My good buddy Molly posted a great comment on yesterday’s post about flea and tick preventatives, here’s an excerpt (and a picture of her dog Siegy napping with Quinn):
– I am constantly trying to find an alternative. I too have looked into the oral medications but have been hesitant to use them. Once ingested if the animal has a reaction there is not much to do other than induce vomiting. At least with a topical you can wash it off if there was an immediate reaction. But I realize the larger concern is the long term side effect of topical use like cancer or other tumors.
– I have tried Comfortis with Siegy once and he vomited a huge amount shortly after ingesting the pill. I chose not to dose him again directly after he vomited as I was directed to do by both the vet and the manufacturer of the drug. If this drug made Siegy sick once why would I immediately give him another dose? I have not tried another oral flea medication since this incident.
Here’s my response:
Thanks for the wonderful response and for sharing your experience. Poor Siegy, I’m so sorry he had such a bad reaction. Apparently this initial bought of vomiting is the most common side-effect of Comfortis. I called my vet to ask her about it and she gave the same recommendation of giving a second dose. She told me that this initial vomiting isn’t anything to worry about and that giving further doses would not cause the same reaction – seems odd, but I’ll look into this, since it goes above my level of understanding.
This is what GreenPaws has written up about Comfortis, which uses the chemical Spinosad:
“Spinosad is administered to dogs in a tablet. It disrupts the nervous system function of insects, but is not neurotoxic to mammals. Its risk to humans is very slight. Veterinary reports do not indicate cause for concern, although long term studies have not been conducted. EPA classifies Spinosad as not likely to be a carcinogen. [source] Spinosad is listed on EcoWise Certified IPM Program Materials List.
Toxicity: Administered as a pill and therefore very low risk to humans. However, all pesticides should be used with caution and in consultation with a veterinarian.”
I was trying to find actual studies done on Comfortis, but haven’t yet – I’ll keep looking. There is one study that is referred to a lot and is described here: www.drugs.com/pro/comfortis
Here’s an excerpt: “In a well-controlled US field study, which included a total of 470 dogs (330 dogs treated with Comfortis chewable tablets and 140 dogs treated with an active control), no serious adverse reactions were observed with Comfortis chewable tablets. All reactions were regarded as mild and did not result in any dog being removed from the study.” It continues on to say, “Over the 90-day study period, all observations of potential adverse reactions were recorded. Reactions that occurred at an incidence > 1% within any of the 3 months of observation are presented in the following table. The most frequently reported adverse reaction in dogs in the Comfortis chewable tablets and active control groups was vomiting. The occurrence of vomiting, most commonly within 48 hours after treatment, decreased with repeated doses of Comfortis chewable tablets.”
I was at Green Dog this morning and Christine set me up with a local (Oregon) company called Mad About Organics. The regiment required to maintain a flea-free dog with this company is a bit overwhelming, especially since the predictions are that this season with be BAD for fleas. Because Oregon doesn’t experience a good freeze like other parts of the country/world the consensus is that you have to keep up a regiment all year round.
With the flea season looming so large this year I’m considering putting Quinn on Comfortis, but until I decide I’ll be using Mad About Organics. I’ll continue researching and looking for studies on long-term usage of Comfortis along with other options, like Trifexis though and see what I find.