If your dog takes the heartworm preventative medication called Interceptor, or the heartworm and flea prevention called Sentinel, you may have trouble buying the product right now.
Novartis, the company that makes these products has stopped shipping them to veterinarians. Vets were not warned of the shortage, and many are only finding out about it when they go to re-order the products.
Novartis claims that there is no problem with either of the products. There is, however, a potential problem with the plant that manufactures them. The plant, located in Lincoln, Nebraska manufactures medications made for animals as well as several human medications. According to the Novartis website, this plant also makes the human products Excedrine, NoDoz Alertness Aid and Gas-X. Here is a statement from the website:
NCH is taking this action as a precautionary measure, because the products may contain stray tablets, capsules, or caplets from other products, or contain broken or chipped tablets.
As a result, the plant which makes these products (including the veterinary products) is closed and is currently being inspected. According to Pharmalot.com, in November this year, three other Novartis plants received a warning from the FDA for “significant violations”. It is unclear what these violations are. There are no know claims of toxicity or illnesses resulting from problems at any Novartis plants.
Novartis is hoping to get the plant up and running again
sometime in January although they have not given an exact date. (Added: We are now being told that the plant is finally up and running as of June, 2012 and we should have more product by August.) There are apparently stores of Interceptor and Sentinel already made and waiting to be shipped so hopefully, once the plant is open, it will not take long for the drugs to reach veterinarians.
If your pet is on Interceptor or Sentinel then there is no need to worry. There is no problem with the quality of these medications. There is no fear of contamination or other problems.
If Interceptor and Sentinel remain off the market for longer than expected, there are many alternatives. Ideally it is best to speak to your veterinarian to find out what heartworm and flea preventatives are recommended in your area. Many vets who normally prescribe interceptor will be prescribing a product called Heartgard instead. In regards to flea medications you can consider Revolution, Advantage Multi, Comfortis (just fleas, not heartworm) and Trifexis. In my practice we have sold a lot of Trifexis for people who want an oral heartworm/flea prevention. Unfortunately, Trifexis did go on temporary backorder (because of the high demand now that Sentinel is not available), but we have recently received a good amount of Trifexis.
Added: I have had many comments from people who do not want to give Heartgard because their dog may be an MDR1 sensitive collie breed. The concern is that Heartgard contains ivermectin. Did you know that Interceptor/Sentinel are not any safer than Heartgard for these dogs? I wrote an article about this here.
If you have been affected by this shortage, please leave a comment below! The more information we share, the better!
This is very interesting. My daughter has a double dapple dachshund that was born deaf and one eye only picks up light and is smaller than the other (microphthalmia). She had a fecal test done a last week and it came back this time with whip worm. So the vet gave her Interceptor to give him. Two days later his small eye has filled with blood. She took him to the eye specialist this morning and they feel it is due to the Interceptor killing the worms. He has two different eye drops he has to use and needs to be seen again next week.
I just wonder if the Interceptor could have possible gotten contaminated with aspirin from the analgesics they make and thinned his blood to cause his eye to bleed. That would make sense. Hummmmm Of course no one will dare say yes that is it, but it sure makes you wonder. Thank goodness he will be okay though. It was scary thinking he could be going blind.
Wow. Interesting. It definitely would make sense. However, if it was contaminated I would think it would be a small amount of aspirin. I can’t see how a single dose would cause bleeding problems. I could buy it more if it was something that was given daily.
It’s still interesting to note though. If anyone else has had issues with their pets bleeding after getting Interceptor or Sentinel, please leave a comment!
I’ve depended on Interceptor to keep my dogs whipworm/heartworm free for 2 years. I am really put out by its shortage. I need it
I’ve owned yorkshire terriers for the past 15 years. I have always given interceptor with no issue.. Due to this shortage, I was advised to give her Heartguard. I was hesitant due to ADVERSE reactions with my previous yorkie.
As predicted, my 2 year old pup became Extremely ill. Hours after one dosage her entire body was covered in a flaming red rash. She was lethargic, she had a fever. The Vet and I couldn’t come up with any other reason than this except The Heartguard medication. Nothing else made sense. My Vet had to aggressively flush out her system, give her high does of steroids and perform two separate blood profiles. She was also suffering hair loss.
She is TOTALLY an indoor dog..She did not get into anything. As far as I’m concerned I will give this DOG NOTHING until Interceptor comes back.. If it doesn’t come back– I will deal with the issue best I can. I refuse to EXPERIMENT on my dog with other heart worm drugs. I also filed a report with the FDA regarding Heartguard and it’s ADVERSE REACTIONS to this breed.
I am EXTREMELY ANGRY THAT NOVARATIS has yet to put this Drug back into the hands of people who depend on it for pet health.. Of course there are other medications out there.. Will I try another.. YOU BET I WILL NOT! Lets get going on THIS NOVARATIS. THIS IS UNFAIR and UNJUST.
Our 6 1/2 year old Rottweiler, Bear, took Interceptor through her life. In early Feb. 2012, her eyes started to droop and she lost her appetite and was low on energy. The vet initially thought it was an irritation to her eyes and gave me some eye drops. After a week of administering the eye drops, Bear continued to get worse. I took her to a different vet for a second opinion and the vet discovered bleeding in her eyes. The vet took blood from Bear to do several lab tests and prescribed an antibiotic. The blood tests came back negative for possible ailments such as Lyme disease, heartworm, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Within a week, Bears eyes completely filled with blood and she went blind, she stopped eating and at that point we decided it was time to spare Bear more suffering and put her to sleep. The vet thought it might have been Lymphoma but Bear was lacking some of the symptoms. I don’t know if the Interceptor had anything to do with the premature death of our much loved Rotti, but I’m not about to give the remaining tablets to our new dog.
My Beagle died last year in August. She was 11 but in decent health. We were on our way out of town and had dropped our dogs off at the kennel. I gave her her sentinal tab just a few hours prior. We got the call not long after dropping her off that she had died. I often wondered if the product contributed to it. It concerns me still. I have counted on this product to protect my dogs against fleas etc.for years . I’ve since switched to another form of protection for my beloved pets.
I to am put out-my beagle is a rescue and had whip worms so the Interceptor was a good fit. As it is now I have to give him that preventative in a separate medication. Additional he hates heart guard and no matter how I disguise it he spits it out..there has to be some other alternative.
No, that’s impossible there were none sold with the contaminants they stopped production completely when they found it
Just read an article from the February 1, 2012, Lincoln, NE Journal Star regarding the Novartis manufacturing plant that’s been voluntarily shut down there. It reviewed the FDA complaint against the Novartis and their plant operations and here’s an interesting quote: “Last week, the company sent a letter to veterinarians alerting them that a prescription medication for dogs that’s made at the Lincoln plant might also be contaminated.” It’s known that Interceptor and Sentinel are made at that plant, but unfortunately the article provides no specifics.
My mom had a yorkie that was taking interceptor, he was very small and recently became very sick. He died last friday . I am now wondering if that might have contributed to his death??? He was otherwise healthy.
Just received an order I placed thru Amazon.com from a company named Bargain 123, the return address name is Happy Pets. The product is Novartis Sentinel Flavor Tabs White, 51-100 lbs. When I looked at the box I noticed that the lot number had been cut out and when I looked inside each pill pocket had the lot number marked out with a black marker.
This is a big problem for me, it is impossible to check the lot number so this must be some type of unlawful sell. I plan to return the product and file a complaint with Amazon.
Good Lord Bill, I hop you have reported them already, and I wouuld look into contactin g the state Attorney General in the state it came from and find out who else to report it to!
Thank you for being a responsible and caring pet owner.
If you have not sent it back already, take a picture of what you received…and the address on the box, etc.
Bill – I also recently purchased Frontline from a company provided by Amazon. When I received the product, all the dosing information was in French. I called Merial (the maker of Frontline) and a representative told me that this was a product NOT licensed to be sold in the US. While it appeared to be the same as the US version, the representative told me that Merial would not confirm that the dosing information, etc. was the same as the US version; they also indicated that it might be a counterfeit. I sent the product back and got a refund. I also contacted Amazon but they showed absolutely NO concern – if fact, they referred me to their policy of NOT investigating or standing behind merchants who sell off their site. I learned a lesson and I do NOT purchase anything from Amazon unless it is sold by Amazon directly.
Sounds like a third party may be using the orig companies FDA# to fill prescriptions which is illegal.
You may file a complaint with the FDA for that.
– Be sure to photo copy the package & medications with the serial number which you say was marked out and keep a copy of the package it came with. Send your letter with all proof to the FDA, the Attorney General, your state health department and your States Attorney. This is serious because the package could contain outdated medications or worse, China/fake medication which does nothing. Not to mention who knows what it could be made from or contain to look like the real product.
I have used Interceptor for years and thought it was a good product. However, I am now convinced this medication caused a seizure in my Golden Retriever. My nearly 6 y.o. GR has been completely healthy, and had never had a seizure. I gave him his Interceptor on 2/22/12 as usual and on the morning of 2/28 he had a very violent seizure. The vet could not find any reason for this sudden event. We have not changed anything else in his diet, activities, etc. The Lot number for this box of medication is: 10123008 and exp date is 08/14. If anyone else has this medication with this lot number please be careful.
Gave my healthy 6 year old male yellow lab a Sentinel pill on Dec. 19, 2011 and less than 24 hours later became very ill. This was the first time ever using Sentinel for him. I brought him to the vet, but contacted Novartis right away. (filed an FDA report with Sentinel) My dog never got better after 7 long weeks and thousands of dollars spent on vet bills, which the vet could never diagnose what was wrong. To make a very long, sad story short, we ended up finding out about a university hospital 2 hours away that could maybe help. Drove our precious dog to be examined by specialists there only to be told that the best thing to do is put the dog to sleep. We put him to sleep right there and then at the university hospital. Feb. 13, 2012. That was not a good day for our family. How ironic is this, Novartis contacted me on Feb. 14, 2012 wanting to do a follow-up call on my dog’s health.
Wow!! They got an ear full of a freshly grieving heart. Thank God, we were able to contact the university in time to be able to do a necropsy on our dog. (takes 4-6 weeks) We should be getting the report back any day now. I know from the bottom of my heart that if I hadn’t given my dog that Sentinel pill, he would be alive today. (fyi: on the initial exam at the university, the doctor did notice possible bleeding behind the eyes. I noticed that someone else made a comment to you about bleeding behind the eyes of their pet from Interceptor.) If you would like for me to let you know the results from the necropsy, just let me know.
I would very much like to know what the results are. I use Interceptor, and have been contemplating switching to Parastar (from Vectra) but that is mnfd. by Novartis, so I’m 2nd thinking on that, as well as using the Interceptor again. ; I have two left from last yr. May go to Heartgard. Any suggestions? And I would love to know the results. Thank you for doing the procedure- and condolences on your guy.
I’m sorry to ask about this terrible subject, but, Anna, can you please share your dog’s necropsy results? I gave my three dogs their monthly Interceptor on Tuesday, and my 6 lb. morkie just wasn’t herself for a full 36-48 hours. Now she seems fine. I stock up on these medicines, but will happily throw it in the garbage if there’s any risk to my 3 sweet dogs.
I, too, would like to know the results. If there are dangerous drugs out there that can kill or harm our pets, will ALL need to know, and spread the word far and wide.
BTW, anyone notice the posting time to their comments? Mine is off by 4 hours. What time zone is the website in? It’s not in the USA, if the time is four hours ahead of Eastern time.
We also gave our 4-year-old Golden Retriever Interceptor this spring. About a week to 10 days after giving her the Interceptor, she had her first seizure. She has been given three doses this spring from Lot 10125778 Exp. 09/14 and each time she has had a seizure. She has never had seizures before this. She has taken Interceptor in the past without any problems, but I am now concerned about the Interceptor and will look for an alternative.
I had been giving my dog, Charley, Sentinel. On Father’s Day last year, June 19, 2010, he passed away after stopping eating for about 4 days. The vet told me he had “advanced stage of liver disease”. I am wondering if there is a causal link of the disease with the Sentinel.
I just had to reply when I read about your experience with Interceptor. I have an eleven-year old wheaton terrier who had been taken Interceptor all of her life. About a year ago our very healthy Annabelle had a violent seizure at the groomer’s. It came out of nowhere. We initially thought that because of the anxiety she feels at the groomers and the fact that she was getting older was probably the cause. Once the seizure was over, she was back to her bubbly and playful self. The vet said she seemed healthy, noticed an arythmia, and that it may never happen again. Soon Annabelle experienced 3 more seizures. Off to a heart specialist we went. The heart specialist indicated that Annabelle had had a heart attack about 5 months ago. She’s now on heart medicine and phenobarbitol to prevent the seizures, but is back to her old bubbly self.
My husband and I had wondered if the Advantix that she had been on had somehow caused the seisures or the heart problem. The vet specialist said ‘no.’ We never asked about the Interceptor, but now we obviously are very concerned.
Has anyone else experienced either seizures or heart problems with their dogs with either one of these drugs? Any help is welcome. Thanks.
My wife is a vet and we operate a house call practice and used Interceptor exclusively for years. No client has ever reported any seizure, heart issues, etc. We wonder if some of the “reactions” were due to previously undiagnosed conditions.
We like Interceptor over products containing Ivermectin as we don’t need to worry about giving it to Collie type dogs.
The only “issue” anyone has ever mentioned is vomiting intestinal worms which is to be expected since Interceptor kills the worms.
I have 2 4.5 pound chihuahuas from the same litter. It has been a warm winter as you know and my long haired had a few ticks. I put k9 advantix on him 2 months in a row. The first month his sister had a seizure one week after application (she uses him as a chew toy), we could not figure out what caused it, the vet did bloodwork and it was all good. The next month I did his application and she had another seizure a few days later. They have taken interceptor since 11/2009. The only new thing was the k9 advantix. I stopped using it, I gave them their interceptor last month and no problems. I did find a broken pill in my pack though. Also I gave a friend 2 pills for her 2 chihuahuas who are kin to mine and she sexperienced no problems. Hope this helps!
My collie has been on Interceptor for four years. She is now ten. Prior to that, her breeder did not give it to her. Most of that time she was in Florida, part of it in New York.
I am now concerned. Hearing all these reports. She was a bundle of energy when we got her. After about 6 months she became very quiet and laid back. This past year the vet said it is her age creeping up on her. I never agreed. She has her moments of energy, then goes back to sleep in a closet. Her annual health exam and blood work is always perfect.
I would love to know if there is an alternate and safer way to protect her from heartworm. The mosquitoe is the culprit, is there anything I can rub or spray on her coat to protect her from mosquitoes? I protect myself from them with apple cider vinegar. In the meantime, we do everything to protect her. Never walk her when the mosquitoes are out. Even while on the Interceptor. I am very concerned about giving it to her. Is heartworm a nation wide concern?
Thank you, Karen
We also have a collie very dear to us. She will be 3 years old in a couple of weeks and has always taken Interceptor. We have not noticed any problems and hold our breeder in high esteem whom advised this heartworm preventative. Now that Interceptor cannot be found we are worried about alternatives as collies cannot have anything with Ivermectin in them and most substitutes seem to have that ingredient! I keep looking though…..
I I generally prescribe Interceptor when dogs are found to be positive for whip worms because it prevents maturation of immature whip worms and therefore prevent re-infesation from the environment.
Neither Interceptor nor Heartgard (nor any of the generic knock off s) have a sufficient amount of Ivermectin (nor milbemycin) to be of a danger to any of the breeds that may have multi-drug resistant (MDR-1) gene defects, even if they are heterozygous for the MDR-1 gene.
Just keep in mind that the anecdotal evidence presented in many of these posts very well may not be related to the administration of the medications stated and may have well occurred in spite of, not as a result of the medication administered. A wise clinician has said “temporal correlation is not causation”.
Milbemycin is effective at killing circulating microfilaria with a single standard dose, whereas ivermectin is not, so dogs positive for heartworm microfilaria may have an adverse reaction after a dose.
I see a common thread through out all of these posts and that would be the general use of some kind of pesticide, whether oral or topical. People, you must remember these are not “prescription drugs” they are “prescribed pesticides” if you were to constantly apply off onto your skin everyday for years I am sure you would have health isssues in the future. (Liver failure, cancer, heart problems, ect.)Do I have an answer to keep our pets safe from internal parasites, no I wish I did but you must remember that you are admistering a pest killer into your dogs body and if it helps ease your consience to think of it as safe, then by all means be my guest. Flea meds I use when I see them and like the rest of us who love our pets I do use heart worm prevention every other month.
My one and half yr. old collie has always been on interceptor and I am so afraid to try anything else because they told me it was important to only give him interceptor. My vet in now recommending “Tryflexes and Advantage Multi”. I think I am going to go with the Advantage Multi because they said that has interceptor in it. Hope it’s alright.
Interceptor should never be given to Collies. I have known that since the early 90s. I can’t believe your vet didn’t tell you that! That is awful! I know this because any time I purchased Heartworm medication, they asked my breed and said Collies could not take it.
Interceptor is perfectly safe for collies. The level of Ivermectin is not even close to toxic levels.
Interceptors ingredients do not contain Ivermectin
The anti-heartworm ingredient in Interceptor and Sentinel is milbemycin oxime, not ivermectin!
Gosh…thanks guys. I’m not sure where my brain was when writing that. I was thinking of Heartgard. Heartgard has ivermectin but in tiny amounts and is safe even for collies with the defective MDR1 gene. Interceptor does indeed contain milbemycin and not ivermectin. Sorry for the confusion.
Just wanted to clear up the confusion even more. I wrote a separate article about Heartgard vs Interceptor for ivermectin sensitive breeds: Is Heartgard safe for ivermectin sensitive collies?
I read the latest updates, and they say that the normal dose should not cause toxicity even in Collies and Border Collies with the mrd1 mutant gene.
I did not mean to worry you, but I think your topical ideas are a good idea. Heartworm disease is so serious that I am leary of not taking any pills though. It is such a hard decision to protect your pet with un-natural things. I am going through the same thing with all of the ticks. I want to use Frontline, but I am hesitant.
I have a Border Collie and she has been on it all her life without any problems. So I don’t understand what the problem is all about!
I just had a checkup for my Rough Collie today and my vet is out of Sentinel of course, but he did have Interceptor. I am irritated because Interceptor does not contain flea control like Sentinel does, so I have to purchase flea control separately = double the cost. He has plenty of Heartgard, of course, but I refuse to give my dog any product with Ivermectin in it. I’ve heard both sides of the MDR1 gene and Rough Collies story and just decided not to take the chance of harming my Collie–or finding out the hard way. I am assuming the Interceptor I bought is not contaminiated, as I have no other helpful choice after that. I was able to get enough of it for my dog till June. It is my understanding that Incerceptor does NOT contain Ivermectin. I have double-checked the ingredients online as well. I do not see Ivermectin in Interceptor. If I am wrong, someone please post a credible link that will show me this before I give this to my dog.
Hopefully Novartis will clean up its act. I have read FDA report articles –and it wasn’t good. Novartis may have a long way to go before they open that plant in Lincoln again based on what I read.
Has Novartis started making Interceptor again?
Read your instructions. Sentinel does not protect from fleas.
Sentinel is definitely labelled for flea prevention. It doesn’t kill an adult flea but it sterilizes flea eggs and generally is a very good preventative.
Interesting… I didn’t find out about this until today when I went to get more Sentinel for my dogs from my vet. Makes me wonder, as I can’t forget the night I gave my dog his pill a little over a year ago, and in the middle of the night he had his one and only seizure, he screamed and then went limp and seemed to be dead, was just totally limp and unresponsive for several seconds or a minute. The vet was kind of at a loss to what really happened, and said it was possible his heart skipped a few beats, and his tests at the e-vet came back ok. I’m sure this quality control issue isn’t brand new, so I just wonder if something could have gotten mixed in that pill?
It looks to me like they shut the plant down after substantial warnings and opportunities to fix it. They ignored consumer complaints about finding another medication mixed in with their intended medication for at least 3 years. And the potential mix-ups could be deadly. But they ignored and blamed every single one on the consumer that purchased the drug. Most of these mix-ups involved some form of Exedrin, but the same machines that made, sorted and packaged this Over the Counter product also manufactured DEA Schedule II meds (opiates!). I won’t be using these products any more and am switching my dog’s flea and heartworm medications permanently. Here is a link to a Forbes article with links to the DEA’s findings: http://www.forbes.com/sites/edsilverman/2012/01/10/254/
Because I always have at least a 6 month supply of Interceptor at hand, I’ve just now found out about this. I have 4 dogs, and prefer Interceptor to Heartguard because it is a small pill, that I can put down each dog’s throat, and know they ate the whole thing. Heartguard I only know as chews, which they may or may not like… then how do I get them down their throats?
I wish Novartis would have been more responsible and shifted their production earlier, or fixed their problems in their plant. I do not want to lose a dog to heartworm.
I would be careful with Frontline Plus. We discussed options for flea and tick protection and heart worm with our vet. He prescribed our 3 month old pup Heartgard and Frontline. Immediately after her second month application of Frontline Plus, she started acting “off”. Wouldn’t eat, no energy, just not herself at all. Approx. 24 hours later she had a seizure – just shaking and glazed over eyes, etc. My husband suggested she might have gotten into a poison and so we were headed to the emergency vet. Then we remembered we had given her Frontline Plus the day before. So, we jumped online and found out that MANY people have had issues similarly with it. On the Amazon forums under FP, there are fifty-six (56) pages of people telling about their issues with it. The remedy suggested was to was your dog in Dawn as it contains an ingredient that cuts through the oily deposit of the FP. We did this and within 30 minutes we had a bouncy puppy back. It was nothing short of miraculous. Others have not been so fortunate. I would use this product with extreme caution. We have no idea what to do next as the vet is saying there is likely no relationship to the FP and the seizure. My gut tells me otherwise. He recommended Sentinel, but of course we can’t get that. It is very frustrating that in trying to protect your dog, you make them ill. Any suggestions for natural flea remedies are much appreciated.
We found a product for fleas and ticks from our holistic vet called Vetri-Repel Flea & Tick Wipes made by Vetri Science. Made from natural oils, it is applied to your pet’s fur. Active ingredients are Lemongrass Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Sesame Oil, Castor Oil.
There is nothing in that list of ingredients that will kill fleas! If it was that easy I’d have all of my patients on a natural product.
There is something natural you can get at any gardening store. It’s called diatomaceous earth. It’s used for killing ants, roaches, etc.. You can actually rub this material into your dogs coat and it will kill fleas naturally. I’ve used it and it works.
Has anyone tried Trifexis which has the same ingredients as in Comfortis and Interceptor? My Australian Shepherd cannot have products with Ivermectin and also has the MDR
I have 2 Aussies. After using Trifexis the first month, he began limping. I took hime to the vet and they put him on anti inflammatories. He improved. Second month gave him Trifexis the limp has returned. I won’t use it again for him. The other Aussie seems fine.
Since Interceptor is not available and Novartis does not know when it will be available, has anyone tried Trifexis which has the same ingredients as in Comfortis and Interceptor?
My vet has always recommended Interceptor, now that it is unavailable, they are recommending Triflexes or Advantage Multi. Which one would you suggest is the better and closet to Interceptor?
Here it is, April 17th and I am still unable to get Sentinel. I thought they were going to be able to ship back in January.
Makes me wonder what else is wrong with the plant, that they still aren’t open. Also why is the medication $12 a pill? I feel totally gouged. Is there a holistic preventative for fleas and heart worm? Its scary putting my dogs health in the hands of people who are just looking at the dollar signs.
My collies are on interceptor and cannot take Heartguard. A reminder should be posted for collie owners that Heartguard can be dangerous for some dogs. What would a good alternative be for my two rough collies.
Heartgard is still safe for collies even with the defective MDR1 gene. For collies with the defective gene, a dose of 100ug/kg of ivermectin will be toxic. Heartgard generally delivers 6ug/kg and will not cause problems.
Did they CHANGE Heartguard make up? As it HAS killed Aussies in the past?
I also can’t find any vets that have Interceptor. Since I have collies. It is all I use. My dogs have never had problems with it.
There is a DNA test available to see if your collie has the defective gene. Washington State University
Some of this information would not apply to collies and would most likely not be approved by your vet.
My westie is 13 years old. We have been using Interceptor since she was a puppy. I think I have about 2 tablets left in her supply. Will finish it off as she has never had a problem with it. I will start using Heartgard plus once it is done. Other than normal age isuues , she remains in good health. I use 1800petmeds for many of her supplements and prescriptions. Through them, I knew about the Novartis issue before my vet ‘s office was aware. They also offer great customer service !
Have used Frontline Plus and Interceptor since my westie was a puppy. She is now 13 years old. Thankfully, never had a problem with either product. Like people, I wonder if some dogs don’t react well to certain meds due to their chemical make-up and sometimes it is a matter of finding the right medication for that particular pet ?
What are your felings on Trifexis – I suspect it may be causing illness in my corgi-spaniel mix. I have read many really bad sotries so far on this new treatment.
My 2 year old Lab did not do well with Comfortis which it an ingredient in Trifexis. She was very, very lethargic for 3 days. I will not use it again.
any eta on when sentinel will be avalable again need to purchase sentinel or a replacement by the 20 th of May .
on hold with novarrtis. 1st person transferred me. 2nd is nice man who is trying to get me to the pet division.
ok, Here is what I was told.
1. (Can I order direct from Novartis?) Answer: Novartis ONLY sells to vets. My concern here is……. how are these ‘cheaper’ places getting the stuff?
2. Pet division person has not had complaints from vets. The ones they did get seemed to be from folks who got the meds from other places. The concern here being, How was the stuff stored? etc. I do know that some human meds can become harmful if not stored properly. If this product is exposed to extremes of heat or cold for much time is it possible that it also goes bad?
3. they are pretty much rebuilding the plant. But the product lines of sentinel and intercepter were not ones that were an issue as they are blister packs and those lines were cleared. They are being replaced/modified anyway as a precaution.
So, while it is cheaper to go online, I am going to opt for the higher vet bill and be safe. I would rather not give any of it to my dog as we went years without using anything and our dogs never got heartworm. But since out dog came from a rescue and they are rather insistent, we will use them. Even though our Dal is arthritic and only travels within our yard we are mandated to continue using some prevention.
Went to the vet today to purchase Interceptor, and was told they can’t get it anymore. I gave my dogs the last Interceptor I had on May 1, so I don’t have much time to do research on an alternative before June 1 arrives. My vet suggested ProHeart injecton, but I’m afraid of it. As I am putting medicine of any kind in my dogs mouths, I look into their eyes and can only pray that I am giving them the right thing. They have never had a problem with Interceptor, and I was comfortable with giving it to them. They have been on it for 12 years. Now, not knowing what to give them and if they will have a reaction to whatever it is, I can’t help but be very nervous. I just wish the plant would have been more careful in the manufacturing of their products, and then all of us wouldn’t be going through this anguish of not knowing what to do.
Prohart has been recalled for being toxic in the past. Check out the FDA’s site and put in Prohart 6. I would go with Hartgard as a next resort. Everything else seems to have such toxicity!
I have a rough collie and had his DNA tested for the mutant MDR-1 gene through Washington
State Univ. veterinary school. They send a kit to swab their gums, you send it back and within two weeks I received the results. Happily he has the normal MDR-1 gene and they said he should be fine to take ivermectin and some other drugs that he may need in the future if necessary. It’s a relief to know this. Also my vet was very pleased to have the info too. I found the address on a Collie health website.
I too have used Interceptor for year on my Bassets and never had any problems. Had a one time terrible reaction years ago with Ivermectin and will never use it for any dog. For flea and tick control I use Springtime Garlic Powder for Horses. It’s cheaper than their Garlic tablets for dogs and it works great. This Bug Off Garlic makes your feeding time smell like Italia, but it’s worth it. The tablets are really terrific if you have small or a few dogs, but I have 7 Bassets and for me it was just too expensive to give that way. Fortunately my Bassets have little objection to the powdered garlic in their food. It does work, regardless of what anyone might think . Look for Springtime Inc. on th web. I have only 2 months of Interceptor left and am in a panic. I hate to put any new ingredient in their systems…Trifexis seems to be the only alternative.
look up IMHA in dogs. some causes for this is yearly shots flea meds use on skin or pill form heartworm meds some medications and tick bites bee stings stress sometimes can not find a reason for IMHA i think our pets deserve safe meds safe shots safe food look at all the pet food recalls another 2007 is up on us. if it is unsafe foe a human to handle the pet food it surely isn’t safe for a pet to eats same goes for the shots and meds if it can cause a very serious disease as IMHA something needs to be fixed some where. heartworms are serious business but IMHA is one disease a vet or pet owner doesn’t want to see either it is the most deadly thing a vet has to treat and face with a pet.it just seems things have gotten out of hand for pets and human safety on so many things where medication shot and food.how can we trust or believe in any company?anyone can look up IMHA that is something pet owners do not know anything about until it hits home with their pet. the signs are online and the reasons for IMHA.
I am wondering about Trifexis as I read several postings on other sites noting problems with seizures, as well. Also I was told that it has another drug that is for flea control. I don’t have any problems with fleas (thankfully), and don’t really want to give drugs that they don’t need. I have 2 Australian shepherds. I just sent for the cheek swab kits so will be doing this, too. I was told that I could also use Revolution, but am concerned about this as it is a topical, and also has other drugs in it that we don’t need. Does anyone have any input on any of this?
2 months ago we gave Sentinel to our mixed bread Boston Terrier/Pug and we almost lost her. Within hours she began limping and then took her to vet later that day. She became very cold and whole body limp. She was crashing. Vet rushed her in back, gave fluids, ran tests, kept her a couple nights. When we picked her up she was more or less fine, except for a foot that would not auto correct if curled under. But now she is perfectly fine. She definitely had some type of toxic exposure. Vet said it was not the Sentinel, but I’m not so sure. Gave her Heartguard last month. I have Sentinel, but not sure I should try it again. What do y’all think?
I purchased Interceptor today at my local Target store. It is one of the medications that they have in their Pet Med brochure. It was actually cheaper in price than what I paid for from the vet. My vet seems to think it is fine to give it to my dog, and she is also a diabetic. So if you can’t get it from your vet and you have a Target near you with a pharmacy in it, they will probably have it. I just bought a years supply.
Are you sure it was Interceptor? Interceptor is supposed to be only sold through vets.
My dog is a collie breed. I did an online search to look for availability during the shortage. A company from Australia has Interceptor Spectrum. What is the difference? Is this a safe alternative?
I have used interceptor since moving onto a farm due to my big dog constantly getting whipworm if he doesn’t get it. When we lived in town, we used heartguard. Since interceptor is a no go, we switched to trifexis as he has to have whipworm protection. The other two dogs have never had an issue with worms. Then again, the boy will eat any darn thing. No issues with trifexis, but just know, it does not prevent ticks. You still have to watch out for those, and I hear it’s gonna be a bad year for them around here in KYdue to the overly mild winter
I’ve used Sentinel for years….I give it to my 4 dogs May thru October & then switch to Heartguard October thru May…..this has worked wonderfully & have never had any ill effects. Now I can’t get the Sentinel & Revolution was recommended to use in its place. I’ve never used this before & frankly, I don’t have much faith in topical treatments. Will this protect my dogs from heartworms, as well as keep the fleas at bay? I have been so happy with the Sentinel, even tho’ with 4 dogs, its quite pricey, but it has worked so well, I feel its worth it.
Any news as to when Sentinel might be available again?
I saw a couple people asking about trifexis, and thought I would throw in my two cents. Both my doxi/beagle and jack russell are on it, and that is the only thing that I have found to actually kill flers without giving my dogs a rash. before I started them on it, one of them was having a horrible reaction to his fleas and nothing else was working, but as soon as I gave him this, poof no more itching, and his bumps went away within a few days. However, I have read that some people have had their dog vomit shortly after taking it (without eating a bowl of food before hand), and I just wanted to let everyone know that my vet suggested for then to eat first, and I had no problems at all with their behavior.
I just called Novartis (1-800-332-2761)and got their recording about the shortage. They referred people to http://www.petwellness.com for updates online. Production halt is temporary, but they don’t give any date as to resuming production. Keep your fingers crossed that it will be soon!
I had two dogs on interceptor for years. One had whip worms, which is why they were both put on it. I have never had any issues with either dog, one a poodle mix, the other is a bichon. I had just started my new dog, a terrior mix on it too. I have had two vets tell me the likleyhood of them getting/reinfected with whip worms is very low and they recommended heart guard. They both said heart guard will pay (at least a portion) of your vet bills if your dogs are infected with whip worm. I was also told trifexis has the same ingredients as interceptor, but is much more expensive, and we would still have to use something for ticks which just adds to the cost.
Regarding the interceptor and collies.. As a collie breeder i was devistaed to know that interceptor stopped production, was even further devisted when January came and went and still nothing. Just recently i ran out ( owning 5 it runs out fast even at the 2 month supply) i was ordering through pet meds and well they no longer have it either.. So upon going to the vet and doing reseach i reluctanly went to heartguard both vets said it was safe in the HW preventitve doseage.. I even went to WSU MDR 1drug list and it said the same thing.. And upon reading further milabycin used as the main ingrediant in interceptor is also on the No!No drug list but again says in HW preventitve it is safe…only ivermection in high doseage for treating mange or over dosing on HWP will cause toxicicity.. What i was stunned to learn that milabycin is a type of ivermection its on the no no list as well as ivermection and says the same thing about the dosge. So, after the vet suggested try 1/2 dose first see how it goes. Well, i just did 1 dog this morning just in case…all but 1 of my dogs is M/M the other 1is M/N i gave it to one who is M/M.. And keeping her close by all day.. I did it early so if any type of reaction i can get her right to the vet. I am hoping interceptor is back up and running by the end of June which is what i heard…
I use a pill splitter to split the Interceptor pills into pieces. The level of the heartworm killer Milbemycin Oxime in Interceptor is about 5 times the amount recommended by the FDA for killing heartworms. The reason they put so much more of it in the pills is because it takes that much more to also kill intestinal parasites. I want to use it only as a heartwormer, so I split the pills. Novartis also has FDA approval for “Safeheart” which is a low dosage of milbemycin oxime just for use as a heartwormer. But that product is not available in the U.S. So, if you still have some Interceptor and don’t need to kill intestinal worms, but just want heartwormer, you can extend your supplies by cutting the pills.
It’s not recommended to split these pills. There’s no way of knowing how much medicine is in each half as it is not necessarily divided equally amongst the whole pill.
Does anyone use the Safeheart dose of Trifexis? We were using the Safeheart dose of Interceptor (rounding up to give full sized tablets) plus Advantix II in the summer.
I asked our vet but she’d prefer we use the full dose Trifexis and stop Advantix II.
Any word on Sentinel becoming available yet? I’ve been using Trifexis as a substitute for my three small dogs. Having problems because the pill is larger.
We still don’t have any here. 🙁 I’ll update the article as soon as I have more info.
OK, what now? We’ve been warned about “china ingredients” in dog food and have eliminated any “treats” from that county. However, we understand almost 90% of all supplements, canine and human, is controlled by China. We have four Italian Spinone males; 11, 10, 9 and8. They have been on Interceptor for all those years. My supply is ending this month and, having attempted to replenish our stock, now find out about the plant not operating and reading the devastating news experienced by some of the posters here. We’ve been fortunate but now we’re scared to death
I’ce depended on interceptor for the last 18 years with my Golden Retreivers. My present male is unable to tolerate Ivermectin so Heartgard is no solution! Called Drs
Foster & Smith today and was told they have a small supply available, for a higher cost! Lucky, I have 7 months worth packed away but see Novartis is talking about
January 2013 for Production/shipment. Got us by the Heartworms!
I hope they start producing the interceptor again. I have four dogs and the Trifexis is more expensive. Three of my dogs don’t like the taste of Trifexis. Plus, the flea killing part of the Trifexis hasn’t been effective and I still have to buy flea preventitive.
Interesting. Trifexis really should be better flea control than Sentinel. I haven’t heard any complaints about efficacy.
My dogs are 2yrs and 1yr old and both have been on sentinel and k9 advantix II now as of today we just left vet for their yearly rabies vaccines and other vaccinations and check stool and heartworms etc…neg for parasite in stool and neg for heartworms so apparently these have been working for my girls and now next month are to start the trifexis and was told wouldnt need k9 advantix II unless we have a tick problem and we have alot of ticks where we live . Has anyone had a problem with the Trifexis also my girls do not like to chew the pill and was told i will have to crush the trifexis into food. If anyone has any good tips on giving them this new pill I would greatly appreciate it. thank you
I was told that Trifexis has treatment for both fleas and ticks, as well as the various worms. You might want to check into that so that you don’t give your dogs even more as create another problem. There are a variety of ideas to give a pill so you might just do a web search. Fortunately I’ve not had a problem as my dogs have always done well with pill. Good luck.
Trifexis is excellent for fleas and heartworm, but is not labelled for ticks. There was one study done that I am aware of (sorry I can’t find the reference) that showed some tick effectiveness but it didn’t last very long.
My Lab eats anything but he HATES the taste of Trifexis –even buried in peanut butter so I have to find something else. The Trifexis pills are huge and have a terrible smell.
Meg on May 27 talked about Interceptor Spectrum. She asked what the difference was and if it was safe. I have read that it has Praziquantel to kill tapeworms. I looked up this drug and haven’t found anything that indicates that it is unsafe, but most of what I have read is from sites who evaluated it as a treatment for an actual tapeworm infestation in dogs, not as a regular monthly “preventative” treatment. I have read on other sites who sell it that it is made by Novartis and marketed in Australia, where dog tapework infestation must be more of a problem than in the U.S.
Also, I haven’t seen your answer, Dr. Marie. I see the note that you don’t answer questions about anyone’s pets in the comments section, so I will also enter a separate question.
My dog has been using sentinel for 14 years with no problems. Now it’s hard to find another product that would be the same effect on my pet. she could get complications from a new product. Hope sentinel product comes back soon…
I was at Sams club today and they have Interceptor available. My vet can’t get it still and he called the manufacturer and they said that they have “no earthly idea” where Sams got their interceptor from. I will be picking some up today, July 10.
I was told by a person who works at Novartis that Sentinel is going to go into production before Interceptor. I don’t know whether this implies that they will quit making Interceptor altogether. That was in June and I don’t think they had an availability date then. I was left with the impression that it would be fall at the earliest.
I, too, had not heard that milbemycin oxime was also dangerous. I’ve had my aussies on interceptor since getting my first one in the 1990s. I was told recently that Interceptor is safe for puppies under six months but that Heartguard is not so that is another reason for choosing one over the other. I don’t know about Trifexis.
Thanks for leaving a comment. I wanted to point out though that the point is not that milbemycin is dangerous, but rather that it is not any safer than ivermectin when it comes to collies. With that being said, both ivermectin and milbemycin are totally safe for dogs, even with the MDR1 gene mutation. I wrote an article to clear up the confusion (hopefully), here: Ivermectin and collies.
I have had my greyhound on Interceptor, and now with it not available I am not sure what to give her. Everything I have looked at is a lot more expensive, and I want to make sure that what I give her is safe for a greyhound. Please advise
Most of my patients that were formally on Interceptor have switched to Heartgard. Your vet should be able to recommend the best choice for you though.
My veterinarian is suggesting Heartguard for my collies and I”m concerned, because I’ve given Heartguard to other collies I’ve had as a trial and it made them sick for a few days. Never had that happen with the interceptor….
I do have Heartguard also for two other dogs who aren’t collies. I’ve got enough for August (I stockpiled when the shortage started), and then I don’t know what… I hope it’s available.
Heartgard is totally safe for Collies. I’ve written about this here.
My two-year old westie does beautifully on Interceptor. Beginning of July at his annual well exam, we decided to have the 6-month heartworm injection (as it wasn’t going to cost us an extra office visit charge because he was there anyway). Zero issue with the injection (which covers everything but whipworms). Will decicde in December which to continue with.
I just found out last week about Sentinel no longer being available. My vet’s office said it is gone and not coming back. I am just sick over this news. I used Sentinel for all of my dogs for many, many years, and I thought it was an excellent product. My vet’s office sold me Advantage Multi For Dogs instead, a topical. I am NOT happy. I have NEVER like topicals and have always avoided them. My dogs have never liked topicals or flea collars.
For one thing, I worry that my Lab, who is bathed at least once a month, will not benefit from a topical. For another thing, I worry about topicals and cancer. Let’s face it, cancer can get a toehold very easily in any number of ways. Why use something on the skin that could easily open the door to cancer??
I am sincerely distraught. I do not know what to do that is best for my Lab. I really do not want to use this topical, but I do not know what else to do. I am already dreading the thought of having to wrestle down an 80 lb. Lab to put this potentially cancerous elixir on her poor body. Animals have rights, too! If I were an animal and someone put this crap on my skin, I would not like it anymore than my dog does! What is wrong with these drug companies anyway that they cannot keep a good product going and keep introducing this stuff that so many of us do NOT want to use?
In December 2010 Novartis Animal Health announced a “temporary shutdown” of the animal health products at its Lincoln NE plant. I don’t know of any company that would let the production of a sucessful product lapse 9 months unless it was not profitable, or not profitable enough. I therefore conclude that Novartis has permanently ceased production of Interceptor.
I have 2 Lhasas, age 7, and both have been on Interceptor and Sentinal since pups. I went to the vet for Interceptor and learned of the shortage. I was too nervous to give them any alternative before I researched it. Out of desperation, I ordered from Amazon.com. Prior to purchase, the seller assured me these were American made and safe per the Novartis shutdown, etc. Now I’m nervous again to give them these pills re: comments made here (damned if I do, damned if I don’t lol). I have ALWAYS bought my meds from the Vet but I was desperate. I can’t find anything through google searches about lot numbers/exp dates of affected Interceptor… Can anyone enlighten me? Thank-you.
I forgot to include the lot number and exp dates of the Interceptor I just bought on Amazon.com
Lot #: 10124403
This is the 6 pack, green box for dogs and puppies 11-25 lbs, cats and kittens 1.5-6lbs.
What if you are taking NoDoz? Will I be heartworm free now?
Interceptor Spectrum is avilable in Australia and Canada but not the US. Any idea’s why?
As of September, the vet I take my Yorkshires to still has no idea when they will receive more Sentinel. We have been giving our oldest Yorkie Sentinel and Frontline without any problems at all. She is now taking Heartgard for heartworm prevention in addition to the Frontline. She hasn’t had any adverse reactions to this, however the Frontline alone is not controlling the fleas. So now I have to give them Capstar to kill the active fleas. Can’t wait until I can get Sentinel again!
My Female Lab 12 years old died in May 2012. She was taking Interceptor and it appears that she bled out from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. X rays showed no Mass anywhere and she had blood in her stool. If interceptor was contaminated with Aspirin it could have caused this. One dose of aspirin can be fatal to a dog. My male Lab almost died from one dose of an NSAID pain reliever but we got him a transfusion in time and he is now OK
I just went to the vet for my monthly ration of Sentinel. They were finally out and said they would not receive any until January. They did, however have Interceptor and were willing to give me a six month supply. I am tempted to go back to the old ivermectin. I can get enough of that to last for every dog I will have for the rest of my life for about the same price.
My dog has has fleas for 2 months ! We have used advantage multiple 3 times and have clean our home extensively ! Used 2 cans of the spray bought from the vet but still have fleas 🙁 I haven’t seen fleas in our home but my mother has visited on 3 separate occasions and has reported bites 🙁 my daughter has few bites but myself and my husband do not. Whether it be the thoughts of fleas or not I am constantly itching!
What can I do until I can get sentinel??
My chocolate lab was on Interceptor up until Jan 2013. The vet now put her on Trifexis. My girl will chew just about anything but she would not eat this pill. She smelled it and quickly went away from it. I gave it to her in her food and she became ill shortly after. She laid around for a week and still seems sluggish. She has never had a oral flea protection. It has always been Frontline Plus. Now I am worried to use the Frontline Plus as I don’t want to overdose her, but I do want her to be protected from Ticks. Is there a heartworm pill that’s available without flea protection. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated because I am very concerned about Trifexis. Thank you.
This is a year out of date and the meds are still not available. I would say dead deal by now.
Was told by my Vet that Sentinel had started producing again but didn’t know when product would arrive at their office…that was back in October, 2012. My dogs are now on Heartgard and Vectra 3D for flea control. Really not comfortable with this flea control and haven’t read anything in your comments about it…is it safe? Does anyone know if Sentinel will ever be available again?
My Irish Terrier has Demodectic Mange and the only medication that has been shown to keep it under control is Interceptor. My Vet in the UK can only source 5.75mg pills (she needs 11.25mg) at £50 for 8 pills because the supplier happens to have 20 boxes available. To get her back on an even keel with an intense session followed by a maintenance dose i will need all of those boxes which will last her for a 6 months treatment: that’s a £1000.00 or USD1500.00 for 6 months. i don’t begrudge the dog but when i have been able to get the pills from Italy for €150 for the equivalent i really do begrudge the suppliers. what else is there that can treat the mite, topical is either useless or the side effects so severe to render it unusable for a dog.
My dog had mange for his first year. Liquid ivermectin given in a syringe helped but ultimately it seemed to subside after he was neutered. You can get ivermectin in most feed supply stores.
When the Interceptor was not available my vet just switched the Rx to Heartgard for my border collie and 2 shelties. Within days of taking the Heartgard my female sheltie began having seizures and died less than 48 hours later. If you have a herding breed dog DO NOT ALLOW YOUR VET TO MAKE THIS SUBSTITUTION. The active ingredient in Heartgard, Ivermectin, has been proven to cause catastrophic reactions such as the one that killed a very healthy female sheltie.
I’ve used Sentinel for my Doberman Pinschers for years. All of them have been on it. I ran out last May (2012) and was unaware of the cease in production. At that time I was desperate to find it and to no avail. I am hopeful that we find it and that they started back up. We cannot use any topical as one has a skin condition and gets bathed 2x a week. Does anyone know if it’s out there again???? We have been unprotected and need this product ASAP.
My vet said she ordered some Sentinel yesterday and would be here by the end of the week or next week, and that the price would be even less than it used to be.
I have used Interceptor for over 25 years on all my Pomeranians without a problem. My dog HATES HEARTGUARD, spits it out like it’s poison, I disguised it in liverwurst, which he loved, now he won’t touch liverwurst with or without it. He vomits like clockwork the day after I finish cutting it up in tiny slices and forcing hi to take it. I am done, this med stinks! I am going to investigate homeopathic alternatives. Someone recommended Dr Andrew Jones website to me, he’s an alternative medicine Vet in Canada.
I have used Interceptor for over 25 years on all my Pomeranians without a problem. My dog HATES HEARTGUARD, spits it out like it’s poison, I disguised it in liverwurst, which he loved, now he won’t touch liverwurst with or without it. He vomits like clockwork the day after I finish cutting it up in tiny slices and forcing him to take it. I am done, this med stinks! I am going to investigate homeopathic alternatives. Someone recommended Dr Andrew Jones website to me, he’s an alternative medicine Vet in Canada.
We need Interceptor back for our lab mix. He had whip worms when we rescued him 3 yrs ago, so they still may be in our soil. Also, he has reactions to all the flea preventives because of the pesticides in them, so we switched to garlic with the chemical removed that is harmful to dogs. So they could only offer Heatguard.