Trifexis for Dogs is a new, once a month flea and heartworm control pill. It was released a few months ago by Elanco, the same company that markets a once a month flea control pill called Comfortis (does not include heartworm control). Trifexis is becoming widely available, and according to our vet, very popular, at veterinary practices in the U.S.
Here in Florida, we pet owners deal with fleas pretty much year around. Just having a cat living with us meant dealing with a certain number of fleas in the house. The cat does have her own monthly flea control, FrontLine. And we flea bomb the house, but still we had fleas.
Then came the dog. An adorable Australian Shepard (mostly). Eight weeks old. And she came well equipped - with her own fleas.
Darn, those little blood suckers multiply fast. Despite baths with flea shampoos every two days (yeh, way more often that the safety precautions on the label allow), we were being overrun.
So we went to the vet and asked her about a once a month flea pill a friend had told us about. She said her customers were very happy with the new flea and heartworm preventative pill Trifexis… but, even though the pamphlet says it can be given to puppies as young as 8 weeks old, it is a new drug. She would not give it out until the puppy was 12 weeks old, just to be on the safe side.
So right at 12 weeks we were back at the vet. The puppy swallowed the pill without hesitation (she’ll eat anything), and off to home we went… the puppy happily in my daughter’s lap. But not for long. “Aaaah! Aaah! Eekkk!” my eight year old daughter shrieked, pushing the dog from her lap. “There’s fleas all over me!”
She was right. Within 30 minutes of eating the Trifexis pill, fleas were falling off the puppy by the hundreds, both dead and dying. Yeh, all over my daughter! Yuck, but… wow! This stuff works. And fast.
That was three weeks ago. It’s still working. I keep rolling the dog over to check her belly for fleas, as that was the easiest place to see them before. Now they are gone. We do still see the occasional flea on her nose for some reason. But apparently they are still dying after biting her, as when we check later we don’t find any. It has also helped with the in-house infestation we were dealing with, as no people have had fleas jump on them for the last two weeks. And even the cat seems to have less fleas now. We treated her with FrontLine after the dog had the Trifexis pill, with the hope they would leave her, bite the dog, and die. Seems to have been effective.
Of course, as this is a new treatment for fleas and heartworms (yes, nice to have it combined), I can’t report on the long term effects. Will the fleas become immune over time? We’ll just have to wait and see. So far though, so good. Seeing the fleas fall right off her was very satisfying (though my daughter would disagree).
There are reports from other Trifexis uses online that say their dogs threw up after swallowing the pill. Our puppy had no problem.