Green Country vet refuses to carry Trifexis


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Reported by: Shae Rozzi
Updated: 11/15/2013 7:28 pm Published: 11/15/2013 5:14 pm


Animal lovers across the country are coming forward, blaming a popular pet drug for killing their dogs.

Trifexis is a single, once-a-month pill that prevents heartworms, fleas and other parasites.

Now the manufacturer is responding to allegations that its pill is a problem.

Beth Timms said her dog, Gizmo, was lethargic, suffered vertigo, seizures and a 106-degree fever after her vet prescribed the dog's first ever dose of Trifexis.

"We had to let her go. We had to have her put her to sleep. I killed my dog," she said.

Timms found a Facebook( add link) page where owners vent grief and blame.

The page led to a home in Georgia, where a dog bowl is now a memorial to a puppy named Bishop.

Bishop was one of 7 Vizsla hunting dogs born in June from an American Kennel Club grand champion.

Three of those puppies are thriving in Florida, they've never had Trifexis.

A fourth puppy named Durham is in Atlanta. He's never had Trifexis either.

Bishop and his litter mates, Tucker and Jade, each got their one and only dose of Trifexis in early to mid-September.

Bishop and Jade were dead within three weeks. Tucker died in six days.

Each one died of heart inflammation.

The cause of death is still being researched, but the only common element is the Trifexis.

Glenpool veterinarian Dr. Corinna Tressler told FOX23 she won't carry Trifexis, but has treated two dogs that have taken it. She said one had seizures.

"The second case was my technician, she gave her English bulldog Trifexis and this case started hypersalivating, collapsed on the ground," she said.

She says the dog seemed to be back to normal within 24 hours.

Trifexis is made by Eli Lilly and Elanco. Dr. Stephen Connell, a top vet with Elanco said they've dispensed 50 million doses since Trifexis hit the market less than three years ago.

The Food and Drug Administration tallied reports of bad reactions as of April: 2,200 episodes of vomiting, 600 lethargic dogs and 31 dog deaths.

"We don't like the fact that it has killed any dogs. But as with any pharmaceutical product, we understand that the very rare sensitivities allergic events, those types of things are going to happen," said Connell.

As for the puppies:

"It is our opinion that there are other factors involved in this case," he said.

A University of Georgia pathology report says a bacterial infection likely caused Bishop's heart failure and that his symptoms were typical of a drug toxicity.

Trifexis contains two drugs, spinosad and milbemycin.

The spinosad is from the United States. The milbemycin is sourced from China.

Connell says the manufacturer's Chinese supplier has had multiple inspections and is a non-issue.

The puppy owners are left to wonder just what the issue is.

An Elanco spokesperson has since stated that Connell didn't mean to say they don't like that Trifexis has killed any dogs.

Rather: The company doesn't like hearing reports of any deaths.

Elanco possesses an updated number of deaths reported, but refuses to disclose it.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

bbishop55 - 12/11/2013 3:10 PM
0 Votes
if this had been a drug for humans and it caused such reactions and that many deaths, it would be unacceptable...why should it be any different for animals...a life is a life, no matter if human or animal. There needs to be more in depth studies on the side affects to see if it's only particular breeds that have problems or if it's so random we are putting all our pets at risk by using this product. Luckly I've never used it on my Poms and now, I never will.

YorkieMom - 11/28/2013 7:49 AM
0 Votes
God Bless the Green County Vet who apparently values the lives of her patients over the profit from Trifexis. To LSmith I would like to say (I do not mean to be disrespectful in any way) but who cares how Jim Strickland reports and where he got his script. The FDA numbers (he obtained) clearly show there is a major issue with Trifexis. One life is too many but the 700 deaths reported (I feel there are many, many more) should be enough to have Trifexis pulled from the market. That "independent" pathologist who said the deaths of the three puppies were not related to Trifexis just happens to be a former employee of Eli Lily (who owns Elanco). I gave Trifexis to my nine Yorkies for months and they are still living but who knows what the future holds for these little ones that I love so much because "I" gave them this poison. There is an issue here. I am so grateful for those who are brave enough to bring it out.

LSmith - 11/27/2013 7:08 PM
0 Votes
This is a word for word script copied from the original report from Jim Strickland with WSB-TV Atlanta. With matching video, this reporter just redubbed the script. I'm glad the report is out there, but write your own stuff. It's plagiarism.

LSmith - 11/27/2013 7:08 PM
0 Votes
This is a word for word script copied from the original report from Jim Strickland with WSB-TV Atlanta. With matching video, this reporter just re-dubbed the script. I'm glad the report is out there, but write your own stuff. It's plagiarism.

jminstalls - 11/25/2013 9:17 AM
0 Votes
I have my 5.5 lb Chihuahua (Filipe), and my 22 lb Rat Terrier (Baby) on Trifexis, and have yet to see any negative effects on either of them. Whenever I give either of them any type of medication, I AWLAYS keep a close eye on them. These cases are terrible and heartbreaking. I feel medications always have rare and fatal side effects, whether they are for us or our fur-babies. Both need to be monitored regardless.

Jessica G - 11/17/2013 11:25 AM
0 Votes
As with any drug there are going to be complications with some dogs. I firmly believe the drug Proheart 6 was the cause of illness and eventual death of three of my cocker spaniels. All six of my dogs received the medication at the same time, my Shepard & Dalmatian had no ill effects, however all four of my spaniels became ill, each displaying different symptoms described in this article allegedly from trifexis. Even though the drug was recalled it is back on the market. I will never use it on another dog again. I now use trifexis on my four current spaniels and have not seen any ill effects and believe me I'm very mindful of what they take considering my past experience.

Amber R - 11/16/2013 1:06 PM
0 Votes
In your report you stated "A University of Georgia pathology report says a bacterial infection likely caused Bishop's heart failure and that his symptoms were typical of a drug toxicity." when it clearly states in the video that the report says they were NOT typical of a drug toxicity. I give my dogs this product and I love it and have no issues.
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