ALERT: Popular Pet Product Killing Dogs

Ask Dr. Carol, Dogs, Pet News, Seizures-Epliepsy 5 Comments »

Trifexis KILLS Puppies

Pet owners from coast to coast are up in arms about a popular, once a month, chewable,  pet product used to prevent fleas, heartworms and intestinal parasites in dogs.

The product is made by Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and is called Trifexis. Apparently in addition to killing the fleas and heartworms, Trifexis is also killing the dogs and puppies.

Despite hitting the pet market less than 3 years ago, over 50 million doses of Trifexis have been dispensed. The Food and Drug Administration, (FDA) reports that since April 2013, nearly 2500 cases of dog vomiting, 600 cases of lethargy and 31 cases of dog deaths have been filed.

That is approximately 1 adverse case per month, which is astonishing to this author and veterinarian.


Dog owners are so upset by this, a facebook page, entitled Trifexis KILLS dogs has been set up on which concerned owners are able to voice their concerns.

It is noteworthy to understand that Trifexis is made up of 2 active drugs, Spinosad and Milbemycin.

According to an Elanco spokesman, Spinosad is made in the USA, however Milbemycin is sourced from China.

That fact, according to Elanco is a “non-issue.”

They further stated that the Chinese manufacturer of Milbemycin has been inspected several times and no violations have been reported.

Dog itching Fleas

It is interesting to note that a situation, similar to that with Trifexis, has been going on with Chinese Pet Jerky treats sold for dogs for the last 6 years.

The FDA has been investigating the Chinese Pet Jerky Treat Mystery since 2007. Despite reports of over 3000 dead dogs, once again, not only have the pet Jerky Treats never been recalled or removed from pet retailer shelves, not even a single clue has been detected as to why dogs eating Chinese jerky treats continue to suffer with health issues ranging from Kidney Failure and Fanconi Syndrome to lethargy and death.

Symptoms reported in dogs that received Trifexis include vomiting and lethargy as well as neurological signs including seizures and vertigo.

In addition, dogs have suffered elevated temperatures up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, which are incompatible with canine life, as well as heart damage and sudden death with no signs. Other pet owner reports indicate that several dogs and puppies have died spontaneously without signs anywhere from 6 days to 3 weeks after being given Trifexis.

It is interesting to note that the warning printed on the Trifexis label indicates the possibility of MILD side effects in dogs.

Trifexis Add

The exact Trifexis package verbage states “Side effects that may occur include vomiting. If vomiting occurs within one hour of administration, re-dose with another full dose. Other side effects may occur. Continue giving Trifexis chewable tablets and talk to your veterinarian if your pet experiences decreased appetite, lethargy or decreased activity, diarrhea, cough, increased thirst, vocalization, increased appetite, redness of the skin, hyperactivity and excessive salivation. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or especially bothersome to the pet.”

This veterinarian finds it noteworthy that even on the Trifexis label, pet owners are instructed to continue giving the product to their pets even if they experience adverse side effects. In fact, the label states that if a dog vomits within 1 hour of receiving Trifexis, dog owners should repeat the entire dose immediately!  Believe it or not, that’s actually printed on the label!

Again this veterinarian finds it noteworthy to recall the case with Vetsulin. Vetsulin is a type of insulin sold for pet diabetics. The FDA issued an Alert about Vetsulin, saying certain batches were “unstable.” Therefore, blood sugar levels might fluctuate causing dogs to suffer adverse effects but pet owners were instructed to continue giving it to pets while keeping a close eye on them.  Many pet owners remember that Vetsulin ended up killing thousands of diabetic dogs. A few years ago there was a multi-million dollar Vetsulin Class Action Law Suit, which was settled out of court. Today, Vetsulin is back on the market. Buyer Beware!

In addition, it is important to understand that excessive salivation in dogs and cats, is in many cases, a  “pre-ictal” sign, which is another way of saying it’s a sign of an impending epileptic seizure. As noted in this article, many of the adverse reactions reported for Trifexis include seizures, yet no where on the label does it warn pet owners to avoid the drug if their pet is prone to and/or suffers from epileptic seizures.

Despite being aware of the risk of Trifexis causing pet epileptic seizures in dogs, the Elanco spokesman said they have not found any connection between Trifexis and dog deaths.

Connell, an Elanco spokesman, said, “We don’t like the fact that it has killed any dogs. But with any pharmaceutical product, we understand that the very rare sensitivities, allergic events — those types of things are going to happen.” This statement was later revised to state that;” the company doesn’t like hearing reports of any dog deaths.”

Certainly using safe medications to prevent pet fleas and heartworms is a valid concern for dog and cat owners. So, why not be proactive, do a little homework and ask your veterinarian to recommend a preventative flea-tick-heart-worm preparation that is safe and effective for your pet. Remember, there are also a variety of natural dog flea preventatives available, some of which work remarkably well in this veterinarians experience.

In the meantime, this author and veterinarian plan to steer clear of Trifexis. The risks definitely do not outweigh the potential benefits when it comes to Trifexis and the health of our beloved canine companions!

About Dr. Carol

Integrative Veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM

Dr. Carol is a pet health researcher, a Board Certified Anti-Aging Health Diplomat, a published author and a practicing, integrative veterinarian in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

She offers traditional and natural, alternative therapies for dogs and cats. She welcomes new canine and feline patients.

Dr. Carol also offers pet health consultations and answers pet health questions and creates homemade pet diets by phone and e-mail for her online pet loving community.

Pet owners may contact Dr. Carol directly at her veterinary office toll free at 1-866-372-2765 to make an appointment for their dog(s) and/or cat(s) today.

Bookmark for the latest pet health news, anti-aging tips and updates for your dogs and cats.


Dog Seizures & Canine Epilepsy

Ask Dr. Carol, Dogs, Seizures-Epliepsy 5 Comments »

The main sign of pet epilepsy is seizures, which are caused by abnormal electrical activity that begins in the brain.  Most pet seizures last from one to three minutes, with the average time being 90 seconds in dogs.

Minor or partial motor seizures can cause dogs to salivate, stare into space, and/or have localized muscle twitches.

Severe seizures, also called Grand Mal Seizures, may cause dogs to totally lose control!

Dogs typically fall down onto one side or another, experience severe full body muscle twitches and often urinate and/or defecate during the episode.

This type of severe seizure is quite dramatic and is often seen for example, on television After the episode, some dogs act normally, others remain dazed.  Seizures in pets use up a lot of energy so most dogs are hungry and enjoy small portions of food and water after the epileptic episode has ended.

Dr. Carol’s Tip: Epileptic dogs enjoy small amounts of fresh organic food and water when a pets seizure episode ends.

Some cases of epilepsy in dogs occur as a result of an underlying disease. Diabetes and low blood sugar, kidney failure and brain tumors are a few diseases that can cause pets to seizure.  Once the underlying cause of your pets seizures is determined and successfully treated and/or controlled such as with Diabetes or kidney failure, the seizures usually subside.

In addition, tainted pet food can cause seizures. For example, the Nutro Pet Food that was recently recalled by the FDA contained an excess of the mineral “Zinc” which when eaten, caused pets to seizure and suffer with “Pancreatitis-like” episodes of vomiting and diarrhea.

The majority of dogs diagnosed with Epilepsy are middle aged; usually dogs are over six years old before their seizures begin. Most cases of epilepsy in dogs are termed “Idiopathic Epilepsy” meaning that the cause of the seizures is unknown.

Classically the onset of Idiopathic Epilepsy in dogs is between one and five years of age, with a higher incidence in certain canine breeds, such as golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, huskies, malamutes, and miniature poodles.

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Your Dog Suffer with Seizures?

Ask Dr. Carol, Avoiding Disease, Dogs, Seizures-Epliepsy, VitaLife Success Stories 3 Comments »

Dear Dr. Carol,

We ordered your VitaLife Supplements in December of 2008 after despairing because Chelsea, our little 5 year old

Chihuahua was suffering with one or two horrible seizures every week. Out vet put her on a few different medications, none helped and she mostly slept all day until she would have another seizure.

You were nice enough to call us back and help us with the dose of the VitaLife for her and go over her diet.

Now it has been over a year later, we stopped her phenobarbital and now she only has 3 or 4 seizures a year, which is very manageable.  We are delighted. She loves your supplement, the AM and PM and my husband and I can finally sleep at night and not worry about her.

We of course also studied all the toxic substances you mentioned in commercial pet food and around our house in order to remove them all. Chelsea scarfs down the home-made diet you told us about and we will never put her back on that other nutro food.

Thank you for your wonderful product and all your help.

Roberta  M., Bob and Chelsey

East Hartford, Connecticut

Bookmark for the latest pet health tips, news and anti-aging updates for your dogs and cats.

Holistic veterinarian and author, Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM., is available for pet health consultations and pet healyh questions for dogs and cats. To make an appointment for your dog call Dr. Carol’s office toll free at 1-866-372-2765.

Pet Seizures:Holistic Solutions for Dogs & Cats with Epilepsy

Ask Dr. Carol, Cats, Diabetes, Diabetes, Dogs, Kidneys, Seizures-Epilepsy, Seizures-Epliepsy 3 Comments »

Convulsions or seizures are defined as sudden, uncontrolled bursts of abnormal activity that last from one to three minutes. Signs may include anything from a slight twitch to salivating and foaming at the mouth. Shaking, jerking, stiffening of the legs or entire body as well as loss of urine and/or bowels may also occur. Epilepsy is the medical term used for dogs that suffer from seizures.

Certain dog breeds seem to be predisposed such as Golden Retrievers and Poodles, as well as male Siamese cats. Others pet breeds develop Epilepsy as a result of various diseases like Diabetes. In most cases, the cause is not known. Vets call this Idiopathic Epilepsy.

* Unknown (Idiopathic Epilepsy):the most common cause of seizures and epilepsy is unknown
* Low blood sugar (for example Diabetes)
* Poison (for example, antifreeze).* Kidney failure
* Liver failure
* Hereditary predisposition – Golden Retrievers, Poodles and male Siamese Cats.
*Tainted Pet Food and Treats: such as chicken jerkey strips and certain recalled pet foods

* Dogs that have had a seizure may appear dazed or might look fine once the episode is over. Don’t move a dog during the episode, leave him alone until it is over. Then put him in a calm quiet, dark room and call your vet.

* Rub one to two teaspoons of karo syrup or honey onto his gums. This raises his blood sugar instantly and may provide relief if low blood sugar or Diabetes is the cause.

* Your vet will examine your dog and take blood and urine tests to try to determine the underlying cause. Specific recommendations will be made accordingly.

Natural Pet Vitamin Supplements such as Paaws and VitaLife often decrease and occasionally eliminate seizures in dogs and cats.

* Silicea 30c (Silicon dioxide) three pellets crushed to powder or two whole pellets under the tongue.

* Bach’s 5 Flower Rescue Remedyand is soothing for dogs cats that are scared or disoriented. Two drops in the mouth or on the tongue every 15 minutes for three doses while on the way to the vet.

* Acupuncture is useful to control seizures in certain cases.

Bookmark for the latest pet health news, tips and information.

Holistic veterinarian and author, Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM is available for pet health questions and pet health consultations for dogs and cats. Call Dr. Carol’s office toll free at 1-866-372-2765.

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