Trifexis for Dogs: Trifexis is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic medication for dogs that prevents heartworm disease, kills fleas, and treats and controls intestinal parasite infections like hookworms and roundworms. It comes in tablet form and is given orally, typically as a once-a-month dose.
The main active ingredients in Trifexis are:
- Milbemycin oxime, an antiparasitic drug that prevents heartworm disease and treats intestinal parasites
- Spinosad, a pesticide that kills fleas
By combining these two ingredients into one tablet, Trifexis provides convenient and complete parasite protection for your dog with a single monthly dose.
Some key benefits of Trifexis include:
- Preventing potentially deadly heartworm disease. Trifexis kills heartworm larvae before they develop into adults.
- Eliminating existing flea infestations and preventing re-infestation. Trifexis starts killing fleas within 30 minutes and prevents infestation for at least 30 days.
- Treating and controlling intestinal parasites like hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
Trifexis can be given to dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age or older and at least 5 pounds in weight. The specific dosage is based on your dog’s weight.
While Trifexis is generally very safe, the most common side effects may include vomiting, itching, lethargy, and diarrhea. More serious side effects can occur in some dogs, so you should always consult your vet before starting Trifexis.
Trifexis requires a prescription from your veterinarian. Cost will vary depending on the specific product and dosage for your dog’s weight.
Benefits of Using Trifexis
Using Trifexis provides several benefits for dogs and their owners.
1. Effective Prevention
Trifexis prevents heartworm disease, fleas, and common intestinal parasites like hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
By stopping these parasites before they infect your dog, Trifexis protects their health and reduces the risk of disease transmission to humans.
2. Convenient Dosing
Trifexis is available as a flavored chewable tablet that most dogs will take voluntarily. It only needs to be administered once per month, making it easy to give your dog year-round protection.
3. Cost Effective
Compared to purchasing separate heartworm, flea, and deworming medications, Trifexis provides broad-spectrum coverage at an affordable price.
The cost of a 6 or 12 pack of Trifexis may be less than buying individual products to prevent the same parasites.
4. Safe for Most Dogs
Trifexis is generally well tolerated in dogs and considered a safe option for long term use. Side effects tend to be mild but may include vomiting, itching, lethargy, or lack of appetite.
More serious side effects are rare but may include muscle tremors or seizures in a small percentage of dogs. As with any medication, some dogs may be allergic or intolerant to the ingredients in Trifexis.
You should consult your vet before giving Trifexis to dogs that are pregnant or nursing.
By protecting against a wide range of internal and external parasites in one convenient chewable tablet, Trifexis offers many benefits for managing your dog’s health and wellbeing. However, as with any medication, Trifexis may not be right for every dog.
You should talk to your vet about whether Trifexis is a good option based on your dog’s medical history and current health status.
Potential Side Effects of Trifexis
While Trifexis can be very effective in preventing heartworm disease, fleas, and certain intestinal parasites in dogs, some potential side effects are possible.
As with any medication, it’s important to be aware of risks and weigh the benefits versus side effects for your dog’s unique situation.
1. Gastrointestinal Upset
The most commonly reported side effects are gastrointestinal in nature, such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and gas.
These tend to be mild and short-lived, but may require temporary discontinuation of the medication or a dosage adjustment.
It’s best to administer Trifexis with food to minimize stomach upset. If symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, consult your veterinarian.
2. Lethargy or Hyperactivity
Some dogs may experience lethargy, drowsiness or even hyperactivity and restlessness after taking Trifexis. These effects are usually temporary, but notify your vet if they concern you or seem severe.
3. Skin Reactions
Rarely, dogs may have an allergic reaction to Trifexis, especially when first starting the medication. Possible symptoms include hives, rash, facial swelling, or pruritus (severe itching). Seek veterinary care immediately if your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction.
In very rare instances, Trifexis has been linked to seizures in some dogs. The risk seems highest within a few hours of administration.
Epileptic dogs or those with a history of seizures may be at greater risk. Talk to your vet about the pros and cons of using Trifexis for dogs with seizure disorders.
While side effects tend to be uncommon, as with any medication there is always a possibility of an adverse reaction in some animals. Closely monitor your dog after starting Trifexis, especially the first time, and report any concerning symptoms to your vet right away.
Be sure to provide your dog’s full medical history to allow your vet to make the most informed recommendation regarding heartworm and flea prevention.