Sunday, November 17, 2013

NorthStar Pet: A Dog Owner Heads Up

A safe pet heads-up - nothing from the FDA yet, but those wheels turn slowly - the combination heartworm/anti-flea/worm medication Trifexis has been experientially linked to seizures, bloody stools, skin irritation, lethargy, vomiting, and canine deaths for quite some time.

Dog clubs and groups are warning their members, so you should know, too. 

Is an all-in-one treatment really what your dog needs? First, a panacea approach to treatment doesn't work for humans, so why would it work our pets - in a results not typical world, one size seldom fits all - including the size of your dog (which affects medication and dosage) - make sure that any medication you give your pet hovers around just their needs (and factor in pet age). Like any medication recommended for your pets, look into what your dog is actually, normally, really exposed to and provide preventive medication based on that. 

Your vet is your resource and your partner in your pet care routine. Please don't accept a vaccination, fill a prescription, or administer meds on behalf of your pet until you've done your homework; take side effects seriously (I know from experience: my cat Sam had medication-induced diabetes). And, keep in mind that knowing what's in the delivery agent of a vaccine is crucial. That also includes checking where meds and ingredients are manufactured (just because a provider is based in the U.S. doesn't mean the ingredients are all U.S. sourced). 

Know how any medication interacts with other medications and even dog breeds, go online to websites (amazon is a great resource) and read customer reviews, and check with not only the FDA, but the EPA (anti-insect infestation meds would be pesticides on some level) - a few minutes of research online will give you a good idea of what's up and help you make important decisions for your dog.

Reminder - what works for dogs may not work for cats or other pets and vice versa!

If you have run into a pet reaction to a medication, treat, or food - help yourself and help others hold manufacturers accountable - file a report with the FDA.

This will get you started: 

Check out this WSB-TV, Atlanta story.

SF Gate's Tails of the City on Protecting Pets from Fleas and Ticks.

Snopes.com on Trifexis reports. 

Ask A Vet: Is Trifexis safe? 

FDA Animal and Veterinary Web Page.

EPA Pets Web Page.  

Holistic Alternative Treatment FAQs.

Pet Care Naturally Flea and Tick Treatments. 

Natural Dog Health Remedies on Heartworms 

Pet MD Natural Flea and Tick Remedies

Tremendous advice from pet nutritionist - Rodney Habib:

Rodney Habib's website.

Planet Paws on facebook.