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Woof in Advertising: Trifexis

This ad for Trifexis depicts a dog living in a bubble — albeit it one that’s outside and has plenty of tubes to run around in.

It serves to protect him from heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, flea infestations and all those other frightening hazards that exist in that place where dogs, for centuries, managed to survive:


What we find most interesting about it, though, are the disclaimers, which seem to have risen with doggie prescription drugs to the same level they have with human ones, where three-fourths of the advertisement are devoted to a listing of potential scary side effects, quickly recited in monotone, in hopes you — or your dog — won’t really hear them.

With Trifexis, it goes like this: “Treatment with fewer than three monthly doses after the last exposure to mosoquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. The most common adverse reactions were vomiting, itching and lethargy. Serious adverse reactions have been reported following concomitant extra-label use of ivermectin with spinosad alone, one of the components of Trifexis.”

On top of the warnings recited, more appear in small print during the ad:

“To ensure parasite protection, observe your dog for one hour after administration.”

“If vomiting occurs within an hour of administration, give another full dose.”

“Puppies less than 14 weeks of age may experience a higher rate of vomiting.”

In their print ads, the makers of Trifexis additionally advise the drug be used with caution in breeding females, and in dogs with epilepsy. Its use in breeding males has not been evaluated. Print ads also list lethargy, depression, decreased appetite and diarrhea as possible side effects.

The chewable, beef-flavored tablets — administered once a month — are a combination of spinosad and milbemycin oxime, and they serve to prevent heartworm disease, kill fleas and prevent infestations and treat hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections.

The tagline for the ad is “You don’t have to go to extremes to protect your dog from parasites.”

Apparently you do, though, if you’re selling prescription drugs — for canines or humans — to protect your ass from lawsuits.

To see all our “Woof in Advertising” posts, click here.


Comment from vida
Time May 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I invested in a flea comb and hope for the best, the new meds for four or two leggeds are a bit on the scary side. I resist using anything where a possible side effect is death.

Comment from claire h
Time July 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

trifexix.kills. i gave my precious lizzie, a yorkie poo , 8 yeas old and very healthy i gave her the fist dose on saturday and she was dead withn 24 hours. nothin can replace her or our mutal love

Comment from Joe@FleaBites101
Time October 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm


I am currently in the process of building a resource for those seeking information about fleas and flea bites. I also have a section for pet owners where I have provided detailed reviews of various products designed to treat fleas for pets.

During the course of my research for these reviews, I have read anecdotally that Frontline Plus is losing its effectiveness. I am trying to poll other bloggers to get an idea of what flea treatment products they are using and why.

I am also hoping to get some who would like to do a guest post/write up about their experiences so that I can add it to my blog. I would love to provide a link back to your blog to help drive some traffic.

My main review of the spot on topical treatments can be found here:

Flea Treatments for Dogs

If you have any interest in something like this at all, please email me at:

info @ mydomain name

Flea Bites 101

Comment from Bing
Time March 17, 2016 at 6:23 am

Great article.