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Has anyones dog had a bad reaction to Comfortis?

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  • Has anyones dog had a bad reaction to Comfortis?

    I'm thinking of using it but I'm scared after reading about all the dogs that have died on it. The vets keep saying that those dogs must have had an underlying condition that predisposed them to these complications or been given ivermectin at the same time as comfortis. I've heard of seizures, of course the vomiting, lethargy, & greatly elevated liver enzymes as some of the problems.
    I have an older JRT who is miserable with fleas. Worst year ever.
    Nothing is giving any lasting control. Going to treat the yard again, this time with something from vet.
    This dog is 11 yrs old, had great blood work except for slightly elevated platelet count (going to dig deeper on that) but has lost 1.5 lbs in the last year. I think weight loss might be from scratching & itchy skin.
    Also her full sister has occassional, mild seizures & her mother died from seizures so I'm not really wanting to put chemicals inside of her.
    Not sure if I should give her comfortis or not.
    Anyway, let me know if your dogs have had any bad reactions to comfortis.
    THanks
    Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
    www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

  • #2
    My son's three year old terrier mutt has taken it and has vomitted, been lethargic, etc. The last time he was given Comfortis, he was off for a couple of days, no appetite, etc. We decided not to give it to him anymore and went back to Frontline.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would make sure your dog does not have the MDR1 gene (it's not prevalent in JRTs at all but is fairly common in herding breeds)

      We stagger at least 2 weeks from ivermectin (HeartGuard). We also only use it when we have a problem, not every month as directed. Our dogs usually get two doses a year max and we have NO fleas.
      The rebel in the grey shirt

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      • #4
        If any animals death could actually be attributed to the medication it has to be printed on the package insert. Having worked in a clinic selling Comfortis for 4 years we have never had a single death where giving comfortis was even remotely thought to be a factor.

        I think that the vast majority of these stories are ancidotal, and a result of distraught owners needing something to blame for their pets death.

        I have used it off and on for several years in both my ACDs, the oldest of whom is now almost 11. I can honestly say after learning how to properly read the product insert and related studies I have seen nothing that would turn me off of using it, except for the release of Trifexis, cuz it's all in one!
        You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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        • #5
          My daughter's mini dachshund, Billy, is horribly allergic to fleas. He literally scratches himself raw and rubs all the hair off his head. I've been using comfortis on him for about a year now with no adverse reactions. I've used the comfortis with an ivermectin heartworm med but I've always staggered them for about a week. I've also always given both meds with food as that seems to lessen the adverse reaction.

          I've recently switched Billy from Heartguard to Trifexis which is a combination heartworm, internal wormer and flea control. He may have been a little lethargic the day after he received the meds but nothing that would be a cause for concern. There was no vomiting or other side effect. Billy will not eat the pill whole so I always crumble it up and top dress it onto his regular kibble mixed with Fresh Pet Select moist food. My vet recommends giving the meds with food as he says that slows down the absorbtion process plus it seems to make the flea protection last a little longer. Personally I think the misery and physical effects the flea allergy causes offset any problems the Trifexis may cause.
          I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

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          • #6
            I use comfortis and have zero problems with it, even on my dog who has had one seizure in the past (though is not an epileptic.)

            The seizure info comes from the package insert which I read awhile ago which said basically "epileptic beagles who took 5 times the recommended dose could potentially, possibly be induced into a seizure."

            Never seen appetite loss or any issues with it, I love it. My backyard has a river that runs through it, so topicals are a no-go if I can help it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JWB View Post
              I would make sure your dog does not have the MDR1 gene (it's not prevalent in JRTs at all but is fairly common in herding breeds)

              We stagger at least 2 weeks from ivermectin (HeartGuard). We also only use it when we have a problem, not every month as directed. Our dogs usually get two doses a year max and we have NO fleas.
              The MDR1 gene predisposes dogs to ivermectin toxicity. The active drug in Comfortis is spinosad, which is not the same class of drug as ivermectin. That being said, Comfortis is not compatible with high (your standard heartworm drugs like Heartguard are not high) doses of ivermectin in any dog, regardless of MDR1 status.

              The most typical side effect of Comfortis is vomiting. The best way to avoid this is to make sure your dog is prescribed the proper dose for his weight class. Bumping him up to the next highest weight class will make him more likely to vomit.

              Comfortis has induced seizures in dogs in clinical trials at extremely high doses, well above what your vet would prescribe. Because of this, your vet may choose not to prescribe it to a dog that has a history of seizures.

              As a whole, the drug is very safe, and is one of the most effective flea meds on the market. Try buying a single dose from your vet, and see how your dog handles it.

              P.S., I am a DVM student (3rd year), not a DVM, so please take this post with a grain of salt (as I hope you would any post doling out medical advice) :-)

              Good luck with your dog!
              The knowledge of the nature of a horse is one of the first foundations of the art if riding it, and every horseman must make it his principal study.
              ~Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks everybody! And the 3rd yr vet student....I'm jealous! Congratulation!
                Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Whitfield Farm Hanoverians View Post
                  Thanks everybody! And the 3rd yr vet student....I'm jealous! Congratulation!
                  You're welcome! And thank you, lol, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel ;-)
                  The knowledge of the nature of a horse is one of the first foundations of the art if riding it, and every horseman must make it his principal study.
                  ~Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tried it and one of my two dogs ended up vomiting, so I went back to the topical.
                    One suggestion: Are you sure the dog is reacting to fleas? My one dog has allergies to certain pollen; when it first developed after moving to Florida, I was thinking fleas, and treating accordingly. Since then my vet said to put him on Benadryl - it is apparently quite safe for dogs, and I'm giving my 60 lb chow mix 1 per day; he can actually take two based on his size, but 1 does the trick. Talk to your vet re dosage; it may help the itching problem.
                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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                    • #11
                      Yes!

                      There is a thread I ask questions about Sentinal vs comfortis. My rye was neurological, threw up, spiked a fever, and down in the dumps for days after a full dose. I split the dose in half and would give it in 12 hour intervals, but the vet said that its ineffective that way.

                      I called Comfortis to ask about the neurological side effects she asked how many doses effected Riley this way and I said every month, she said that Comfortis has a three strikes and your out rule. She refunded my money in full and I picked up some Sentinal from the vet. I cant believe they had any
                      left.

                      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=344309


                      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=348231
                      Last edited by MunchingonHay; May. 22, 2012, 10:37 PM. Reason: added link.
                      www.facebook.com/doggonegoodgoodies
                      http://doggonebakedgoods.com/

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I'm just to scared to try it. I think I'll keep up the bathing with aloe & oatmeal shampoos. Also have heard that peppermint shampoos help with the fleas.
                        While I'm pretty sure that the fleas are the main culprit, other allergens do affect Shorty. I'm trying to use less soaps & softeners in the wash, trying to limit her time outside, etc.
                        I just picked up Wellness Core Ocean variety food for her to start. She reacts to any foods that have chicken or more grains.
                        I do give her benadryl, 12.5mg twice daily if needed but her skin will sometimes remain red especially over her butt where she rubs. I've found that using the triamcinalone spray as needed helps her alot but I'm not a steroid lover.
                        Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                        www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you really need something better but are afraid to give Comfortis, you can consider Capstar daily. It's more expensive but has also been a miracle for flea allergic dogs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Neem oil, very small amounts of tea tree oil, patchouli oil, are all natural deterrents for fleas.
                            www.facebook.com/doggonegoodgoodies
                            http://doggonebakedgoods.com/

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                            • #15
                              Honestly with all the bathing and topicals you are doing you might as well give Comfortis a go. You're essentially washing off any topical you are putting on, and in the the long run no amount of bathing will actually treat a flea infestiation without MAJOR MAJOR chemical environmental control, and for all the risks assoc with that you are better off giving Comfortis a chance.

                              Personally I think you are being a little over persuaded by the people discussing negative experiences, it is always important to remember that a person will scream from the roof tops about a bad experience but will tell nary a soul about a positive result.
                              You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Honestly with all the bathing and topicals you are doing you might as well give Comfortis a go. You're essentially washing off any topical you are putting on, and in the the long run no amount of bathing will actually treat a flea infestiation without MAJOR MAJOR chemical environmental control, and for all the risks assoc with that you are better off giving Comfortis a chance.

                                Personally I think you are being a little over persuaded by the people discussing negative experiences, it is always important to remember that a person will scream from the roof tops about a bad experience but will tell nary a soul about a positive result.
                                This is a "clinic opinion" vs "stuff people read on the internet" argument I find myself in daily.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My vet told me I couldn't use Comfortis because I use ivermectin as a HW preventative.

                                  Of course, this is the same vet who told me I couldn't give ivermectin to a HW positive dog. Since I don't have a HW positive dog I didn't bother getting into it with him, but it made me wonder if he really knows what he's talking about.

                                  So you can use Comfortis and ivermectin?
                                  I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Yes you can. Comfortis is safe to use with ivermectin heartworm preventatives. It is not safe to use comfortis with the higher doses of ivermectin used for mange or other conditions.
                                    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Horsegal984 View Post
                                      Yes you can. Comfortis is safe to use with ivermectin heartworm preventatives. It is not safe to use comfortis with the higher doses of ivermectin used for mange or other conditions.
                                      Ah. I give my dogs ivermectin at twice the prophylactic dose to also take care of intestinal worms. Maybe that's why my vet said I shouldn't use Comfortis.
                                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        We always recommend to clients who want to use both Ivermectin and Comfortis to give them 2 weeks apart. You should be fine as long as you arent treating things such as demodexx with the ivermectin.
                                        --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--

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