A warning if you use Trifexis for flea/heartworm control

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Lynn Lynn 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #879
    Avatar of DK
    DK
    Participant

    I’m not sure if it may be a breed-related thing or not, but I wanted to let you know about a very disturbing adverse effect my Cricket suffered after being given Trifexis (flea and heartworm preventative). 

    She had been on it for several months with no issues. Last week, she was given her monthly pill with dinner (as indicated) and everything appeared fine, no vomiting or other issues.  About 4 hours later, we noticed some odd behavior and "spaciness".  She would sit up and hold her head straight up as though staring at the ceiling.  I initially thought she was sniffing intently at something, but she was just extending her neck as far as possible and staring up at the ceiling. She would open her mouth up every so often, and would also take a large gulp, and I was concerned that she had swallowed something or was trying to clear a blockage in her ears.  She grew very uncomfortable and could not lay down–she kept sitting up so that she could hold her head up.  She was lethargic but could not lay down or rest.  I actually did not connect the behavior to the Trifexis until I looked up the behavior online and saw that some people relayed similar issues a few hours after administering it.  I realized it had to have been related to the medication.  I contacted poison control, as well as the emergency vet, and we took her in, although it did not appear she had any breathing or choking issues, nor did she seem to be having a seizure.

    By the time we arrived at the Vet’s office, she slowly seemed to be improving, and once she was in the exam room, she had been able to relax her neck enough to finally lay her head down.  The vet did a thorough exam but could find no explanation for her earlier symptoms, but could also not say definitively that it was caused the Trifexis. 

    She came home and immediately went to sleep, with no further issues.  She appeared totally normal the next day, with no residual effects.  I reported the incident to Elanco, the manufacturer, and I do have to say it was handled professionally, and it will be reported to the FDA, per their procedures.  They also reimbursed my vet visit, as well as the remaining doses of Trifexis.  I do hope, however, they will consider adding this side effect to their labeling–at this point, it is not mentioned as a side effect, but they are aware that it has happened to others (not necc. Tibbies).  I also hope that there are no lasting effects from it, as it will remain in her system for the next 30 days, but she seems to have fully recovered.  Needless to say, I will be switching back to something else now.

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  • #4074
    Avatar of nicksymom
    nicksymom
    Participant

    I never heard of this trifexis.  Is it a pill or a topical?  Where do you live? Europe or USA? I glad your dog was okay.  Some breeds can not use certain meds.  I know Collies have issues with something?
    Arlene

    #4076
    Avatar of DK
    DK
    Participant

    It is an edible pill produced by Elanco here in the US.  Not sure if they are also in other countries.  They also make Comfortis, which uses the same ingredient for flea control (spinosad) but does not have the heartworm preventative.

    #4077
    Avatar of tamlush
    tamlush
    Participant

    We give our dogs Trifexis. For a couple of months, Dino seemed to be a bit nauseous after taking it (he licked his lips a lot) but it hasn’t happened lately. Thank you for the warning, I will be on the lookout for these symptoms.
    Heartworm medicine is essential here in Florida because there are year round mosquitoes. I did see that there was a six-month heartworm injection. I’m not sure what it’s called; does anyone have information on that?
    Tamara
    Florida

    #4078
    Avatar of DOG HAIR
    DOG HAIR
    Participant

    Proheart 6 is the six month heartworm injection.  It was pulled from the market in 2004 due to multiple reactions which included lethargy, inappetance, and death.  It was returned to the market in 2008, with warnings not to give it at the same time as vaccine injections.  Since then, a dog named Jack died two weeks after receiving proheart6 on the same day as other vaccines.  There is alot of info available to read, if you google "Justice for Jack" and "proheart 6".

    I dont think I want to risk using this product.  I prefer Revolution, which kills heartworm larvae, fleas, and ticks.

    #4079
    Avatar of Cynthia
    Cynthia
    Participant

    Do not use Proheart!!!
    I worked for vets for 7+ yrs and saw alot of bad stuff.
    I refuse to use anything "new" out there until its been out there for about 5 yrs with over 75-90% positive feedback from owners.

    I hate using pesticides on my dogs. They’re all toxins.
    I understand the need however.
    I use frontline plus for fleas/ticks and heartguard for heartworm/worming.
    Comfortis, Trifexis…I would not recommend them for small dogs. NEVER use Hartz or other cheap brands; they have a record of making pets very very sick or killing them.
    Then again, alot of pets are getting sick from cheap jerky treats and Purina dog foods (esp beneful)
    Revolution has been out the alotted 5 + yrs
    (Side effects are very rare, but may include inco-ordination, trembling, or drooling).
    It claims to only work against dog ticks and we have alot of deer ticks here.
    Does anyone out there have experience with it working/killing deer ticks?

    #4080
    Avatar of DOG HAIR
    DOG HAIR
    Participant

    Hi Cynthia,

    Have you had good results with frontline?  Here, frontline has stopped working at all.  The vets say fleas have become resistant to it.  That, plus a problem with ticks in our yard, caused us to switch to revolution.  As for Proheart, I fully agree with you that it is a dangerous product.

    #4081
    Avatar of Cynthia
    Cynthia
    Participant

    When you say that frontline doesn’t work anymore, what do you mean exactly?
    It never repelled and it takes time to kill fleas and ticks, yea. The more toxic the pesticide, the quicker it will kill. Frontline has a newer, faster killing product out now call Certifect, but as I said…I’m not one to use new products until they’ve been out a while. Hopefully it will prove itself just as good as the frontline.

    Frontline still works well enough; I have noticed that the ticks seem to be building a resistance a little i.e. they don’t die as quickly as they used to, but that will happen with any widely used pesticide after years.
    I’ve never had a flea problem.
    And we walk almost daily in the forest.

    I chose not to use the revolution mainly because it claims only to kill dog ticks and we have more deer ticks here than dog ticks. Plus, to kill heartworm, you have to give it year round and our winters here in NJ are usually cold enough to stop using the frontline from late dec to mid march. 2-3 months that I can stop giving my dogs the toxin exposure. They get heartworm meds year round.

    #4089
    Avatar of DOG HAIR
    DOG HAIR
    Participant

    In my case, we applied frontline to every animal we own, and the fleas continued for several months, unabated.  Then we applied Advantage.  Within 45 days, all fleas were gone.  This experience was repeated again at a different time of year.  But as I said, our vets reported this same problem with numbers of their clients.

    We made the switch to Revolution later, because we were finding ticks.

    #4090
    Avatar of Cynthia
    Cynthia
    Participant

    Yea. advantage is great for fleas.
    Well, revolution would be a backup for me if it ever comes to it.

    #4091
    Avatar of DOG HAIR
    DOG HAIR
    Participant

    So… is there a problem with Revolution that you’re aware of?  I would sure want to know, if so…

    #4092
    Avatar of Cynthia
    Cynthia
    Participant

    Nope, none that I know of. It’s been around a good 5-10 yrs now.

    #4100
    Avatar of Cynthia
    Cynthia
    Participant

    Does revolution work for all ticks?
    It says it only works for dog ticks; does anyone have any firsthand experience with it killing deer ticks?

    #4102
    Avatar of nicksymom
    nicksymom
    Participant

    Revolution is quite good, and it is the only thing that works to get rid of ear mites as well.
    I do foster work and a few times they came in with ear mites and yes, I had to treat ALL (8) my dogs.. with 3 treatments 2 weeks apart… cost a small fortune!! But worked.

    I am not fond of usuing chemicals, but the diseases that come from ticks are worse!  Eurichia (sp) is spreading.  and the other tick born disease,  as well as Lymes.  So I think that the good out weights the bad.  I have found that frontline plus works really well.  I live in VT, a lyme hot spot area.  And I have been told that up until 10yrs ago, ticks were not a problem..the winters were too cold… but they are warmer and shorter, sometimes. NOT this year!  One of my dogs tested positive for Eurichia…. so he was only antibiotics and was retested clear.  But it messes with the red/white blood cell counts and cuase anemia.  And I never found a tick on him!! go figure, it must’ve bitten, and stayed on just long enough and then died and fell off and I never saw it…

    #4104
    Avatar of Cynthia
    Cynthia
    Participant

    My Omen has repeatedly tested positive for Anaplasmosis. Ehrlichia, Babesiosis, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Rocky Mountain fever and Lyme and more are all diseases in the ticks here in USA.

    #4750
    Avatar of TNTIBS
    TNTIBS
    Participant

    A huge word of warning about Trifexis: We have two Tibbies, a male and a female, plus 4 other dogs, 2 labs, a Jack Russell and a Great Pyr. We had all of them on Frontline for years, then Comfortis for a while, then Trifexis for a year. At the end of the year on Trifexis, our male Tibetan Spaniel–the love of our life–PABU–was diagnosed with IMHA–Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, a terminal blood disorder which can be precipitated by Erlichiosis, a disease precipitated by a tick bite. We live in the South; ticks are everywhere. Trifexis does not protect against tick bites. Pabu tested positive for Erlichiosis, after he was initially diagnosed with IMHA. For the past year, we have been fighting his IMHA–diagnosed on March 21, 2012. He has survived for almost a year now, and it has been a devastating year for all of us. He has SURVIVED and is still alive today, but it has been touch and go all year. This weekend, he was diagnosed with Gall Bladder issues, and had to undergo surgery to remove his gall bladder–unrelated to the IMHA, but since he’s still fighting his IMHA, he is frankly a much weaker dog, so we are extremely concerned for his life. Right now, he is recovering in ICU at our Regional Veterinary Center, under the care of the most wonderful vets and techs on the face of the earth, all of whom have been smitten by our ANGEL BOY, PABU. They have been treating him for the past year at RIVER and I cannot tell you how much I love them all. But bottom line is this: Do not forget tick protection for your dogs. Ticks are the most evil scourge on the face of the earth, and unless you live in the far North of USA, you are susceptible. 

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