Trifexis is a popular monthly oral medication for dogs that kills fleas, heartworms, roundworms, whipworms and hookworms. It also reportedly kills dogs.
When an investigative reporter from WSB-TV in Atlanta requested information on dog owner complaints from the company that makes Trifexis and was repeatedly refused, he filed a FOIA request with the Food and Drug Administration. The information he received is astonishing:
[The records obtained via FOIA] showed that since Trifexis hit the market, every 36 hours, a pet owner reported that Trifexis killed their dog.
According to FDA records, pet owners have reported 700 dog deaths. That’s 120 more than the deaths linked to Chinese chicken jerky treats. Like the treats, Trifexis is suspected, but not the proven cause.
The FDA numbers also showed 259 of the 700 dogs that died were euthanized.
The new numbers also show a huge jump in the cases of dogs reported sick after taking Trifexis.
The WSB-TV piece points out that while Trifexis is outright hiding the numbers from the media, the FDA website is also woefully behind on updating its numbers. In other words, consumers who haven’t filed a FOIA request with the FDA themselves and didn’t see the WSB-TV report are most likely unaware of the seriousness of the owner-reported illnesses and deaths linked to Trifexis.
Heartworm medication is important and no one should disavow its use entirely based on this report. But consumer access to accurate information is also important in order to make informed decisions. If you are using Trifexis and concerned about the manufacturer hiding the number of owner-reported illnesses and deaths, talk to your vet about one of the many alternative heartworm drugs available.
(Thanks Arlene for the link.)