There has been another round of posts on social media going around regarding the oral flea/tick products causing seizures and death, this time about the all-in-one called Simparica Trio.
Simparica Trio is an EXCELLENT product for flea and tick control, heartworm prevention, and can control many types of intestinal parasites and mites. The FDA has approved the 3 major ingredients as safe for use and they have been on the market individually for some time, and as the all-in-one for over 2 years now. Side effects are possible (as with any medication), BUT, in general they have been proven to be safe and effective. Can it kill your pet? Unlikely, but possible. That's the same answer I'd give for Benadryl or any medication. I’ve never personally seen a fatality from this class of medication, and we have dispensed thousands of doses now through our hospital, including to my own 3 dogs and lots of our rescue pups of all shapes and sizes. And I’m only talking about Simparica Trio here, but the same goes for our experience with other products in the same class of drugs and similar oral flea/tick and heartworm medications.
We would NEVER recommend a product if we thought it was dangerous. That's why we do an exam on your pet every year so that we can help weigh the risk/benefit scenario and discuss options specific to your pet. There are lots of options out there, so the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to choose the product or products that you are comfortable using for your specific pets! Though I have never seen an animal have a severe reaction to simparica, do you know what I have seen? A dog pass away from severe systemic lyme disease, a dog go into heart failure from heartworms, a cat need fluids and a blood transfusion from severe intestinal parasites, a puppy need to be hospitalization from severe flea anemia…..the list goes on. And this product protects against all of these parasites. There is always a risk-benefit ratio with ANY medication, and in my opinion, the benefits of protecting against all of these serious parasites far outweigh the risks of the medications to treat them.
The final points I will make, is that it’s easy to get scared by one scary situation – it is heartbreaking that someone’s baby passed away and it feels like it could have been prevented. So often when we see severe reactions like this, there is an underlying health issue that also led to the severity of that reaction though, and we just don’t have the info to know what that was. It’s also important to know the source of your medication – I have personally seen animals in our practice purchase heartworm and flea/tick medications online that ended up being counterfeit when not purchased directly from a veterinarian. In our case, they ended up just not being effective – but in other cases, you could potentially see reactions, or worse. (This is why we stopped working with online pharmacies directly, to avoid this exact situation since we can’t guarantee where they are getting their medications from!)
My big take-away is as I said above – you need to do what feels right for you and your pets. If these products terrify you, then let’s pick something else! There are lots of options out there, so you need to make that decision based upon what you are comfortable with, we are just here to guide you! As always, call us if you want to talk more, so we can help!