Report An Adverse Event

Dawn writes:  We gave our 9 yr old, 95 lb German shepherd his 4th dose of Trifexis Sunday-Jan 8, 2012. Today- Jan 10, we had to have him put to sleep. Our veterinarian would not believe that the medication had anything to do with his symptoms: no appetite, disorientation and labored breathing. We kept waiting for him to get better. He never did. We fed him before giving him the tablet. He wasn’t nauseated, he was impaired! I’m so sad and angry that I didn’t
do my research before using Trifexis. Please, please spread the word, for Cane

trifexis.jpg, canefullsize.jpg
When adverse events occur with medications, certain steps should be followed. Find those steps here.

Dawn, the hearts of staff and readers go out to you in the loss of your beloved Cane.

Whenever an incident such as this occurs, it is important to follow some basic steps to confirm/deny causation, as well as to get your comments into the permanent record.

The first is to contact the company/manufacturer/distributor to report an adverse event. Both you and your veterinarian should perform this important step. It notifies the company that something bad happened and that you suspect their medication may have been at fault. No one wants to know more than the company if there is a medication problem, because they are in the best position to halt production and distribution if that turns out to be the case. It is they who can best prevent more animals from being harmed by possibly faulty medication.  If you have not already done so, call the company today.  Contact information for some popular companies is listed at the end of this post.

Be prepared before you call.

They will need the basics: name, age, breed, gender, spayed/neutered, color of haircoat, body weight and body condition score, if known.  Together, this information constitutes the patient’s signalment.

The company’s representative will want to know the results of physical examination(s), laboratory testing and radiographs (X-rays), as well as any other diagnostic procedures that may have been performed. If you are unable to convey those results, your pet’s doctor can share the information during his report.

What concurrent conditions is/was the pet being treated for? In the present case, a 9-year-old large-breed dog has lived at least 75% of his life expectancy and has the “right” to some age-related physical and/or metabolic problems.

What other medications and/or neutraceuticals is/was the pet on? Drug interaction carries the same real dangers in pets that it does in people.

If heartworm preventive is suspected to have caused a problem, has a heartworm test been performed within the last twelve months? Have there been any missed doses of heartworm preventive? The single most common cause of adverse event with heartworm preventive is administering it to a dog with undiagnosed heartworms.

Another example: if your adverse event is believed to be antibiotic-related, such as Convenia, be prepared to tell what infectious condition the antibiotic was administered for. That infectious condition could have weakened, or even debilitated your pet.

In the case of flea control medication, was the medicine used on the right species? Some flea products are safe for dogs, yet deadly on cats. Was the right dosage used? Someone called our office last week wanting to know if she could divide a large dog dosage among her four cats. (The answer is no! It’s not safe!)

Pets become ill for many reasons. Sometimes illness is caused by medication. When that is the case, the company the medication came from can be your best friend. Be sure to involve them.

To report an adverse event to the following companies:

Elanco : 1-888-545-5973

Novartis Animal Health : 1-800-637-0281

Pfizer Animal Health : For live agent assistance, please contact us Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM EST at 800-366-5288.

Food And Drug Administration : 1-888-FDA-VETS


One comment

  1. I am sorry about the loss of your beloved shepherd. I just lost the love of my life in February and at the same time I learned that her brother now has exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and my veterinarian just recommended he be put on Trifexis. After reading so many stories about the effects it is having on so many dogs I fear putting him one it. Any advice? I also have two Shih Tzus that the doctor said should be put on it. It seems that all of my dogs are allergic to flea bites and because of this she recommended Trifexis.

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