ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
53°
Sunny
H 68° L 41°
  • cloudy-day
    53°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 68° L 41°
  • clear-day
    71°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 68° L 41°
  • cloudy-day
    60°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 76° L 46°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
More owners, vets claim dog deaths may be linked to Trifexis drug
Close

More owners, vets claim dog deaths may be linked to Trifexis drug

More owners, vets claim dog deaths may be linked to Trifexis drug

More owners, vets claim dog deaths may be linked to Trifexis drug

WSB-TV consumer investigator Jim Strickland has discovered that hundreds more pet deaths are being blamed on Trifexis, a popular dog medicine designed to kill fleas, control parasites and prevent heartworm.

Since Strickland first reported data collected by the Food and Drug Administration eight months ago, the number of death complaints is up nearly 40 percent, now coming in at a rate greater than one dog per day.

The FDA said there is no solid evidence linking Trifexis to any dog's death. The reports are simply complaints from owners and vets in which the pill is suspected.

"It's just horrendous to watch an animal die such a horrible, painful, excruciating death," said Georgia resident Anita Bergen.

Bergen's case is included in the FDA data.

Her Scottish terrier, Fergus, was 10 years old when she tried Trifexis.

>> Read more trending stories

"The initial reaction from taking that one pill was horrible," Bergen said.

"One pill?" Strickland asked.

"One Trifexis pill was all he ever had."

Bergen said the dog lost all muscle control, lost his thirst and suffered liver failure. She euthanized him two months after giving him the pill.

"I do feel deceived. I do not feel there was full disclosure," Bergen said.

TV commercials list side-effects like vomiting and lethargy, but not death.

Strickland learned through the Freedom of Information Act that the FDA lists 965 complaints of dog deaths blamed on Trifexis. 

That's an increase of 38 percent in the last eight months, and close to the total of 1,000 deaths linked to Chinese-made chicken jerky pet treats.

Drugmaker Elanco said it can find no link between the pill and any dog fatalities.

"I see that as a cause for investigation, and as they're looking at those causes. I feel confident the FDA will follow through, but from our experience, we haven't seen it," said veterinarian Toby Carmichael.

Carmichael said he and his partners have prescribed 75,000 doses of Trifexis with no adverse complications.

"My dogs have been on Trifexis since it came out and haven't had an issue once,” Carmichael said.

Physician Rochelle LePor has given her 7-year-old rescue dog Cooper nearly 40 pills over three years.

"I can only speak of my experience. For me, it’s like a wonder drug," she said.

"The FDA is not going to allow a product on the market that's going to hurt animals," Carmichael said. 

Reports to Elanco's customer hotline have had an impact. There are now nearly 1,500 complaints of lost muscle control, a condition called ataxia.

Elanco added ataxia to its list of side-effects two years ago. 

Elanco also added seizures, the malady that hit a prize bulldog named Foxy, owned by 50-year veteran breeder Nancy Harrison. 

The dog developed additional symptoms beyond her veterinarian's control.

"So you were forced to euthanize her?" Strickland asked.

"Yeah, if you saw it, you wouldn't want to live with it either. And never in 52 years had I had one before,” Harrison said.

Harrison stopped using the drug, even though her other dogs handled it without issue.

"It's hard to lose a dog. They're my children," Harrison said.

The mystery of their dogs’ deaths eats at her and Bergen.

"All the tests that are done, they're all inconclusive. No one can ever say this death is absolutely the result of administering this particular medication. But all the owners, all the pet caregivers know," Bergen said.

The FDA said it's continuing to monitor reports and considers the product label a living document. To date, there are no plans to list death as even a rare but potential side-effect.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • On every Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to take some time and think about what you and your family are thankful for in 2017 – but at the same time, we may as well try to figure how Turkey Day is playing in political circles as well. In terms of political news, reporters on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. are currently going through an almost never-ending avalanche of stories, erupting daily (or even hourly) in what seems to be a high rate of speed in this new social media atmosphere. Let’s take a look at a few things on this Thanksgiving 2017: 1. Roy Moore – Roy Moore might be thankful for a lot right now, mainly a number of men in high profile positions in the Congress and the news media who have been ensnared in the recent swarm of news about sex. The latest person to hit the news – and take the focus off of Moore – is Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who had a nude photo of himself leaked on to social media by a woman he was once in a relationship with, which some say might be ‘revenge porn.’ No matter what the details might be of how this occurred, the Barton story is a reminder of the perfect piece of advice that my father gave as he dropped me off at the U.S. Capitol on my first day of work in 1980, when he told me that ‘They call it the House of Representatives for a reason” – members of Congress are no different from our neighbors and friends. Some are good. Some are bad. Some make bad choices along the way. Roy Moore is thankful for Al Franken, John Conyers, Joe Barton, Charlie Rose, and many others. Their stories keep Moore out of the headlines. So the count for today if I'm not mistaken is two more accusers against Al Franken, one more against John Conyers and a picture of Joe Barton's genitalia splashed across the Internet — Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 23, 2017 2. President Donald Trump. – Mr. Trump may be most thankful for political opponents like Hillary Clinton, who continues to be a Trump punching bag on Twitter. While many Inside the Beltway cringe at “Crooked Hillary” tweets, those missives continue to delight the President’s legions of fans, as it helps to keep the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee in the news. (While Mr. Trump is probably also thankful for sports figures like Lavar Ball, Steph Curry, Richard Sherman, and others, I’ll stick to the political arena.) Over the last year, this President has proven himself to be very adept at verbally smacking people on Twitter – whether you think it’s right or wrong for Mr. Trump to be doing that isn’t the point. The longer that President Trump can keep Hillary Clinton in the news, the better for him, and maybe the better for the Republican Party. Donald Trump is thankful that Hillary Clinton is still around. Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017 3. Tax lawyers and accountants. – Yes, Republicans say their tax reform plan will make the tax code simpler to deal with, and for some individuals, it would be easier to file your taxes under the plans envisioned in the House and Senate. But before you think that it’s going to change everything, a simple review of Congressional tax plans shows there will be plenty of work for people who need to explain the intricacies of the tax code, like tax lawyers and accountants. You don’t have to go very far into the GOP bills to feel confused about what’s being changed. Tax lawyers and accountants are thankful for the GOP tax reform bill. There will still be plenty of business for them, even if that bill becomes law. 4. Federal workers. All the talk for years from Republicans has been about making deep cuts in the budget of various federal agencies. On the campaign trail, President Trump promised much the same. But this first year of a combination of a GOP House & Senate, and the Trump Administration, produced almost nothing in terms of spending cuts and budget savings. Last week, the White House proposed $44 billion in (generic) budget savings to offset disaster aid for recent hurricanes – except it would come between 2025 and 2027, when Mr. Trump would be long gone from the White House. So, as they enjoy a big turkey dinner, federal workers can say ‘thanks’ that the Republican Congress and the President, as they really haven’t been able to wield a budget axe on the Executive Branch. Mr. Trump said before Thanksgiving that he would push for budget cuts in the next year. On Thanksgiving, President Trump visited a Coast Guard facility in Florida. Back in April, Mr. Trump wanted to cut over a billion from the Coast Guard budget. That didn’t make it through the Congress. Pres Trump to reporters 'Admin. Dept. heads will work next on spending cuts, welfare reform ('very shortly aftr taxes') & infrastructure' — AWPS NEWS llc (@AWPSNews) November 20, 2017 5. Politics at Thanksgiving. A year ago, the recent election of Donald Trump was a prime topic for many families, as a lot of Democratic voters were struggling to come to terms with President Trump’s election. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017, and it’s possible that a lot of those same people are still somewhat aggravated about the way things have gone in political circles after Mr. Trump’s first 10 months in office. And that leads me to believe that some of you will have a few things to say at the dinner table about President Trump, good and bad. Some will be saying “thanks” for the President – others, not so much. But it isn’t hard to argue over whether you should talk about politics at the table, eh? If you’re a republican having thanksgiving dinner with your democrat family, as you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for, I highly encourage you to say “the electoral college.” — Lord Single Malt (@Singlemaltfiend) November 22, 2017 My advice: Don't print anything out. Don't bring a chart to dinner. At Thanksgiving tell weird stories about when you were a kid to the kids and funny stories about loved ones no longer with us. Politics aren't that important. — Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) November 23, 2017
  • Just in time for Thanksgiving, more than 100 members of Oklahoma's National Guard arrived at the Broken Arrow Armed Services Reserve Center Wednesday night. KRMG's told the unit had been serving a six-month deployment in the Ukraine as part of a joint, multi-national training group. They also provided training support to Ukrainian forces. The soldiers were thrilled to see their friends and family. “I’ve been waiting for this feeling,” one soldier said.  “I’m proud of everything we did over there, but I’m happy to be home.” More soldiers from the unit are expected to return home over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to thank the soldiers in the comments.  
  • We have a beautiful day ahead of us for Thanksgiving. National Weather Service Meteorologist Bart Haake says we'll see plenty of sun on turkey day. “Skies will be mostly sunny today with highs in the middle 60s,” Haake said.   If you’re heading out shopping Thanksgiving night or just walking off the stuffing, Mother Nature won't be an issue.  NWS is reporting mostly clear skies and a low around 42 degrees.   We're going to see higher than normal temperatures in the Tulsa area for Black Friday. “The highs will be in the low to middle 70s,” Haake said.   That's around 12 degrees above normal for this time of year.
  • If the thought of spending hours in the kitchen on Thursday just doesn’t sound like a good use of your time, what with family all around and the prospect of Black Friday shopping beginning at 7 a.m. that day, there are a variety of restaurants that just may have the answer for you. Several chain restaurants and many local ones are open on Thanksgiving, with options ranging from dining in to carrying out to catering the whole affair. Important note: Not all restaurants listed below will be open on Thanksgiving or offer special deals. Some franchise restaurants of certain chains may be closed. It is important to call the restaurant closest to you to confirm the hours and deals. These restaurants are set to be open on Thanksgiving.
  • The city of Everett, Washington, ,” but the baristas are not backing down. The baristas are arguing that their skimpy costumes fall under freedom of expression.In recent court filings, the city claimed the coffee stands have a history of prostitution, sexual assault and exploitation. One of Everett's new laws requires the workers to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts. It specifically applies to employees at 'quick service' restaurants, which also include fast food and food trucks. >> Read more trending news The other redefined the city's lewd conduct ordinance and created a new crime of facilitating lewd conduct. Both ordinances took effect in early September. But seven bikini baristas and the owner of a chain of the coffee stands called 'Hillbilly Hotties' sued the city to block the dress code in September, saying it's vague, unlawfully targets women, and denies them the ability to communicate through their attire.  KIRO-TV asked a constitutional law attorney about that argument.  “That is not a frivolous argument. One can see that this is conduct which may not be pure speech, but nevertheless is a conduct that does enjoy constitutional protections. The question is how much constitutional protection,” said constitutional law attorney Jeffrey Needle. The Everett City Council unanimously passed the ordinances in August but halted the ban while the case is in court.  A senior U.S. district court judge heard the arguments Tuesday in a federal Seattle court.