A Florida man claims that a common medication, prescribed to prevent fleas and heartworms in dogs, killed his beloved companion. According to Thursday’s THV 11 News, Eamonn Kneeshaw’s 12-year-old dog, “Harry,” died one month after taking Trifexis, which is prescribed to kill (and prevent) fleas, ticks and heartworms.
Trifexis is an FDA approved medication, but Kneeshaw is convinced that the drug killed his pet. Though the medication has been proven safe for many dogs, Kneeshaw commented on the impact of the odds if the unthinkable happens to your pet, “It’s not a small few if you’re that one.”
On Facebook, there is an entire page created about the Trifexis medication – there are over 10,000 people who follow the “Does Trifexis Kill Dogs,” page. The page is filled with stories from pet owners who have dogs suffering side-effects, or worse, from the medication.
Dr. Mark Brown of Central Animal Hospital has seen patients react adversely to Trifexis and though he believes that heartworm preventative is absolutely necessary, he admits that there are other medications that seem to be better tolerated that Trifexis.
Elanco, the maker of Trifexis, released a statement about Harry’s death:
“there is nor certainty that the reported drug caused the adverse event. The adverse event may have been related to an underlying disease, using other drugs at the same time, or other non-drug related causes.”
The Trifexis website lists known side effects:
Serious adverse reactions have been reported following concomitant extra-label use of ivermectin with spinosad alone, one of the components of Trifexis chewable tablets.
Treatment with fewer than three monthly doses after the last exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. Prior to administration of Trifexis, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infection. Use with caution in breeding females. The safe use of Trifexis in breeding males has not been evaluated. Use with caution in dogs with pre-existing epilepsy.
The most common adverse reactions reported are vomiting, depression/lethargy, itching, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. To ensure heartworm prevention, observe your dog for one hour after administration. If vomiting occurs within an hour of administration, redose with another full dose. Puppies less than 14 weeks of age may experience a higher rate of vomiting. Like all medications, keep Trifexis out of reach of children.