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Possible Trifexis side effect scare... SORRY FOR ALL THE DETAILS
  • Merritt, now 14 months old, gave us a huge scare tonight.

    Around 9:30PM Merritt began acting very bizarre. He stood, staring at a base board (or something at that level), with his normally curly tail straight (huge warning sign that something is askew with our boy). With minimal coaxing, he followed me into the living room - his gait was stumble and he didn't run into anything but his steps were slow, almost unsure, his tail still straight. He alternated between standing, sitting and laying down while extending his neck as if to gaze straight up at the ceiling. His eyes were open but noticeably closed. In a word he was - sedate. We discussed how odd he was acting. My boyfriend took him outside and attempted to engage him in a game of ball. Merritt is borderline OCD about playing ball; however, he would not fetch or chase. He did perk up a little to the word Squirrel (but didn't go nuts). I did a sweep of the house to see if he had gotten into anything he ought not to (medications/cleaners/etc) - thankfully there was nothing out of place. We called the vet, they said we could bring him in (duh). A few moments after getting back inside, Merritt's hind quarters started tremoring. He was still sedate, tail straightened.

    OFF TO THE EMERGENCY VET we went! En route, Merritt allowed me to swaddle him (he is not cuddly at all). About half way, he flattened his right ear almost all the way back and started a rapid and shallow breathing pattern. I thought this was the canine version of facial drooping and worried maybe he was having a stroke (I am a nurse). We arrived to the E-Vet. He was still acting bizare (sedate, tremoring, straight tail, flattened right ear, irregular breathing pattern). His physical assessment by the vet was normal, neuro exam and all. But the vet agreed - he just wasn't "right". She suggested blood work and a slew of other things. After they drew his blood - he was almost TOTALLY NORMAL (alert, curly tail, no tremors, ears upright, respirations even and regular). He walked with us around the building - emptied his bladder and had a poo.
    All his vital signs, CBC and chem panel were were within normal limits. With the exception of his ALT, this liver enzyme was almost double. Merritt was given a dose of charcoal, which he managed to get all over himself and both the vet techs (acting more like his lively self).

    Today, around 4/5ish in the evening Merritt took his Trifexis (he's gotten this in the past and the dose is appropriate).
    He has never acted like this with past doses. The vet said it could be side effect from medication and that she has seen dogs come in super doped up from it, but it mainly causes GI upset (which he had none).

    We are currently changing foods. Presently, Merritt receives two feedings daily each 2/3 "old" kibble and 1/3 ToW Duck. We began the transition last Friday.

    Has anyone had a similar experience - with Trifexis? From anything else?
  • Wow, sounds scary. =( I am curious -- how much does Merritt weigh, and what dosage was he getting?

    There have been other forum members who have reported problems with Trifexis/Comfortis. This anecdote is embedded in an intro thread, but we had a little discussion you may find useful:

    I would also point you to this old post on the vet blog Fully Vetted, specifically the comments, where many people have reported side effects:

    I would encourage you to fill out an adverse drug reaction report with the FDA too. We only use Comfortis, not Trifexis, and haven't had problems with it, but I don't give either of my dogs the whole pill.

    There have been other threads about Trifexis that you can find if you do an advance search for the subject. Here is one:

    We usually prefer to have users merge their threads by adding their questions/comments to existing threads, as it helps keep the forum neater. I'm going to leave this one open for now, since flea/tick medication threads are somewhat splintered already, and your title here was pretty specific. But if you copy and paste your post to the existing Trifexis thread, we can close this thread and continue the discussion there for the sake of keeping everything in more or less the same place.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    We use Trifexis and have not encountered anything like this. Once, in two years, he vomited a short while after taking it, however, we're not sure if that was due to him not eating a "meal" prior to taking it or because we had to disguise it in all sort of "goodies" - yogurt, peanut butter, and cheese. Just thinking about that trio together makes me a little queasy as well... haha Since that incident we have made sure he actually ate a good amount prior to giving the Trifexis and he's been OK since.

    I should add that the one time he vomited was also the first time he went to a higher dosage, 20-40lb formula); he'd previously been on the dosage right below that.
    Post edited by AWE46M3 at 2012-11-27 02:44:28
  • I put Vixey and Haru on Trifexus during the summer due to a terrible flea outbreak that advantage wasn't controlling. My local rescue swears by Trifexus year round for her dogs she's got in, but it's really expensive so I only use it in summertime. I didn't have any issues with it at all. I gave it at bedtime since my kids are nighttime eaters. I'm sorry this happened to your baby. :(
  • I give Nikko Trifexis and he did throw up once after (might have been on an empty stomach) but nothing like you are describing. So he had his Trifexis this morning, but when was the last time he had a dose? A month ago, or sooner since you gave him charcoal? If his symptoms were last night and his Trifexis was not given anytime soon before his symptoms I would say his unusual symptoms are probably not attributable to the Trifexis. Maybe he got into something at the house like you originally thought.
  • @curlytails I will copy and paste. Thank you for your guidance. I will be following up with the FDA. Merritt is 22lbs and receives the 20-40lb dose, per our regular vet's direction. He has received the medication monthly for a while now and had no such issues. Typically, I give it to him closer to bed time though so maybe these symptoms have occured but everyone has been sleeping.
    @shibalove he received his monthly scheduled dose of trifexis yesterday around 4/5pm, he began to act strange later in the evening (around 9:30/10pm), so we took him to the emergent vet and they gave a dose of charcoal (around 11pm). There was no indication he ingested something else in or outside of the house.

    Very thankful to report, he is TOTALLY NORMAL today.

    [MOD note: conversation continues at]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-11-27 13:35:23
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