An investigative reporting team has discovered that the number of complaints filed with the Food and Drug Administration claiming that the popular flea and heartworm preventative was responsible for dog deaths has outnumbered those about chicken jerky treats.
Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland filed a Freedom of Information request with the Food and Drug Administration and discovered that every 36 hours since Trifexis hit the market in 2011, a pet owner reported that it killed their dog. More than 700 dogs have reportedly died after being given the Elanco-produced monthly pill.
Consumers that visit the FDA’s site for information about Trifexis might be confused. An FDA spokesperson told Strickland that the numbers on their website may not be accurate as they’re currently updating their system.
Instead of the 31 deaths listed, FDA has received complaints about over 700 dogs dying as a result of the drug. Where complaints of lethargy are numbered around 600 on the FDA website, actual complaints are closer to 8,000. And, though the site lists 2,200 complaints of vomiting, that number is closer to 30,000.
The FDA says they are monitoring reports of complications and deaths due to Trifexis, but have yet to discover any trends that prove a direct link to the product.