Trifexis for Dogs is a monthly medication that prevents and treats fleas, heartworm, and intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and pinworms.
How to use Trifexis
Trifexis is a beef-flavored chewable that is given to dogs once a month. It can be given to puppies as young as eight weeks and to dogs that weigh at least five pounds.
A prescription from a veterinarian is necessary to obtain Trifexis. Because Trifexis only kills immature heartworms, dogs should be tested for heartworm infections before starting on a Trifexis regimen. It is important to protect dogs against heartworm. A heavy infestation of heartworms causes significant morbidity and can kill the dog. In addition, while there is a treatment for established heartworm infections, the treatment has potentially fatal side effects, is expensive, and takes a long time to complete.
It is essential to give Trifexis every single month, or it will not provide complete protection against heartworm. In particular, it needs to be administered for at least three consecutive months after the last possible contact with a mosquito.
How it works
The active ingredients in Trifexis for dogs are spinosad and milbemycin oxime, two anti-parasitic agents. The milbemycin oxime immediately acts to kill immature heartworms and intestinal parasites. The long-acting spinosad immediately kills any fleas that are present and continues to kill fleas that come into contact with the dog for the next 30 days.
The bite of an infected mosquito transmits heartworm. The immature heartworms enter the dog's bloodstream, where they mature. It takes about seven months for heartworms to reach full maturity. After maturing, the heartworms begin reproducing, and after a few years, the infected dog's heart, lungs, and bloodstream become filled with worms. These worms can cause permanent heart, lung, and kidney damage, and kill the dog.
Although Trifexis is generally regarded as very safe, its administration can trigger vomiting. Owners should keep an eye on their dog for an hour after administration to be sure the dog doesn't vomit the medication up. If the dog does vomit the medication, the owner should immediately give another dose to ensure that the dog is properly protected against heartworm disease.
Other reported side effects that rarely occur are diarrhea, lethargy, and itchy skin.
The FDA has also issued a warning that ivermectin-containing agents should not be used in conjunction with Trifexis, since when taken together, serious side effects such as trembling, twitching, drooling, disorientation, ataxia, and seizures can occur.