My Quest for the Best Flea and Tick Prevention

flea and tick preventionI was sitting in my veterinarian’s office two days ago for Luna’s GI issue (that’s another post, another time), and my vet spoke to me about flea and tick prevention.  Luna doesn’t care where she lays or whether the grass needs cut, which is the precise reason why this topic is relevant to me.

The vet explained that, with the warm winter, she expects fleas and ticks to be a big problem this year.  She suggested that I use Trifexis, which is a preventative for intestinal parasites, heartworm, ticks and fleas.  She handed me a pamphlet, and while perusing it, I asked if it was safe for greyhounds.  She advised me that it was.  She also suggested the alternative of Heartgard and Frontline, which did the same thing, but was two medications as opposed to one.  Rather than jump into a prescription for Trifexis, I opted to wait until I did some research.  Luna was already on Heartgard, so there was no urgency regarding heartworm.

What I found out scared the bejeezus out of me: Trifexis has been implicated in the deaths of many many dogs .  But is it true?

I’m sure if you asked the 8,320 people who “like” the Facebook Page “Does Trifexis Kill Dogs?“, they’d say “Absolutely!”  Posts aplenty document dog deaths occurring less than 24 hours following the first dose of Trifexis.

Snopes.com has not determined this allegation to be accurate.  It has not disproved it either.

Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company and maker of Trifexis, deny these claims.

In July, 2014, it was reported that the FDA released a statement as follows:

FDA is aware of adverse event reports in connection with Trifexis and continues to closely monitor them. It is very important to realize that reports of adverse events do not necessarily mean that the product caused the event. Other factors, such as existing disease, exposure to chemicals or contaminants, foods, or other medications may have triggered or contributed to the cause of the event. However, when FDA is able to establish a safety concern with an approved animal drug, it may take actions such as requesting the manufacturer changes the label to reflect this safety issue and provides information to veterinarians and animal owners about how to use the product more safely. FDA is reviewing all available information on Trifexis in order to determine if actions such as label changes need to be taken. 

I did more digging, and found this enlightening post from a holistic veterinarian who explains very eloquently why he does not buy the statement by Elanco that Trifexis is not responsible for the reported dog deaths.

Now with my first grey, Ruby, we didn’t have much of an issue with fleas.  We used Frontline for her, as was recommended by my Pennsylvania vet.  Ticks were a rare occurrence as well.  Ruby was also very much an indoor dog – we did not have a fence at that time, so Ruby went out for leash-walks only, and occasionally ran around my brother-in-law’s fenced 2 acre yard.  She was quite happy to be the proverbial couch potato, with frequent short walks.  We now have a home with a fenced yard in Washington state, and Luna loves to hang outside and lay in the grass.

The rescue from where I adopted Luna suggested Adam’s or Advantage for flea and tick prevention.   Adam’s spray, however, was the preferable flea and tick preventative, so I opted to purchase that and see how it works.  I also bought the yard spray from Adam’s as well.  With regard to heartworm prevention, Luna came to me with Heartgard, so I will stick with that.

I am sure that there will be many posts documenting my quest for the best flea and tick prevention.  My takeaway from this today is

  • as a consumer, you are expected to do your research
  • not every product is perfect
  • not every pet is the same, therefore each pet may react differently to products

In the end, the best I can hope is to be a better educated pet product consumer, and to keep my pup healthy so we can enjoy a long life together.

I’ll be sure to update you with my review of the Adams products.

Your turn

What is your experience with flea and tick prevention products or with Trifexis?

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