Popular flea medication Trifexis is blamed for 700 deaths and 30,000 illnesses.
The popular and widely distributed flea and heartworm pill, Trifexis, is being linked to 700 dog deaths and an estimated 30,000 illnesses. WSBTV.com reported Wednesday, Nov. 27 that, "The number of dog deaths pet owners blame on the popular pet medication Trifexis outnumbers the cases involving the Chinese jerky treats."
Flea and heartworm prevention should be an important concern for every pet owner, but up until recently few knew that the prevention itself could be deadly. According to an article written by Dr. Dwight D. Bowman from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell for the CAPC, "Once, heartworm disease was confined to the lower reaches of the Mississippi River and coastal areas of the southeastern United States. Today, autochthonous transmission of heartworm has been confirmed in all 50 states and throughout Canada, and nearly 250,000 dogs are treated each year for heartworm infections. Yet heartworm has been 100 percent preventable for decades. For 20 years, we’ve had access to products that are 100 percent efficacious in preventing the disease when used as directed."
The Trifexis website advertises, "Trifexis is a once-monthly tablet that kills fleas, prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections. And since it's beef-flavored, you can offer it as a treat. Trifexis combines two powerful active ingredients that are safe and effective at protecting against three types of dangerous parasites. And since it is given orally, there is no need to isolate your dog from other pets or kids."
The claims of the drug's safety and advertisements on their company's website may seem premature to boast for a drug that's been on the market just over 2 years and that already has claims of this magnitude. And for the dog owners who have recently lost their furry family members to Trifex, the claims of safety are not offering comfort. The Trifexis website also has a warning, "Like all medications, sometimes side effects occur. If you suspect your dog has had an adverse reaction to Trifexis, please call: 1-888-545-5973."
According to an interview with an FDA spokesperson, Channel 2 Action News Atlanta reports, "The agency hasn't updated the numbers, because it is updating systems. The new numbers also show a huge jump in the cases of dogs reported sick after taking Trifexis." Among reports of death, are other ailments including dogs who appear excessively lethargic, "The FDA numbers posted online for lethargy is just above 600. The updated number..it's actually nearly 8,000. The numbers on the web for vomiting is at 2,200. Updated figures revealed it's closer to 30,000."