Comfortis - Heart Murmur

klemisahMay 20, 2008

We began giving our dog Comfortis on March 18th, 2008. (We give him the pill on the 18th of April and continue to keep the monthly cycle). We took our dog to a new vet and they highly recommended the Comfortis pill. We noticed immediately the pill keeps the fleas off and it seems to work well. Either way, we had a second follow-up visit and neither visit did they indicate there were any problems with the dog. This past weekend, May 10th, our dog fell very ill. He was throwing up, started clear, went to yellow, and then pink. We took him to the emergency room and they gave him some amoxicillan, some type of injected fluid under his skin (to hydrate him), and two other types of medicine. He was doing horrible. To say the least he is doing considerably better but when the ER vet was checking him out, they indicated that his heart had a murmur. Keep in mind that neither visit (2) prior to my dog falling ill did the two different vet's at the same clinic detect a heart murmur. We took him in to his normal vet after the stint over the weekend and the vet confirmed he had a murmur. Our dog is eight years old and two months after giving the dog Comfortis, our dog now has a heart murmur. Two visits (at the same office) with two different vets, prior to the emergency incident, there was no sign of a heart murmur or any other vet visit during the life of our dog. So, I can only speculate but this is the only thing that has significantly changed in our dogs life. We do understand that he is old but the vet has concluded after x-rays and an ultra sound that he has degeneration of the valves and would like us to give the dog some medicine to see if his symptoms improve. Anyhow, I wanted to attach to this post and see if anyone else has had similar problems after giving their dog Comfortis, especially in elder dogs.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've not had experience with Comfortis, however I have had plenty of it with numerous vets who completely missed the boat on mis-diagnosis.

I had a dog, she lived to be 14 and had what a very trusted vet said was a "mild" heart murmur. She was a Shepard/Lab, about 70 pounds. It didn't cause her any problems, so I did nothing.

I may be wrong, but it's to my understanding that a murmur can be difficult to detect, even with the most experienced vets. My dog saw at least 6-7 other vets prior to the one who detected it, and none of them picked it up.

As far as the Comfortis goes, your experience is a major reason I research medications and diagnosis issues before making a decision about what to do. I want to educate myself about what is going into my dog and develop a plan. I ask tons of questions along the way, and my current vet, who I love and trust without any question, has no problem with this. Doing this has saved me tons of time, frustration and money.

It's to my understanding that most treatments for fleas have a poison in them, that's the way the fleas are killed. I did Google Comfortis and information indicates that vomiting could be a natural side effect. I didn't have time to read beyond the first blurb.

As far as fleas goes. I know I am in the minority here, but I don't have a problem with them, never have and I have three large dogs. I attribute it to the fact that they are very clean, their surroundings are clean, and they have a good diet.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 6:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for the response.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hope your dog does well. Heart murmurs can be difficult to find or they may appear as the dog ages. Is Comfortis the product that has the same ingredient as the old Pro-heart 6 injections? I know one of the new ones does but I don't recall which it is. I'm usually leary of new products until they have been on the market for a few years. A product that seems to work well as a flea repellent that is safe is Avon's Skin So Soft bath oil. mix about an ounce in sixteen of water and spray the dog with that. You may have to play with the amount to keep the dog from getting greasy and keep shaking to keep the oil/water mixed.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 9:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Valve degeneration is extremely common in dogs and is a genetic condition. The murmur has to get loud enough for someone to hear it. Sometimes other conditions such as dehydration and anemia can make existing murmurs louder, or can cause murmurs themselves. My Max has valvular degeneration, and does not have a murmur yet. I'm sure he will eventually. His last echocardiogram showed the regurgitation was less than when he was diagnosed. He is on a very low dose of a somewhat controversial medication (enalapril), and on a special diet. Since it's working so well, I'm sticking with the medication and diet.

I wouldn't expect a heart murmur with comfortis since it is an insect neurotoxin. However vomiting is the most common side effect listed on the manufacturer's label. Since your dog has recovered, does he still have a murmur?

The medication in comfortis is NOT the same as pro-heart 6. However Bayer's Advantage Multi is the new medication with moxidectin, same as pro-heart.

Here is a link that might be useful: Comfortis information

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My dog Jessup passed away last week. My point in this e-mail is to pass the word along about what happened. There as been no direct explanation for his sudden passing, but I have my suspicions.
Last Monday July 13, 2009, I took Jessup to the vet for his annual check up. He had his 3-year rabies shot, yearly physical and tests everything was perfect. There were no concerns by the vet at all for my 8-year-old mixed lab/chow dog. As I was leaving I remembered I needed more heartworm and flea medicine for him. They had a poster in the wai ting room for a new pill flea medicine called Comfortis. The vet said as long as Jessup has not had a history of seizure or heart issues he should do well with this flea medication. Jessup has never had either of these. So, I decided to try it with him because I was tired of fighting him over the liquid flea medicine each month. The vet told me to give him the medicine after he had food in his system, so on Wednesday evening as Jessup ate his dinner, I thought now is a good time to give it to him. Around 8:00 pm, I gave him his Heartguard and Comfortis pills. My husband and I went out for the evening. We returned home about midnight, Jessup acted normal and he showed no signs of side effects. Jessup slept in the bedroom with us, and around 12:30 am we all went to bed.
At 3:30 a.m. Jessup woke us up as he whimpere d and made other vocalization sounds. In the beginning, it sounded like he was having a bad dream. Occasionally, he would do this when he is in a deep sleepÂusually he will snap out of it within a minute or respond to us when we call his name by shaking his head and he goes back to sleep. Not this time his vocalizations became louder and louder.. even growling and flopping his tail around. I continued to yell his name .. at that point my husband clapped his hands and said his name repeatedly. When we realized he wasnÂt responding my husband jumped up and turned the bedroom light on. At that point, he realized he had defecated on the floor. Jessup was unresponsive and my husband could feel his heart beating rapidly. My husband pumped his chest a few times with no response. We rushed Jessup to the emergency vet office.. from our house we were there within 10 minutes.. However, he was dead on arrival.
Around 4:15 a.m. the emergency vet called the 1-800 number for Comfortis, she was hoping to receive any time sensitive information about this medicine, for instance, areas on JessupÂs body to check or fatality information about the medicine. The Comfortis operator had little to no helpful information. She told us that the company hours were at 8:00 am, she said weÂd have to call back then.
At 7:30 am I went to my regular vetÂs office. My vet contacted the company for Comfortis, which is Lilly. They offered to do a full autopsy with Jessup to see what could be determined about his death. However, the nearest university to do this was in Gainesville, which is 2 ½ hours from where we live. The company offered to pay the fees, but we had to get his body there. I was not willing to UPS my dogÂs body and we were unable to drive him ourselves, so my husband and I opted not to do the full autopsy. Also, my vet spoke with the doctor at the hospital in Gainesville. The doctor said there is very slim chance that he would find any information to directly link the medicine to my dogÂs death. Typically, these autopsy are inconclusive. My vet was able to do a brief autopsy and look for any abnormalities within Jessup that we may have been unaware of. He found nothing inside Jessup abnormal.
In conclusion, the only difference in JessupÂs life was the Comfortis medication. The emergency room vet told us she has seen dogs come in with seizure like symptoms from this medication. Typically the side effects begin after the second or third dose. She flushes their bodies out and they are fine. Never has she seen it cause death. My vet said the same thing. Since Thursday I have been researching this medication a little more in depth. I have come across about 5 stories very similar to mine, which resulted in the death of their otherwise healthy pet after the Comfortis pill has been given. Also in one of the stories I found,, Lilly paid for the full autopsy it came back inconclusive "the gray area", they called it.
Pets are a wonderful addition to a family. I cherish the memories I have with Jessup and plan to have other pets in the future. This information is just food for thought. I know some people use this medication without a problem in the world. I just wanted it to be noted about my first and only experience with it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jena, so sorry to hear about your Jessup. I never give my animals any new medications until they have proven themselves for at least a year without reported deaths. This Comfortis could be another "too good to be true" medication. I passed your story on to a friend who is treating her hard to handle dog with the Comfortis.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 10:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My dog was fine until i gave him Comfortis, he was throwing up and then he passed away. I wish i never gave him that pill. More people need to know what can happen, and should be given warnings, but the vets dont do that. I wish my dog was still here. He was part of our family.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hello, im sorry to hear about the deaths. it is worth noting that it is extremely dangerous to administer spinosad(comfortis)with ivermectin(various worm medications). death is the case in many, many cases. the correct way to administer these two medicines is two weeks apart so they can each be digested separately. after full digestion, comfortis remains in body fat for an estimated month and will not react with worm meds. it is extremely important to do research on your own because incidentally a lot of vets are just like other people who are lazy at their "jobs". many doctors, at times, forget they are dealing with lives and/or get too comfortable and don't do research/tell people things themselves. in many cases the lack of research causes death. it should also not be administered to patients with heart problems, seizures and in my opinion old age. if anything gets weak at old age its the heart(rare exceptions always of-course). much of this information can be found on the comfortis faq page which was most likely put there from the very beginning. this is sad because the simplest research, by a vet who might have just heard about this break through drug(or even paranoid k9 owner) going to the medicine's site might have saved a lot of lives. granted it does not mention death but does warn against administering those medicines together. which any responsible vet, reading that, would have investigated further. under normal, healthy dog conditions, which is the only way any medicine should be given,(without worm meds) the worst effects should be rejection of the drug by vomiting. i have observed countless dogs take this with no problem as long as there observation for side effects. as with any medicines, this should be done.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:14AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Spray to deter cat scratching woodwork
Does the spray work? I almost bought a bottle at PetCo...
doggie dementia?
My 12 yr old dog has started waking up in the middle...
? on collar for indoor cats
After my elderly Annebelle kitty died last December...
Let's see your beloved pets
We need some happy posts on this forum, so let's see...
cats - non regenerative anemia
My 10 month old cat was diagnosed on Friday with severe...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™