Veterinarian Speaks Out Against Heartworm Med Concerns

A recent scare over the the heartworm medication Trifexis has left pet owners across the country questioning the safety of the treatment.

"You know, anytime you get something like that, you're concerned that -- 'Should I be giving my pet this drug?,'" said veterinarian, Dr. Rodney Robards of Southern Hills Animal Hospital in Tulsa. He says, it all started with a few dog deaths in the Atlanta area that garnered media attention. A common thread among those deaths was the use of Trifexis.

Robards warns against people jumping to conclusions and taking their pets off the medication when they need it the most.

"This year - 2013 - I think I've treated over 80 dogs for heartworms and some have come in and I haven't been able to treat them because they're - it's too late in the stages, so I think if -- especially in Oklahoma, where heartworms are a problem - we'll have more of a problem with heartworms than we will with the actual drug," Robards said.

After doing his research, h says he is confident that the drug - and the ingredients it contains - are safe for pets.

"I think they ought to check with their veterinarian so that there is a comfort level, but I'm very comfortable in our practice, using the - I think it's very important to keep your pet on heart worm preventative." Comfortable enough, he says, to give the medication to his own pet.