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Lethargic after Trifexis.

Species: Dog
Breed: Beagle
Age: 5-8 years

Thank you for your help.

My beagle, Daisy (25 lbs), ate her dose of Trifexis last night (20-40lb) around 5:30pm... and when I turned my back for a minute, she managed to eat my other dog's dose (60-120).

We were very concerned so we checked your site and read about the toxic amount, etc. We felt better after reading your responses and decided that we would monitor her ourselves instead of bringing her to the vet. She seemed to act normal... even this morning, she acted like her usual self and ate breakfast (1/2 cup).

However, now, I have noticed that she is very lethargic... she only comes to me if I lowwer my voice and act mad or if I keep calling her. She also refused a treat (which she never does), but then I tried again and she ate it. I am hoping that this is a good sign.

I called our vet and they aren't familiar with this medication (I purchase it through 1800petmeds with a prescription). They said that I can bring her in for monitoring, but my husband and I are concerned about the financial cost. I know that sounds horrible, but our other dog just had knee surgery and so we are currently paying off that and are scared of other vet bill.

I guess I am just hoping that she will be ok and wondering what I can do/if there is anything that I can do to help her? Should I allow her to rest? Keep her moving? Since she ate the meds last night, I'm assuming that it has already digested so helping her throw up would be pointless? Do you think I should take her to the vet for monitoring?

Thank you again for your help. I appreciate all your advice.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. I am getting a lot of questions about Trifexis lately!

First I'd like to re-do the math just to see what kind of dosage of Spinosad your dog has had.

So, Daisy weighs 25 lbs which is 11.4 kg.

She ate a 20-40lb Trifexis which contains 560mg of Spinosad and also a 60-120 lb tablet which contains 1620mg of Spinosad. That makes a total of 2180mg.

This translates to a dosage of 2180/11.4 = 191mg/kg.

We start to see toxic effects that we get really worried about at 500mg/kg.

What that means is that there really shouldn't be any life threatening things happening here.

The Trifexis label does indicate that some dogs can have some minor side effects such as stomach upset and lethargy. And then, there are some unusual cases where we have seen very odd side effects of stupor, lethargy and even seizures. (These don't seem to be connected to dose at all however as dogs can get them randomly even with a proper dose.)

From what you have described, I think you are ok to wait things out for a while. Here are some things that would make me want to go to the vet:

-If you are seeing tremors or seizures.
-If the lack of appetite lasts for more than 48 hours.
-If there is vomiting that just isn't stopping (i.e. more than 12 hours).
-If your gut is just telling you that something is really wrong.

In the meantime, be sure not to offer Daisy any extra treats outside of her regular dog food. We don't want to give her anything that would cause even more stomach upset. Keep her as quiet as possible and if you feel that things are getting worse then, yes, I would see the vet.

Hope she is ok!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you, Dr. Marie...

Sorry to ask, but I guess I am just worried. You mentioned tremors... what exactly do you mean by that? constant shaking? or sproadic movements? Daisy is known to cry out/shake when she sleeps... it's as if she is dreaming. I just want to make sure that I am not confusing those movements with actual tremors.

Thank you so much!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Tremors would be something you would be seeing when she is awake. Dogs will often have little episodes that look almost like seizures when they are sleeping but these are likely just dreams. If, however, when she is awake, you are seeing her legs or body shaking then I would call this a tremor.

Tremors themselves are not life threatening, but tremors can progress to seizures. Most seizures are not life threatening but they are not pleasant. If seizures are lasting a long time they can be damaging to the brain.

Hope that helps.

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you for your help. It is greatly appreciated. I will keep a close eye on her... she is sleeping right now and so I hope that she will sleep it off. I guess I just got so worried since she didn't vomit. I assumed that she would vomit the extra medication, but she didn't.

Thank you again!

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.