Justice for Jack

This will be my final post on this topic, as it is time for my family to move on. We still don’t have the conclusive answers we wish we had, but we feel better knowing that we diligently pursued answers for Jack. Our hearts will continue to heal, and one day, we will adopt another dog to love.

UPDATES:

June 8, 2012: We received a condolence card from our vet. It did not address any of our concerns, but it expressed sympathy for our loss.

July 11, 2012: We received a check from Pfizer in the amount of $69.50 to reimburse us for the money we spent to have Jack cremated. (He was not cremated, as Pfizer took possession of his body to do the necropsy.)

July 24, 2012: Necropsy Results

Pfizer called and spoke with my husband regarding the results of the necropsy. Their findings were inconclusive. Jack had a small heartworm in his heart, but no damage to the heart. His toxicology revealed that he had slightly elevated levels of vitamin A and zinc. That was it. There was no obvious cause of death. Pfizer stated to my husband that they do not believe ProHeart 6 caused his death, especially since so much time passed between when he first received the medicine and when he died. (Total time from when he received the shot to his death was 5 weeks.)

I also spoke with a vet from the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (ASBVME) today. He basically stated the same thing that Pfizer said regarding the drug.

He said it is unlikely that the drug caused Jack’s death since 5 weeks had passed since he had been given the drug.

He also said that he had spoken with the vet who administered ProHeart 6 to Jack. The vet admitted that she did not give us an informed consent form to sign. She apparently did not know such a form was required by the FDA. The ASBVM let her know that obtaining the consent form for ProHeart 6 is a federal requirement (required by the FDA). I have some opinions on her lack of knowledge, but I won’t speculate further on that topic. I was assured by the ASBVME that the vet in question, and the other vets in her office, were brought up to speed on the federal requirements of that drug.

Answers to FAQs and Other Updates: Our other dog, a rottweiler mix rescue named Katrina, is healthy and doing well. Our son still asks occasionally when we are going to go pick up Jack, if he can take Jack on a walk, or if he can go outside and throw the ball with Jack.

Of course, we will not be going back to our former veterinarian. We will be looking for a new vet who we feel is more up-to-date on current veterinary practices and is more communicative with pet owners.

Our Conclusions: The necropsy was inconclusive, so we cannot say what caused Jack’s death. I do still think that the timing and manner of his death are very suspicious. I also know that had the vet given us the “informed consent” document to sign prior to administrating ProHeart 6, we would not have consented, and we feel that Jack would probably still be alive.

While we personally feel that the timing of Jack’s death and the administration of this drug, combined with the symptoms of his death, make it possible that ProHeart 6 was a factor in his death, that theory is neither supported nor discredited by the findings of his necropsy. We cannot say it is anything more than a possibility.

Also, it is worth noting (in the spirit of full disclosure and honesty) that most dogs who have an adverse reaction to ProHeart 6 die much sooner/quicker than Jack did. (The total time from drug administration to death for Jack was 5 weeks.)

Our Purpose: My purpose in sharing our story with you is to encourage you to have candid conversations with your veterinarian, just as you word your doctor or pediatrician.

We do believe that heartworm preventative medications are important for our animals. We are not advocating that you skip this important medication. We just encourage you to discuss the different options available (oral, topical, injectable) with your vet.

Although we will not use ProHeart 6 again, we will continue to give our dog a heartworm preventative. We will also follow the state requirement of giving our dogs the rabies vaccine once every 3 years. Please check with your local authorities to see what medications you are required to give your dog, and please find a vet you trust and discuss each aspect of your animal’s care thoroughly before making any decisions.

***While the majority of comments have been supportive, some have not. You are entitled to your opinion, but please note that I will not publish comments that contain threatening or vulgar language. Nor will I publish comments that are anonymous. ***

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About Just Ashley

Lover, Mother, Friend, Wife, Baker, Writer, Dreamer, Doer, Believer.
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122 Responses to Justice for Jack

  1. Joan says:

    I have a beloved older blue heeler mix. I felt very bad because I did not have her on heart worm medicine. I finally took her to the vet and she was heart worm neg and started her on Iverhart. The next morning she began to vomit and it got worse until I took her to the vet. The vet had gone for a day so the vet tech there said she had vomited up her pill and should take another. I said no…not until we find out why she is vomiting like that. I rushed her to another vet that was open and he said that her kidneys had quit and gave me some meds. The next day she was better and as I talked to the vet he said that I was lucky she recovered. Later talking to the first vet she said there was no way it was the Iverhart. It was the only different thing that happened to her. I have other dogs on Iverhart with no problems. All of this to say that heartworm meds are poison and have serious side effects. One should be very careful and watch your dog carefully for any side effects. I’m sorry about your dog. I lost one to Walmart dog biscuits. Can’t prove it but know it’s true. All drugs for dog and humans are out there much too soon without proper testing or knowledge of long term effects. You are responsible for looking up each drug….just to be sure. You can’t trust anyone.

    • Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Linda says:

        Ashley, your loss truly broke my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us so that perhaps we can save others – two legged and four legged, alike – from such a tragic and unnecessary loss. And please know that all of us out here who so deeply love our furry companions genuinely feel your loss and pain. Thank you and God bless, Ashley. Linda

    • Rutha Thorne says:

      Most drugs for pets and humans can be replaced by much safer herbs….do your research before giving your pets either.

    • Jodi says:

      Australian cattledogs/heelers can be sensitive to the ivermectin in Iverhart/Hartgard just as Australian shepherds, collies, and border collies can be. Your girl probably is one of the ones with a sensitivity to it.

  2. Lisa says:

    So sorry to hear your story…we too had something happen to our first dog…I won’t go into details, other than that it was not the same drug administered to your dog..but the outcome was the same, death of our dog….you have my deepest sympathy..your story mirrored ours in many ways…I hope you find peace with this!!

  3. charlene says:

    Thank you for sharing your story!!! I can’t even imagine how difficult it has been but I glad you shared so that your experience may prevent others from having to go through it as well. It helped educate me to ask questions while at the vet and hopefully others will as ask well. I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved dog. Thanks again!!!

  4. cindy says:

    OMG I am so sorry to hear of what happened to your poor Jack.. with all the recalls and warnings going around no one sems to care unless ones a dog lover..Please keep us posted . thank you so much fr sharing… God Bless…RIP beautiful Jack.

  5. Vicky Bevans says:

    Thank so much for this information. I just got my rescue GSD this past Wednesday and am taking him to my vet today. He is heartworm positive & had taken his heartworm treatment last month. Now we need to look into ongoing heartworm treatment. I would be crushed if we got this shot & something happened to him because of my ignorance. Truly my condolences to your family… I can’t even imagine. But try to take comfort in the lives you may be saving because of your blog & information. God Bless you all.

  6. Pat says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. The fact that you have gone public with this shows not only how much you love Jack but how much you love animals! Thank you so much for getting the word out. I understand you feel you would be personally attacking the vet and her practice if you divulged her name but don’t you feel the people that still entrust their pets to her, especially those that may have done the exact same thing around the time you did, would want to know?

    • Pat, I don’t want to divulge the name of the vet because I am concerned that people not in our area would contact her as well. I think the best thing to do is to advise everyone to talk to his or her vet about ProHeart 6 and any medications or vaccines before letting them be administered. Ask your vet if he or she uses ProHeart 6 and start an open dialogue.

  7. Mary Walters says:

    Hoping that the lab that is doing the necropsy isn’t affiliated w/ Pfizer or Proheart 6 in any way. Probably the only way you will get the whole truth. I want to thank you for bringing your story to lite & following thru for your pup. Hopefully, your story brings awareness & helps prevent the death of any other pet, Thank-you!!!!

    • Eileen Kortright says:

      I don’t think it will matter if it is. Pfizer is not negligent in any way and to falsify findings would not be in their best interests. The negligent party, in this instance, is the veterinarian who gave the shot without informing the owner of the risks involved.

  8. Cindy says:

    My heart goes out to you for the loss of your beloved Jack. We have our dogs on a monthly hearworm pill that was developed by a vet at Clemson University and there has been no problems. at all. I have seen what a dog has to endure if get heartworms. I have heard of the hearworm shot but your story about Jack was the first I had heard of that took your boys life. I would have a real problem going back to that vet myself.

  9. Thank you for sharing your heart wrenching story about your experience with this drug. I am so glad pfizer stepped up to the plate regarding this issue. I just wish your state officials would let you go after this vet. It just makes me so sad and angry. Good luck Lisa on your journey with this and thank you so much for sharing your families story with us. I will be sending love and light your way!

  10. Jeanine says:

    I am wondering if there is any other way you can let people know about the vet who did this to your poor dog. It is only slander if you are stating untruths about somebody. If you put his name out there to warn others, can he sue you in your state. Here in Pennsylvania he would not be able to as long as I was telling the truth. I am very sorry for your loss. The pets we have in our family are a big part of our family. We have lost a few over the years and it is not easy. I thank you for posting your story as well. Our vet didn’t bring this product up at our last visit and thank goodness too. I read this story a week later. But I will pass it on and on and on for others to be aware of.

    • Someone suggested Angie’s list. I’ll consider that.

      • Alain Hall says:

        That’s a great way of getting the public the information about this vet, yet you are not painting a target on her back. Thank you for sharing Jack’s story. I have passed it on via my page and hopefully something positive will come from this tragic situation.
        Also, you should be aware of two pages devoted to animal wellbeing and food and drug issues: Broken Hartz and Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made in China. Both have important information to spread regarding our four-legged children.

  11. liz fochtman says:

    I AM SO SORRY,to hear of ur loss,of ur Beloved Dog,TY For the Warning .Ive already lost a dog 4years ago,I do Not want to lose another.ty for sharing,ur story.

  12. dearpru says:

    so, so sorry for your loss! we truly appreciate your sharing of jack’s tragic experience with this drug. raising awareness is so important! thank you, thank you, thank you….woof!!

  13. Lee Morrison says:

    This has been occuring for years, guys, since 2004 when ProHeart 6 was pulled from shelves. Given all its regulations & warnings and the fact better, safer alternatives are on the market the ONLY reason for this drug is owner convenience. The vet absolutely should lose her the ability to use this product based on not following manufacturer’s regulations to the “T” if not her license to practice veterinary medicine. And yes, she should be ‘outed’ for unsuspecting pet owners and rescue groups who may be utilzing her now or/in future. I’ve known about injectible HW meds for years and not to use them – are you all equally aware NOT to buy the dried jerky treats or any treat for that matter manufactured in China because they, too, are killing dogs? Don’t look to see where the product’s sold from in the U.S. – look for the tiny print somewhere that says ‘Made in China.’ DO NOT BUY EVER! Lobby pet supply stores and grocers to discontinue stocking poisonous pet treats. This has been going on for 4-5 years and still dogs are dying because people are unsuspecting thinking products on shelves are safe. Do your due diligence for your pet’s sake. Ashley you did NOTHING wrong. You unfortunately had a very BAD veterinarian. I am so sorry for your loss. Jack was a beautiful boy … reminds me of ‘Bo’ a foster I had for 2 yrs and just found his adopter a few months ago. I love big, black dogs. Please go find another pound dog like Jack to fill the hole in your hearts in his honor and give Katrina a new best friend. Big, adult, black dogs are the hardest to find adopters for and at the top of every kill shelter’s list in this country. In Miami, FL we are lobbying for the right to vote on the creation of ‘The Pet’s Trust’ that would add $13/year to homeowners’ taxes to create permanent funding for sterilization and educational outreach regarding pet overpopulation. Stay tuned: if we manage to pass this it could serve as the model nationwide for similar programs in every city, town and village on the map. We created animal overpopulation; it’s up to us to resolve it. We’re also voting Aug.14 to overturn Miami’s 1989 Breed Specific Legislation against pit bulls. The county’s taken beloved pets the last 23 years and killed hundreds annually (we kill 26,000 animals a year here) for no reason other than what they look like. No where in FL is BSL legal outside Miami (the Bananna Republic.) There’s a big push to oust sitting county commissioners as well. Ashley you’re re-ignited a grass roots campaign against ProHeart 6′s use KEEP IT GOING. There’s no reason in the world for its existance other than corporate greed. It’s a BAD product.

    • Thank you Lee. We are aware of the “black dog syndrome,” and when we are ready, we will find another shelter dog. Our mutts have been such loving companions. Thanks for all you are doing in your area.

    • Cindy says:

      I would love to hear more info about the The Pet Trust… I live in FL & I help recue Blk Labs & The bigger the better… I miss my “BEST BIG BLK BUDDIE” CLYDE (117 lbs) & his sister Bonnie(78 lbs). they were my FIRST two blk labs & they thave helped in my quest to try & help all Blk Labs I can save… I still have 2 blk Labs “Miss Missy” 6yrs & my new “Buddy ” 1 yr. dont get me wrong, I love all animals but a little PARTIAL to the BLK LAB cause of their nature (most loveable & loyal)in my opinon & because it is TRUE Blk Dogs & Big ones have less chance than others to be adopted :0(

    • Carol Jackson says:

      Both of you, Lee and Ashley, are great dog owners and great people for sharing this information. I appreciate the attitude of not outing the vet for now, but Lee has a point. The vet probably should have her license revoked. She probably will not use the medication again, but she is not a good vet for having missed Jack’s initial symptoms. I would want to know if I were taking my dogs to that vet. Perhaps if and when the necropsy confirms that ProHeart 6 is the cause you will find a way. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Missy Cannon says:

    OMG….I am so sorry to hear your story of your beloved Jack. There is no excuse for what Jack and your family has endured because your vet didn’t follow protocol. Thank you for sharing your story so it will raise awareness. Your blog has made me realize there is a need to change the law so animals aren’t considered “property”. Thank you for sharing….you are making a difference!!!

  15. Pamela says:

    Also make a formal complaint with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) in your town.

  16. Connie Brown says:

    I’m so sorry 4 the loss of ur precious furbaby Jack…it breaks my heart 2 know that this happened & that when u took him back 2 the vet, im shocked that she didnt make the correlation or @ least research it 2 c if his symptoms had anything 2 do with it….she evidently did not know enough about it which means that she should not have been administering it! Please keep us posted on the outcome of the autopsy as I’ve never heard of this shot myself! Again, my condolences…RIP Jack,..run free 2.the Rainbow Bridge lil one….xoxoxo….

  17. Pascale Milhau says:

    OMG, this is horrible, I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved baby Jack, I would be out of my mind if i had known that my vet did not disclose all infos about this drug, i would report my vet that’s for sure and make sure that he or she gets in a lot of trouble for killing my dog, I think that you should warm people in your area about this vet so they do not go to her or him, good for you for not going to that vet anymore, you need to protect your other furbaby and how can you trust that vet again ? i could not ever. I am truly so sorry for your loss and i feel your pain, this could have been avoided and this is the saddest thing, big hugs to you and your family and your furbaby.

  18. Darleen says:

    I am so sorry about Jack. :( It is so hard when we lose them so unexpectedly.My heart breaks for you.

  19. jes says:

    where are you located? I have a black lab who is due to have puppies any day now. I would love to give you a lab pup. I know that nothing can replace Jack but from what I have read in your posts you are a very loving dog owner and it would be my pleasure to give you one of my dogs pups.

    • Oh my gosh Jes, that is so kind! We love in South Alabama, and you are probably far away, but I really appreciate the sweet sentiment!

      • jes says:

        Yes sadly I am very far away from South Alabama… residing in the state of Maine. Ever since I read your first blog about what happened my heart pained for you and your family. I am so glad that you are sharing your story to help others even though the pain from this unfortunate situation must be so great. You are a very strong person. Keep up your cause, and reach out any time that you need someone to lend an ear.

      • Gayla says:

        There are dog lovers who volunteer every weekend of the year to transport dogs across the US to get them into safe and loving homes. I do this myself and there is not charge with most rescue groups. Your local lab rescue will know how to do this so get in touch with them or let me know and I’ll help you. We all love puppy breath and love to transport puppies especially. There is probably one already going that can put on a puppy. I know of one that takes dogs to the far NE and they come back empty. They have a set up with a big rig that takes many dogs from the SE part of the country. Most rescues love publicity to further people knowing about adopting dogs and your story would be very popular to those who also love black labs. We can get a puppy to you if that is what you would like to do or find and transport an older dog for you. The transports that I do usually drive a dog 50 to 100 miles and hand it off to the next person. It’s really fun to help dogs that other wise would end up murdered in a shelter somewhere. We also get to meet many breeds of dogs and to socialize with other dog lovers on each end of our trip. If anyone reading this is interested in helping, contact a rescue group and they will check you out and then put you to work. I know this is hard to deal with but let’s make your dog’s death count for something. I am obviously quite involved in the dog world and I didn’t know about this bad heartworm medication. Maybe we will be calling it “Jack’s Law” and getting it off the market like it should be. I rescue Maltese but transport all and I lost dogs in the dog food mess with the Chinese glutin. ;I don’t want anyone to go through what I did in losing four animals in a couple of months. Those of us, like you, tend to take all of our critters to the vet at the same time and it would be awful if we had another mess clean out several dogs at a time like I endured. Thanks so much for making this public. I do not agree w/ your wish to shield the vet. We just had the biggest vet clinic in my city fined $10,000.00 for not providing good care. Your state association that licenses vets in Alabama will throughly investigate this for you if you let them know what is going on. That’s their function and they usually are very tough in situations like this. You and your family will be in my prayers. God bless

  20. vickie says:

    As a long time breeder, It is SO HARD to get the public to understand that VETS do not know it all… owners MUST be proactive and RESEARCH everything…from the food they feed to the vaccines they allow… and it is up to the owner to say NO.. in case you have missed them.. Dr Jean Dodds and Dr Ron Schultz are the vaccine gurus….I have a grooming shop and advise all my clients to feed holistic foods and say no to vaccines…I only require rabies for my own protection..it is the law and the only vaccine mandated by law… NEVER allow a vet to vaccinate with more than one thing at a time…do not administer any combination of things on the same day…the immune system cannot handle all that stuff…
    I am so sorry for your loss….

  21. Donna says:

    I am so truly sorry for your loss…personally due to financial restrictions, I haven’t been able to take my cats in for their annual shots in a while. They’re strictly INDOOR cats, so I feel the risk is minimal… Please know that your Jack did not die in vain….Heaven knows how many animals he has saved by you’re speaking out. Thank you…and God bless. I know you’ll see Jack again someday. Our loving God wouldn’t create creatures we love so completely, then take them from us never to be seen again. Long live Rainbow Bridge :)

  22. Donna says:

    Oh, and what I mean to say was that possibly not taking the kits in for their shots may be a good thing…heaven knows what they’re really giving to our animals these days!

  23. Marcia says:

    I am so sorry for your unexpected loss of Jack. I lost my 4 yr. old cat Tango last year because he got a blood clot in his leg. The vet said he wouldn’t get any better and would just become more paralyzed. So I had to have him pts but it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I am sharing your story on my timeline and I am glad you shared your story on FB so others will be aware of the dangers of always trusting your vet. Research of these drugs is vital before one agrees to have their pet treated. I will be following your story.

  24. It is extremely sad that you lost your dog & that he died alone. But to blame the Vet is not fair at all either. And to contemplate suing the Vet is just as unfair. You, as owners are ultimately the ones to be the sole responsibility for what happened. Medically the Vet recommended a shot, but you didn’t ask any questions, didn’t do any research on it after you agreed & went home. What would you do if your human Dr. recommended a drug for your child? Just say ok & not do anything? We are a sue happy society that places blame everywhere else.
    Switching vet’s isn’t going to prevent something like this from happening again. The vet failed to devulge the warnings & such IF he was even given that information by the supplier he ordered it from to begin w/. IF he was given all the much needed information/warning & consent form, but failed to give it to you, then i can understand you being upset. But based on what i’ve read…doesn’t even seem like that is something you have asked. But IF he wasn’t educated properly, then he is as much of a victim as you & your family.
    But you guys should have worked with your vet once you learned the facts about the drug, to make him aware (if he wasn’t) about the symptoms (which cover many things, not just drug toxins)so that wasn’t the first thing anyone thought of sadly.
    The next thing you might want to do, is to look into getting some Activated Charcoal to keep on hand, as it is a great item to have on hand for any sort of poisoning or upset bellys (human or animals), Cayenne, is also another great item to have on hand to help stop internal bleeding, heart attacks, etc. both give you a chance to get human or animal to the vet.
    Its sad such tragedy’s have to happen to get the public made aware of issues with drugs…but a warning/suggestion I would give whether it be for human or animal, is that if your dr/vet recommends medication (new or old)….research it, especially if its administered first. I’ve learned to do this after Dr’s almost “accidently” killed my father in law years ago & it kept my step daughter from having serious issues after her counselor gave us a TON of medications that was originally meant for people that were bi-polor or worse mentally, but she was suppose to use it for the “side affect” of causing drowsiness/sleep aid……1 small pill knocked her out & made her drowsy for 3 days.
    Research everything…….I’m sharing your story as its very important & a tragedy that should never have happened :(

    • First of all, we aren’t suing anyone. It has been suggested by commenters on here, and I have repeatedly stated that is not what we are doing.

      Second, Pfizer requires that all vets receive mandatory web-based training on the drug before it can be ordered and/or administered. The FDA requires that all owners be given an “Owner Consent Form” to sign before the first administration of this drug.

      Yes, the vet has some culpability for failing to follow protocol mandated by the FDA and Pfizer before she was ever allowed to even order the drug.

      • Lee Morrison says:

        Ashley: I just saw your response to ‘loveforanimals.’ MUST BE A VET! You have such class! YOU GO GIRL! What a moron that poster is! The vet has TOTAL culpability.

      • Patty Mitchell says:

        Did “loveforanimals” even read your story before negatively reacting to your loss and all it entails! Reminds me of people who are too busy thinking of their need to make a retort that they don’t listen to facts…like Charlie browns teacher..whawhawhap….can’t reason with a person on a mission who disregards the exact issues you have addressed! Sorry for your loss! I think that your family is a class act and reflects the caring nature that your pup was blessed to have as his Mom, Dad, and human sibling! Thanks also for warning bout the shot! If nothing else you have provided essential info for pet owners and probably saved many dogs, keeping their family from going through heart ache you guys are enduring!

      • Arland A. Jones says:

        I am amazed at the insensitive and illogical response made by “loveforanimals”. Your response to the posting was measured and appropriate. No one should have to suffer because of negligence on the part of their veterinarian. I thank you for making all readers aware of the dangers of ProHeart 6. I am sorry for your loss.

  25. Tammy says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Jack, thank you for sharing and keeping us all informed!

  26. deb says:

    My heart goes out to you…I was shocked to hear that Proheart is still around. as a vet tech, we stopped using it at least 2 years or more ago..i was glad i stuck to the Heartgard..long before i became a vet tech, i lost a dog to heartworm treatment (dog was too active) and it was in the early 80′s..treatment is much better now…I am so so sorry about Jack..you wanted to do everything you could to keep him (them) healthy, and the vet let you down….like human drs, they should be ‘up’ on all medications….thanks for sharing and opening other pet owners’ eyes…….keep Jack’s memories close in your heart; he will be there when you need him…

  27. Kay Russell says:

    I , too am so sorry for the loss of Jack. Any one who loves their animals as you should hurts so bad when you lose one. You never forget the pet. We lost our English Bulldog in 2007 due to the food that China was making. We always used premium pet food thinking we were doing as we should . Princess stopped eating first then very sick. We took her to vet twice and the last time the vet said he could not do anything else for Princess and suggested we take her to Mississippi State Veterinary School which we did that very same day. They did everything possible barring no expense as she was our love. She lived two weeks there and they called us and said she was shutting down completely. My husband never got over the loss of Princess. Why did we not learn from the food poisoning China did to us? Why are the vaccines dangerous? Why is China making the jerky that is making our animals sick and even killing them? Why have we not demanded some sort of regulation? Seems we don’t learn!!!

  28. Catahoula says:

    I see in the FAQ that you have decided to not pursue legal actions against your vet due to the fact you cannot get your Jack back. If I may give you a single good reason to file a lawsuit agaist them, especially since they refuse to respond to you nor did they follow the proper protocol for administrating the Proheart 6 or identify the drug reaction, is to make sure that they lose their license so they may not cause more families the same grief you are going through. I have worked with veterinarians for many years and I have never come across one who blatantly ignores a drug companies warnings and consent form requirements. They also agree that someone who practices veterinary medicine that conducts business as they do should not be practicing medicine and should have their license stripped from them. I am terribly sorry for the loss of your baby and I do hope that you will consider filing suit against your former vet to ensure that they will not ever have the opportunity to neglect another family of their pet living a long, happy life.

    • Thank you for your sympathy and kind words, we’ve actually been hearing a lot of blame being put on our part lately. And while we do realize that we should have done more homework, the vet made a recommendation and expressed none of the risks or side effects to us, and yes, we trusted her. That is obviously our mistake. A mistake we will not make again.

      I have filed a complaint with our state’s veterinary medical examiner’s board, and we are waiting on results from the necropsy to find out the official cause of death. Hopefully, the vet will respond and answer some of our questions. We will see where we go from there…

      Also, as another commenter pointed on on my other post, my state views animals as property and of little or no monetary value. My state does not support pets the way it should.

  29. Michelle Omar says:

    I was so sad to read Jack’s story. Please consider the website http://www.change.org to petition that
    Proheart 6 be banned. I will sign and I feel certain that 100′s of thousands of animal lovers will also when they see your story. Good luck and God Bless.

  30. Carrie says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss! Thank you for making others aware so they don’t have to go through the same heartache. Your beloved Jack’s death will NOT be in vain! Back in April, my vet wanted to give my 4 month old (at the time) Lab the Proheart 6 shot with his last set of puppy shots, but luckily I had researched it beforehand! He and my Sheltie are on Heartgard and have had no problems.

  31. Don DeBar says:

    Thanks for this, and condolences over your loss. I’d like to suggest that this tale be shared widely with vets and their staffs, particularly those on the front lines (no pun intended) with the drug companies, who may get hussled or not be properly advised, in cases like that of this drug, that special care is mandated (or even when simply recommended). Certainly the vet should have known – you found the information easily enough – but it is easy to see a situation where the information was not offered and a vet/purchaser used to being provided with all relevant information might come to expect it and not verify in one case or another. Your tale shows the need for that aggressive fact-finding on the part of the vet before using new drugs.

  32. Leah says:

    I am so so sorry for your loss. Jack looks like he was a kind soul, and he has gone, as they say, to his reward. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    As for the vet, chances are his/her liability insurance carrier (or an attorney) told him/her not to contact you until they are told of the results of the necropsy. I’m guessing Alabama courts aren’t moving in this direction, but some other states’ courts are beginning to recognize pets as more than property (New York, for one).

  33. sue says:

    I am so sorry for your loss of Jack I want to thank you for letting people know about this I think the vet needs to be brought up on this I just hope she does not use this drug on any other dog

  34. sorry for your loss. I will pass this on to help spare others from this kind of pain!! I pray that these words will continue to keep on spreading and save lives!!!! I have lost pets and I heard a poem and a story about the “rainbow bridge” and I believe our pets are there waiting for us and enjoying their time with other pets who are waiting for their family too!!! God bless!!

  35. Tracy says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss and the losses shared by others. Thanks for taking the time to educate us on this matter and kudos to Pfizer for their diligence in seeking answers. I lost my yorkie in February when he was almost 11. He fought a long battle against an undiagnosed liver ailment (His liver was abnormally large and was eventually too heavy for his other systems. He died of heart failure but peacefully.) We tested him extensively in every non-invasive way with no concrete conclusions. It is my firm belief that Petey’s liver was battling toxicity in his body due to the Revolution I put on his body every month for 8 years. Before he started it, my vet and I read all the literature and it seemed like the best solution for him. When he was 8 he started getting sick so I did my own research and found that for SOME dogs a monthly dose can be dangerous even when it is in their prescribed dosage. Sadly many drug side effects mimic other ailments so it can go undetected for months and even years. We finally ruled out Cushing’s disease but it took a lot of time and money to chase that trail.

    I was told repeatedly to put Petey on a diet because of his fat belly. Finally a simple x-ray identified his enlarged liver and then we compared them year on year and his liver steadily grew each year along with the liver indicators in his blood work. I stopped using Revolution, started treating him with milk thistle and I made his food from scratch and I think that gave me the gift of 3 quality years with him. AND his liver levels were completely normal even when he died. But I know for my next dog I will be more cautious about any and all medications and preventatives. Thankfully the two vets that treated Petey during his lifetime completely agreed with my decisions as his owner and now offer titer testing prior to each vaccine to make sure it is necessary.

    Again, I am so sorry for Jack’s loss. Thanks for sharing about ProHeart 6. My vet got the new literature and training shortly before Petey died but we knew it was not going to be something I used on him.

    • Vickie says:

      Unfortunately, titer testing is not conclusive. If you take your dog to an area where other dogs congregate, such as a training club or class, the shed vaccines from those dogs will give your dog a high titer. A titer only gives you an accurate result for the day it was taken. Two or Three days later it very likely will be different.

  36. Bev says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss I live in Spain and we also have to give our dogs preventative medication for heart worm either by annual vaccination or monthly tablets. I have never had any problems but will be checking with my vet just to make sure our vet administers the annual vaccine separate from other vaccines. In fact they are very diligent with regard not to overload the dogs system in one go.

    Thank you for sharing your story

  37. www.gabbyjackranch.org says:

    I am deeply sorry for your loss and for the unnecessary suffering that Jack, and your family have gone through.
    I, too, lost a puppy through the negligence of a vet (surgical issues).
    I am well aware of the dangers of vaccines and I try to warn people all the time about over-vaccination (never giving more than one vaccine at a time) but when these people get to their vet who tells them that it is safe, they go ahead and get the vaccines (even though we have vaccinated the puppies within 2 days). It is so sad and frustrating. But, like you, we do our best to educate.
    I hope that you find answers and I sincerely appreciate you sharing this horrible experience with us.
    I am very glad to read that Katrina is doing well.

  38. rene' dyer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story about your beloved family member,Jack. I know you miss him but telling his story may save other lives. I’m so glad you persued his death, questioned the vet, and the manufacture. I hope this will make them take it off the market or make the vet tell owners what the risk maybe. And again so sorry for your loss in time go rescue another dog from the shelter…it would be what Jack would want you to do.

  39. Toni kapudija says:

    I am so sorry about your dog. I have two dogs and I don’t give them heart worm meds. I feel that vets push too many unnecessary drugs on the dog. -Its just one more money maker for the vets.

  40. Emma Pocl says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog, Jack; and hope that you receive useful information from the necropsy report. Dogs have always been a part of my life, the two I have now bring me such joy. I also know how terribly hurt an owner can be when their pet suffers at the hands of an ill-informed vet. I wish you and your family peace.

  41. source says:

    Have you given any kind of consideration at all with converting your website in to German? I know a couple of of translaters here which would help you do it for no cost if you want to make contact with me personally.

  42. First off my heart goes out to all of you…this is a tragedy…I work in AR and have since Katrina and I have a call into my local team in Louisiana because I think our vet there uses ProHeart in jections. Based on your blog, and if he does, we will no longer support the treatment or allow our rescues to receive it. Know that Jack’s loss was not in vain and thank you for your integrity and courage to tell his story.

  43. Candy pistils says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of jack. I only know how deviastated any of us would be. Unfortunately thru Jack he will be saving many other lives thru this. Cannot even tell u how many emails will be circulated thru this. Prayers are with you. Candy

  44. Candy says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is so uncalled for but thru all this Jack will save alot of fur babies. This has already circulated thousands already. Thank you for sharing this heartbreaking story and
    best to you and your family during this difficult time.

  45. Gwendoline Garza says:

    I am so very sorry for the tragic loss of your Jack. I am sure that your little one is having a difficult time understanding. Thank you for sharing your story. Run free over the Bridge Jack.

  46. Clowie says:

    Thank you for sharing your sad story and raising awareness.

  47. Danica Barreau says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I was unaware that ProHeart 6 was back on the market and apparently has been for several years. I lost my beloved Jazz to AIHA which was directly attributable for the ProHeart 6 injection. The drug was pulled 2-3 months after she died and I thought that would be the end of the story. You have my sincere condolences. I will spread the word through my little dog community and try to keep as many other dog owners from having to experience what we did at the hands of yet another disreputable drug company.

  48. Victoria says:

    I am so sorry for your loss!! Thank you for sharing your story and raising awareness!! We, pet owners, truly appreciate it!
    However, I would strongly recommend to do something to make sure that the vet doesn’t practice anymore. He/she should lose their practicing license. Please do it for the sake of other animals that could be potential victims of such negligence and medical malpractice! It was the vet’s job to know of the potential side effects and recognize them when you brought your baby back (not to mention to inform you of the potential risk before administering the shot). Thank you!

  49. Debbie Miranda says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Our dogs are part of our family and it is such a terrible loss.
    I hope Jack’s story raises awareness regarding ANY shots we give our animals. I use a holistic vet who’s main concern is my animal’s health not how much money he can make in his practice. NEVER EVER give your animal a “new shot”. There is not enough research on the drug you are injecting into your babies body. Never ever give your animal an “adjunct” shot which is more than one vaccine at the same time. This can be deadly as no one knows what the outcome of a combination of drugs can do. The new shot that vets love to give is the Lyme shot. this is also dangerous and it DOES NOT prevent Lyme disease. As for the heart worn pill..this does not even need to be given every month. The months when mosquitoes are prevalent is when there is a concern. My holistic vet reccomends every other month. So my dogs get one in April, June, August and October. That is it…4 pills a year!!!! I have never had any problems!! My dogs have each had 1 rabies shot…period. I WILL NOT over vaccinate my dogs so the township I live in can collect $20.00.
    Most people don’t know that yearly vaccinations are NOT neccessary! A simple blood titer done at the vet’s office can be done to determine the level of the vaccine in our pets. Most shots/vaccines last up to 7 years including the rabies vaccine. Why then do people continue to march in for their yearly visit and continue to give unnecessary vaccines. The answer is because people get that yearly card from the vet to remind us that “it’s that time again”. Yes it’s time to bring our pet in for a routine physical but not to inject them with vaccines that they don’t need.
    Please do research and think about what you would do if this was one of your “human” children.
    There is so much research out there people just have to be open and read about it and understand it. If you are not comfortable with what you are seeing/hearing at your vets office then it’s time for a new vet!!! Getting the right vet for your animals is like getting the right pediatrician for your child. PLEASE BE CAREFUL EVERYONE!!! Our babies do not live long enough as it is so just think before you make a decision based upon what is easier for you.
    RIP sweet Jack and run free at Rainbow Bridge xoxoxo

  50. Tammy says:

    omg I am so very sorry for this loss. How absolutely tragic and sad. Thank you for reaching and sharing your pain in hopes to prevent others from going through the same thing. We get whatever shots the shelter requires and that’s it. Past that rabies vaccine updates and no more……. God bless you and your cause. Prayers……….

  51. Wow this was very heart breaking to read my heart goes out to u and your family and i know katrina must feel a bit lonley even though she has u she has lost her buddy i would be devestated if this happened to us we have abby who turned 1 in feb she is our yellow lab then we have payton who is 8 month and is our chocolate lab they r our kids i could not imagine losing one of them now but your loss has really got to hit hard they way it happened. My breeder has warned us from day in vets try to over vacinate and whatever we can give them orally to do so and stand firm with the vet she said. I am going to post jacks story everywhere even on our vets website and all these comments i have been reading are wonderful what others r out there doing i would love to foster dogs and find them good homes just not sure where to begin.. please know i am going to do all i can on my end to love justice for jack all around the world much hugs and love to your family and i feel soon katrina will have a buddy to mother :)

  52. I would like to know is there a facebook page for justice for jack?

    • No, I haven’t started a Facebook page.

      • julie hamilton says:

        this would be an excellent help to other pet owners.I am so glad to have received this post You have saved countless dogs as I will be passing this on including my own.I am so sorry for your loss I also have a dog named Jack and could not put into words how I would feel if this happened to my Jack.

  53. Rita says:

    So sorry for your loss Ashley, I hope you get justice for Jack

  54. Tamara says:

    I am currently living in South Alabama and have had a few bad experiences with a veterinarian, but none as heartbreaking as this. I have become terrified at the thought of taking my dogs anywhere because I have learned that a majority of the vets in the area simply don’t care. I am so sorry for your loss and hope you have found a wonderful replacement vet.

  55. Lisa Robinson says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I recently lost two dogs so I know some of the pain you are feeling. I also just took my other dog, Bruiser, to vet for his regular check up and shots. I had him tested for heart worms but refused the preventative treatment. I just had a “feeling” that I shouldn’t do it. Now that I read this, I am so glad I didn’t. I’m so sorry poor Jack suffered they way he did. I guess take comfort in knowing that his death is not in vain. You have opened up so many peoples eyes to the dangers of this treatment and in turn I’m sure Jack has saved many lives. Wishing you peace and comfort during this time. My prayers are with you, your family and Katrina. Rest in peace Jack! <3

  56. terriergal says:

    I haven’t read the other posts, but the question which is not addressed in your story is whether or not your dogs were tested for heart worm at the time of their vaccinations. It is possible that your dear Jack had heart worm and the medication killed the heart worms causing emboli and thus resulting in the death of your beloved animal.

  57. Kerry says:

    I’m so sorry for what you have been through. I understand your decision not to pursue legal action – that can be very costly, time consuming, and the money you may get if it goes your way won’t bring Jack back. Thank you for sharing your experience and educating others. I had no idea of three risks with ProHeart 6, and after reading about the risks and informed consent requirement, I’m amazed any vets use it. I’m glad you filed a complaint.

  58. Leslie says:

    What a sad story – I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sickened an angered by what seems to be an underhanded way for the drug companies to use the public for further testing. Instead of performing their notoriously cruel testing on hapless victims in labs, which they undoubtedly do anyway, they’ve created “follow up, long term” labs in our homes, using our beloved pets as their test subjects. The FDA is unwilling to take a firm hand, which isn’t really surprising given that they don’t for humans, either. How infuriating. My heart goes out to you – thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only way most of us will ever learn about the horrors that the drug companies would rather keep quiet.

  59. Mambo says:

    Hi I just read your blog today and I wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss of your beloved Jack and to thank you for sharing. Awareness is key. Like you say, you do not want to change how people treat their dogs, it is more to inform people so they can make their own decisions. Without awareness of cases like these, most people just don’t know.

    I had a similar situation with a vet I held indirectly responsible for the death of my 10 month old mongrel puppy. While I could not blame him directly for her death, his appalling attitude, complete lack of interest in my dog and unwillingness to test her to find out what was wrong was part of a sad chain of events which culminated in her death. Like you, I did not question his decisions at the time and trusted him because I believed him to be a medical professional with more knowledge than me. Like you, I accepted what he said and did not ask enough questions, which I bitterly regret now. I made a complaint to the vet practice he worked for and they interviewed him to get his side of the story and concluded that medically, he had done nothing wrong. I considered filing a negligence report to the vet regulators but chose not to for lack of evidence. All I had to go on was his exceptionally poor attitude. For the same reasons, I was unable to sue. All I could do was pass the word around to as many people I knew not to use this vet. Word of mouth is powerful. If you are unwilling to make your vet’s name public in writing then you may consider circulating her name informally so that other people can at least be aware and come to their own conclusions.

    On a separate note, you say that a vet working for Pfizer is involved in the necropsy. I really hope that there is no conflict of interest here, but I would not expect Pfizer to allow any person connected with them to publish anything negative about their own drugs.

  60. Pingback: Ashley’s Story: A Cautionary Tale That May Save Your Dog’s Life « No Dog About It Blog

  61. shanna/dog lover says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your family member. Thanks so much for posting this. I as I am sure others would of never known if it wasn’t for this posting. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck!

  62. KC Collins says:

    Wow, I had never even heard of this shot! I raise small breed dogs (simplyteacups.com). I know how careful I have to be with my little ones in administering their heart worm prev. I do not use Heartguard, I use Ivermectin which has to be dosed out exactly according to the dogs weight (and cannot be given to some breeds). This is nothing to play around with and it seems this vaccination isn’t either! I was blessed to have one of my customers passed this story on to me. It is extremely important for pet owners to be aware of things like this. There are side affects in just about all drugs and I thought doctors were responsible for educating us. It is extremely unfortunate but I am thankful you are raising awareness. I will share this with my vets! My heart goes out to you and your family. Hope your other little furry guy gets thought this just fine! God bless you.

  63. KC Collins says:

    I would like to know if I have your permission to add your story to my website. I have hundreds of pet owners watching my site daily and this would benefit many out there.

  64. Linda says:

    I’m so glad you are getting a response from the vet. Very glad to see you pursuing this. When we lost our little Colby, we got nowhere in trying to track down and investigate. They just swept everything under the rug.

  65. Laura Jean Moore says:

    So sorry for your loss. I haven’t even heard of this injection type heart worm med. I’m glad you’re sharing your story to raise awareness. I have a 4 yr old Maltese that was a runt of her litter and when she was 8 wks old she was so very tiny that I didn’t want to give her immunizations to her myself as I always did with out dogs so I took her to our vet. Next morning she had a light blue eye. An allergic reaction to the hepitits portion of the vaccine caused her to go blind in one eye. From this point on she had major problems most were just growth related. Poor Pearl had every malfunction you could imagine but the blindness cause her to get very red zone. And the older she got the worse she got. To the point the only choice for her the vet said was to have her PTS which I refuse cause she’s just insane and doesn’t deserve that. And she is only 4lbs so I can handle her attacks on me. But it’s sad what our dogs go through with the shots they are required to have or just need to have for them to live…… and in your case it took the life of your baby.

  66. Carol says:

    Hello. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved companion. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Perhaps you have run across this information by now; it may pertain to your experience. There has been research on dogs having a genetic predisposition to multidrug sensitivity which can result in adverse reactions to a range of drugs. The College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University has information at this site:
    http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcpl/.

  67. Bosun Dawg says:

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your dog. I agree that even if it should happen to be the case that his death is ruled to be probably not related to PH6 that the vet was still in the wrong not to have informed you of the risks and obtained your informed consent. Don’t feel bad that you did not ask questions. Most of us trust our veterinarians and don’t question until we learn the hard way. I, for one, have been promoting the idea for at least seven years now that pet owners should receive printed drug information from the vet just like we receive for ourselves from the pharmacy when we get prescriptions filled. Finally, you might be interested in reading this report that was presented to the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee by Dr. Victoria Hampshire and was instrumental in getting PH6 removed from the market prior to its reintroduction. Shorty afterward Dr. Hampshire had allegations made against her by Wyeth, and shortly after that FDA transferred her out of her position. The document gives good information about how FDA scores Adverse Drug Event reports; a number of statistics regarding the heartworm preventatives; and case reports of PH6 ADEs. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/VeterinaryMedicineAdvisoryCommittee/UCM127121.pdf

  68. Jan Biondo says:

    I am so very sorry that you lost your beloved Jack in such a horrific way. I commend you for concentrating on getting the word out there to prevent this from recurring, and not pursuing legal action since this won’t help matters. This speaks volumes about your integrity and your love of animals. God bless you and your family. I have shared your story on my FB page.

  69. Serena says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how devastating the experience would have been for you. My heart goes out to poor Jack…so sad that he suffered and paid the ultimate price due to the vet’s negligence. If the vet had done the mandatory training, they should have known not to give the heart-worm injection at the same time as other vaccines and they should have advised you of the risks. I have also shared your story on FB so that other pets don’t fall victim to this treatment. Personally, I feel that it should be taken off the market altogether….the risks are just too high.

  70. Make sure your other dog does not get lonely. It has been known that they can get so depressed, that it might kill them. I’m so sorry for your loss, I know it is like losing a child. Our animals are so loved and we become so attached to them. Best wishes.

    Tori

  71. Anne Krantz says:

    So sorry for the loss of your precious Jack. We had a similar story with the drug Capstar. Charlie, our five year old Maltesse had juvenile diabetites and we had to give him 12cc’s twice a day of insulin. I took him to our regular vet to be groomed. Two days later, he was lathagic and couldn’t even lift his head. Rushed him to the vet and after all the blood work was done, his insulin levels were fine. Found out that the groomer gave him a Capstar pill because they found a flea on him. They didn’t call and ask me if I approved of this drug. They just gave it to him and charged me $5.00. I told them that I thought the drug caused this, but they said the Capstar Drug Rep said it is safe for dogs. It is safe because they tested it on puppies. A long story short, Charlie was given Capstar again just 2 weeks after getting it from our groomer. He got it from the place we board our dogs. They said he had a flea on him. We never saw a flea on him. He had a seizure at night when he was alone that was so bad he bit through his tongue. They called us about Charlie’s condition. We were headed home, but still had a five hour drive to get to him. They gave him anesthesia to reduce the severity of the seizures. We got there to see Charlie panting uncontrollably, losing his bodily functions, drooling and his head was bobbing back and forth. Charlie passed away in my arms. I called the manufactor of the drug, Capstar, and a doctor/scientist for the company told me they never tested the drug on any animals with a compromised immune system, but only tested it on puppies. My vet, groomer and boarder said they have all changed their policy of not given animals a drug without calling first and getting permission. My vet and boarder called the FDA and filed a report stating Capstar caused the death of a dog…the death of our dog, Charlie. My vet and boarder planted trees in his memory and both sent us cards taking total responsibity. Thank you for having a place to tell our story, Charlie’s story. If we can save just one precious dog from drug companies who are out there to make a buck, then Jack and Charlie’s short lives will not be in vain.

    Sorry again for your loss….know how it feels,
    Anne Krantz
    Rogers, AR

  72. CNC says:

    I realize you’ve already addressed this in your FAQs, but I think you need to continue to consider legal action. I’m an attorney, and I do toxic tort litigation, and from what you’ve posted, I believe you have valid claims for negligence and failure to warn against your veternarian, and strict products liablity defective design against Pfizer at the very least. Obviously, animal lawsuits produce much lower verdicts and settlements than those involving people, but I know you wouldn’t be doing it for the money because as you said, you can’t bring Jack back. What a lawsuit will do though is create the publicity you want, and will help spread the word to other pet owners so this doesn’t happen again. You should perhaps look into a non-profit attorney that may take on your case. I would suggest contacting the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit animal rights group composed of mostly attorneys. Here is their website: http://www.aldf.org/

    My condolences are with you and your family. Your story breaks my heart and is every pet owners’ worst nightmare.

  73. Wanda Ammon says:

    Thank you for the information, I will share this story with my dog friends’ owners in hopes that nothing so horrible will happen to them
    Wanda

  74. krestiekrew says:

    Thank you for posting all of this, I will be interested in the rest of the information you post when you get it back..I am so sorry you had to lose your friend this way.

  75. janice says:

    Im so sorry for your loss. Im getting sick and tired to hearing sad stories like this one. Sue the Bastards. Go holistic stop trusting these assholes to help are animals. They dont care. Its all about the money. we need to take it in our own hands for the most part.

  76. Danielle says:

    Thank-you for posting this. Sorry for your loss… :(

  77. Liz Seda says:

    Thank you so much for being brave and shouting out your story from the rooftops instead of mourning alone. I have a dog named Jack. Black & white. And I’m pretty sure that I would dedicate the rest of my life to wrecking whoever was responsible for harming my beloved.
    With that said, I’m glad you have a better temperment than me.
    If you want to spread anymore awareness, or if you need anything, please contact me at my website that I will post in the form. I’ll be happy to do what I can.

  78. brian zweifel says:

    thank you for your warning,and i’m very sorry for your loss,i couldnt bear to lose my little lab,and it would devestate my girlfriend.

  79. Ashley says:

    My heart goes out to you as I have experienced a situation common to yours with my English Bulldog Karma. She was 6 years old and a very healthy dog. We went in for her yearly and received all shots along with the Proheart. This was our first time using the drug and as most trust their vets we agreed. We did we receive a consent form and read it but like most other drugs, even for humans, the forms always say the same thing so naturally we thought nothing of it. I wish we had second guessed our vet because within one week of the vaccs she became very slow and lethargic. She was still eating and drinking fine and would occasionally play with our other bulldog but it just wasn’t her. When I called the vet he said she may have received a virus as the vaccs can sometimes break down their immune system. A couple of days later she had a seizure. No signs or symptoms of it coming just collapsed and became stiff with her head shaking violently. The next day it happened again and lasted even longer with loss of her bowels at the same time. When I took her to the vet he ran her vitals and couldn’t find anything wrong aside from the fact that she looked slightly anemic “it’s nothing to worry about, she’ll be fine soon.”. He disregarded my questions relating to the neurological damage forums i found online on proheart and denied it being an issue. He released her and told me to keep him updated. A week went by, she had no seizures but still wasn’t herself. One morning I woke up and her stomach was swollen. She looked pregnant (she was spayed) and seemed very ill, and to add to it she had not passed a bowel in a 24 hour time frame. I took her back to the vet that afternoon, which was a Sunday, and he kept her for 4 hours. He did an X-ray on her stomach and found a lot of yellow liquid. After extracting about a cup full from her belly he diagnosed it as something she may have ate that punctured her wall. However he was more concerned with the mass in her heart that was causing her esophagus to curve severely which was causing shortage of oxygen. Keep in mind there was never anything wrong with karma! He told us to take her to their cardiologist the next morning when they were opened and if anything became worse to take her to ER which happened to be the same place of the cardiologist. One my way home karma passed her bowel in the back seat. After cleaning my car I walked into the house to see her sitting and staring at the wall. It was like she wasn’t there. I kept talking to her and she wouldn’t respond. Then she stood up took one step and passed out. I grabbed her went straight to ER and they immediately gave her an IV and kept her over night. At 3 am the vet called and said her heart rate was a 23 and should be around 60-65. He was trying to keep her alive and would call if it looked fatal. I didn’t hear anything about her until 9 am when the cardiologist called and said she had to have a Pace maker put in because she had irregular beating and would “maybe live 3 hours”. The twist was that the only vet who could do a pacemaker was 4 hours away and it would be $4500 with a 20% chance of living. My husband and I took our chances and drove as fast as we could to the vet. We made it but she was very very ill. They rushed her in to prep for surgery but the vet was concerned that something else was happening as all the symptoms karma had weren’t a regular pace maker case. She had an intestinal specialist look at her and he found her stomach had rotated 360 degrees shutting off blood supply from her stomach down and would have to have the dead organs removed before she could have her pace put in. Now we were looking at $18,000 with a 10% chance of life. After weeks of this pain on her we couldn’t take anymore. The only option we had was to euthanize as we felt it was better for her. She was in pain and because of her slow heartbeat she couldn’t have any meds. They cremated her and through the whole experience handled it very well. All 3 vets were caring and concerned as well a Pfizer who was in contact through all three weeks and had created a claim in case proheart was the culprit. However all vets said it wasn’t due to the shot. No autopsy was done and Pfizer did pay for the majority of the visits. We paid $1100 out of our own pocket.

    As an owner who has experienced the pain you have gone through I can say it is the hardest thing to see happen to you dog child and I wanted to share my story with you and everyone on here to help get the word out. I am still 100% positive Proheart was the cause and tell everyone with pets to stay away from it!!

    On a positive note, my aunt informed me after visiting her vet today that Proheart 6 has been banned. I have looked online to find an article but have not had any luck. I hope they are right so this doesn’t continue anymore. I am very sorry to hear about jack and my condolences go out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing you story! I feel every word has helped shut the problem down if it is indeed banned. Fingers crossed!

    • terriergal says:

      Speaking to the Mom and Dad of Jack, and all the others who have been kind enough to share their heart breaking stories, I simply want to say that you have done a great thing. Not only have you served as messengers regarding the effects of Prohart, you have allowed others to express their own personal grief. It is interesting that with Ashley’s story that her usual vet missed the BLOAT that Karma was suffering from. I too have been subjected to – for want of a better expression, stupid vets. Despite the belief that they are caring people and animal lovers, they run a business. So, at the close of your story, thank you again for every one’s sharing. As a closing, be mindful that Vets aren’t always right. You can always go back for additional immunizations after you do your research. But your forum has made people aware of the need to “beware.” Certainly the loss of a pet, no matter how young or old, is as heartbreaking as the loss of a family member with the added agony that they could not tell us what was wrong. Thank you to all the people striving to make it right.

  80. Barb says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. I will be very careful when it comes to any shots or meds for my Greyhounds.

  81. Missy Cannon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and making me recognize the need to ask more questions before any vaccination or procedure on my dog. You’ve done a great service to other animal lovers by telling your story and keeping us updated on the progress. I know how difficult it is to lose your precious Jack but please know you may have saved alot of dogs by telling your story. Thank you!!

  82. Julie says:

    I am heartbroken for your loss, and the loss of so many beautiful and cherished companions at the hands of veterinarians and their negligence and apathy. When I lost my beautiful Siamese Suki to the stupidest, laziest, and most negligent vet in the universe, believe me, I shouted her story to the world and am still doing so 13 years later. THANK YOU for putting up this site to honor your handsome Jack; if every veterinary victim would do this there would be THOUSANDS of sites exposing the serious flaws not only in the industry but in the veterinary boards that protect these people. I strongly suggest you file a complaint with your state board so THEY will know this vet’s name even if you don’t want to expose it. If you need tips on filing a complaint, go to my site Veterinary Abuse Network and click on Filing a Complaint. Find your state board and contact them. There may be other complaints about this vet and you could be saving a lot of lives; even if there aren’t you should still file. We must NEVER be afraid to speak out on behalf of those with no voices, nor must we ever put the interests of vets over our precious companions. Take care, and contact me directly if you need help with more information about filing a complaint.

  83. Susan Levine says:

    Ashley has there been any word yet from the necropsy yet? It should’ve been completed by now. How are you doing now? I hope there really is Justice for Jack! Hugs!

  84. Andy says:

    This page truly has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  85. Debra Wilson says:

    Ashley, first of all, my sincere condolences on the loss of your sweet Jack. I know how devastating the loss is, especially when it’s mixed with unresolved questions. I found your blog tonight while researching ProHeart 6, as my dog is scheduled to receive an injection next month. Thankfully, I had the luxury of time to do this research, and I am so grateful to you for posting your story. My dog is incredibly clever at keeping pills from getting anywhere near her mouth, and this injection sounded like such a blessing for both of us. Thank you so much for taking the time to relate your experience with this and giving the rest of us the opportunity to make an informed decision. You made a difference, at least for my girl, and I appreciate it.

    • We do feel that heartworm protection is important. If your dog won’t take an oral, consider a topical, or talk to your vet about Proheart. Our (former) vet did not warn us about any of the risks or dangers associated with the drug, nor did she give us an “informed consent” form to sign. That was our biggest problem with how our situation was handled.

      • Debra Wilson says:

        Just to clarify, she is currently taking Ivermectin monthly – it’s just a challenge thinking of new ways to trick her into swallowing it. While we haven’t discussed the details yet, my vet was very enthusiastic about ProHeart 6 and never mentioned anything negative. I hadn’t really considered that while the pills are in their system for just a few days, the injection is there for six months. Even if you notice a problem immediately, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do once the shot has been given, except wait it out. We’ll stick with the pills for now – I still have a few tricks up my sleeve!

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