at U.S. veterinary practices to assess client satisfaction and utilization practices for fluralaner, and to evaluate owner adherence to current flea and tick control recommendations.
Methods: U.S. veterinary practices (n=26) were asked to obtain completed surveys for up to 25 active clients who were currently treating their cats with a topical preparation of fluralaner for flea and tick control. Clients who had previously used flea and tick products for cats other than fluralaner were enrolled in the study. Participating cat owners completed an 11-question survey on their satisfaction with, preference for, and adherence to treatment recommendations for topically applied fluralaner as a feline flea and tick control medication.
Results: The average cat in this study had a mean (± SD) body weight of 5.1 kg (± 0.9 kg) and was 7.1 (±1.4 yrs) years old. Most cats lived in a home versus an apartment and more than half spent some time outside. Satisfaction was assessed with a 5-point Likert score, with nearly all cat owners (97%) indicating that they were satisfied or very satisfied with fluralaner. Most (66%) had previously used other monthly flea and tick products for cats. Owners were not excluded if they had previously used a canine flea and tick product. The extended dosing interval up to 12-weeks was the most frequently selected benefit of fluralaner. Nearly nine in 10 respondents indicated they re-administered fluralaner mostly on time or delayed by a few days, and most said they were more likely to give a repeat dose of fluralaner at the recommended re-dosing interval compared to monthly products. 87% of responding cat owners preferred topical fluralaner over monthly flea and tick products they had used.
Conclusion: The extended dosing interval of up to 12-weeks was the leading preference factor and the key driver of user satisfaction with fluralaner leading to improved adherence to re-dosing recommendations. Cat owners said they were more likely to administer fluralaner at the recommended re-dosing interval compared to monthly products, indicating that less frequent re-dosing contributes to improved adherence.
Keywords: Cats, Ectoparasites, Fluralaner, Preference, Satisfaction.
Cite this paper:
Lavan, R., Normile, D., Armstrong, R. and Vaala, W. 2021. Flea and tick treatment satisfaction,
preference, and adherence of U.S. cat owners prescribed topical fluralaner (Bravecto®
Topical Solution for Cats). Open Vet. J. 11(1), 80-88.