Dog Owners Beware

One of our beloved dogs, Jack, a 6-year-old, chow-lab mix, died yesterday. His death was very unexpected and traumatic. Although, our dogs did not receive the same amount of attention as they did before Bobby was born, they were still loved dearly. Bob walked them religiously every single day. Jack loved, loved, loved, playing fetch. Tennis balls were his favorite. When we discovered that he had died, we began questioning what happened to our sweet Jack.

On Monday, May 7, 2012, we took both of our dogs to our vet for their annual check ups. It was a very routine visit. They were both checked for heartworms and parasites, weighed, and listened to. They were deemed normal and healthy. They both received their rabies vaccinations, and a new drug (via injection) that was recommend by our vet, ProHeart 6. Our vet simply said, “Hey, we have this new shot that we can give them for heartworm protection instead of an oral preventative. It’s easy because it’s only one dose every 6 months.” Sounded good to us, so we agreed. That was it. That was all the information we received, and—by our own fault—all we asked for.

Both of the dogs seemed fine the first week home, then Jack started acting differently. He didn’t want to go on his daily walks. He didn’t want to fetch his tennis ball. He didn’t want to eat his dog food. My husband even tried giving him some leftover steak from our dinner, and Jack wouldn’t eat it. We knew something was up, so we took him back to the vet on Monday, May 21.

The vet discovered that Jack had a fever, but could find nothing else wrong with him. He was given a steroid shot and some antibiotics in case he had an infection, and we were sent home. Over the next few days, Jack seemed to feel better. He was still a little lethargic, but was eating and perked up when we threw a ball or petted him. He seemed on the mend. We thought he must have just had a virus and was getting better. It did not even cross our minds that he was so gravely ill, so we continued with our Memorial Day plans to go to the beach.

We returned from the beach to a grim discovery—Jack dead in a pool of blood and vomit. His poor little body was crumpled up in a strange way, like he had literally just fallen over dead. We took him to an animal ER where they confirmed that he was dead, and we paid to have his body cremated. The vet at the animal ER stated that it appeared to be a heart attack or cardiopulmonary problem that killed him.

That evening, as we wrestled with grief and trying to explain death to our 3-year-old son, we began to question what on earth had happened to our previously perky puppy. Okay—he wasn’t a puppy, but he always behaved like a frisky, fun puppy, and he certainly wasn’t an old dog. We considered the possibility that he ate something bad, but his vet had all but ruled out a GI problem. We went over and over what was different, the only thing we had changed was their heartworm medicine.

We googled the shot he had received a few weeks earlier, ProHeart 6. The drug was originally made by a division of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, but the drug company Pfizer acquired Wyeth and all of its holdings in 2009. Pfizer’s own website lists side effects of the drug as lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and death. (Source: Pfizer) Jack had exhibited exactly all of those symptoms… in that order.

After doing further research, we also discovered that the drug was originally pulled off the market in 2004 for a high rate of adverse reactions to the drug. “According to an informed veterinarian, ‘Proheart caused more deaths in one year than all of the oral heartworm preventives combined did in ten years. When the FDA notified Pfizer that their drug was causing a problem, the manufacturer claimed it was due to the vaccines’ being given at the same time. The FDA looked at the data again and told them the dogs involved had been getting their vaccinations all along and the only difference was the Proheart. That’s when the FDA informed the company of their intent to pull it and the company then voluntarily took it off the market.” (Source: The Senior Dogs Project)

Pfizer was allowed to re-market the drug in 2008 with the following stipulations: Pfizer agreed to add additional warning labels to the drug packaging, and agreed to mandate that pet owners be given a drug fact sheet and be made to sign an “informed consent” document. Pfizer went even further as to mandate web-based training for veterinarians who gave the drug, and issued several “Dear Doctor” letters to all veterinarians regarding the adverse effects of the drug. (Read one of the “Dear Doctor” letters here.)

The part that bothered and alarmed us the most was this line from the drug’s website: “ProHeart 6 dog owners must be advised of the risks of ProHeart 6 and sign an Owner Consent Form prior to the first administration.” (Source: Pfizer)

We were never shown a fact sheet on the drug, never “advised of the risks”, and certainly not given an Owner Consent Form” by our vet to sign. (In hindsight, we feel that we should have asked more questions about the drug, but we trusted our veterinarian.) If the side effects had been presented to us as they have in our research, we would NOT have consented to have Pro Heart 6 administered to our dogs.

We also found some literature suggesting that ProHeart 6 should not be administered at the same time as vaccinations: “Allergic reactions, sometimes serious, have been reported when ProHeart 6 and vaccinations have been given at the same time. Talk to your veterinarian about the risks of administering ProHeart 6 at the same time as vaccinations.” (Source link here.) Our vet administered ProHeart 6 at the same time as Jack rabies vaccine, and distemper/bordetella.

The drug’s information page from Drugs.com states the following: “Owners should be advised of the potential for adverse reactions, including anaphylaxis, and be informed of the clinical signs associated with drug toxicity. Owners should be advised to contact their veterinarian immediately if signs of toxicity are observed. The vast majority of patients with drug related adverse reactions have recovered when the signs are recognized and veterinary care, if appropriate, is initiated.” (Source: Drugs.com)

When we did recognize that something was going on with our dog, we did what we thought good pet owners are supposed to do. We took him back to the vet. The vet should have recognized that he was having an adverse reaction to the ProHeart6 that she administered to him (without our “informed” consent) only weeks earlier and treated him appropriately. If the vetrinarian had recognized his symptoms, he could have recovered. She did not, and as a result, our otherwise healthy dog died. Now, we are left waiting on the drug to work its way out of our remaining dog’s system praying that she does not fall victim to the same fate.

Stories of dogs that died as a result of being administered this drug are abundant. Check out any of the following links for more information, and please, ask for all of the facts, side effects, and more information when your vet (or doctor) recommends this drug (or any drug). ProHeart 6 provides no additional benefits or protection than safer, oral heartworm preventatives.

Additional Resources:

Letters & Data by the Drug Manufacturer from the FDA’s Website:

July 22, 2002 “Dear Doctor” Letter warning of additional “adverse reactions”

June 19, 2003 “Dear Doctor” Letter advising of label changes due to “adverse reactions”

“Risk Minimization Action Plan” for the Re-Introduction of ProHeart 6 to the Market (63 Pages which includes the newest precautions, and the actual drug label, “Client Information Sheet”, and “Owner Consent Form”—none of which we were ever given.)

UPDATES

May 30, 2012:
I truly appreciate all of your condolences and support, and all of you who have shared this blog on your social media sites. It makes me feel much better knowing that we are raising consumer consciousness.

We aren’t trying to tell you what to do with your pets, just encouraging you to gather information before making any decisions.

A vet that works for Pfizer, the drug manufacturer, contacted us today to ask us if we would let them do an autopsy necropsy on Jack. (They had already called the crematorium to make sure his body had not been cremated yet.) We agreed. In fact, we felt relieved and feel that we will get some answers soon. His body is now on the way to the University of Florida to be examined by experts.

Our other dog does not seem to be exhibiting the same symptoms (so far thank goodness).

May 31, 2012:
Pfizer called back today to let us know they were planning on reimbursing us for the money we paid to have Jack cremated.

His body is being sent to a different lab in Florida and it will be 4-6 weeks before we get a full autopsy necropsy report. They are doing tissue samples, toxicology… The whole nine yards.

Pfizer seems as interested in getting answers as we do. Which is more than we can say for our (former) vet.

The vet has not responded to our requests for answers. (I.e. Did the vet who administered the shot complete Pfizer’s mandatory training? Why were we not given the “Owner Consent Form” and drug fact sheet? Why did the vet not recognize Jack’s symptoms when we took him back in?)

I have received lots of emails and messages from others who have lost their pets. My heart goes out to you. Some have asked me to publicly name the vet. I’m not going to do that (yet). I may, or may not, do that when we receive the autopsy results. At that time, we will know who is truly culpable. In the meantime, just be sure to ask your vet (or doctor for that matter) for lots of information before consenting to anything.

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. ****

***We are not veterinarians. Please discuss your concern’s about your pet’s health with a veterinarian certified by your state.***

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About ashleysassaman

Mother, Lover, Friend, Wife, Baker, Writer, Dreamer, Doer, Believer... This is a little bit of all of that.
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468 Responses to Dog Owners Beware

  1. Luanne Green says:

    WOW, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this though, it might save another beloved pet.

    • Pam says:

      Well, first and foremost, you need to let yourself off the hook. I would’ve done the EXACT same thing if my vet had offered (recommended) bring the dog in for a shot once every six months rather than giving the dog whatever the treatment may be once a month. I just wanted to say how very sorry I am and to thank you for telling your story. You may very well have saved my dogs’ lives. Bless you, and know your furkid is playfully chasing his ball at The Bridge.

      • sandy says:

        it is sad. you can’t trust your doctors regarding vaccines for humans. and you can’t trust your vet regarding vaccines for your pets. i am getting ready to have four cats spade (all my cats turned out to be female). i’m worried that one or more will die on the operating table.

      • Debbie says:

        I agree Pam, I think anyone would have done the same. In fact, my dogs have been on ProHeart6 for years! I get somethign to sign every time I go to the vet, but it just talks about services and risks associated (we get that for EVERY visit, and any vaccine. My Bailey and Dexter just got their 6 month shot two weeks ago. Thank you for making me aware of the warning signs, I would have assumed a virus as well. Hugs.

      • Jo Hargis says:

        As the owner of four dogs myself, thank you SO much for telling your story. It will save lives. I’m very sorry for your loss. I did want to make one point though. I do believe Pfizer wants to know what happened also, for their own reasons, but don’t assume you will be necessarily told the truth. If this turns out to be Pfizer at fault, or even the vet perhaps, they might not want you to know that. Those big pharma companies are looking out for number one first, and we aren’t number one.

      • LisaS says:

        I have to agree with Jo Hargis. I very much doubt Pfizer is doing this for your benefit and you will never be informed if it turns out their product was the cause. Drug companies are some of the sleeziest corporations I’ve heard of. This is an article about what happened when Merial’s heartworm medication was found to being causing deaths also: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2011/05/suit-alleges-heartgard-plus-cover-up.html Pet owners need to do their own research and not rely on what their vets are telling them. Too many vets are in it for the money rather than the good of the dogs. There are still many vets out there demanding that their clients give their pets annual vaccinations. The vets schools as well as the AAHA now recommend these shots every THREE years; not annually. Of course, this means the vets lose their ungodly mark up on these vaccines (they cost about $3 each; my vet sells them for $35. )

      • wendy says:

        I am very sorry to hear your doggie passed away ashley thank you for telling your story.

    • Merl Bidner says:

      I was crying while am reading ur story about ur dog i also loss my beloved dog but she’s old she die with heart prob.So sorry i know how u feel i still miss my dog even almost 2 yrs now i can’t replace her my heart is broken into a thousand pieses when i loss her..U take care and god bless u.
      Merly

    • I am so terribly sorry for your loss. This sad case sounds so much like the “Rimadyl” matter – the drug that killed my dog (and many more ) in October of 1997! The information you are providing in your seeking Justice for Jack is invaluable! Thank you for alerting others to the serious dangers of ProHeart 6.
      http://www.dogsadversereactions.com/nsaid/memorials.html#george
      http://www.dogsadversereactions.com/nsaid/lawsuitsettled.html

      • Jean, I just read your websites! WAY TO GO for taking on Pfizer! I have been unable to find any local attorney who will even consider helping us. My only prayer is that Pfizer will do the right thing here. We aren’t after money. Being reimbursed for Jack’s medical costs after being given ProHeart 6 would be nice, but we really want a way for pet owners to be more informed about the risks of drugs like this.

    • Connie says:

      I am sorry to read about the tragic loss of Jack. I would like to suggest that you notify your State Veterinary Board of this situation, b/c it definitely sounds like the vet was at fault, remiss in not passing on mandated information. Sadly this won’t help bring Jack back, but the vet needs to be held accountable and hopefully prevented from doing further damage w trusting animal guardians. I had a similar situation 4 yrs ago w a very traumatic loss of a cat, and took this action. The state Vet Board did investigate and found the vet at fault. I can only hope that other animals won’t suffer the same fate. Godspeed to Angel Jack.

    • Janice Storey says:

      I worked with a small group that fought very long and hard to prove the truth about the original Proheart 6 for over 2 1/2 years. It took a toll on me crying with so many dog owners and hearing their stories. We posted their stories and pictures on a website that was named http://www.adversereactions.com after being threatened by attorneys for Wyeth cause we had created a website originally called proheart information.com The history and what we went thru would make a movie….I assure you. Jean who has posted here lost three dogs after PH6. I and several others appeared in front of the FDA committee held for the purpose of voting for or against Proheart to NOT return it to the market. My dogs name was Trouble and he was around 6 years old….never been sick a day in his life before Proheart. He died within 2 mos after the shot. So you know, we prevailed with the FDA committee voting 8-7 against returning it to the market. So something we did or said had to be of significance in their evaulations. There is so much to tell all of you….but hard to condense so much information. So, I am going to post what I stated to this committee which is a matter of record regarding my dog and two others that I spoke on their behalf which included providing the committee with laboratory results from accredited veterinarians and veterinarian specialists. 2 dogs from Texas and 1 from California. What is also ironic is that the very vet (one of the nations foremost heartworm specialists with Auburn University that diagnosed my dogs xrays and concluded he died from pulmonary embolisims (blood clots) in the lungs due to dying heartworms was never told my dog had received the PH6 shot by my vet who asked him to review the xrays. In fact this heartworm specialist supported PH6 and was on their front page of their website promoting it to other vets and the public. Had he known my dog had received PH6, I find it very unlikely his conclusion would have been what he said. Amazing is it not? So here is what I stated in front of FDA committee hearing:
      MS. STOREY: My name is Janice Storey, and my dog died in October of 2002. Two-and-a-half years I’ve been waiting for this product to be recalled. Many thousands of dogs have been affected. I have in my possession two other dog owners have asked me to cite the conclusions that veterinary specialists after determining, after thorough examinations and extensive testing, how ProHeart affected their dogs, and the case numbers have been presented to the FDA and Wyeth. One of them is in California, an attorney, and that case number is 80840-05. The other one is a — the name of the dog is Pickles. The other one is case number 200402016, Rusty, a six-year-old champion Doberman in Dallas.
      Also my dog, four vets, not one, not a single vet would ever admit — the product had only been on the market one year — that my dog could possibly have been harmed — actually I was told could never be possibly harmed by ProHeart 6. However, my new personal vet, I submitted his x-rays which had a huge amount of spots on them, to him. He submitted it to one of the utmost heartworm specialist in US. I can’t say names here, but he appears on the Wyeth front page of your website, so you would know who that would be, and he is at Auburn University. So you all can figure it out. He looked at my x-rays and he said that it is difficult for vets sometimes to look at these x-rays and determine if it is in fact heartworms or if in fact it is cancer. So he looked at my x-rays and he determined as told to my personal vet that it was pulmonary thromboembolisms. Furthermore, my own dog’s testing, the very first vet that I took him to, he had written down PTE remarkable. I had no idea what PTE is. I later found out it means pulmonary thromboembolisms.
      My dog had hidden heartworms, and he had tested a false negative for 6 years due to being on Heartguard Plus. Any monthly preventative out there is capable of making the female worm sterile with prolonged use. The testing is inaccurate on low female worm burdens. Therefore any dog that receives a ProHeart 6 is at risk. I have documentation whereby the dog in Dallas, it cleared the adult heartworms in 33 days and the microfilaria in 45. Has Wyeth ever contacted this specialist? No. Furthermore, the personal vet of that same dog, Rusty, heard from Wyeth one time. They have yet to have ever been paid, and that was a year-and-a-half ago. But Wyeth will pay the vets that don’t speak out against ProHeart, and that is the problem the public has. We can’t convince our vets since they are brainwashed by Wyeth. They are afraid of Wyeth. They buy products from Wyeth. It is very difficult for us to prove to you. Furthermore, any of you vets here know that in the clearance of microfilaria that it can create IMHA. You also know — I have a study here from Japan, a clinical research data, a published veterinary journal. It shows what happened to microfilaria-positive dogs.
      So, yes, I’m emotional about this. I’m mad about this. I am not going to read to you everything. You can read it. You have the case numbers. You can read what the vets concluded. I’m tired of the vets that promote the product like Banfield who is going to acquire a lot of money because we come in every six months and spend our money. This product — and I’m mad at the FDA. They should have never approved this product. There was not enough research done. Only 200 dogs in Australia had the shot and was only in any dogs body for 9 months and the shot was designed for 12 months. So tell me how this injection was proven to be safe and effective if not in any dogs body for less than the time called for?? It was only tested in two veterinary clinics in Australia and overseen by students. Why don’t you all investigate the microspheres?
      Why don’t you investigate what’s really going on here? They are obtaining research on our dogs, and they are using it to further their vaccines in my opinion, and that testing can be tied to the fact that in October of ‘03 they had a first injection for humans that they announced. Okay? And in March of ‘04 they announced their affiliation with TR and World Health Organization. So this isn’t about just a heartworm shot. You vets have been mislead. You are being used as a tool to inject the dogs, and they pay for the tests and they win. We lose. Our dogs die. We can spend thousands of dollars to protect them. So I’m angry. I’m sorry, but I am angry. (Five Minutes Up)

    • Chris says:

      First, let me say I am very sorry for your loss. I struggle with every companion lost over the years and the effect on our children makes it that much worse.

      To the matter of debate, I am a former vet tech in a state (Florida) where I was permitted to perform treatments that are restricted to veterinarians in many other states. I am in no way a veterinarian or even a practicing technician any longer, but I can say from experience that any dog starting a new heart worm treatment or restarting after more than a 45 day lapse in treatment should absolutely be tested prior to receiving anything. This is really an industry standard and any veterinary facility not following such a protocol is woefully inept in their services. Was Jack tested prior to receiving the ProHeart6?

      If he did have a small adult worm in his heart, it signifies the presence of moderately advanced infestation, as the life cycle to adulthood is approximately 3-6 months. Any dog with active heart worm infestation, to any degree, who receives treatment, either oral or injection, is at extreme risk of fatality. This is why it is so critical to test beforehand and if your vet did not do so, they are definitely guilty of improper care. In my book that is malpractice, but the courts will say otherwise currently.

      Again, my condolences for your loss. It may well have been preventable. ProHeart6 has its concerns for older dogs or sick dogs, and it may have been a factor for Jack, but if he had heart worm, any treatment would have produced the same result. I hope this is of some help.

    • Alex E. says:

      I am sorry to hear about the issue that happend close to a year ago… but as I was reading the end of the post/blog/etc…. I noticed you said: “We will also follow the state requirement of giving our dogs the rabies vaccine once every 3 years.”… you might want to check your facts – and yes it is POSSIBLE states are different on this topic… but the term ANNUAL rabies vaccinations is exactly that – YEARLY… not every 3 years. There are vets out there that will do a “3yr dose”… but you neeeeeeeeeed to keep those records because I know as a dog owner myself that some places require city/county license/registrations for dogs and rabies information is part of that requirement.

      As mentioned even in your post – state requirement:
      http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws

      Granted the above site is not the FDA or a vet site or what have you, but it gives you a guideline as to the various states — especially for those who plan to move or even travel through various states… and yes even if you travel through a state – you have to follow the laws = ie. KEEP RECORDS

    • aerolove says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know to this day you must miss your pup terribly. I know you have saved other dogs and also made people aware that they must educate themselves. We tend to trust whatever our vets say but a little personal research can go a long way. Because you are being proactive in saving other dogs, Jack did not die in vain. God Bless him.

  2. Rachael Compton says:

    Oh Ashley, I am simply heartbroken after reading this :( I cannot even imagine the pain you & your family are experiencing after such a tragedy. Please know we are keeping you & yours in our thoughts & prayers. Thank you for sharing this, so we can all avoid this vaccine & heartbreak.

  3. Brenda Bolton says:

    So sorry you suffered this loss, Ashley. Both I and my brother have lost pets as a result of vet actions over the years. Our 12 year old mixed breed was given an antihistamine injection which was contraindicated in dogs with heart disease (which she had). She went into congestive heart failure within hours and died the next morning after suffering all night. My brother’s dachshund, only 1 or 2 years old, was given a “vitamin” injection, and immediately went down on the vet’s table, dying within seconds. She obviously was given a euthanasia injection in error but my sister-in-law was so young at the time, and so distraught, that she did not think to demand to have the syringe for testing. Thank you for sharing the information about this vaccine. I am furious that it was put back on the market at all.

    • wendy says:

      I am to, I hope nothing happens to anymore dogs, or cats or any pets. The vets should know what they are giving after all they are pet doctors,& nurses..

      • Katy Washburn says:

        Hi. I too am so sorry for your loss and am so grateful you care about others and their pets enough to send this out. But a red flag went up in my head too about Pfizer taking your dog. The evidence, your Jack, seems to be in the wrong hands to bring about justice. Is this why there aren’t any attorneys willing to take the case? From myself and my 4 yr. old lab mix Rose, we give thanks for all these warnings and information. God bless you all. Katy Washburn

  4. Laura says:

    Sooo tragic and needless. And to think you brought your back to the vet’s and they did not even realize what was going on. We lost our beloved dog late last year because of an adverse reaction to the pain pill Deramaxx. It still makes me very angry and upset. My heart goes out to you. You shouldn’t be going through this at all.

    • wendy says:

      My guess is they did know what was going on,& didnt want to say anything, because they were already guilty.

  5. Laurie says:

    So sorry for the loss of your beloved puppy, but by getting this information out it will help save other dogs in the future thank you so much for sharing your story

  6. Sarah says:

    I am sitting here in tears at my desk… I can’t imagine what I would do. I’m more angry for you than anything. I understand it may have been an innocent mistake, but doctors need to do their due diligence. I am very sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story to educate others.

    • Thank you Sarah, and all of those who have expressed sympathy. It’s hard to lose a pet, but especially when we feel it was completely preventable. Had our vet followed protocol, and/or recognized the symptoms of toxicity when we took him back in, we believe Jack would be alive. Had we been more informed, we would have never consented to give our dogs this drug. I truly hope this blog raises awareness about this drug, and the need for consumers (including myself) to be more active in the care that they receive for themselves, others, or their pets.

      If a drug killed as many humans as this drug has killed dogs, not only would it be off the market, people would be in jail.

      We have notified the FDA, Pfizer, and local authorities. If I thought one lawsuit could get this drug off the market, I would sue. But, our economy is set up to protect those with the most money (I.e. the drug companies), instead of consumers. As consumers, we have to demand more information to be able to make informed decisions.

      We are still mourning and adjusting to the new eerie quiet that has settled over our home. Life without Jack is different, but hopefully his death will prevent the death of other dogs.

      • Sherlyn Orton says:

        I am so sorry Ashley. Your sudden loss of your beloved pet seems to be shared by too many these days. I am also curious if and when your vet confirmed her culpability in Jack’s death if she has agreed to stop administering this drug immediatley?

        Sherlyn

      • To date, the vet has not admitted any wrongdoing, offered any apology, or agreed to stop administering the drug.

      • Linda Dalton says:

        I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. And i thank you for your courage to take the time to tell your story. My heart goes out to you and your family. Im thankful for all the info you have provided. I have 7 dogs from 15yrs to 6 mo and they are all on heartworm prevention. Until now had never heard of this drug. Dont feel bad you had no way of knowing. If my vet offered it to me i would have jumped on it too. Jack didnt die in vain. Thanks to You more dogs than you will ever know will be saved from the same fate. THANK YOU & GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY 2 & 4 FOOTED.

      • Mark Wick says:

        The loss of your dog, especially in this manner, is very upsetting to me. I hve lost many animals but none to medical error.
        In the spirit of providing important information, it isn’t the economy that is set up to protect those with the most money, it is the way most people see the legal system. There is a company that levels the playing field between those who have a lot of money and those of very modest means.
        If you want to know more, I can provide details about the company. At the very least, I suggest you consult with an attorney before naming this vet. Don’t risk creating legal heartache on top of what you are already suffering.

      • Thanks for the comment. We are not releasing the name of the vet, and are also not interested in pursuing any further legal counsel on the issue. We just want some answers, be it from the drug company or our vet- an apology and raised awareness would be pluses.

      • Janey says:

        I am so sorry for your great loss of Jack. As a dog/animal lover who is committed to providing the best care for my critters I am so shocked and saddened that your Jack had to pass while so under your vets care. She should have read up more on what she was prescribing and been ready for the side effects shown. So very sad.

  7. Reid Hyams says:

    This Vet should have her license taken away to practice medicine, period. Sorry to hear about this and at the same time you should pursue the vet’s license ~ ‘with friends like that, who needs enemies’!

  8. Johnny Hap says:

    @Sarah.. That’s not an innocent mistake.. This Doc either knew the drug was recalled.. or was lied to by a drug seller.. which still makes the Doc negligible and ignorant. Punishment to put some folks out of business are warranted.

    So Sorry for your loss.. Thank you for spreading the word.. please post the name of the Vet.

    • Just so we are clear, the FDA did allow the drug to be re-marketed in 2008. However, the drug company REQUIRES that pet owners be given a fact sheet and made to sign an informed consent document. We were not given those documents.

      Also, the drug label states that Proheart is not to be given with any other vaccines. Our (former) vet gave it in conjunction with two other vaccines (rabies and bordetella).

      The drug company also requires bet training. If they sold the drug to this vet without training her, they should be liable. If she was trained and she simply ignored protocol, she should be liable.

      Additionally, the vet should have recognized the signs of toxicity when we took him back in and treated him appropriately. There were multiple ways this could have been prevented.

      Either the drug rep did not adequately inform the vet, the vet is incompetent or
      negligent, or some combination thereof.

      We should probably try to get the money back for the vaccines we didn’t consent to, the treatment of Jack once he got sick, and his cremation fees, but what we really want is Jack back, and we can’t have that.

      • Angie says:

        I took my dog to the vet yesterday. Frankly, my dog was so sick, I would have done a rain dance if the vet had told me it would make my dog well. He’s the one with the degree, so I trust him. Had that shot been part of “the cure”, I would have made the wrong decision. Thanks for sharing your heartbreak; it’s going to save others from losing the love only a pet can give.

      • zoe says:

        In addition, (if you haven’t already) you should file a complaint with the vetrinary governing association/board in your area (state/province/region/country). They should then investigate the vet and their practice to ensure that proper protocols are followed and they should take appropriate disciplinary action(s). At the very least it will be brought to their attention. Even though you do not have the results of the necropsy yet, proper protocols (the informed consent form and administering the vaccine with other vaccines) were not followed and someone needs to be made aware so that this veterinary practice does not continue to do this. Nothing will bring your beloved Jack back, but by notifying the vet governing association you may help save other families from suffering the same loss. You are brave for sharing your trauma and pain. Thank you.

        So very sorry for your loss.

      • April says:

        Ashley, ever try a different vet, one that does not use the cut, poison, burn method of treatment? There is an organization that vets become a member of that will use natural, non-toxic methods to take care of your pets and it is less expensive. My kitty boy got a L shaped cut on his eye lens (accident, long story). Traditional AVMA vet charged me $200. just to flick the loose eye lens with Q-tip before they recommended eye surgeon. I thought, BS $200. for nothing but a referral to an eye surgeon. That vet belonged to AVMA big conglomerate. Linda Blair was taking her pets to that horrible, expensive place. I took little kitty boy to different vet who practiced acupuncture and was very good at it. He had people who would book appts. for their pets and fly in from out of state to see him. We loved him. Kitty boy sat quietly while Dr. administered the needles around his face, amazing considering the boy doesn’t let Mom do anything to him. He got 3 acupuncture treatments. I asked Dr. how acupuncture works on kitty boy’s eye. He said that he was stimulating the nerves to tell them to repair the eye and they did. Eye was fine. We did use some antibiotic salve to keep eye from infection while kitty boy was under Dr.’s care. Anyway, the right place to find a vet is the American Holistic Veterinary Assn. (AHVMA) where they will use diet, acupuncture, herbs, homeopathic remedies which are gentle and work with your pet instead of against it. Go to their website, look up the area where you live and start interviewing new doctors. I won’t go to a traditional vet ever again. The acupuncture treatment $40., the office visit $40.
        very affordable. http://www.ahvma.org/

      • Janey says:

        If suing not only ask for all vet fees, and cremation fee’s but damages. Losing a beloved dog through the fault of a supposed professional animal veterinary doctor must be worthy of pain and suffering damages.

        I can only imagine how enraged and ANGRY I would be in your shoes..

        So sorry for your great loss.

    • wendy says:

      The name of the vet is important then if others go to this vet it can somehow be prevented too… possibly…

  9. brenda k n says:

    so sorry thanks 4 sharing it GOD BLESS

  10. Ash Dey says:

    Tremendously sorry for your loss. Having two wonderful pups (adult dogs, really!) myself, I can imagine how painful this must have been for you to endure. Thank you for taking the time to share this story and warning with us. I hope that your other dog has made a complete recovery and is showing no signs of the toxicity. All the best to you and your pup.

  11. AlayaBand says:

    Thank you for this story. Nice blog

    Don’t forget to visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0u33Y4n99A
    and watch this video. OK.

  12. Jan says:

    Please, please make sure your vet knows that she killed your dog. You could asi call the licensing board for veterinarians to let them know that her negligence caused his death. I am so sorry for your loss. I wrote an article about a local vet here who had misdiagnosed a pregnant dog and administered vaccinations. The paper would not print it and so many others will go to him. I did call him though and make sure everyone in his office knew what happened. At least he felt terrible. I also emailed some of his patients to tell them what happened. Your story will save many dogs and we are so grateful to you.

    • I visted the vet today to discuss the issue with them. I also called several other local vets to see if they were aware of this drug. Some of them advertise the drug, while others do not use it because of its known risks.

  13. Missi says:

    I am sorry for your loss . Unfortunately there are other medications that vets push without telling you about the adverse reactions . My dog suffered permanent neurological problems after being treated with Sentinel ( a heartworm preventative) , Neuro problems was listed as a possible reaction in the fine print but the vet never told me it was possible .

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I am learning that heartworm medications in general might not be as necessary as the vets and drug companies want us to believe. Most oral and topical treatments only actually kill live heartworms. If people get their dogs checked regularly, then they would be aware if their dog contracts heartworms and can treat them promptly. Check to see if you live in an area that is highly prone to heartworms, if you do, it may be needed; if not, it might can be skipped as long as your dog receives regular vet checks.

      • To a point I agree, but please remember that heartworm treatment can cost up to $400-$500 if they do end up contracting it. Heartworm treatment is harsh, and really hard on the dogs’ bodies, and if the dog is already ill, old, or has an autoimmune disease it can kill them. It’s a lot safer to give them the monthly heartguard/etc than to treat it after the fact.

      • I understand. And where we live, in a mosquito-prone area, heartworm preventives are needed. But, I just want people to talk to their vet about the pros and cons of all of their options… Be it ProHeart 6, oral pills, or topical treatments.

      • Definitely! Some of the stuff on the market is terrible. Two brands to stay away from are Spot On, and Hartz. Hartz has killed many pets, but they have managed to “prove” it wasn’t their drug that did it. Spot on….I’m sorry but I don’t trust a topical that costs $10 for 3 months, to me it’s the same as Hartz.

      • kat says:

        Please please please do not recommend this. I understand the anger and frustration as well as the desire to question necessity of all medications. However, treating heartworms is hardly better than preventing them. I you have an active dog, treatment itself can kill him because he must be extremely msllow for a month. And non-mosquito prone areas are certainly not safe. It takes the bite of exactly 1 mosquito. Furthermore, most preventatives also prevent some intestinal worms which can be contracted by humans (especially small children). PLEASE I urge you to not give this advice, as I combat the issue of misinformation every day by pet owners who love to Google. There are very few vets who will talk you to just not give preventative, and if it is recommended to skip, it’s usually because the pet is battling something that will kill it faster than heartworms. Trust me, it’s not the money. We get paid significantly less than you think.

      • We just adopted a Pekingese that is about 2 yrs old took it to our vet (Banfield inside Petsmart) and she has heartworms. I was told by an ex-vet tech that if you continue to give the animal the Heartworm that this will keep them from producing any more, I think it kills the baby worms and the female. And then the worms only have a certain life cycle so after about 18 months the dog will probably be heartworm free. So that way we don’t have to give it the arsenic and keep it calm for 30 days to 6 weeks. So sorry to hear about your baby

      • Janey says:

        I have often wondered about this. I live in southern BC Canada and never, not once have I been advised to have heart worm vaccines or preventatives given to my dogs ever during my dog filled life. A scam to those that live in non prone to HW areas? Dunno, just has never been recommended where I live..

        Am also reading more and more that yearly vaccinations to our pets may be overkill. Must do some research! Have no problem getting them in and checked out/vaccinated when recommended but if it is not necessary to vaccinate and indeed may be harmful to my fur kid? Not acceptable.

    • wendy says:

      I didnt know sentinal is bad to thank you missi..

  14. UPDATE:
    First of all, I truly appreciate all of your condolences and support, and all of you who have shared this blog on your social media sites. The page was viewed over 5,000 times today, and it makes me feel much better knowing that we are raising consumer consciousness.

    Second, we did notify the vet, the FDA, and Pfizer about all of this. Our main concern is that this vet may not have been properly trained on how to use this vaccine and inform pet owners of its side effects.

    A vet that works for Pfizer, the drug manufacturer, contacted us today to ask us if we would let them do an autopsy on Jack. (They had already called the crematorium to make sure his body had not been cremated yet.) We agreed. In fact, we felt relieved and feel that we will get some answers soon. His body is now on the way to the University of Florida to be examined by experts.

    • Rachael Compton says:

      I am so happy to hear a Pfizer representative is getting involved. Social Media can be a very good tool to inform & it spreads like wildfire (which is good in this case). I know nothing will bring Jack back to you, but if this blog prevents even 1 unnecessary animal death, I am sure it will give you some satisfaction. I hope you get some definitive answers Ashley. Thinking of you daily with a heavy heart!!

    • Patricia Calvert says:

      Will be anxiously awaiting the results of the autopsy. Am so very sorry for this senseless loss in your family. I am so wary anymore about vaccines in general. Wishing you continued healing, and thank you for alerting other people about the potentiality of incorrect and over medication administered by the vets we
      trust with our canine (and feline) family members.

  15. Sorry for your loss but It sounds like this will help in many ways to save our furry babies. Thank you for sharing because you are a caring person.

  16. Regan Smith says:

    This is disgusting, shame on Pfizer and the vet that gave this to Jack. I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. I hope Jack’s story helps bring awareness to everyone so that nobody else has to suffer like this.

  17. Janice Purcelly says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your “puppy”. Your dog was beautiful. It is so sad when we lose our beloved pets. My puppy (who will be 8 in August), is due to go to the vet for his annual check up as well as his vaccinations. Thanks to your very sad story, I know not to let my dog get the new shot that is available for heartworms. I am sure if my vet offered the shot to me, I would have agreed to it, just like you. We trust or vets and depend on them to do the research on the medications they administer to our pets.Thanks again for sharing your story. I am sure it will help to prevent this from happening to another “puppy”.

    • Liz says:

      I have never been a big fan of Proheart 6. With 12 years of experience as a licensed vet tech, I am also leary of annual vaccines. A titer test is a much better option. It is a simple blood test to check for immunity. The less injectable stuff the better. I would also do a three year rabies instead of having it done yearly. I hate that y’all have to deal with all of this, but more people are being informed about this product which is good.

  18. Though there are many services that vets push that are not necessary (yearly vaccinations, prescription diets, etc), monthly heartworm preventative and annual testing IS NECESSARY if you live in an area where mosquito season is year-round (ALL of the South and coastal regions). Adverse reactions to oral heartworm preventatives are extremely rare, but deaths from heartworm infestation or the subsequent treatments required to kill adult heartworms are MUCH more common. Once a dog has heartworms, the standard treatment, Immiticide, is a chemotherapy-like drug with many side effects, including death. Plus using a monthly heartworm preventative like Heartgard or Interceptor (though the list does go on…) is a very cost effective way to maintain the overall health of your dog. Treatment of heartworm disease with Immiticide is cost prohibitive for the average pet owner which can mean a certain, agonizing death due to heartworm infestation. The fact that your vet is still vaccinating for Rabies annually screams that she is not up-to-date on current medical literature and protocol. I am very sorry for your loss, but I am glad that you are sharing your story. Too many people blindly believe what their veterinarian is doing is in the best possible interests for their pets. Many times, the driving force is the almighty dollar. Sad but true…
    Lauren Smitherman
    Lauren’s Zoo Special Interest Adoptions

    • What is the recommended schedule for the rabies vaccine?

      • Kris R says:

        There is now an option to do a 3 year rabies vaccine after the first annual vaccine has been administered. This is only recommended in dogs, not in cats, as cats seem to be more prone to injection site tumors. Be aware that some breeds do not maintain a titer for the full 3 years and should have annual rabies vaccinations. Also, with regard to heartworm preventative, there are certain breeds that are more prone to have reactions to the ivermectin – specifically herding breeds.

      • zoe says:

        Here is a link to the recomended vaccine schedule for cats and dogs from the wsava (World Small AnimalVeterinary Association) http://www.wsava.org/PDF/Misc/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf in addition if you google Dr Ronald Schultz or check out the links at the rabies challenge fund http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/education to find out vaccination schedules. Rabies should be “no more often” than every three years.

      • Danica says:

        3 years is the new protocol most up-to-date Vets are using, although there are studies that have shown Rabies vaccines to be good for 7-10 years. Dogs have also been proven to show immunity after only 1 rabies shot for their whole lives.. I will try to find the article for you. Please consider Titer testing, this is a simple blood test that will show your dog’s immunity levels to each vaccine componant. It basically tells you whether or not your dog actually has to be vaccinated that year.. I have seen so many dogs have horrible adverse reactions to Rabies Vaccines, and it took me going to 4 vets before one even mentioned a Titer Test, which by the way costs around $100, so its the same as getting the booster shots.. The sad thing is Vets make the most of their money off of yearly vaccine visits, so they do not advertise alternatives to vaccinating your dog yearly. Also, there is no difference between the 1 year Rabies vaccine and the “3 year” one they have now, so don’t pay more for their “3 year vaccine”. I am attaching a link to a website explaining Titer Testing for you >> http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2008/10/22/titer-test/ I wish you all the best, and I truly do look forward to hearing the autopsy reports.

      • Danica, thank you do much for that info! It is very helpful! The sad irony is that when I was pregnant with my son, I did a lot of research in the vaccines required for children. After my research, I am not anti-vaccine, I just felt that some of the vaccines that are now “recommended” were not necessary. With the guidance of my pediatrician, my husband and I are using a different and reduced vaccine schedule for my son (who is now 3). I felt very knowledgable and informed regarding my child’s care, but completely failed my dogs. :( I will not make the same mistake twice, and I will help others arm themselves with information.

      • Susan Fogleman says:

        It varies from state to state. Most states now accept the every 3yr program for vaccination against rabies. There are still states that require a 1 yr rabies vaccination. It is the same vaccination, at the same dose as those allowed to use the 3 yr program. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory and how often they are required is governed by the state.

      • wendy says:

        I think its 3 years…

      • wendy says:

        I think its every 3 years

    • Ah… I see where my state, Alabama, was the last state in the country to change the law from yearly rabies vaccines to 36 months. And yes, my vet did say it was required annually. (face palm) What else do I need to know? I feel so uninformed.

      • It sounds like you need a new vet honey! I’m a Vet Tech, and the Vet I work for goes through all the warnings, the requirements, the forms, and explains the risks/benefits related to this vaccine. I’m terribly sorry that your Vet was so blatantly irresponsible! It makes me sick that there are a few terrible Vets out there that make the news way more often than the good ones. I’m so sorry for your loss! I’m very glad Pfizer is stepping up and beginning to take responsibility for what happened to Jack. You need to see this through, all the way. Document EVERYTHING. Every phone call, every card/letter, every email. (I also have a degree in Criminal Justice.). You need to be able to prove negligence – and considering you not only were not informed of the risks but were not even presented with the consent form – you have a strong case. Report the Vet and your findings/progress to the state AVMA board and let them look into the Vet’s handling of the case. (American Veterinary Medical Association). Negligence is negligence, and a doctor is a doctor. I hope you are able to follow through with this and get some justice for your pet and get the word out about this irresponsible vet! My thoughts and prayers are with you!

      • Dot Baxter says:

        I am so sorry for your loss. Too many of our fur kids are dying. You should be able to trust your vet but it seems us pet parents have to double check everything. The new guidelines for distemper and parvo are every three years. I will titer for these and only give boosters if needed. I also never do rabies with any other vaccine I would rather pay for 2 visits. Unfortunately it is almost impossible in most states to get around the rabies vaccine which probably lasts at least SEVEN years, even with a titer. My town and vet both insisted that my cocker spaniel, who suffered chronic ear infections, had to have his rabies booster. Less than 8 weeks later he was dead from cancer – mast cell tumor. Yes, he probably had it for awhile but in my heart I feel the rabies vaccine caused it to become very aggressive. He went from no signs of being a problem to an orange sized lump in 3 hours. He kept fussing at it and created an abscess that ruptured and less than 2 days later he had to be PTS as we couldn’t control the bleeding. I feel like I should have been able to do more to protect him.

      • So sorry to hear about your loss.

      • Liz says:

        There is actually a veterinarian in Mobile who offers an in house titer test for around 50 dollars. It checks immunity levels for Parvo, Distemper, and adenovirus. It requires a small amount of blood and takes about 30 minutes to get the results. They also can booster just what is needed and not a combo shot.

  19. Kari H says:

    My friend lost their beloved dog due to ProHeart…. within minutes… right there at the vet’s office :( Love and hugs to you and your family :(

  20. Nadine Skewes says:

    This is a disgrace! Why is this drug available in Australia? Anywhere? How can we put our trust in our Vets when incidents such as this are allowable.
    I’m disgusted….

  21. simply me says:

    Sorry for your loss, but Big Pharma is full of Oafs. Think “its better for us to keep the price of certain drug high – making huge profits -while people who can’t afford the drugs die…”
    They are far worse than bankers. It shouldn’t be up to consumers to search and these facts as obviously, some vets somewhere will make similar mistakes. If the drug is a poison, they have to pull it off completely for Christs sake!

  22. warmblooded says:

    I am so sad to hear about you loss, this is horrible. How can they think it’s ok to sell something that may cause death?! Thank you for sharing, and my heart goes out to you and all the others that lost animals to this drug!

  23. Laurie says:

    I am so sorry about the loss of your dog. I almost had the same experience with my dog Zoe. She had a severe allergic reaction to the shot and almost died. My dog is really timid around people so my vet recommended I give her 3 benedryl before we brought her in to get her shots. Little did I know that the benedryl may have just saved her life. Even with 3 benedryl she had hives all over her body, her nasal passage was closing up, she was having trouble breathing, etc. The emergency vet told me to give her 2 more benedryl and to bring her in ASAP. The vet told me if she had not received the first 3 benedryl that she would have gone in to shock and died because we wouldn’t have been able to catch the reaction in time because it would have been 10x more severe than it was after she was given the 3 benedryl. This shot is deadly and should be banned from the market.

  24. Chris says:

    Thank you for this information. No way my dogs are getting this shot! I’ve also experienced the pain of watching my dogs pay stupid mistakes made by people and dealing with those mistakes through the legal system. To say goodbye to a beloved dog is hard. To say goodbye when their death could have been prevented, when they were young, when the and had much to live for is almost unbearable. Please know that you did what every dog owner does, you trusted your Vet; and give yourselves the gift of grieving in between the anger that can easily become the main focus.

  25. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting this to help others.

  26. DD says:

    Thank you for sharing this tragic story. Sending healing thoughts to you and your family.

  27. That’s tragic! My heart hurts for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your loss and for warning us all!

  28. Alex says:

    I don’t understand. I remember when moxidectin injection was first used, and my newfie got it (luckily with no problem). This was YEARS ago. Then a lot of dogs started dying from it and I never heard of it being given again. I thought this use was no more. Thank you for sharing this!

    • It was removed from the market in 2004. Prior to that, it was marketed by a different company (Wyeth). Pfizer bought it and repackaged it and got the FDA to reapprove it as long as vets followed the new and updated protocol– which my vet did not.

  29. cdmas93 says:

    I am so sorry about your terrible loss. We had our dogs in for their yearly vaccinations while they were being boarded and this drug was PUSHED on us. I had never heard of it so asked they not inject until I did my research. I have one dog that is allergic to everything and on the warnings for ProHeart it says this should NEVER be given to dogs with allergies. Needless to say we don’t go to this vet any longer – after I let him have it for even considering that this injection would be suitable for my dogs!! Are vets getting a kick back for pushing this?
    Thank you so much for sharing your story! Hopefully you have saved some dogs lives with this post!

    • I believe that the vets make more money off of this than they do selling you an oral or topical treatment. I do not know that to be a fact, but that is what I believe. I am so glad that you did not consent to giving your dogs this shot. I am curious, did your vet inform you of the side effects and show you the consent form?

      • cdmas93 says:

        NO! My vet did not discuss the side effects with me. Just told me how convenient it was and cheaper than the monthly chews we use. This is the vet we had used for all our dogs so he knows of the one dog’s allergies very well. Never saw a consent form or any info. Just received a phone call asking if they could administer. I said they were not to give the shot until I did the research. I let the vet have it when I did the research because allergy dogs should not be given this!
        I agree, they have to be getting some sort of perk for pushing this! Never been given the hard push for any drug ever!!!

  30. Pingback: Use Caution with Proheart — Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland

  31. Mary says:

    I lost my 17 year old doggie a few weeks ago and just now have obtained another from a breeder, Kiki, who is 13 weeks old now. Tomorrow, I am taking her to my vet for her first (my) vet appointment, armed with the information in your communications. Thank you so much for sharing. There will be no ProHeart for my baby girl.

  32. Pingback: ProHeart 6--a warning - Poodle Forum - Standard Poodle, Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle Forum ALL Poodle owners too!

  33. kidsx4 says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss! Obviously your vet failed you in many ways and should not be trusted anymore. I would get their name out there so others do not utilize that doctor/facility.. If the shots should not have been administered together, no facts sheet, anything…well, enough said. I know none of this brings back your Jack. I am so sorry. My heart aches for you.

  34. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing this information. We have three dogs and I would hate to have them in harms way because of a shady drug. We lost a puppy around the same time that you lost your dog. She died from parvo and it was heart breaking. I felt so helpless and like I failed her although we did everything that we could do.

    Thank you again for sharing this information about ProHeart.

    Kimberly

  35. Wanda says:

    So very sorry for your loss. I don’t think any of us would have consented to the vaccine had we been given a fact sheet & made to sign an informed consent form. The risks, as stated in the fact sheet, would far outweigh not having to give monthly oral meds. Thank you so much for spreading the word about this – you may be saving a life.

  36. Amber says:

    My heart goes out to you & your family. This is such a heart-wrenching story and such a tragic loss. No one should lose their beloved pet this way, especially when a vet is the one to recommend this drug to you. It could have happened to any of us! I for one, thank you for sharing your story with us, as difficult as it must have been. You could be saving a dog’s life by putting the word out there. No other dog should fall victim of this drug. I will do my part in sharing this with every dog owner I know. Jack’s passing should not be in vain. He is a guardian angel for other dogs now. May he rest in peace.

  37. so sorry for your loss. it’s a story i’ve read/heard too many times … very similar to my own — the loss of a vibrant 4 year dog that was the love of my life. it was his loss that awakened me to the truth over 10 years ago.

    here is a link to more links http://scruffydogphotography.com/blog/index.php/the-truth-about-vaccines/ … (most of which are vet sites … vets who are well aware of the dangers of vaccinations) … as well as some suggestions for some great books. I highly recommend Dr. Marty Goldstein … his book is what awakened me the most, and re-reading it ten years later, ten years with no vaccines, ten years feeding raw, it made even more sense than ever before.

    this ProHeart vaccine is only one dangerous vaccine. let Jack’s loss be your awakening … let his loss be the legacy for all of your future dogs and their health.

    and shame on your vet. shame! a good vet knows the risks and will NOT take them with his/her patients. i hope your first order of business is to find a new vet … one that doesn’t believe vaccines are required every year, one who recognizes the dangers and doesn’t subject his/her patients to those dangers just b/c the pharmaceutical companies are helping to pay the bills.

    i don’t know where you live, but up here in mosquito-invested ontario, for what it’s worth … i have never used heartworm meds. i test my dogs every spring … i would MUCH rather treat a healthy dog on the very slim chance they contract heartworm than subject them to the poisons on a monthly basis. also, my one rescue dog has not received a rabies vaccine since 2003, and no other vaccines since 2002. she is routinely titer-tested, and her antibodies continue to test high for parvo, distemper and rabies.

    again, follow the link to the other links and self-educate … no one else will do it for you, certainly not any vets.

    • Thanks for the info! I am learning alot about animal vaccines. As I told someone else, the irony is that I did TONS of research regarding vaccinatng my child (that’s a blog for another day), but failed my puppies. :(

      • Katherine Frazier says:

        Please take it easy on yourself. There aren’t easy answers on the more sure fire, safe ways to protect your children and pets. What is safe in one situation is deadly in another. It’s logical to trust your vet to at least follow basic protocols when suggesting vaccines. We should be able to trust that dangerous medications are not allowed on the market, but sadly, we see examples all day every day where the big bucks in big pharma carry the day over and over and over again. Our vet, Dr. Kathleen Hammond, in Asheville takes the time to talk with us about the risks and benefits of everything separately for each pet, and even with her wise counsel it’s ultimately a decision we have to make, and only hindsight tells us if we balanced the risks and benefits correctly for our children and our pets. You are clearly a caring person who did what you thought was best. If it isn’t too painful, I hope you will hold Pfizer and your former vet responsible in every imaginable way, including maximum financial penalties. Sadly, only when it costs them all more to be this irresponsible than they make will they consider stopping their reckless behavior. This is such a good example of TOO much business freedom and its deadly consequences. Please accept our deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear puppy.

  38. by the way, a good rule of thumb to live by is to write things down at your vet visit, then go home and research. if shots are recommended, refuse them, go home, research, then go back if you decide to proceed. might cost you a bit more, but I bet Jack would be alive today if you’d done that, right?

    i can’t count the number of meds we’ve taken home, only to research and then make an informed choice (and yes, sometimes that informed choice included discussing it with our naturopathic vet), and never use the prescribed meds.

  39. Elizabeth M. Brady says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine life without my sweet puppy. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. Please let us know if what happens as far as the vet goes. I seems to me that she should be liable for what she had done.

  40. Marilyn says:

    I do not allow the vet to give my dogs any medication that is not absolutely necessary or required by law. I don’t give any heartworm preventative or flea/tick preventative. My girls did not get to be 17 and 18 years old by over medicating them! My vet doesn’t even ask about heart worm or other medications/vaccinations/preventatives. My girls get their senior check up every six months which includes blood work… This year, I also stopped her from giving them their rabies shots. I didn’t want to lose one of them due to a needless injection… At their age, they are not going to bite anyone and they have enough antibodies built up without further vaccinations. It’s the law to vaccinate “healthy” dogs in NH no matter how old they are, but we got around that by saying how healthy can 17 and 18 year old dogs be? I think that a lot of the cancers we hear about in dogs nowadays is caused by all these vaccinations and medications. Sadly, I lost my 18 year old Toy Poodle in March this year, but she never had a sick day in her life. She was frisky self that morning, but by the evening she was falling over, unable to stand. The ER vet said that it looked like she was full of cancer…. even though she never gave any outward sign that she was sick. I wonder if she would have lived as long if I hadn’t been diligent about everything that went into her body.

  41. Joanna says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss of Jack. I hope that in the end the vet looses her license for her lack of concern with following the rules and for the manslaughter of poor Jack. I applaud you for educating so many on this and probably preventing another family for going thru the pain that you are feeling and the suffering that Jack went through. I am sure Jack is playing pain free in Heaven and I hope he meets up with my Jake whom I lost a few years ago.

  42. I have posted this on groups reaching at least 500,000 people and will post it on my web site . So sorry for your loss. My Vet will not use the product he told me months ago it is too dangerous and will kill dogs. I am in S Calif . We don’t have a problem with heartworm . My Vet recommends Revolution for when we travel out of state

    • Rebecca McDonald says:

      Lee, LIving here in Arizona I use Revolution for my 10 year old Norwich Terrier, who has Irritable bowel disease, allergies, and many other problems from being inbred. It doesn’t make her sick. I am extremely careful with all of her meds and work with a reg. vet and naturopath. I do only administer it every 45 days because of her compromised immune system. I know people who have used Hartz Mountain Flea shampoo and actually killed their dogs. Turns out it is cheaper to settle law suits in this case, than pull the product!

      • Katherine Frazier says:

        You are right. I hope social media like this will cause irreparable damage to the sales of companies like Hartz who knowingly sell these dangerous products that it will impact their products and behavior. The few settled lawsuits are lunch money, but caring owners now buying their products in droves may.

  43. Brenda K says:

    OMG, I am absolutely sick about this! Thank you so much for sharing this story. I have distributed it too. We just lost our youngest cat to renal lymphoma two weeks ago and are still in the depths of grieving, so we understand how you feel, but I am additionally outraged at what appears to be irresponsible behavior on the part of your vet. That’s insult to injury, literally.

    I am leery about vaccinations on general principle, opposed to over-vaccinating, and am strongly averse to the idea of injecting long-acting substances into both pets and humans, particularly when said substances are “new” (= unproven) because you can’t take that stuff back out. Sorry for rambling, as I am still trying to sort out my thoughts about all this. The more I think about it, the more outraged I get. Reimbursing you for the cremation? A nice topical gesture, but I think punitive damages are in order for your pain and suffering over a wrongful death! WHY IN THE HELL IS THAT STUFF STILL IN CIRCULATION?!

    About our dearest Pink we just lost, I have complete faith that the vets at the advanced specialist hospital our regular vet referred us to did their best in adhering to their training and experience, but I do wish that I’d had at least some understanding of the cause of cancer and the disease process and alternative and complementary therapies, many or most of which are suppressed by the “legal” drug cartel (read: “Big Pharma”) beforehand, so it takes an acutely painful loss like both of us just experienced to spur us to do our own homework.

    Our deepest sympathy to you for being deprived of your beloved Jack by such a travesty. What a beautiful boy he was, and what a horrible and unnecessary way to go, but at least his death is helping spread public awareness about this, and hopefully will expedite a thorough review of that drug.

  44. Danae Paris says:

    May is ask who was your vet? I don’t wasn’t to go there

  45. heidi says:

    i’m so sorry for your loss – and totally disappointed in your vet – i am fortunate that my vet is a minimalist and very conservative regarding additional vaccination and extensively researches new treatments providing much additional information. I hope that others can learn from your blog that we need to be as aware and informed about our dogs care as we are our own.

  46. Debbie says:

    To you and your family, my sympathies for your loss and heartache. But also let me express my gratitude for your courage to expose this to thousands, and now, to even allow your beloved pet be examined by the pharmaceutical company. Years ago before the protocols were changed for year-round preventative, one of our beagles got heatworm during a mild winter in Central Ohio (we were formerly told to treat through the first frost and resume in the spring). We nearly lost him several times from the horrors of arsenic treatment, so I am a firm believer in regular testing and preventive. I now have a beagle who takes the monthly chewable, but I also have a soft coated wheaten terrier who has many,many allergies including grains, beef, and eggs. We have to give him a pill form and that even has a reaction. The shot as an alternative might have appealed to me too.

    I guess in all of this, it points out that just as in human medicine, we all need to do our own due diligence to investigate treatments. And as with human medicine where physicians often parrot the sales pitch from the pharma rep, it is likely the same with veterinarians.

    I lost a golden lab puppy – my sweet Meggy – about 30 years ago when she contracted Parvovirus from the vaccine – a live parvovirus was given. Her death was horrific too, and it prompted my vet to change all his vaccines from live virus to attenuated live virus. Isn’t it sad when tragedy is often required to bring about positive change?

    I hope your hearts heal a little faster with the knowledge you have helped so many others.

    • Lab Mama says:

      Beautifully said, Debbie! Too many doctors, regardless of their patient’s species, are dealers, not healers. It’s vital that we raise the alarms to warn others and I’m very grateful to Ashley for sharing her grief; I’m sure she has spared many other people from suffering the same pain.

    • wendy says:

      What vaccine did your doggie get parvo from. debbie.?

  47. Julie says:

    I am very sorry about your canine kids. My heart breaks for you. You truly need to contact an attorney. This is not right and irresponsible vets like these need to be stopped.

  48. Louisa says:

    Dear Everybody

    Pharmaceutical drugs are often dangerous and often deadly. Vaccines are toxic and carcinogenic and vaccinating your children and animals will leave them with a legacy of heavy metals and preservatives that will affect their vitality for the rest of their lives. I did not vaccinate my children and I do not vaccinate my animals. The children are well and strong and happy and are rarely ill. The animals are well and strong and only ever die from old age (my greyhound, never vaccinated, was with me until he was nearly 13, never needed to go to the vet once, always good natured, always well).

    Make up your own minds! Do lots of research before you allow vaccines into your children or animals, or yourselves. You will be horrified by the side effects, the contents, the legacy. Why should you have to vaccinate your cats and dogs every year? Don’t they work? There are lots of alternatives which work well instead, one of which is good health and avoidance of horrible chemicals that your bodies can’t process.

  49. LeeAnne says:

    This was a horrible way to lose your friend. I have to say, in the past few years I only get the minimum vaccines required to kennel my dogs. I chose to opt out of many vaccines my vet tries to encourage. I do feel less is better when it comes to shooting our animals with drugs. I hope you can find some peace.

  50. Anja Heibloem Stroud says:

    Please note that current studies are showing we are over vaccinating our dogs, most recent info can be found by going to Dr Jean Dodds DVM website for more info. Both the “yearly” DHLLP shots and rabies have been proven to last much longer than thought. Google the the Rabies Study, also Dr Dodds website for detailed info (sorry don’t have the website info handy). Shots are a money maker for most vets, and even though the reccomendations have changed MANY vets are still shooting the dogs full of unneeded vaccines. My sympathy on Jack’s loss. Anja

  51. Lab Mama says:

    My heart breaks for you; no pet parents should ever have to suffer this. I also learned the hard way that veterinarians don’t always know — and, worse, won’t admit they don’t know — how to handle a given situation, to my dog’s detriment.

    I am sharing your story on both my Facebook page and my ‘dog blog’. May the awareness you are raising and the others you are helping bring you some small measure of comfort at this very difficult time. God Bless.

  52. Claudia K. Saiz says:

    I am truly sorry for your loss

  53. Jena says:

    So sorry for your loss…please read my story and share and I’ll do the same

  54. Our Busy Life says:

    Our vet has had a poster up about this drug. I wasn’t going to use it as it’s only for dogs 6 months to seven years and one of my dogs is too old for it. I like to limit shots and do them individually and who needs another trip to the vet. This is clearly just a money-making thing. If you have to be given an informed consent it’s obviously a high-risk drug and it’s not like there’s not options. We often make medical decisions for ourselves, our children and our dogs where the risks are high but that’s when there’s no other option. There is an option here, a perfectly safe pill. This needs to be removed from the market, there’s just no need for it.

  55. Julie says:

    It’s horrible to trust someone with the health and wellness of your pet only to have your pet die because they did not help you make an informed decision, and they didn’t take the time to learn about the vaccines side effects. I try to remember that they are just humans, doing a job that they were trained to do, but they should at least feel remorse and take responsibility for their actions.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing this and making sure that more people are educated about it – in that way, something good will come from this tragedy. Big hugs to you and your family.

  56. Carol R says:

    I too, am SO sorry to hear of this tragedy ! I would be looking for another vet -obviously this one did not do her “homework” or is it a matter of a not caring vet? She is responsible – not you so don’t think in anyway it is your fault. God Bless !!
    I will share this on Facebook as a warning to others.
    I have this bad feeling about shots that are long-range i.e. 6 months/year. Even in us humans. There are shots out there for humans for a year and “if you have adverse reactions” – well what do they do as a years worth is in your system?

  57. KB says:

    You need to get an attorney. Pfizer is a HORRIBLE company. They do the exact same thing with many drugs for human use as well – use all their power to push it through FDA approval, agree to remove it when massive problems appear, then try to hide it by agreeing to new warnings of the same drug. Companies only care about their bottom line, and the only way to make them change is by threatening their bottom line.

  58. Jay Horgan says:

    I am terribly sorry for your loss and for your dogs’ horrible death. Your vet is as culpable as Pfizer. Vets have a duty of care but are so busy trying to make money that they don’t have time to consider what they are putting into animals. It’s a shameful world.

  59. This tragedy brings to light a very important issue…veterinary care and our responsibilities regarding such. It is very important that WE as owners, take responsibility for our animals. This is a heart-breaking lesson to learn. My heart goes out to these owners, who did nothing but trust their pet’s well-being to a “professional” they trusted. Our veterinarians “should” be there to advise, but unfortunately, some are simply out to make a buck. The other “danger” is now becoming “corporate” veterinary care, i.e. VCA and Banfield to name just a couple. This can limit the specific drugs they can prescribe, or it may require that all clients receive certain services and products, whether they are truly needed or not. (some of this, of course, driven by the pharmaceutical companies trying to get their products into use…) These corporations set company “policy” and all vets as part of the group must follow those protocols. Banfield is especially horrific in this regard. I wouldn’t enter a Banfield practice if my pet was dying in my arms. Their corporate policies are frightening, even incorporating minimum quotas per client. Every pet owner should know that the ONLY veterinary protocol REQUIRED BY LAW, is rabies vaccination. ALL OTHER VETERINARY protocols and procedures are ELECTIVE, and can be declined by the owner(s). AND MUST REMAIN SO! ANY veterinary practice that REQUIRES you to access anything other than rabies vaccinations, especially if they tell you it’s required by law…is LYING to you, and you should immediately find a new vet. Now…this does NOT mean I don’t advocate for other vaccinations, or for other preventatives. But when vaccinated, with how many antigens, and how many total vaccinations are given, has great leeway. But I think each animal and each situation, is different, and what is right for one, may not be for the next. Some practices DO require ALL their clients to obtain what THEY perceive as necessary vaccinations and preventatives, and will actually withhold services if those are not done, but please know that you are not LEGALLY required to do so, and any practice that would force me to have specific vaccinations, or specific preventatives…would no longer have benefit of my business. YOU THE OWNER, have control of ALL health care decisions, LEGALLY, except for obtaining a rabies vaccination, and possibly registering with your local municipality. So what each of us should do, when presented with a recommendation by our vet, is to AT LEAST ask for the product label or insert (if it is a pharmaceutical, i.e. vaccine, drug, preventative, etc…) and to call the vet to task to provide BOTH the advantages and DISADVANTAGES of any protocol they recommend. If you choose against doing something, and your vet threatens you, or bullies you…it’s time for a new vet. And for heavens sake…do some research. Just because your vet has a certificate hanging on their wall, doesn’t mean they graduated first in their class. This might have been the lowest scoring graduate giving you advice for your cherished friend. Find a vet that will “partner” with you. ASK questions. LOTS OF QUESTIONS! If they are evasive or are irritated with your questions…that’s not a good sign. And if your vet makes a recommendation, tell him you’d like to do a little more research before-hand. A good vet appreciates educated and informed clients. YOU live with your pet, you know it better than anyone. It’s usually US that can teach the vet something…and good vets will know that.

    Every single pet, every single family…has their own special dynamic and requirements. The medical decisions for our pets must REMAIN with the owners, with competent veterinary advisory counsel. We must take great care that government does NOT dictate veterinary care standards for our pets. And from a veterinary standpoint, it absolves a vet if he is NOT responsible for making the decision. A vet should be there to advise the owner on all aspects, all options…but the owner is responsible for the decisions. And the public should start to realize that vets are good, bad, and indifferent. Some care about the animals. Some care about doing nothing but vaccinations, preventatives, and spay/neuter. And some don’t care to continue to stay current on provocative research, if they feel it eats into their bottom line. Vaccination protocols and nutrition being two of the really “hot-topic” issues right now.

  60. Nancy says:

    Sorry for your loss… I will dispute KBs opinion above and say that in the office where I work (although for people, not animals…) our Pfizer reps and interactions with Pfizer as a company have always been pleasant and professional. I hope that you get good answers from the Pfizer vet that you are dealing with, or at least some answers that bring some comfort to your poor heart. I’m So sorry to hear about Jack. I agree that getting an attorney seems like a good plan, as well as contacting the boards. Informed consent and informed drug interactions are a HUUUGE legal deal in human medicine right now and you are right..if Jack had been a person and not a pet, there is no doubt in my mind that heads would have rolled by now. ;) Good for you, for having the fortitude to stand up and say so and press the issue! ALL medical professionals should be held accountable for their actions, or negligence!

  61. Kathy naish says:

    How horrible for you. Without people like you getting the word out even when you are grieving we would be subject to this too. Nothing will replace your sweet dog but I know he knows he us helping innocent pets

  62. Terri says:

    My parents lost their dog a few years ago to this drug, very similar situation – went from playful and feisty, despite being a senior dog. This was prior to the recall, and I am shocked to hear the product is back in circulation. I hope that those who read this will share so that others can make informed decisions, ideally to say NO to Proheart 6.

    My thoughts are with you…

  63. Tricia Dineen says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Your very courageous and kind to think of all us Puppy parents who blindly trust what the vet tells us. I hope you and your husband can feel the comfort that all of us are sending you. You have my personal gratitude….and prayers.

  64. qualitytw says:

    Very sorry for your loss. I will always keep this in mind with my two dogs. Keep up the good work in spreading the word and your persistence in getting the answers! This needs to be public knowledge to not allow this to happen again!

  65. Sue Marston says:

    Don’t let the vaccines off the hook! I studied them for 11 years before writing a book about them. While only a few dogs will die soon enough to let owners make the connection, the fact is they damage the immune system and have a lot of bad “side effects” of their own. The steadfast belief that people have in them is truly a testimony to the power of brainwashing. So many places to refer to, but as a start, go to Shirley’s Wellness Cafe, look up Dr. Pitcairn on vaccines, and email Catherine@canine-health-concern.org.uk

  66. I am so sorry for your loss. Your post made me cry and made me so thankful that the vaccine reaction my dog had several years ago was no worse than it was! Like you “I trusted my vet” to do what was best for my dog. His vaccinosis was enough to open my eyes and start me researching which led me toward a more natural approach to caring for my dogs. I pray your hearts will heal and that your other dog is ok.

  67. Sherry says:

    I too am sorry for your loss. I am also freaked out since two of my babies have received the Proheart shot twice now. Stella has been ill so I took her to the vet. This vet did not think she exhibited signs of illness but I insisted. I mean I know my baby, right?! She had been lethargic, didn’t want to eat and the crying.

    After I insisted they did $330 worth of lab work and radiograph to let me know this: blood and crystals in her bladder. She is on antibiotic now.

    I was never told side effects or given anything to read about Proheart. This vet does require you sign every time when they give an injection.

    Due to your story no more Proheart for my babies. I have 4 more months to worry about them.

    Please keep us updated on the findings.

  68. I’m so sorry for your terrible loss, and I also really respect your approach in trying to understand what happened and why, and to raise people’s awareness of the potential dangers of this new (newish) heartworm treatment. It is so refreshing to read a reasoned tone (even in the midst of so much upset), not just pouring fuel on a fire, etc etc etc. Any time a story involves the death of a pet, it is so easy for everyone to start a virtual riot–which of course does almost nothing to shed light on what really happened OR to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Best of luck to you and your family, and thanks for sharing your story with us. We’ll stick with the monthly oral dose!

  69. I am so sorry for your loss. We just lost a cat a week ago to something unrelated, but I know how it feel. Thank you so much for sharing this information and for doing such extensive background research. I will “reblog”.

  70. Reblogged this on TotallyToTheT and commented:
    A cautionary tale about ProHeart6 heartworm vaccine. Please read and save a life!

  71. Joy Nelson says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is like losng a family member. I did not know this product was back on the market. My prayers are with you and your family.

  72. Dr Russ Fine says:

    Our hearts are broken for the tragic loss you experienced with your beloved Jack. Please list your experience with your vet on Angie’s List so other unsuspecting families who live in your area might be spared a grief similar to yours through that vehicle. Again, our deepest sympathy.
    Russ and Dee Fine, Birmingham, AL

  73. Sharon Flannigan says:

    This is so sad….I can’t even imagine losing my pet this way….I personally stopped giving heartgard, frontline to my pets years ago….they’re not necessary….there are natural remedies to spray for fleas and blood work to check for heart worms which is much more cost effective and kinder to my pets than putting chemicals in their bodies….It’s funny when I think back to when I was a kid, my family always had dogs…..never gave them anything, no shots, no pills, no sprays…..they lived very long and happy lives WITHOUT any of the above….Other than Rabies and Lyme’s, my babies get nothing more and are much better off!

    • Melissa Smith says:

      Karen – bloodwork will check for heartworm, but once your dog is infected, it is most certainly more cost prohibitive to provide treatment (and physically harmful to your dog). If you are lucky, you might be able to find a vet that does the treatment for $500 – 600… but you’re more likely to find it costs $1200 – 1500. The treatment itself is a series of very painful arsenic shots with side-effects similar to chemotherapy in humans, and the dog must be kept quiet and inactive for several months due to risk of pulmonary embolism. I find it interesting that you will vaccinate for Lyme – which is not recommended by many vets and has been known to cause an untreatable form of the disease in animals – but you won’t provide a monthly heartworm preventative which is very low risk.

      I agree that, in general, toxic chemicals are overused as a means for preventing disease. We must all be responsible and make informed decisions for ourselves and our pets. I’m glad your childhood dogs lived long, happy lives without receiving vaccinations or other preventatives. But they were lucky… and your decision to not provide preventive medicine to your current dogs based on their luck, I believe, is misguided. Many people survived car accidents before seat belts were made mandatory. That doesn’t mean we aren’t safer wearing them.

      Ashley – I am so sorry for your loss and my heart aches for you and your family. Thank you for your willingness to share your heartbreaking story so that others can be informed of the risks of this shot. I hope that you are able to find the answers you seek and justice for your beautiful Jack.

  74. Lorie Hager says:

    This story is my exact same story from 2003. I lost my most beloved miniature pinscher to this drug exept I was with him while he was dying and suffering. I went round and round with Wyeth. They didn’t care then and Pfizer doesn’t care now. Believe me, they will NEVER admit they were wrong. They will just pull from the market again. I fought them for 2 years and….nothing. This is one time when I can say, “I do know how you feel.”

  75. logyexpress says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. But I’m grateful you chose to share and that I happened upon this post. Our dog has his scheduled check up next week and now I feel armed with more information and the wherewithal to be more skeptical of new recommendations.

    It seems like this issue is a good way to “vet” vets. If our vet were to push this shot without informing us of the risks, I think I’d find a new vet.

  76. anastaisa says:

    i wold go back and give the vet some poison and see how he likes it, i hate it when people do stuff like that he was a animal killer and i probally would have killed him for killing my dog, my animales are like my kids, they are my baby’s my pride and joy, and i would hunt down anyone who hurt my baby’s, my heart goes out to yall, and you will be in my prayers ,

  77. So sorry for your loss & I thank you so much for sharing this info. I had no idea. I just shared this blog all over the internet, everywhere I could. I have a FB page with over 3,000 animal rescue friends & a personal FB page I shared this on as well! Hopefully, we can get the word out to everyone to save lives!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  78. Big dog says:

    First and foremost, so very sorry for your losses. If it was me, I’m not sure I would trust the info provided by the vaccine manufacturer. The blogs I read are constantly about cover up and deceit, basicly about greed. Hope you can put that vet out of business, I know of several the same way. If you can find a lawyer that would take this on contingency there is probably a strong case for a healthy settlement as well as class action that would put a good sting into phizer

  79. Karen Morehead says:

    I, too, am so sorry for your loss and am very greatful for your sharing this very bad experience. Passing this along so that it might save someone elses grief.

  80. Steve says:

    I feel the vet was at fault and should have to compensate you for your loss. Id be pressing charges and publicly criticizing his practice.

  81. Barbara ODay says:

    I am so sorry for what you have gone through and only would like to mention NOSODES to you…. they are the homeopathic remedy for all issues including heartworms and they have ZERO SIDE EFFECTS!! You can go to http://www.EarthSongRanch.com and under articles look up plenty of information on nosodes and how wonderful they are!! I have been using them for around 10 years now for my dogs and horses and have never had even one side effect…. just very healthy dogs and horses!! Barbara ODay

  82. Mike says:

    I am sorry to here about your pet. I am a veterinarian and I have several pets and they are all
    family. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. A necropsy should give you some
    answers (Hopefully) as to the cause of death.

  83. Sashminda says:

    Oh my goodness, this was shared a forum and It made me cry so much but really was very informative. Good for you that you’re helping to spread awareness of this issue.

  84. Pingback: Dog Owner's Beware - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums

  85. Kirsty says:

    Ashley, so sorry to hear of your loss. I am glad that Pfizer are taking an interest in the case and will be very interested in the results when you get them. The posting of your fur baby’s death, as tough as it must be for you, has reached us here in Australia, providing awareness for dog owners here – for that we thank you. My heart goes out to you.

  86. Kathryn says:

    Beware of the pill version as well. My golden was given the pill version and the poor thing blew up like a balloon and it took forever to try and get her swelling to go down. This proheart 6 just seems to be a mess all around.

  87. My deepest sympathy for your loss. It’s never easy to lose one of our canine kids, especially before their time but thank you for sharing your story and getting the word out about this. I would have done the same thing.

  88. Judy Lueer says:

    So sorry on the loss of your beloved pet. My dog, Ben died after having his shots too. He was a rescue, but he probably was only 5 or 6. He didn’t have that particular drug, but I have always wondered if it was the shots that killed him. He basically just dropped over dead. My heart goes out to you.

  89. Pingback: ProHeart6 Warning-just sharing - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community

  90. Traci says:

    My dog Lillian died within 2 days of receiving a 6 month heartworm prevention shot. This was a while ago. I didn’t realize why, then 6 months later when I brought my other dog back for his shot, they said it had been discontinued. That is when I put 2 and 2 together. Sorry to see it is back. So sorry you and your dog had to go through that horrible experience.

  91. Anne Hastings says:

    Thank you so much for spreading the knowledge. I’m so, so sorry to hear about your dear Jack. :’(

  92. McGSquared says:

    Reblogged this on McGSquared and commented:
    This is a must read if you are a dog owner!

  93. rosa says:

    So sorry for your loss, and thank you for your courage to share this story. I too am an animal lover and have lost two much loved pets that I will never forget. Hopefuly there will be an explanation and a responsible party as well, wish more vets were responsible and caring as pets have rights too. Wish you guys the best and i hope we can all learm from this horrible tragedy.

  94. Kathy says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Jack was a very handsome boy! Jack died way to soon because of a drug that was given to him. It is hard to loose one of our furry friends/family members, but when the cause is something that could have been prevented…….well it is a down right tragedy. You did what you thought was right based on the info you had, and I would have done the same thing. You did an autopsy to get some answers and I hope you do, but here is a chance you might not. Right now you do what feels right to you. Nothing will bring Jack back. You posting about what happened is a step to help educate others about this drug and your bad experience. If you can help save even 1 dog then Jacks life was not taken invein. The word is now out there and this is a really good thing, and I applaud you for sharing your story. Thank You.

    Since 2000 I have lost 3 golden retrievers and one cat. My cat and 2 of my dogs died from cancer. My cat was 15.5, one dog was almost 8 and the other was almost 10. Different forms of cancer, osteosarcoma, hemangeosarcoma, and my cat not 100% sure what kind. All were very tragic to me and and very hard to deal with. My 3rd dog died at the age of 15 months from a respiratory illness called ARDS. This was the most difficult of all due to his age, we tried everything that we could to save him. Could he have been saved if he was diagnosed sooner well we will never know. We did an autopsy and got no additional answers as to why this happened. We have learned more about certain types of cancer and also ARDS and we are now very proactive and educated when it comes to our 2 dog, also golden retrievers and cat’s medical care. The cat gets no vaccinations at all, we still take her for her annual exam, as she has renal disease, she is 20. Our 2 dogs ages 4 and 6 get titered and get boosters when needed, they do get their rabbies every 3 years, they get tested for lyme, and any mandatory vaccinations. Our female was not spayed until she went through 1 heat cycle, male neutered when he was at least 1 year. They do get interceptor and frontline esp this year…lots of ticks in this area due to the weather.

    We all do what we feel is best in our situation and not all will agree. Every situation is different and we all live in different states and even countries. Laws that apply to Alabama might not apply to Florida, California, Arizona, New Hampshire or Massachusetts. One piece of advise I can give is get to know your animals and how they act when they are healthy and how they are when they are sick. If the Vet says everything is ok and you strongly believe it isn’t then stand your ground. If your Vet still doesn’t budge then take you dog someplace else for a second opinion, or an emergency facility. Ask questions and be proactive. If there are seminars in your area about pet health, emergency problems then go to them, they more then likely will not cost much and sometimes the money will go to a good cause. I have gone to several and have 2 more coming up within the next 2 months. We all love our dogs and their lives are short enough. Unfortunately it is not always in our control, and might be genetic as well no matter what we do. Sometimes I wonder if it is luck.

    R.I.P Jack
    Again so sorry for your loss. Know that most of us here feel your pain, even if we have not experienced the exact problem you did.

  95. Pingback: Say No To ProHeart6 « From Puppy Mill to Princess

  96. Shannon says:

    I am so sorry for your lost of your beloved pet. I was reading this to my husband and I only got to a certain point and he said right away wow that sounds like a great thing. As I keep reading to him he said “hell No”. He said thats so sad. We have 2 dogs as our family memebers. and the drug sounds so good but after all that you have gone through and others like you I will stick with the oral drug. I want to THANK YOU for telling your story. With this story you just might of saved my family pain and grief. I am sorry for your lost of a family memeber. I hope that your other dog is doing well. I would hate to hear that you lost them both over this drug. I will pray that you get some answers soon. My heart goes out to you and your family in this time.

  97. Karen says:

    I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Jack. Our Jack Russell Terrier was given ProHeart 6 back in 2004 (about 5 months before the recall) and went totally blind suddenly after 5 months when she was only 2 1/2 years old. The eye vet listed the cause of the blindness as ‘unknown’ (the cones & rods were destroyed in her retina) and we soon received a letter about the recall of ProHeart 6. After doing some research found out that blindness was listed as one of the many reasons for the recall. Though we will never know for sure, I have always had a feeling that ProHeart 6 was the cause. I had heard they were putting ProHeart 6 back on the market and was sick about it. There is no excuse for putting a drug back on the market with this kind of history!

    • The only excuse is pure profit. The profit margin for vets like this must be huge for them to knowingly give this killing-drug to their customers. Profit. I’d sue. If nothing else, it would bring attention to the vet so that others would know to stay away. If the vet is this negligent about one drug, she must not put any care into any of her other medications. I would not trust her. How many dogs has she killed? How many more dogs WILL she kill in the future. I feel it is your duty to press charges.

      • Unfortunately, David in the state of Alabama there is virtually no legal recourse we can take. We have filed formal complaints with our state vet medical board and hope they take some action.

      • What you are doing getting the word out is the best you can do . Class action suits only reward the lawyers. The dog food that killed all those dogs including my 16 yr old Silky had a class action (which I did not use) gave each person when all bills were paid less than $60 each . BTW if they had lost the people in the class action couldhave been held liable for attorney fee on the defense side and possibly fees other than attorney on their side. My Vet dose not use the ProHeart 6 . He told me it killed dogs . He also dose not recommend Heart worm med is S Calif because it is not a problem. If we travel out of state he suggests using Revolution

  98. Kelly says:

    I’m very sorry for you loss. I’m also very alarmed that this product has been allowed back on the market. I too lost a healthy dog to the heartworm shot- back in 2003 and was very active in making people aware of the problem with the drug back then. So sorry you had to go through this and hopefully Pfizer will do the right thing and remove it again. My condolences to you and your family.

  99. ruth mccullough says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Jack’s best memorial will be your blog & your efforts to get the word about the toxic effects of the vaccine out there. Hopefully that will save the lives of many other dogs. Can’t believe your vet is being so reticient. I’m not trying to stir things up for the vet but I think you should identify him/her & the practice so that other families who go there can make an informed decision as to whether they change vets (or not). Thank you for publicising the risks of this vaccine – I am just so sad that Jack & your family had to pay such a high price.

  100. So sorry for your loss. Reblogged on my blog about our puppy mill rescue, Popcorn….who has this shot. Thanks to you speaking out, none of my dogs will ever get this shot again. http://www.theprogressofpopcorn.wordpress.com

  101. Sherry says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. But thanks for turning your grief into action and trying to spread the word about this drug. I would have been like you and trusted my vet. Many hugs to you and your family.

  102. Sinai says:

    Hello, I’m sorry for your loss,, lose a pet must be horrible ..just to think about it make me cry..i love my dog and i cant imagine without him,,and the worst part is that they are irreplaceable. What I think of all this is that you should give to us the name of the vet because that way would you be helping more than one family to go through the same sad situation for which you are going through. Imagine,if this vet did something so irresponsible she can do a thousand times again and not just that drug but others as well. that veterinarian doesnt care any pets, does not care about their welfare, it just works for convenience. It would be important for you to say her name, it would be really sad that another angel falling into the hands of someone as irresponsible and heartless

  103. Jesse Newsom says:

    sorry about your lost. you can see a picture of our dog on facebook.papa willy or willy as we at times have called him. our dog was up in years he was a boston terrier. and he was spoiled I must admit. we had regular visits with our vet as usual.our dog loved getting treats at times. even would lay in front of the pantry where he knew his treats would be. and one day he didn’t seemed to have an appitite.and we ask the vet why he was not eating like he should. he mention well he’s getting older and maybe he does not requier as much food as he is used to. in the office it sounded like a good answer. but later we notice he was not even wanting to go into the kitchen or even lay at the pantry door. on another visit he said he would take some xrays. and believe me brother the are not cheap. but it did not bother to us at that time as we wanted an answer. so he said the xrays showed everything was allright. he had said we could force feed him he may not like it but what can you do. sooooo we started force feeding him on a regular basis but he would fight us when we would try to feed him.and it bothered us badly.so we made a appointment with our vet but as we ask for the doctor the receptionist told us that he was not in.as he was still on vacation. ( I think he was in the back room as he did want to see us) so we got to see this vet we had not even seen before and she felt around his body and said how long as this been here.? feeling around his neck she said did you know he has a tumor no we did know that. so she said that she thought he was letting us know his wants. she said we could take him home or we could have him put down. we dicided to have him put down they offered to pay for it as they felt bad about it. he has not been even licking me for weeks. (kiss’s) but as I held he leaned over and lick me for the last time. I can see his memory of his look as we said good bye. as if to say its okay pop I know what the word says about heaven….neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepard for them that love him. so I will see willy again some day. even before we saw the vet I told my wife this is the last time willy will ride in this car. thank you for listing to me

    • wendy says:

      My friend had a willy, that died recently, but not from an unknown drug, he said it was from eating grass.my friends willy dog passed away feb1-2012..

  104. Sheila Searcy says:

    Sounds like the Vets office should held accountable. They administered a drug without giving you side effects OR getting a WRITTEN consent when the manufacturer required ti. I say contact an Attorney and make it right,,,,force them to STOP administering that shot OR at least inform the pet owners about side effects BEFORE giving the shot!!!!

  105. KatyR says:

    I’m so sorry for what you and your dog have gone through. Two days ago, my sweetie ( middle aged lab) started to exhibit the same symptoms . (lethargy , sudden difficulty walking, loss of appetite,and fever) We brought her to the vet who checked her out, took blood test and said “it looks like a virus but call me tomorrow” Sweetie looked better in the AM but began to worsten last night . This morning we rushed her to an emergency care facility . She was addmitted with a high fever , for more tests and some fluids. As her spring appointment was for this coming Friday, Sweetie has not yet started her new heartworm med. for this year. I’m anxious to hear what they find about your Jack and wondering if they could have contracted the same thing , or if his cause was certainly the drug .

  106. deb demarest says:

    OMG i’m so sorry for your loss of your beloved dog. I hope the vet isn’t giving this vaccine out anymore after hearing about your dog.

  107. so , so sorry for your lost of your beloved , Jack… Going to post this to all of my friends in rescue…… thank you for sharing , what happen to Jack…….

  108. S. Palmer says:

    I am so thankful I saw this posted on my Facebook. I would have never questioned the Vet either. I would not only publish the Vet’s name…. I would sue Her Socks off along with the drug company! I would not even think twice as I am sure there is a good attorney that would take them on for free!!!! Thanks for helping save my 3 dogs from such tragedy!! Go gettum girl!!!

    • Katherine Frazier says:

      I too think you should publish the vet’s name and the name of the vet practice and the town. If Alabama has such archaic laws that you have no protections in the court, at least include more detailed information. The public service you are doing here is so important.

  109. Vicky says:

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your beloved Jack. But I really hope you don’t condemn the vet, because by your own admission, you didn’t question it further. Yes, without a doubt, the vet should be properly trained on this, but we as pet owners have to be diligent in checking out every new thing that may be brought to our attention. Again, I am very sorry for your loss and mean no disrespect to you or anyone else.

    • Vicky, we put our trust in our vets. You trust your vet is doing the right thing by you and your pets. That’s why you pay her money. You, as a pet owner, can not know all the dangers – the vet should.She was negligent in so many things in this case. Clearly she should be condemned and her license to practice revoked. How many other dogs in her care has she killed?

    • I am obviously protecting the vet at this point by refusing to release her name or the name of her practice, despite her negligence. The drug is only supposed to be sold to and dispensed by vets that have completed mandatory web-based training. At this time, I cannot get the vet nor Pfizer to confirm that this vet completed that training. She failed to give us the form that is required by the FDA. She failed to recognize the symptoms of toxicity when we took him back in. And she administered the drug in conjunction with other vaccines. She has at the very least some culpability in this matter; however, I am not out to condemn her. Yes, I agree that as consumers, we all need to take some personal repsonsibility. Trust me, I am wrestling with that guilt. But, she is the one who is trained to follow certain protocol, and she failed to do so.

      • Robin says:

        I had a problem with an emergency vet that resulted in the death of my dog. It was pure laziness and negligence on the vet’s part. I filed a complaint with the state vet board (at the recommendation of my regular vet). They did nothing until I called and threatened to go to the media, they finally reveiwed my case and dismissed it. As my vet said they were protecting their own. I would love to hear how your case with the board goes. I don’t live in Alabama. Sorry for your loss I truly understand your feelings of losing a beloved member of the family to a negligent vet. Robin

    • Katherine Frazier says:

      vicky I disagree. Pet owners cannot absolve veterinarians of following required protocols by taking on those responsibilities for them. Each has a responsibility, but the vet has the front line responsibility and failed miserably here.

  110. millicent gustafson says:

    sue the vet sue the company, give the awards to the humane society if you do not want to keep it.

    • That is a wonderful idea in theory, but unfortunately my state only recognizes dogs as “property,” and since Jack was a “pound puppy,” he has no monetary value. Also, in my state veterinary malpractice suits are pretty much non-exsistent.

      • Pam says:

        I am a court reporter, and wanted to pursue litigation for my dog (long story). One of the attorneys that I work with tried to sue his doggy daycare that allowed his dog out to play with a vicious dog in their care. The vicious dog attacked and killed his dog. I’d heard of this happening to him, but didn’t know the outcome of his case. When something happened to Molly, I called him. He was very sad for me but told me the law basically views our pets as personal property like a TV, stereo or a couch. The judge threw the case involving his dog out of court. Until the laws change, there’s nothing we can do but trust out vet. Sad, but true.

      • Thanks for sharing. And we agree, the laws should catch up to protect animals and their owners.

      • wendy says:

        Sorry to hear that ashley.

  111. You are too kind! Fortunately for my five dogs, when the drug was pulled from the market, my doctor switched everyone back over to the orals and has not gone back to the Pro-Heart6. If I had been in your shoes, I would have painted a big sign in red paint on her window – “DOG KILLER” and let her try to press charges against me. She should not be in business – period.

  112. Serena Vann says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is so sad companies sometimes don’t seem to care except making money. That vet also should be held responsible as he should have read literature. Your baby is now in a happy place with no worries. He has plenty of company.!!!!

  113. Karen says:

    Vicky, we pay our vets to have the full information, help us to make the right choices and provide complete disclosure as recommended by the manufacturer. Poor Jack should not have been the victim of a vet’s neglect. Ashley, if I were in your shoes I would release the name of the vet. I would surely want to know if my vet was administering a potentially lethal drug. I’m very sorry for your loss of Jack and appreciate you bringing this to the attention of the public.

    • Katherine Frazier says:

      For what its worth, I really agree and encourage you to release the name. Since the law of Alabama doesn’t provide an avenue to pursue this, the court of public opinion may be your only recourse for any public consequences.

  114. Christopher Mercon says:

    There is no substitution for your own research and investigation into something like this. Too many people have gotten lazy and ‘trust their vet’ or ‘trust their doctor’ or even worse they ‘trust their psychiatrist’!
    There is no way I would let any kind of drug be administered to my dog without investigating it myself first and even then I would be skeptical.
    I equate allowing something to be given to your dog without personally looking into it- to leaving the dog in a sealed up car on a hot summer afternoon for several hours.

    • The purpose of this blog is to encourage people to have an open dialogue with their vets, and conduct their own research.

      To equate trusting a medically trained professional with knowingly and intentionally putting your dog in harms way is asinine.

      • Christopher Mercon says:

        Trusting your vet doesn’t mean you don’t do your own research on any medicine or supplement that allow to be given your dog;. In this lead story if the owner had done research before the drug was given to the dog, that dog could be alive today.

    • Heather says:

      Dear God, Christopher! Vets are supposed to be fully informed on ALL medications they give their patients. To infer that letting a licensed vet give a medication to a dog is the same as locking it in a sealed up car is moronic. For you to say something so ubsurd is truly idiotic! But God bless America for giving you the right to be so pathetic and heartless.

  115. Barbara says:

    Heart worm is a killer and potentially, so are all of the medications given to control it or eliminate it in dogs. Currently the no-kill animal shelters use Heartgard or its equivalent after an in-office test, and if the test reveals a case of heartworm, they use the slow method of heart worm eradication along with an antibiotic, which is the least costly and I feel, least likely to kill your dog or mine. I would love for all of the no-kill shelters to reveal the number of dogs that have allergic reactions and die during the slow method of eradicating and controlling heartworm. All owned dogs should be given the oral medication for heart worm from the time they are six months old, and off Mom’s immunity, year around, all their lives, everywhere there are any mosquitoes. If you ask your veterinarian what the cost is to treat heart worm, do not be alarmed at a $1,000 or higher estimate. And your dog can die of the treatment from an allergic reaction, or heart attack brought on by the worms dying in the dog’s heart and clogging things up the first month or subsequently. Google it up if you want professional advice and then discuss it with your veterinarian. But treat your dog with heart worm preventative medicine. My dog is taking Trifexis by Elanco.

  116. Riley Wyatt says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss, my heart is breaking for you.
    Thank you for sharing your story so that many other dogs can be saved from this, I have shared this on my timeline.
    I am sorry this happened to your beautiful boy.. sending my love and warm thoughts to you and your family ♥

  117. Marla says:

    Terrible. Apparently they do not track this well. I had a cat who had feline leukemia shot years ago and got a tumour exactly where the vaccine was. The drug company had decided to make it inter-muscular for a few years,and my vet noted a number of tumours in the same spot. I did min. 4 surgeries and it was a losing battle and finally lost her. The drug companies apparently do not trace the fluid that the vaccine is placed in very well according to my vet. He was not the one who had administered it. Actually had this vaccine in the city of Guelph, home of one of the best veternary programs in Canada.

  118. Fox1 says:

    truly sorry 4 ur loss — whenever there is an unexpected death of a pet, pls consider a necropsy — ur vet should have advised the same

    unfortunately, it sounds like poor Jack met a very horrible (if not mercifully quick) death, but without anyone there 2 comfort him — why would u leave him alone and continue with your holiday plans, knowing he had not been feeling well?

    also sounds like u r gearing up for litigation — remember, it is your ultimate responsible as the pet’s caregiver to decide what treatment should b given in the pet’s best interests — seems you just wanted a quick solution

    hope u’ve learned to make more informed decisions for your other dog — the internet has tons of information, both good and bad — research with discretion

    • We are NOT pursuing any litigation, and we are having a necropsy done. The results won’t be in for 4-6 weeks.

      Thanks you for your thoughts.

      • wendy says:

        When my cat was sick with kidney disease,I took her with me on my trips, the vet recomended it to, that she not be alone after two years of taking my cat with me on my trips she passed away this year she was 17 in a half years old,I miss her every day cry when I think of her which is every day of my life,I always think of my pets, even when they are sick, but espically when they are sick, doesnt mean,I dont care when they are well , but,I am always thinking of her..

    • And we were gone for the day. Not an extended period of time. Have you ever left your pet at home to go to work, run errands, or spend time with your family?

      • Katherine Frazier says:

        Please don’t let these dolts get to you. Why they are responding is beyond me. While we need to double and triple check behind trusted professionals like your vet, we should be able to trust that they at least follow protocols and provide risk/benefit information. If this was a human md, it would be medical malpractice. So, sadly, you have learned to double and triple check behind every professional whose advice we pay to receive. But these jerks (above) are wrong suggest the vet is nor primarily responsible.

    • I think the Vet is the only one who should be blamed for Jack’s death (in case Jack really died from the shot). We,owners, tend to trust the Vets and believe that they know what they are doing. They went to the Vet school, not us. It could happen to any pet owner. Unfortunately, some Vets don’t do their homework, and our pets pay with their own lives, and we, owners, end up losing our best friends. Shame on the Vet!!!

      • Don Alfera says:

        I would also add that anytime a person, Vet or not suggests I inject my dog with poison, I want to know some facts.
        I don’t feel that I own my dogs, I am only a caretaker and a fellow traveler with them at this stage of my life. Nothing is for sure, nothing is owed. We get what we get. Blind trust in another to fulfill my responsibilities to me, is never an acceptable option.
        Your spoke for “we”. I only speak for me.

      • Don, thanks for your comments. We share culpability with the vet. The vet did not follow FDA protocol, but we did not do our due diligence in researching the product.

        We will not make the mistake again, and the purpose of sharing our pain in this public forum is in hopes that others won’t suffer a similar tragedy.

        My “we” refers to my husband and myself.

  119. Tom Gaile says:

    So sorry for your loss. I too had one of mine pass recently. My sister-in-law’s dog also had the very same symptoms but has not had this shot. She had given him his treat of Ceasars wet food prior to him becoming quite ill. 2 of my friends have also lost their dogs in the last 30 days with these same symptoms.

    • Sorry to hear about this. I am wondering if Jack had an allergic reaction to the shot. He did have some other allergies. We will know more when the necropsy results are in. Thanks again for sharing and sorry for your loss.

      • Tricia Schlosser says:

        I am so sorry for your loss. I sent this link to my vet for his opinion and he replied saying that he doesn’t use this particular form of heartworm treatment due to it being pulled off the market in 2004 because of all the adverse reactions. He also said that he felt he made the right decision after reading your story and all the comments. He is also looking forward to seeing the results of the necropsy when you publish them. Thank you for sharing your story.

  120. Thank you so much for sharing the info with us. So sorry about your loss. I’m glad I ran accross your article.

  121. Paula shelton says:

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you do much for sharing and preventing this tragedy from hurting another dog, Paula

  122. Ashley Gibbs says:

    I thank you so much for sharing what happened to your dog with others. My dog, Thunder, who is also a Black Lab has an appt Tues morning with our vet for his Heartworm test and rabies vacc. He has always been on Revolution, and after reading your story he will continue to be on it! I am so sorry that happened to yall, especially how you found him, but I hope it does give you any amount of comfort in knowing you and your sweet Jack have probably saved MANY other dogs lives. Thank you so much again for your story.

    • Thanks Ashley! Our dogs were on Revolution before this and we never had any issues. We only switched because our vet recommended it. Once this works it’s way out of our other dog’s system, we will go back to revolution.

  123. Pingback: My Fair Farm and Lots of Other Interests » Blog Archive » Dog Owners Beware

  124. crmhobbit says:

    Thank you for sharing this information.

  125. The Wife says:

    Condolences on the loss of Jack, you have my utmost respect for your handling of this tragedy.
    Reading your story & many of the replies posted here I am even more grateful to live in New Zealand where we are free from heart worm, rabies & tick borne illnesses.
    I hope that your former vet is thoroughly censured by her governing body & that Pfizer re think providing a drug with such a high rate of dangerous side effects & death.
    best wishes
    Ch Dalfyre Copper Beech RN (14yrs)
    Cristabo Sugar Babe (8months)

  126. Don Alfera says:

    I am so sorry you had that experience. More than that, I am heart broken thinking of a 3 year old boy that all of a sudden did not have that furry unconditional love and companionship that has been there since he first came home from the hospital. That is never easy, but to have it happen senselessly makes it more tragic yet.
    My Vet and I discussed this product this past year. I expressed my concerns to him and we both agreed that the risks were real. He understood when I told him the risk benefit of that decision was not even close to being in the pups favor. That one shot, life or death and the percentages were too high and the predictability was just not there,.
    Hearing that might not make you feel better. I understand that. However, hearing this might help restore your faith in the field of Veterinary medicine and the people that practice. That one that you felt you could trust, …. well, no need to go there.
    It is my most sincere hope that you can pursue legal avenues to help make sure this Vet at least does not have the opportunity to kill more dogs in this or any other fashion. Reckless and neglegant behavior is not ok just because it was one of our so called “pets”.

  127. Carol Guzy says:

    Carol Guzy Deepest sympathy on the loss of Jack. Irresponsible vets need to be held accountable. We have the right to be informed of any and all side effects to make educated choices. We have the right to be included in ALL aspects of treatment of our beloved pets. Who knows them better than us. There are many good vets who care and the best ones involve us completely and offer all info necessary. The very best ones use our knowledge to treat our pets because we know them best. The worst ones do what they want, many times too busy to really watch over our pets properly but have no problem charging outrageous fees for services for which we should indeed be able to trust, but we can’t. We need to educate ourselves and demand to be involved and informed about EVERY aspect of treatment, including side effects. We must be their advocates because we love them most. It’s time all of us demand more from veterinary clinics who many times have quality vets working for them but are so overburdened mistakes and misjudgments occur because corporate owners care more about money than their own staff, their clients and most importantly the voiceless innocents we trust with their care.

  128. Melissa Wise says:

    RIP Jack – you are truly an angel now – run and play at the bridge. <3
    My condolences to the family – peace be with you during this hard time <3

  129. Kathy says:

    Jack’s Mom it is easy to feel guilty when something goes wrong with one of our beloved dogs but it serves no purpose. You are getting the word out and this is a really good thing. You learn from this and know what to do or not to do in the future. You could have been home all day and maybe Jack would have been ok, maybe not. My 15 month old dog I mentioned in my earlier post that passed away. I left for work that day, early afternoon and he was fine. My Mom was here, he started vomiting, well dogs do that right. My husband called me at work about 4 hours after I got to work, asking me questions about how he was when I left, I replied fine. My husband watched him and gave him absolutly nothing to eat or drink. I come home to a dog that is lethargic, who didn’t get up to great me and looked down right pathetic. I called the emergency facility immediately and we rushed him there. The point is that even if I was home it might have made no difference. I wondered and did all the what if’s. It never brought my sweet boy back, but it did make me more aware, and yes I now panic everytime one of my dogs starts to vomit.

    Continue to get the word out, be mad, be angry, morn and pray for answers. Jack is st Rainbow Bridge running and playing with all the dogs that went before him. He is pain free and looking down wishing you were not this sad. Hold on to the memories, and enjoy your other dog and love him every day. I hope he is ok and that he has no signs of any ill effects from this vaccination.

    I am going to share your blog on my 2 dog groups.

    Thanks again for sharing your story to help prevent this same tragedy from happening to someone elses dog.

  130. Melissa B. says:

    I am so sorry, just as so many others are, but I know none of our sympathies bring your baby Jack back! That’s what I truly am sorry for and wish it could be different. I must say that I am very lucky with the vet that I have and so grateful she stays in tune with the drugs and their effects and is more than willing to disclose them. I also am shocked to hear that some folks have been negative in their postings here to you. You have clearly admitted to your share in the responsibility and have taken your time and energy to attempt to inform the public about something to raise awareness. I shutter at the numbers of us who would have done the same thing as you……trusted our vets to be informed and pass that information along to us. I guarantee that you have saved way more than one dog by your posts of this tragedy and can tell that this was your main objective! I do hope that this will “wake up” those vets out there that go day to day with the hope that nothing adverse will happen and if it causes just one vet to look at how they function and practice, then again, you have helped so many of us out here! Thank you for sharing your story and may you get some answers and in them, some relief and peace. Best Wishes and many thanks!

  131. sada says:

    I’m sorry for your loss!!! This is why I have changed to raw feeding and homeopathic medicine. I do not trust the vets or pharm companies. Thank you for sharing your story

  132. Lana Cox says:

    I’m so sorry you lost your beloved Jack! I know the excruciating pain of losing a pet, and my heart really goes out to you as you grieve his loss. I agree with those who’ve said you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself – most of us would’ve done the same thing, and only hindsight is 20-20. Most of all, I want to thank you for warning all of the rest of us! You didn’t have to do that, and it was very unselfish to think of the pets of others, especially right now when you’re in so much grief. Your warning will not go unheeded. I for one will be much more hesitant to take a “professional’s” advice about any “new” product now! You may have saved the lives of my 3 dogs! Thank you!

  133. Allison says:

    I’d be a bit suspect of Pfizer…don’t be surprised when they come back and say the vaccine had nothing to do with your dog’s death.

  134. monica says:

    And this story happens to people to, so watch out, maybe you will be the next experiment..!!

  135. karen8095 says:

    Thank you so much for sharing so that other dog owners may be made aware. So sorry for the loss of your lovely Jack

  136. Julie Veinot says:

    So sorry for your loss. As a veterinary assistant my heart is sad and heavy for you. The vet should have known better for sure. I am so glad you have posted about your experience for others to read and be more aware. Good for you. Praying your other pet stays healthy!

  137. patricia says:

    Thank u so much for sharing + educating us og this horrifying event. Action should be taken with the corporation to have it taken off the mkt. Clearly the risks outway the benefits. We Are Our Pets Voice.

  138. My condolences on the loss of your beloved pet and my heartfelt thanks for working through your grief by unselfishly helping others. I have shared your story with all of my facebook friends and fans. Your grace, intelligence and restraint are obvious and for what it is worth, I think you have handled the entire situation admirably. And please don’t blame yourself. Of course we rely on the expertise of our doctors (both animal and people), that is after all why we take our animals there and pay them well to do so. We do the best we can with the information we have at the time. If I may make a suggestion, when you are ready to welcome another animal into your home, there is a wonderful organization called Crossing Paths in Locust Fork, Alabama. I am from PA but have adopted my last 2 dogs from there. They came with a state health certificate and a detailed record of all of their shots. http://www.xpar.org or they can be found on petfinder. Good luck to you and your family. Apparently, Jack has not died in vain. Just look at all of the folks that now have better information because of his suffering and yours. You will never know how many lives you and Jack have saved. God Bless!

  139. Ron says:

    So sorry for your loss. I took our dogs to the Vet today and had them checked for heartworms…recently moved to east coast…..and saw this ProHeart 6 shot for the first time this morning. I never heard of this before and hate giving my dogs vaccines, etc…..and they had their rabies and bordetella shots this morning too! I opted for the oral meds…..and might even return them too. We lost our beloved Jack too….at 14 months old….due to a dog sitting company who let him escaped into the street and got hit by a car. It’s been 5 years and think about that dog every day.

    • wendy says:

      I am a dog owner,& a dog sitter,I would never be that stupid to let a dog run into the street to get hit by a car, one day a dog that wasnt mine got out of her collar ,& could have went into the street it was because a mormon stopped to talk to me,& when I realized she got out of her collar,I told the guys dont just sit there help me get her,& she must have not liked men or something because she ran when the guys tried to help me , she came to me when,I kneeled,& got down to her level she knew to come,& I was scared because it wasnt my dog,I would have been scared anyhow,I told her mom after I experienced that thank god the dog is ok, she didnt go into the street but came back to me…I am so pissed at the mormons for getting my attention after I told them I am on a time clock for walking these dogs…I love pets,& i would do anything for them.. wether mine or not…

  140. Nicole says:

    First off, I just wanted to share my condolences for your loss. Losing a pet is one of the more difficult parts of life, and I’m so sorry you had to experience it in such an unnatural way.
    Second, I’d like to thank you for sharing your experience as a precaution to others. As a young dog owner, I feel as though I have to trust my vet completely, but this was a strong reminder that I should be asking questions about whatever is being administered to my dog. This information is important to us all as both a reminder to ask questions, and as a warning about this particular drug. I will definitely be avoiding it!
    Lastly, I wanted to say that none of this is your fault. We all trust our vets just as we trust our doctors, and you were blindsided. Many other owners would have made the same decision after not being told about the side effects. Your family is not at fault. Taking him back to the vet was the right thing to do, and I’m sorry they didn’t realize something was wrong.
    I’m so sorry for your loss, but rest easy remembering that you made the entirety of his 6 years alive amazing. You showed him love and affection and took care of him and made his time on the earth the best it could have been.
    Good luck with all the follow up you’re doing with this, thank you again for sharing this valuable information with us. I pray your other dog remains unaffected <3 and jack gets the justice he deserves.

  141. dogwarrior says:

    I am so sorry for this enormous loss..but please do not blame yourself..We are no vets..we TRUST that vetsdo their job..of course thet are human..but this was a huge mistake that was so preventable..

  142. Dr. Neilly Buckalew says:

    As a human doctor I would encourage you to make known in your community about the irresponsibility of your vet so no other will experience this fatal care. You might consider informing them first with time to reply to avoid a legal conflict. I would most certainly report them to the state licensing board and send
    a copy of your complaint to the vet and their supervisor if they have one. I suspect disclosure and informed consent is the same in vet med, despite the necroscopy result, of which you cannot count on for an answer.
    The state needs to ensure their competency and right to practice. Your vet did a number of things wrong, again, despite the necro results.

    • Thanks for your input. We have filed a complaint with our state’s veterinary medical board and forwarded a copy to the vet. We realize people make mistakes and do not wish to “punish” anyone, but want to ensure that they follow the protocol that is already in place to prevent this from happening again. And like you said, regardless of the results, she did not follow protocol (I.e. the informed consent)

  143. McGSquared says:

    How heartbreaking! I am full of emotions just reading it.

  144. Sue says:

    Many vaccines were developed so long ago they don’t work anymore. Boratella is one
    Of them. It is required to board your dog and my dog got kennel cough anyway when I boarded him, then brought it home to my other dog. A lot of vaccines are marketed for pharmaceutical companies to profit, just like human meds. So sorry for the loss of your pup. They are like family, my heart goes out to you. Hopefully you will get some answers and help save some other dogs. I don’t get any vaccinations for my dogs anymore, except rabies because of the legalities

  145. I am so sorry for little Jack. Did the vet know she was required to have you sign a consent form before the shot was administered?

    • It is unclear whether the vet herself had received the appropriate training which would have told her that the form was required. However, someone in the clinic HAD to complete the training in order to be able to order the drug from Pfizer. She will not answer our questions, but the question you posed is a good one, and one that we have asked.

  146. vegheadfood says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. What most pet owners don’t realize is that pets are actually healthier if you don’t take them to the vet regularly. I do believe in getting them fixed, of course, because that does extend their life expectancy. Vaccinating is also obviously required (but only for licensing purposes). Studies show that pets who only go to the vet for emergencies live longer, happier lives than those who go for “regular checkups.” The medications given with the supposed intention of helping often do nothing, or worse, do harm. Yet people continue to pour money into this industry because they genuinely believe they are doing the best thing for their pet. But clearly, in cases where your pets need to go to the vet, ASK QUESTIONS and make sure you know exactly what is being done and what possible effects may come from it. My cat has only been to the vet twice in her 17 year life, same with my dog in his 11 year life. They’re happy and healthy, and so are we.

  147. Donna Bogan says:

    I am deeply sorry for your lose of your beloved pet. My prays go out to u and your family. Thank u sop much for sharing. I would of did the same thing u did. As we trust our vets. And one shot that covers six months sounds great. I would of jumped at the chance. U have nothing to feel bad about. Now your vet that’s another story. God bless, my heart goes out to. Big hug

  148. Tracy says:

    First of all, my heart aches for your family. I’m also pretty freaked out because my four year old pup has been getting them for the past year and a half. Looks like we’ll be switching back to intercepter when the time comes, he just git another shot of it last week… Please let me know what comes from the necropsy.. My love and prayers are wit you and your family – to so many of us these are not pets, they’re family… Xoxo

    • If your pet has been getting the shot, and not had any problems, then he probably won’t have any negative reaction to it. Talk to your vet about your concerns. Thank you for your sympathy!

  149. Susan Levine says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, they are just words, but it’s all I can offer to you, it is a great loss and there’s feelings of guilt (NOT that you did anything wrong, it’s just natural to feel guilty), I know from where I speak. My dog William, a 2 1/2 year old rescue from Indiana needed his adult shots, the Rabies Shot and Distemper. I’d opted for Distemper because my girlfriend’s dog had died from Parvo and you can’t just get a Parvo vaccine, you have to get it with Distemper….

    ANYWAY, I did tons of research online and I really didn’t want to give him the shots, but we go to the beach and there’s tons of dogs, and well, I just gave in. Because I was so apprehensive about the shots, the vet gave William Benadryl and Cortisone before giving him the two shots…(I think that’s what saved his life!) Afer William then got the Rabies and Distemper, we were on our way out when William vomited, I brought him back to the vet, but she’d gone, the techs called her and she came back. The techs observed William (a poodle with maybe Bishon or Maltese in there), his gums had turned WHITE, his tongue had turned WHITE (they call it grey, it was white), and he started to collapse, one tech caught him. When the vet came back, William got 3 more shots, one intraveniously (Benadryl), so in total William had SEVEN shots. I do think that if he hadn’t been given the Cortisone and Benadryl BEFORE he got the shots, he would’ve died right there…. It took William a full month to get back to normal

    Did your vet ever say anything to you after you made her aware of ProHeart6′s probable cause in Jack’s death? I know people tend to trust their doctors and vets but wrong is wrong. Not everyone graduates at the top of their class…. Not every vet or doctor should be practicing (which is a VERY good word to describe what they do!)…..

    I belong to a Pet Forum on Facebook and was made aware of Jack, we have all shared the information. I hope no other dog or dog owner has to go thru what you went through.

    Again, I am sorry for your loss. I hope Jack gets justice!!!

    • Thank you for sharing on Facebook. No, our vet refused to speak to us after we made her aware of Jack’s death. I think the best “justice” that we are seeking for Jack is to make pet owners more aware and ecourage them to take a pro-active approach regarding their dogs care. We loved our dogs, but I wouldn’t have considered myself a pet “lover” per se… if that makes sense. We were just average dog owners. We should have asked more questions, and played a more active role in the decision making process regarding the care our dogs received. We regret it now, and just don’t want others to make the same mistake.

    • And..I’m glad your William is okay!

  150. kat says:

    I am shocked at some of these comments! I am so sorry you lost your friend and it is in no way your fault. You trusted that something was to be done properly and not only is that drug unsafe, the doctor negligently disregarded protocol. The vet office I work at will not touch that crap with a ten foot pole and I m frankly surprised that it made it back on the market.

    HOWEVER….. I am sad that so many people get on sites and give medical advice and tell people not to do this or that who have no medical training, schooling, or experience whatsoever. Beware what you read on the interwebz. Any Joe schmoe can make a doggie website, and honestly, credentials don’t impress me toouch on the net because many DVMs who are spouting off about this and that have not actually practiced medicine in quite some time (decades in some cases).

    Vaccine titets are great, but can be very costly to many people. Also, the only titers I would even care about is Leptospirosis and there are not any good Lepto titers available. For a dog over 2, I’m not even concerned about Distemper or Parvo, they’ve already gotten their immunity. But.Lepto is real, its deadly, and it’s zoonotic ( it can be given to humans!!!). So while your dog may be an “inside” dog, Lepto can be contracted and spread without vaccination.

    I guess what I’m saying is not to talk about that which you do not know. I don’t tell my seamstress which stitches to use because I’m awful at sewing. :)

    • I appreciate your frankness. I agree with you. We all need to take everything we see and hear with a grain of salt. Anyone can post anything to the internet. I just want to encourage people to find a vet they trust and have an open dialogue about their pet care and concerns.

    • Cathy says:

      What are vaccine titets?? What is Lepto?? I wish I didn’t have to give Rosebud the mandatory vaccinations b/c she is so allergic to them, but her medical conditions make this impossible. She has to have access to a vet. When she was young they suggested she take the 3 yr shots, but doctors said they didn’t have these. It make me wonder about the..$$$$. Why do we have to continue vaccinating if the dogs have already developed immunities? It is sad that many people can’t afford the necessary shots. I help with a rescue and money is so tight. So sorry for all the questions, but it infuriating to hear this about the shots, especially, when Rosebud’s life is at stake. Thanks for letting me pick your educated brain.

  151. Ashley says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It hurts enough to lose a pet to old age, but to lose such a young dog to such a preventable cause? I can’t even imagine what you guys are going through. Thank you for sharing your dog’s story; I hope it helps to save lives.

  152. Reblogged this on fatgirlsonlyblog and commented:
    I may not be a dog lover, but we all need to be aware of this. So sorry for your loss.

  153. jack was beautiful,I am so sorry for what happened to this sweet little boy.thats a darn shame,you think your doing whats right for your precious angel and something like yjis haooens,thats a wrongful death right thefre,a needless one.this is so devastgating,to anyone,I can only imagine how you feel.I know how you feel,and I am so sorry.jack was a little doll.I would sue them for you pain and suffering and loss of your precious baby.god b less little jack and god bless you

  154. Pingback: Penny’s Finds #1 « Broken Hartz

  155. Lauren says:

    This is EXACTLY why i refuse to vaccinate my animals (dogs & cat)…Last fall i had 2 serious vet bills when both of my dogs (4.5 yr old Boston-Pug & 6 month old Boston-Pug) caught Leptospirosis from drinking puddle water in a farm yard ….it almost killed the puppy…& i did find out that if they HAD gotten their vaccinations, on time, supposedly neither of them would have caught it…but…a few years ago we lost our Boxer to cancer…her tumour was located at the exact location on her hip where she had gotten her vaccinations…and my aunt’s Sheltie suffered from the same fate. Overall…I choose not to get a flu vaccine for myself…& i choose for my animals to go “un-injected” as well. I also go against our Village laws…which require registering all dogs & keeping vaccinations up-to-date. My heart goes out to Jack’s family…& thank you for sharing your story…hopefully you will save may other animals!!!
    I posted your story to my FB. :)
    Lauren.

  156. Lisa says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss but I cannot thank you enough for sharing this. There are certain areas of my life that I have little knowledge or education i.e. mechanics of cars, landscaping and veterinarian medicine…however, I still drive a car, plant flowers and own a dog…but I rely on the knowledge, training and expertise of the professionals in those fields to guide me. I get that they are human and can, in fact, make mistakes BUT cutting corners is unacceptable. The hippocratic oath states very clearly that the most important factor is to due no harm…the cavalier attitude of your vet is shocking.

    • Thank you, I agree with you completely! I feel that the vet was probably advised not to speak to us for fear of a lawsuit, but we aren’t suing, and sometimes the “right” thing to do should win out over fear of litigation.

  157. MARGUERITE MADDOX & JELLO says:

    SO SORRY FOR YOUR FAMILY LOSS.

    AND THANK FOR LETTING US ALL KNOW.

    KEEP US ALL INORM OF TH RESULT OF THE NECROPSY REPORT BACK.

  158. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting your story out there for everyone to see. I’m now fearing the worst since we agreed to give our 7 yr old Border Collie the ProHeart6 shot. I thought since the vet usually knows best and why not trust them. Well our dog is also real lethargy, loss of appetiteand loss of interest in his tennis ball. It has been about about a month since giving him the shot. I’m now worried about our dog. We just recently lost our cat and my family has a hard time with it. I hope we don’t have to deal with a horrible loss of our dog.

  159. We have a 7yr black lab, his name is Hunter. I’ve already lost a cat thanks to Hartz and their flee & tick spray which I did not know at the time was a neuro toxin. She died twitching in my arms. I have posted this to my FB page as I know many dog owners, from there I truly hope this goes viral and this product is never administered again. Losing a pet is like losing a member of the family, it is hard enough when it just from age, but when they are taken prematurely due to negligence of someone we’re supposed to be able to trust it is all that much harder.

    You have my family’s condolences on your loss, but thank you for sharing this so others can help stop it from happening to more family members.

    Kevin

  160. Dawn says:

    Your love and beauty that you have within radiate – by taking this very personal, very heartbreaking, story public with the intent to inform and educate. You are saving lives far and wide: Thank You!
    Dawn

  161. Jennifer says:

    I never give two vaccines (shots) at the same time. My dogs will have a rabies vaccine given with the intra-nasal bordetella vaccine. If my dogs are also due for the DHPP, it is given at least two weeks apart. My dogs do not receive the Leptospirosis vaccine. If you are giving monthly flea & tick and/or monthly HW prevention, separate them from any vaccines. I try not to overload my dogs’ immune systems and that includes my rescues.

  162. Darla Golden says:

    I am very, very sorry for the loss of your beloved Jack. It makes me sick to think that your trusted vet recommended this product. I’m also sorry you have received negative comments. Shame on those people for their disparaging remarks a family who is grieving the loss of a family member. I pray your other dog remains okay; I can’t imagine the fear you must be feeling while you wait for the “all clear” sign.

  163. Erin says:

    SHAME ON PFIZER

  164. Kimberly says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have two pups in my home and could not imagine what you went through with a sudden loss like that. You have done a wonderful thing just helping pet owners stop and think about some of these side effects, I would have trusted my vets opinion on giving this medicine also. They go in for their yearly shots in about a month, you very well may have saved their lives…..Thank you and god bless.

  165. Connie Stuart says:

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Jack. Thanks for alerting us about this shot. We live in an area where mosquitoes are prevalent and when we found our Libby she was very heart worm positive and had to undergo 3 treatments. Our vet has never mentioned this shot, thank goodness. We’ve been using Sentinel; however, recently it was not available for our dog, Sunshine, and we had to switch her to Heartgard. I’m just so glad that the vet did not mention the shot or I probably would have agreed to it. Thanks for the warning.

  166. Sorry for your loss and thanks for sharing your story

  167. Donna Murray says:

    I am sorry for your loss. I would have trusted the vet just as you did. I appreciate you putting this out there and letting everyone know.

  168. First off, let me say how heartbroken I am for you and your family. But in my eyes, you and your Jack are heros. He didn’t die in vain… You are making sure as many people know about this… you didn’t have to do that… but you have and I know I am eternally grateful. I have four beautiful rescues and I now have this important information and have passed it on to the numerous rescue groups I work with and am posting it on Facebook and where ever I can to get the word out. Know that the spirit of Jack will live on and lives will be saved, if some haven’t been saved already! Thank you so much for having the courage to research, ask questions and go after the ones involved and inform all of us who have dogs as family members. I would like to make a donation, in Jacks name at an animal charity of your choice. Please let me know who you would like this made to and I will do that today. You are helping to save lives, maybe a contribution in Jack’s name will help to save another life. Thank you so much for sharing!

  169. Glenie says:

    I am so sorry to hear of loss of Jack. Living in the South we have to really keep on top of HW prevention. Approx 4 year ago my husband found a stray lab (Mali) hanging around a construction site. She was skin and bones and he just couldn’t let this poor girl miss another meal. She tested HW positive. After the horrible experience I had with Max (my rescue), and the traditional treatment which nearly killed him, the vet suggested treating Mali with both Heartgard and the topical Advantage Multi for Dogs. It would be a slow kill treatment but according to my vet studies had indicated it killed the heartworms. During her treatment her coughing stopped, she was full of energy and approx 12 months later Mali tested HW negative so she is now just on Heartgard. Thanks so much for posting your story of Jack and warning of the dangers of Proheart 6.

    • wanda says:

      It is said we HAVE to give our animals rabies shots, I will not give mine another one, the last one I let the vet give him, he was sick for a week. I do believe it was the shot. I am scared to even give them the heart preventative and flea pill…I do, I am scared every time tho. I can feel the loss of the people who lost their pet. (family member)

  170. Alieph says:

    Thanks the info
    please visit Youtube Video or Alayaband blog

  171. APAA says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Jack’s death will not have been in vain if it helps prevent this from happening to another. Thank you for sharing.

  172. Ken Gourlay says:

    It’s tough to loose a pet, but it’s tougher when it could have been avoided, sorry for your loss, we have four dogs and they are very special so thank you for posting this as we could have been in the same quandary. thanks again…

  173. Twanna says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have a Siberian Husky her name is Skyy. I love her so much..I truly appreciate the information you posted. I will not ever go to the Vet and not question any thoughts or doubts I have about Skyy..And it’s because of tragic loss..

  174. I’m sorry,my dobie died while I was out of town,I never got to say goodbye…

  175. michele says:

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this experience. Thank you for sharing your story and for passing along the information. I only got through half the responses so forgive me if I’m repeating something. I’m assuming you’ve probably heard what I’m about to say a few times already. I agree that higher ups should be notified. Someone (more than one actually) dropped the ball. Each party in the mix needs to find out what their part in it was so that it can be corrected and avoided in the future, as to save others from the same harm. I also agree with those that are saying that you probably won’t get the right answers from Pfizer. I’m sure they want to know, as well, but you can be sure that the less “proof” that is out there for others to sue them will be their main concern. I’m not of the mindset to sue but alot of others are and if the evidence is in their hands they won’t be compelled to admit what really happened, if it was their fault. It may have been better to have an independent do the necropsy, but I’m sure that isn’t an expense you want to take on. However, I would see if the FDA or another organization coud do an exam as well, to substantiate the findings of Pfizer. That way they can’t cover it up and continue to market the drug or avoid pulling it, because you know that’s SOP for big pharma companies. Even more so when it’s medication for pets who can’t verbalize the negative effects of drugs like humans can. As for your vet, it would bother me if she’s acting as if she didn’t do anything wrong. If she’s not taking responsibility and apologizing, it would seem like she may know she didn’t follow through, as she should have. However, that’s just speculation. She could have been avoiding you because she feels bad or her attorney suggested she not discuss it with you. And by now, you may have spoken with her. Either way, it bothers me that 1-she didn’t recognize the signs when you brought Jack back and 2-that she gave other vaccinations with the ProHeart 6. So she is definitely responsible for at least 2 mis-steps in this situation. She should at least answer to that. And if she’s avoiding following protocol on that issue, it should be looked into to make sure that it was an isolated incident and not a recurring issue with her. What really aggravates me about this situation is the fact that the FDA allowed this drug to be put back on the market, knowing how dangerous it is. It’s as if they waited a few years for the stink to die down and then used “protocol’ with documents and consent forms (which is riduculous to think that this would be followed in all cases) which is just asking for trouble. Especially, when the older medications are still working effectively, and without as much danger as this drug posed. My heart aches for you and I know the loss you feel, as well as the guilt you’re feeling. Telling you not to blame yourself for not doing more, won’t make you feel any better, but I’m saying it anyway. And know that we all know how you are feeling because we would feel the same way and our friends would be telling us the same thing… not to blame yourself. You trusted your vet. Let’s just hope that the ones that SHOULD have known better and done what they were supposed to do to keep this from happening will learn from it and do it the right way in the future. That should be the goal. Which it seems it is for you. I’m sorry that this is your cross to bear because you have to feel the pain the most on this journey of a learning experience for the others involved. If you don’t know about it yet, you can visit rainbowbridge.com and write a letter to Jack. There’s also a candle lighting ceremony every Monday, for all the fur-babies that have passed on. It’s a wondeful place to visit. That might bring you some additional peace, if you haven’t yet tried it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sending light and love your way.

    • Sherrie Tallman says:

      So sorry to hear about your Jack. I agree that you likely won’t get accurate information back from Pfizer. Sure, they want to know what happened – but if it’s their fault, they are not likely to admit it. An independent necropsy would have been an excellent idea, but when you are traumatized by something like this, you generally don’t think of such things until it is too late. You did what every dog parent did – the best you could to take care of your dog. It is not your fault the vet did an inadequate job. Something I have taken to doing, whether it’s the doctor or the vet, is to take my iTouch with me, inform them I would like to record what is said so I have it to refer to later in case I can’t remember something, and then save that file to my computer. I take my dog to the vet once a year for a physical exam. Now that she is older they want her in twice per year. Although so far this drug has not been suggested, I certainly intend to ask my vet about it the next time my Tasha is in (they have pushed other heartworm treatments, although we do not have a huge mosquito problem where I live). At my vet’s I pay for the office call, routine testing and injections — and if there are injections I am hesitant about, or for those that are done on an alternate basis, the tech does them when Tasha is brought back in, just charging for the injections. That way I have time to consider and do research (such as last summer when one vet at our local clinic insisted we HAD to do an expensive test to see how well Tasha was absorbing food, as she’d lost even more weight after the first vet put her on thyroid medication (he later told me he had expected the weight loss. So why didn’t he tell me that to start with – or tell the other vet or put it in her chart? That’s why I want to record what they tell me (memory problems on my part – but also some inaccuracies on theirs!). I changed to better quality food and treats with more protein and Tasha has gained back some of the weight she had lost. We need to start informing our doctors and vets that we want to have the opportunity to do research rather than immediately doing what we are told by the experts. If it’s not an emergency or it doesn’t feel right, don’t immediately to do what they suggest. Give yourself time to think it through. If they object, perhaps that is a sign they need to be replaced?

  176. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this story. I am so very sorry your vet let you and your dog down.

  177. Susan says:

    OMG!!!!! Thank you for posting this. I would NOT trust Pfizer with the autopsy, my first thought was they should get an autopsy and sue. AND YOU SHOULD but how do you know THEY will do a good one or even give you the real results? Do not trust a giant pharmaceutical company, if you have been contacted by them it means you are on their radar because you are a threat and a lot of money is at risk. Take care of yourselves and if you can retrieve Jack do so ASAP and send him to a reputable vet hospital, like penn vet hospital in philadelphia.

    What a horrid experience. my dog developed epilepsy after getting a rabies shot, the vet said they were unrelated but i’ve found that there is a correlation. ARRRRGGHHHH!!! You want to take care of your furbabe and this is what big pharmaceutical companies do!

    Their request to you was all about $$$$$$$ nothing else. BEWARE!

  178. Jessie S. says:

    Thank you for this story, my babies will be staying away from this stuff! 3 years ago I had a gorgeous black lab mix named George, he was practically a perfect dog. He was almost 2 years old, and starting to train to be a therapy dog. He got fleas, like dogs do sometimes, so I bought Hatrz 3-in-1 Dog flea spray, read the directions about 4 times and brought it home. Now, before this Georgie had never had any kind of chemicals used on him, but in the new town we lived in, it was impossible to find the natural flea repellants i had used before, or even the ingredients to make my own, so i had to fall back on killer Hartz. An hour after I sprayed my beautiful boy he had a seizure and died. Just like that he was gone. Did I mention that this was 2 weeks after I had had a miscarriage, and was diagnosed with a 4 inch blood clot in my brain? These companies that know they have killer products really need to figure something out, cause this is a horrible way to do business! They can’t keep taking our families away from us!

    • wendy says:

      I am sorry for your loss jessie also sorry to hear you are not doing well to, soryy for the loss of both your babies furr,& human.

  179. Linda says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss..but thank you for sharing- it may help someone else. Im ashamed your vet is acting this way. You have to be an informed pet owner & its quite difficult when it seems a trusted vet doesnt care. They only know what they know.. for example, I have Chows- they cannot be tqxed or receive Lepto vacc..my vet didnt know this, however she listened and did her research & has always been forthcoming with info on anythiing new. Im disgusted with Pfizer in only reimbursing you for your babies cremation. After all you lost a member of your family. Here in the States it seems thers’s not mmany organizations that help & protect consumers: we are on our own. Again Im truly sorry and hope that your family finds peace and someone be held accountable.

  180. homebadger says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! But Thank God you wrote this! Our Bellamy has adult heartworm, and is starting treatment for it. Bear is heartworm free, but the vet did suggest this treatment for him, and for her when she is cured. Now I know to refuse it! I promise, the next dog we adopt will be named Jack in his honor, as our way of thanking you.

  181. Barrie Stesis says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss – our furry family members are just that: family. I also had my dog injected with this preventative at the recommendation of PetSmart vets in Steele Creek section of Charlotte, NC, without being given any information whatsoever about the risks nor any consent form to sign. I only found out after the fact because of a knowledgable friend and rescue administrator, Lara Moody at Walk By Faith rescue in SC, who warned me of the risk – and based on that, I found my dog was NOT a candidate for this injection based on his prior history. It was only by luck that he survived. Thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of animal lovers all over, because vets clearly are to doing their job of informing owners of the very serious risks involved.

  182. Ginger says:

    To see what kind of response you have gotten here shows that it was important that you share your story and in doing so you have honored your dog. I know it must hurt terribly so I honor you to for you in doing this. I no longer vaccinate my dogs for anything other than rabies, once they have had puppy shots. And they NEVER get rabies shots with ANY other treatment or meds. Just wanted to let you know 2 things that will add to your information here. US states are starting to enact legislation that makes rabies shots only necessary every 5 years. Some states are already there. Secondly, you and your readers may want to check out the website of Dr. Peter Dobias. He is in Canada but he has a blog on the cycle of heartworm (sorry I don’t have the link handy) and how we have all been lied to, to promote the use of, and to scare the pet owners, into using heartworm preventative. His blog is excellent and well worth printing out and giving to everyone you know. Not to misquote but if you do live in areas that have mosquitoes, you need heartworm preventative about every 3 months, not every month. He goes into the whole cycle of the mosquito and the heartworm and what conditions are necessary. Well worth the read. He is an holistic vet. Like everyone else says, stop vaccinating annually, or even every 3 yrs. Most animals will well outlive the vaccinations they had as pups if they were done correctly. One of my vets checked the titers on his 17 yr old cat that had never had another shot in adulthood, and the cat was protected.

    Another suggestion, check out Dr Jean Dodds, dvm online for the most accurate vaccination schedule for puppies to ensure you get it right. She is the leading vet on this topic and speaks around the world on this topic. She is in her 70s and has been around the block a time or two in trying to change these archaic practices. She runs a place called HemoPet in Santa Ana CA that is a greyhound rescue (holds about 250 dogs) and blood draw hospital for blood donations by the greyhounds for all other dogs. She has been pivotal in changing animal legislation.

    The last thing I want to say and I have gone on a bit here, is that your vet did some egregious things. Why he gave steroids when he had no idea of what was wrong with the dog is a HUGE error. That has become the defacto standard for bad veterinary practice (to treat your wallet). Steroids are horrible for our dogs. Holistic vets rarely give steroids unless there is no other option. Find yourself another vet, as quickly as you can. I drive 50 miles if I have to to see a vet that listens to me and explains everything.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I work to educate people on this every day so thanks for giving me a venue to provide some additional information for others.

  183. Pamela Heyen says:

    My heart absolutely breaks for you! Thank you for sharing with us and thank you Jack, for your incredible sacrifice, which we hope will prevent this from ever happening again. I made the decision long ago that I would avoid any and all chemical based products for myself and my pets and have found safer, natural alternatives. I lost my trust in people and pet professionals long ago.

  184. Linda Yurkin says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and for your pain. Thank you for sharing Jack’s story and for saving many pets’ lives. He was a beautiful boy….

  185. suzi says:

    My heart hurts for you and your lovely family. I am so very sorry for your huge loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Jack Run Free my love, RIP.

  186. Dianne says:

    Here’s a thought for you. Start a petition on change.org to get Pfizer to pull the drug. Also, contact the ASPCA and US Humane Society and see if their lobbyists can do something. I am sorry for your loss. I hope that you can remember the good times. Doing something about it may help you find some peace.

  187. Krista says:

    I haven’t been able to read through all 200+ comments, so I apologize if I am repetitive. I too am a vet tech and also a vet student who has been working for a vet hospital for 2 years that uses this drug with all of the proper protocol. I have never seen a reaction to it, and the doctors do really like it. We are in Louisiana, and see at least a couple of heartworm positive cases a month, and this is an affluent area. The doctors here don’t make any more money off this drug than any other, but they feel that the compliance rate is higher because the pet is covered for 6 months and then we call to schedule an appointment to give the mid-year injection. There is also suspicion that the heartworms here may be mutating in some way because we’re seeing more breakthrough infections in dogs who are regularly on oral prevention, and as Proheart is a newer medication it seems to be working better in this area.
    I remember about a year ago when it became labeled to be administered at the same time as vaccines, whereas previously we always had to separate it by at least 30 days. I know that if you look at the possible side effects of any other heartworm prevention, they are surprisingly similar. Not to mention, the scary list of side effects listed on pretty much any medication you are ever sent home with from the doctor. I have been taught that if any medical condition develops during a medical trial, whether it is ever linked to that medication or not, it has to be listed as a possible side effect.
    I am truly, miserably sorry to read about what you have gone through. I am not a blind believer in any drug or drug company, so I fully support your decision to pursue whatever action you deem necessary to do the best for your pets. I do in general respect Pfizer and like that they have been willing to get involved in understanding what happened to your beloved dog. I would expect no less.
    Blessings.

  188. Vicky says:

    I too am very sorry for your loss. I appreciate that you have endured the emotional roller coaster of having to relive your loss with all of us. Somewhere in this thread of comments someone said watch out for the “pharma” companies, as they and the vet may not want you to know “the truth” once you get the results from the necropsy. I think the best thing for each of us , is to take a printed copy of your story and share it with our vets! Lets be proactive in informing our vets so that each of us KNOW, they KNOW. Perhaps this will get their attention or atleast get them to do the research needed, thus providing the proper forms and letters to us as mandated. Good Luck with your remaining furbaby! Much Love and Light, Vicky G.

  189. Susan Ellis says:

    Thank you so much for entering this column, Justice for Jack. I am so very sorry for your loss. It hurts so deeply when you lose a pet, at least in our family, and it seems so in yours as well. By doing this, you may be saving many, many pet owners the grief of loss of their pet, and many pets from a terrible death. Thank you so much. It is now time for my 2 dogs and 1 cat’s shots. YOU CAN BET I WILL BE ASKING QUESTIONS!! Again, please know you have done a really brave thing. Jack would be proud. Thank you so much, and prayers will be sent up for your other dog that no illness occurs to her. Much, much thanks! Susan Ellis

  190. anamika says:

    im so sorry to learn about your loss. i can understand how heart wrenching it is to lose an animal friend. im struggling with the same.they are an inseperable part of our lives ! like our little babies !even though loving Jack has gone to the rainbow bridge,he has brought about awareness among pet owners/ dog loves through you guys. thanks a lot and pls know that jack will forever love you !

  191. Janie Wilson says:

    Oh my, this just breaks my heart. I’m crying as I’m reading about Jack. I’m so sorry. We probably would have done the same thing. Why ?? Because we are supposed to trust our Vet, being assured he follows protocol, never thinking that he would be so casual about a med like this. Losing a pet is tough, but losing one this way is just horrendous. Report that Vet and your findings to the AVMA and let them check into this. (which I’m sure you’ve already done) It sounds like a strong case of negligence to me, considering you were not informed of the risks, no consent form and the Dr never spoke about anything to you. Please keep us updated on the necropsy results and thank you for getting this out to everyone else. It may just save another’s life. Frankly, that med should be taken off the market completely. We have been fortunate and not had to think about a heart worm med for our boy Max. (who will be 16 tomorrow). I can only imagine how hard this is for you. I will also share this story on my page also. Sending hugs your way..

  192. flutterbox says:

    I’m so sorry for you. Thank you for passing the info on for others.

  193. Tina Holmes says:

    Sorry to hear about your loss – a terrible waste…. I am reposting on my blog in the hope this helps a tiny bit to spread the word and avoid more repeats of this. We all trust what the vet says and expect them to do and say what is best for our pets.

  194. Tina Holmes says:

    Reblogged this on Stan the dog and commented:
    A tragic waste….

  195. Cindy Reilley says:

    Everyone looks to blame someone.
    I believe as is proven..some dogs have reactions..JUST LIKE HUMANS.. my mom can not have adoring at all any form.. WHY blame your vet? Your other dog is fine. I used this shot for my newest dog and he is fine..We do not know how our pets will react to anything. Shoot..we do not know what’s healthy to eat as humans… I do not think it is right to start a blame the other person..Sad and awful things happen no need to blame..I am not saying not to look into it..Just as you would not feed your child fast food because you are informed as to how bad it is for you….O bet you still do it!

    • Joe Green says:

      I think the issue with the vet is in the lack of informed consent. If the vet is indeed required to tell you about the possibility of adverse reaction, and did not, then they have indeed done something wrong.

  196. rumpydog says:

    I am so very sorry you lost your beloved Jack and for such a senseless reason. Some products are marketed even though they are harmful. While pet products is big business, the fear of retribution in the court system is small because the courts still view dogs and cats (and other pets) as property, and not a beloved family member. So thank you for speaking up and shaming this company; that will be the justice for Jack.

  197. Stacey says:

    Omg, I am so sorry for your loss. If it were my dog, I would have sued the vet. I have a 4 year old and a 12 year old furkid and I do not allow ANY vaccines to be given to either of them… with the exception of the Rabbis which is maditory in the state of MA. Once a dog is over a certain age, it is not necessary for the vaccines as the have already built up an immunity to them.

  198. liz brown says:

    I am so sorry about your dog, its so sad our vet always talks to us before the dogs get therr shots. They even call us the.next day to see how they are doing. My.heart goes out to your family. Your vet should be held responsible for was had happened to your dog. He shouldnt be practicing anymore. I would change vets if i was you. We go to petsmart and they are really good.

  199. Kim says:

    RIP Jack. I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Jack. My heart aches for you and your family! Thank you for sharing this important information.

  200. I have just read jacks story and i have tears in my eyes my heart goes out to you and your family. I have 2 labs abby turned 1 in feb she is our yellow lab, payton is 8 months she is our chocolate lab they are like our children i would be devestated if something like that happened to one of the girls my heart goes out to u and i would love to know the results and true cause of his death i will be posting this everywhere i can and i will say this the breeder i deal with made it very clear to us vets do like to over vaccinate she said for us to stand firm about over vaccinating

  201. Sandra says:

    I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved pet.

  202. I shared jacks link on my page and right away a friend post that she just had this given to her dogs and they were sick for the first few days after she is greatful for the info and will no longer be using it see jacks story just could have saved 2 right off the bat :)) jack has a very important purpose!!!

  203. Larry says:

    My vet died from pancreatic cancer. I still cannot picture her not smiling. She smiled when she said, “Your dog has heartworm. But we can fix that. Wait a while as there is a safer treatment coming on line. Let me ask some questions and I’ll call you.” She let me look in the microscope at the worms.

    Reverse Karma. She loved her work.

    I also put a lot of trust into the places where I buy dog food and treats and anti heartworm/lyme meds.

    Thanks for the post. I was linked to it by a sled dog site. Thanks.

  204. I am so very, very sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby. I can only imagine the pain. Thank you so much for raising such crucial awareness through your heartbreaking story of your beloved Jack.

  205. Marla Holman says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. The vet shoulda informed u of a consent form and risks without u having to ask or even thinking to ask. That is the first thing they shoulda have said, along with the shot being new, there are risks and u will have to sign a consent. Then that woulda have you out more. It is wrong that they didn’t even inform you! praying that the other dog is okay.

  206. Marla Holman says:

    Helped you out, for previous comment

  207. Diane says:

    I used to work with a rescue group for cats. The gal in charge always said that all animals need is their first series of shots. After that, no more. That was many years ago. Me and everyone else that had animals did that. My dogs and cats have never gotten anything because of not having their shots. My daughter’s sweet Pug had a horrible death after getting her shots when she was 3 years old. I put Frontline on one of my cats and he nearly died. I do home remedies now.
    Poor Jack. I am so, so sorry. That “Vet” should of known better than to give your dogs all that crap at one time. I hope in the future you do print his name and spread the word as far and wide as you can about him so no other poor animal has to go through anything like this due to his stupidity.
    Hugs.

  208. hilary says:

    I’m am so deeply saddened to hear of your tragic loss……… thank you for sharing your story with all of us to remind us to ask questions and really know what’s going on with our pets. Peace and healing to you.

  209. Betty says:

    First, I am so sorry for your loss. Do you know the antibiotic the vet prescribe? We lost our lovely 14 year old dachshund last October because of an antibiotic the vet prescribed called Cephalexin with the same symptoms. It might be worth checking into. Again, sorry for your loss, I still miss my Prissy everyday.

    • Cephalexin is what the doctor prescribed! I didn’t think about that having anything to do with his death. Thanks for the info. Hopefully the necropsy will provide some answers.

  210. So sorry for your loss. I have 3 dogs and would have absolutely agreed to the shot as well! Way easier than remembering to give them the heart worm preventative every month….People who send you crappy comments suck and they need to get a life and keep their thoughts to themselves. I appreciate you posting this and that it showed up in my FB feed. Very good information for all dog owners. Again, so sorry for your loss.
    All dogs to to Heaven and your Jack is their now.

  211. stacey says:

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Prayers for all of you.

    • stacey says:

      I did also want to thank you for sharing your story. By speaking out, you are helping other pet owners and you may be saving lives of other canines. I so wish your vet offered you more info and was aware of the drug and reaction your baby was having. Hugs.

  212. Julie Arney says:

    Thanks so much for making us aware. I would have let the vet give the same thing to my dogs. The benefits have to outweigh the risks and in this case, the only benefit is convienence, no one would have agreed to that if you were made aware. I am so sorry for your loss of Jack, but at least now you can say he didn’t die in vain and because of your making us aware so many other doggies will be saved.

  213. Christina Peressini says:

    My heart goes out to you. I decided two years ago to vaccinate my dog for the last time except for rabies. I just got a hard sell from a new vet to give my dog preventative shots for heartworm (which is not prevalent here in Vancouver BC), and fleas (which she didn’t get last year despite being on no meds for prevention). I agreed to a blood draw to determine if she had heartworm. Negative, of course. That’s my first and last trip to that vet. I plan to find a holistic vet who will not try to put unnecessary chemical cocktails into my dog and who will give me the straight goods on a more naturopathic approach to healing.

  214. Ally says:

    Wow, this is terrible. I work in a veterinary practice, and while I do not claim to be an expert or a doctor, I can offer a little bit of information that I hope will be helpful to you. We do not use this drug in our hospital. We still encourage owners to use Heartgard and Interceptor (FYI- Heartgard is not for all breeds of dog- Collie breeds should not take it), probably because if how risky this medication is. If anyone out there is at a hospital that uses Proheart I strongly encourage you to find a new practice that does not callously endanger their patients.
    Ashley, see if there is a major agency, such as AAHA, that supports your hospital. See what that agency is willing to do for you rather that going through the staff at the practice. A major supporting agency would be more accountable than the practice itself (who is not responding to your grief or their terrible mistake in a professional and appropriate manor). Also check into the drug manufacturer to see what they are willing to do for you. Animals are family members as far as I am concerned, and your pain should be compensated. It seems so trivial now, but any professional agency should be trying to appease you for this tragedy. You may also want to reach out to your local paper and try to get published so that other clients of this practice are informed about the dangers of this medication. Post on Yellowpages.com and Google reviews that pop up when you do a search for the practice- anything you can do to continue to spread the word.
    I am truly sorry to hear of this terrible and unexpected sadness for you. Jack sounds like a great companion and I am certain he will be missed. This never should have happened to you and your family, but I’m glad you are spreading the word so that owners all over the country can be educated about this potential threat to their beloved pets. Best wishes for you, Ashley.

  215. SWinter says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss, it’s so sad what that poor guy went through– but greatful that you chose to share Jack’s story to help educate us. I had made the choice not to vaccinate my dogs & cat (except for rabies which is manditory here) after a ‘routine vet visit’ about 2 years ago, almost cost one of my dogs her life. I don’t vaccinate myself either. I remember as a kid, our dogs got a rabies shot every 3 years or so and that was it. They never had a ‘list’ of vaccinations or went in for teeth cleaning– and they all live well into old age. Sometimes less is more. I can understand the vet with the ‘whole legal issue’– but often, people just want to be heard. They want to understand and feel like their concerns are listened to. I think they sue out of frustration because no one will listen or talk to them. If the vet screwed up, she can say she is sorry- she can offer her explanation, answer your questions and she can offer to be more diligent in the future. I know it won’t undue anything- but perhapse a healthy dialogue will help clear the air and save others from what you & yours are going thru.

  216. Christina says:

    Have you filed a complaint against the vet with your state’s veterinary board?

  217. I am so very sorry for your loss. Pets become part of our family and losing one brings on the same sorrow as losing our human family. There is too much neglect on further examination into drugs for humans and animals alike. Just look at all the advertisements for meds for us, and then at the end they list all the side effects, many listing death as one. I thank you for sharing your heartfelt story with us, for Jack did not leave this earth in vain. Due to Jack and you for alerting us about ProHeart 6, many dogs will be saved. I have never heard of this drug, but certainly have passed this on to my family and many friends who are parents of dogs. Jack is free from pain and happily playing at the “Rainbow Bridge” with his many new doggie friends. You, your family and Jack will be remembered in my prayers. May God watch over you and be with you through this most difficult time. God Bless you and Jack always.

  218. Sirena says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! I’m sure Jack is so proud of your for standing up for him and other pets. I have my own pet website and blog about pet topics. I would like to cross post (linking back to you) this article to reach more people if that is okay with you.

  219. Mrtial Depczynski says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but has anyone ever asked themselves why it is that the pharmaceutical companies develop human vaccines that last a lifetime but insist that you need one for your pet every 6 or 12 months??? I asked my vet. She couldn’t answer… I certainly don’t know of any vaccine we humans need to take every 6 or 12 months. Aren’t vaccines meant to generate antiagents to fight off certain ailments / diseases and aren’t these antibodies supposed to be sleeping away until they might be called up to the fight sometime in life? That’s how I interpret the dictionary meaning “any preparation used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity against a specific disease, usually employing an innocuous form of the disease agent, as killed or weakened bacteria or viruses, to stimulate antibody production” and Im a biologist. Are our pets being used unjustly to generate a frequent and continuing source of income for pharmaceuticals?

  220. Mary Martin says:

    I do hope that you have contacted your state’s veterinary board and the AVMA in regard to your vet’s negligence. Please, remember to explain how the vet has refused all communication with you after the incident. As with any profession, there are always a few who should not be in that profession. I am so very sorry that you encountered such a veterinarian and that in doing so, your beloved pet died. Thank you for your courageous efforts to enlighten others of your experience and the dangers of this injectable drug.

  221. Tina Reid says:

    Ashley,
    I am so sorry to hear about your beloved Jack! Thank you for informing us about this new drug. I actually have to make an appointment for heart worm preventative medication this month!! I will NOT be using ProHeart6!! Thank you again! I pray that Jack gets justice and someone is held accountable. I know it will not bring your beloved home, but maybe it will give you some peace knowing. And I cannot thank you enough again for informing all of us.

    • Teresa says:

      I am so sorry for your loss.
      I make it a point for myself and my pets to never take/give a shot if a pill is available, examples – steroids, antibiotics, etc., The reason is exactly what happened to your pet. If you are allergic, you can stop taking the pills and it is not so concentrated. It is much more difficult to get injected meds out of your system. I do not take a lot of meds and I do not like to give a lot of meds either. Puppy shots, rabies at about 6 months, boosters a year after that , and that’s it, unless there is a problem. Rabies shots are causing lots of issues now. Check out Dr. Jean Dodd’s vaccination protocol online. People only take vaccinations once and they last a lifetime. WHY keep giving them to our pets (Money?).
      Veterinarians are required to take rabies shots to protect themselves. I bet they don’t take one every year. Once is enough.

  222. Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing with us . Our beloved pets are at the mercy of the corrupt “BIG PHARMA” just as we humans are ! It is unacceptable to say the least .Pet food is another danger , and it nearly killed our dog a few years ago . Nutros and Science Diet made her throw up almost daily and we thought it was simply allergies to people food that we gave her a little of from time to time. We trusted the dog food since it was sold at out vets and recommended by him. She had bloody diaherrea and vomiting a couple of times on the Nutros .Now we know it definitely was the food and learned that many pets on the same food ,died around that same time our pet was sick .After researching some great pet food websites we learned about the chemicals from China that are highly poisonous and in pet food .WHY are our vets not more informed on this !? I asked my vet why our dog had lumps at the site of her yearly shots and he was not sure . I told him that I learned pet meds are not as highly quality controlled as human meds and contained seriously dangerous chemicals and he merely said he had a very busy practice and could not worry about every ingredient in every med ! Can you believe it ! I am sorry but he gave me the wrong answer ! He needed to appear a bit more concerned than that if he really cared . I lost all respect for that vet with his reply to me .Seems like we are paying big bucks to slowly, unknowingly kill our pets . Pharmacists will have a similar reply if you ask them about the generic drugs they sell and the poor quality additives and fillers in them that are also very dangerous to our health . All we can do is learn as we go and be wise consumers . That may be the only way we can put a stop to this tragedy . It is our only hope . We have to EDUCATE ourselves and RAISE AWARENESS! Sharing your story is commendable Ashley, and I sincerely thankyou for doing that !!! I am truly saddened for your experience and your loss and can totally relate to your situation .Hugs to you and your family .XOXO
    Sincerely , Michelle , Windsor Ontario .

  223. Pingback: Dog Owners Beware Article on Pro Heart 6 — Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland

  224. Chris F. says:

    Do NOT trust the pharmaceutical company’s vet or anyone there. Get an independent necropsy. The pharmaceutical company is ONLY going to look out for themselves. It was very very charitable of you to share your experience with us. Thank you! And so sorry for your loss.

  225. Alan Banks says:

    Medicam killed my greyhound which she got after dental surgery.

  226. I am SO very sorry that you lost your little buddy! Last year after I discovered ProHeart 6 was back on the market, I asked my vet about it. At that time, he told me that the adverse reactions reported previously were mostly traced to incorrect dosing. I’m not sure WHAT I’ll be giving my dogs if Novartis doesn’t resume the manufacture of Interceptor soon but it won’t be ProHeart 6 —even though I know my vet *would* dose it appropriately. I hope the necropsy provides the answers you need for peace of mind and even though it won’t bring Jack back to you, his legacy might could be to save dozens (if not hundreds or THOUSANDS) of dogs from a similar fate. {{{{hugs}}}

  227. joan evans says:

    Hi:
    I had two dogs – a Sheltie and a Skye Terrier who were only 5 and 7 years old back in 2002 when this product was first on the market. I had always given all of my dogs Interceptor as a preventative. That particular year I had my husband take all 3 dogs to the vet for their exams and to get the heartworm medication ( which was one per month orally). The vet suggested the
    Proheart and my husband not knowing said ok. We went out of town for about 4 days and when we came back the two pedigrees were panting to a great degree. At first I thought it was because of the heat but this went on and on. After about a week we took them to the vet and she gave them antibiotics and cortisone not knowing what was causing this – We had x rays done and other tests.
    I kept saying it had to be from the medication but they kept saying no – however I don’t know what they could do for these poor dogs because they had a 6 month supply in their system. Perhaps if they had only a month supply they would have survived.
    We took them to a clinic in Akron, Ohio where many other tests were done and medication prescribed.
    This began in June, 2002 and the Skye Terrier died in September and the Sheltie died in October (after we took her for a week stay at the Ohio State Veterinary Hospital.)
    We brought her home looking really good and she died 4 days later in my lap on the way to the emergency pet clinic.
    Our mixed breed dog who also received the medication had no negative symptoms.
    Shelties, Collies and Skye Terriers should only receive Interceptor because there is an ingredient in the others that has a negative effect on them. There may be other pedigrees that fall into this category as well.

    I did contact the original company regarding this product and got a very hostile response.

    I also joined a class action group against this company which went nowhere. I spent over $3,000.00 trying to help my dogs and I wish that I could have saved them. I felt really guilty about the fact that I didn’t take them to the vet as I usually did and still do. I feel that if I had taken them I would have said I want the Interceptor.
    My dogs ultimately could not breathe without great difficulty and eventually could not breathe at all.

    I really do not understand how this product was allowed back on the market. You probably know this but they are under the U.S Food and Drug Administration.
    Interceptor is currently not being produced as there was a problem in their factory. Hopefully they will be up and running soon.
    In the meantime I suggest that anyone wanting it check with any vet you can to see if they have some on hand.
    That is what I did for the Sheltie I now have

    If anyone wants to email me feel free to do so.
    Joan

  228. Cat says:

    Please accept my condolences for you and your family. I am so sorry for your lost.
    Jack’s life lost will not be forgotten….his life and your words WILL BE THE CHANGE to prevent other senseless deaths from happening.
    Peace, hugs and love,
    Cat

  229. Michelle says:

    Do not trust them!!!! They are criminals. I contacted Pfizer after a reaction to birth control medication. They were so kind, and wonderful to me. They offered me help, offered to research the drug and contact my doctor. Everything they said was a lie. They recorded our conversations and were using the information to protect them from a lawsuit. I later found out that the drug was given to me illegally (I was under 18) and that’s what they were worried about. I suffered for years!!! I screwed myself by trusting them. Run away! They are heartless criminals!!! I am so sorry about your dog, and thank you so much for sharing. These pharmaceutical giants are sick sick people. I am so sorry :( please hire an outside source to investigate your case. They will only cover it up!!

  230. Pingback: ProHeart 6, Heartworm Drug on the Market That May Cause Death « No Act of Kindness is Too Small

  231. Barry Kemp says:

    I truely feel your pain. My dog Sassy got the shot on 9 March 2011, got sick, and we finally had her put to sleep on 25 june 2011 ( after carrying her into the vets office for steriod shots day after day because she wouldn’t eat the pills, or anything else for that matter). Like you we were not warned of the dangers, nor did we sign a consent form. Also, Sassy get vaccines as well the day the shot was administered. Like you we trusted our vet and placed our trust and confidence in his hands. i will be taking your information to him this week when I take my dogs in…THANKS.

  232. Barb Barth says:

    Thank you so much for sharing and warning others before this happens to them. I trust our vets are on top of this; however, I like to be informed just in case. I’m sorry for your loss and I appreciate your compassion for others in sharing this painful story.

  233. Amy says:

    ((Hugs)) so sorry for your loss. I am so saddened and have wept for you. No matter the cause of death and loss it is horribly painful and leaves a huge hole in your heart always. May God give you peace and comfort in this all.
    Do not attack yourself for this you take this horrible loss and educate others to the use of this drug so that they have the information that you did not.
    We have an amazing staff of vets and they are wonderful young clinic and when we first heard of this medication we went to them. They explained it and advised against it completely. This is not like chewing a pill this is serious serious serious medication that is likely to have some of the side effects for sure. And you have to be specially trained in this.
    It saddens my heart to think that your sorry butt vet is so uncaring as to talk with you over this. They did not follow protocol and you should follow up on that.
    God bless you and your baby.

  234. K says:

    Ashley, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it can be to lose a beloved pet and my heart goes out to you. As a veterinary professional, I urge everyone out there to do your research! EVERY vaccine, every drug, every medication has a list of potential side effects…that does NOT make it a bad drug. I whole-heartedly believe that this medication actually saves lives because some people cannot, do not, or will not administer monthly heartworm prevention as directed (every 30 days EXACTLY). So , please, do your own research and make your own decisions on what is best for your pets and your family. Cases like Jack’s are tragic, no doubt. But the number of pets that receive this medication every day with absolutely NO side effects is innumerable. Ashley’s vet is 100% at fault for this senseless death, in my opinion. They were not given the appropriate information and the vet didn’t even consider that the ProHeart could be the cause of Jack’s illness. If you all still choose not to use ProHeart, that’s fine, just make sure you are protecting your pets from deadly heartworms.

  235. Chanelle McGee says:

    I really hope you bring the vet to court and sue him!

  236. theresa milburn says:

    So very sorry for the loss of your beloved Jack. Thanks for making all of us aware of this. If it were me I would let others know who the vet was so they can decide if they go to her whether they want to continue taking there beloved pet to her.

  237. Sharon says:

    My dogs were given Proheart back when it first came out for 2-3 years and then the Vet told us it was pull due to the death of many dogs. I didn’t realize it had been released after that but because of it’s passed reputation, I never asked about it again. That had to be about 10-15 yrs. ago. Fortunately my dogs never had a problem with it but, I knew I would never use it on them again. I’m am so very sorrow for your loss and pray that God be with you and Jack. Thank you for sharing your story, perhaps other dogs and their families can be spared the pain and suffering you and your family had to go thru. Much love to you, your family and Jack.

  238. Marla says:

    My heart goes out to you loosing Jack like you did. Every vet should feel very confident of the medication he administers or he should not offer them. That is inexcusable!
    I am a rescuer in Georgia and I pulled a lab/chow mix from the local shelter that looks like Jack’s twin! His name is Eli. I was very surprised when I saw Jack’s picture.

  239. Eva says:

    So sorry for your loss but Thanks so much for sharing!!

  240. outragedinsepa says:

    I’m horrified to learn about what had happened to your precious Jack and am so sorry about your loss! Am outraged by the cavalier attitude you had suffered from your former vet. Sadly, under the law animals are still considered to be merely “property” so you can’t collect for their pain & suffering so that is most likely why you couldn’t find an attorney to help you file suit against the vet for malpractice. Even though it’s not a monetary thing as you say, it is a matter of principle. Hopefully one attorney will read this who is a true animal lover and will help you bring this to court even with little monetary gain. Of course, you could also go after that vet in small claims court where it’s a matter of principle – it would be great if you could get that case on say, “Judge Judy”; she is a trie animal lover and am sure she would hold that vet’s feet to the fire. Am glad, however, that you have reported the vet’s egregious, behavior to the authorities governing vets; hopefully it will be a true consumer oriented group and not a kangaroo court.

    Thank you for exposing what had happened as a result of your former vet’s conduct. Hopefully this will help put him out of business for good. More importantly, this will expose the risks of this drug, this vet’s practice and will help ensure that Jack did not die in vain. Will do my part in spreading the word as well.

  241. Tina says:

    Oh Ashley! I am so deeply sorry for the untimely loss of your dear boy Jack! He was beautiful! I know there is no consolation for losing your furry companion, but know that your blog has probably saved the lives of hundreds, and possibly thousands of other beloved dogs by getting the word out on ProHeart6. This tragedy of errors made by your former vet, as well as the greed and negligence of Pfizer in bringing back this deadly product is unconscionable! I might suggest that you start a petition to have Pfizer withdraw this product, as there are too many contraindications for its safe use. I’m reposting this on my Facebook page, to help get the word out for you. And again, my sincere sympathy for the loss of your beautiful boy Jack. Stay strong! Jack’s legacy will live on in your heart’s and the many he will save because of your efforts!

  242. Tandi Sager says:

    My Doxie 4 years old, died May 18th from a 3 year rabies shot! She had always had a one year shot before, and to possibly ease your pain. I did everything right. As soon as she started swelling I went for the IV to reverse the reaction. The next day she went into severe seizures. I went back to the Vet, more test and medicine to stop the seizures. She acted better for two days and then stopped eating. I started feeding her and watering her with a syringe. I thought I was helping her. The Vet Said I was putting fluid into her lungs. I went back to Vet. In all I saw three Vets, trying to save her. The 3 year Rabies was too strong. She started IV treatments for fluid then started Vomiting severely and no bowel or urination control. She was put down to keep her from suffering anymore. Her test came back and kidneys and liver had shut down. My Vet never told me the risks to change from 1 to 3 year Rabies Shots. My heart is broken and I truly believe I did all I could fit her, but she still died. I’m so sorry for your loss……

    • K says:

      As someone who works in the veterinary field, I am deeply sorry for the tragic loss of our pet. However, I believe your vet failed to mention to you that the 1 year and 3 year rabies vaccinations are actually the same. It is just the laws and general understanding that has changed that make them now good for 3 years. We not know that the dog’s antibodies last far longer than we had originally thought, and now more and more vets are confident giving the vaccine on a less-regular basis. It is more likely that your dog just developed a severe sensitivity to the vaccine (that can happen at anytime, without warning), Again, I am terribly sorry for your loss.

  243. as a veterinary technician, i am absolutely appalled at the way your veterinarian has handled proheart6. it pains me that they could be so negligent and not inform you of the risks involved of using a new drug, especially one with such severe side effects (and having attended a pfizer lecture earlier this year on the subject, i understand the risks fully, which is why i will never use it. ever.) my practice has been on the fence since we had the lecture on the product. i plan on having my boss read this, and i hope that they decide to not carry it…i don’t think i would be able to recommend this to clients after reading this story.

  244. Cheryl says:

    I too question vaccines as I just had my horse spend 16 days at an equine clinic for what I know was an allergic reaction to her annual vaccine. My dog and cat don’t go to the vet for routine visits and are happy and healthy. I will be thinking twice before I vaccinate any pet I own in the future. My research has found that most vaccines last 7 years…and it’s the manufacturers making people and vets believe it is necessary on a more frequent basis. Sorry for the loss of your fur buddy…

  245. Susan Durr says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Jack. I pray your thee dogs r fine. I am so glad that I read this, usually I don’t. I will continue to give my dog the oral med. thank u for this info. Very sorry u had to find out this way

  246. Teresa says:

    As a owner of 4 dogs my heart goes out to you. Thank you for calling attention to this drug. I will never let it be used on any of my dogs. I pray your other dog will be fine & your vet stops using the shot. May your hearts be comforted knowing you let other dog owners be aware of the dangers of this shot. Thank you!!

  247. Catherine says:

    My deepest condolences on the loss of your family member. The tragedy will only be compounded if your research indicates the death was due to someone’s negligence in training or in the vaccine itself. I have come to believe that less is more and do not routinely get shots for my animals and they are in splendid health. I hate to be cynical, but I believe annual vaccinations are a ploy by the pharma industry to generate revenue….

  248. THANK you so much for sharing your painful story. I am printing a copy and mailing to my vet – my two vets, immediately. I’ve always said modern medicine kills – now I will have to include veterinarian medicine. Please know that we are all with you – that anyone of us would have likely done as you did — follow a trusted Vet’s recommendation. LaVerne Tromble

  249. Kelly says:

    Heartfelt hugs for your loss. Your story would be very educational for our membership over at Sheltie Nation. (sheltienation.com) May I have permission to re-post your story there? Proper credit and link to your blog would be provided.

  250. Susan R says:

    My heart goes out to you. I’m sorry Jack had to suffer :-(.
    I hope that down the road you get to meet up with him at the Rainbow Bridge

  251. Misty Shock says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and I hope your other dog does not reach the same fate. I too have two dogs and two cats and my animals are the loves of my life ( besides my kids). I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I will now be more alert to what my vet is doing and the shots and medicines my animals receive thanks to you.

  252. Lori says:

    So very sorry for your loss. I couldn’t imagine the pain. I think it’s horrible that the vet has nothing to say about their negligence. You should look into suing them for it. They should at the very least have to compensate for the costs. But since animals are still viewed as property I guess it would be a moot point. Such a shame. I can only hope that I don’t have your vet…..as you didn’t mention a state….I am in Jersey…..

  253. Kayla says:

    So sorry for your loss and I appreciate you telling your story. You have saved lives. I have 2 labs and a schnauzer who are my furkids. I got really nervous reading this because I just started my lab pup on heartworm meds, heartgaurd; it still makes you wonder what our vets are giving our animals. I always thought that vets were in it for the love of animals but I guess there are those who are not. Best wishes to you and your family.

  254. sorry to hear about your dog ,im a big lab fan and the loss of dog is as bad as a loss of a family member .ive been a farmer all my life in namibia and as a farmer we are brought up with the knowledge that any de worming vaccine can be fatal in any animal ,especialy heartworms ,and kidney worms , i have a few very good books on dogs ,and especially on the treatment of dogs with any type of medicine ,i think no dog owner can be without one ,and in my country vets are very few and far inbetween ,so i could always deal with major problems and minor problems thanks to one good book ,i also have the habid of first looking up the desisions any vet make . there are a few vets out there that do bury their mistakes and are in bussenes for money and not for love of animals . ive learned one valuble lesson dont trust anyone with your family and quistion all their desisions ,and go and look it up if you dont feel right about something .again im really sorry about your loss.colin randall

  255. Jeanne says:

    I have Aussies and they , as a breed, have a problem with any of the Abamectin meds. It has been difficult to find HW prevention for them,as there is a shortage of Inteceptor. I too, looked at the proheart, and decided against it for that (adverse side effects) reason. I have also done a lot of research over the years, and we only give a 3yr rabies vac. We also vaccinate the puppies, and give 1 yr boosters, after which our dogs are very minimally vaccinated. Besides, how often are we (humans) revaccinated? So why should our pets be over vaccinated? I believe that is why we see so many allergies,seizures, skin problems, etc. So we Usually only vaccinate after the booster when they would be exposed to adverse conditions. Our vet has also begun “prescribing” HW prevention meds if a dog who has been on preventative and tests positive. That has been my thoughts for many years. If the filaria are killed and the adults die off slowly, that has to be better than an embolism of dead heart worms and taking arsenic. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I know how you must feel at the senseless loss of Jack. Just remember that ALL of the meds we give or put on our dogs have the possibility of causing a reaction, especially in a breed that may be predisposed. Ex. Comfortis has a tendency to cause seizures. Some breeds are more prone to having seizures. I have one Aussie that rry seized after taking Comfortis. Stopped the med, no more seizures. Again, I’m sorry for your loss! I hope this info may help you and others in the future!
    Jeanne
    http://www.cedarsfarmboers.com
    AKC/ASCA Australian Shepherds
    ABGA Reg Boer Goats

    • Cam says:

      I am a certified veterinary technician in Arizona and I take my job extremely seriously. The comments about veterinarians or their nurses who are “in it for the money” make me sad. I can hardly afford my bills and rent payment each month because my paychecks are so small. I know how much the veterinarians make that work and it is much much less than a human doctor. While we do not have as much of a mosquito problem as other states in the US we do get a few cases of positive heartworm disease in dogs. I have seen how expensive the costs for treatment can be and how hard the treatment is for the dogs. I am a HUGE believer in prevention especially when it is so easy and much less expensive than treating. That being said I still use Heartgard for my dogs because they love their monthly treat and I just wanted to keep their preventatives consistent. The hospital I work for gives heartgard or proheart and we give information for both so the owner decides. We have not had one case of side affects with a pet on proheart. No drug is 100% guaranteed just like human medicine, but I get the pertussis vaccine for myself because I would kick myself if I gave my daughter whooping cough and it’s completely preventable!! I have seen dogs die from parvo virus or distemper and every single one of those dogs didn’t receive the $17 vaccine that could have prevented it in the first place!! I put my heart and soul into my job and I love animals so it makes me sad when people believe everything that they “google” on the Internet. At least from what I have seen with the vets I have worked with, they all spent years and years in school studying many different animals and caring for them not because they can make thousands of dollars but because they truly want to educate pet owners on what they can do to keep their pet healthy as long as possible. I can speak for myself and the hospital that I work for in that we would never knowingly give a pet a vaccine/preventative or treatment that we thought may kill them..the people I trust with this kind of information are the ones with medical backgrounds.

  256. Marcella says:

    What a terrible tragedy! I am so sorry you lost your sweet Jack! I commend you for standing up during this difficult time to make others aware of the life threatening side effects of ProHeart 6. We, to often, give our vets & doctors complete blind trust! We need to question anything that is going to go into our bodies & the same for our pets. If you want to read an interesting book, read “Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats” by Catherine J.M. Diodati. It will give you some very good information about vaccines, so you can make more informed choices.

    Keep up the good work! May you & your family take comfort in the good times you had with Jack!

    Marcella

  257. eShawnShawnkzc says:

    Great webpage, lots of beneficial facts.

  258. Jo says:

    I’m sorry that you lost your “Jack” ….. there is nothing worse than losing a furry-baby, except losing them too soon. I work for a vet, and had no idea that Proheart 6 was back on the market. I used it in 2002 with my Springer Spaniel once. My vet at the time was friends with the people who created it and I asked a million questions about it before I had my Patches vaccinated. My vet had been vaccinating his own Golden Retreivers with it for more than 18 months with no problems. I was told that there had been some dogs that had problems, but at that time, it was small toy breeds that had issues, none of the bigger dogs. I know that at the end of 2002 this product was pulled off the market, because big dogs, labs, shepards, pt bulls were having irregular heart-beats and blood issues. When it came back on the market again in 2004, my vet told me to stay away from it and I did.

    Your comment, “I trusted my vet” just broke my heart, because I know the guilty and anger that is associated with words like that. I used to, once upon a time, trust doctors, because I was taught as a small child that you listen to doctors and do what they say. It was not until I had major surgery about 15 years ago that I started thinking differently, and my surgeon is the one that made me look at it differently. I was in her office, having a pre-surgery visit, and I had 4 sheets of questions. By the time I got to the top of sheet number 2, I was feeling guilty for taking up so much of her time, and was apologizing for all the questions. I was also crossing off those that I thought I could live without the answers to, in order to shorten the visit. She assured me that she didn’t mind the questions, and told me to ask them all, because if I didn’t I was an idiot. Talk about surprised!!! Then she said to me, “You never trust what a doctor says at face value, and you never NOT ask questions if you have them. If you do not understand the answer because of the big words that doctors like to use, tell them to explain it in English for you.” My chin was on my chest ….. her final comment on the subject was…..”You ask questions, demand answers, and if you don’t believe what you are told, make them explain ‘why’ because it is your life, your body and the fact of the matter is, doctors do not know everything, nor are they laying awake at 2AM worrying about YOU. YOU are in charge of watching out for, and taking care of YOU. As a surgeon, I simply help YOU..”

    I have never forgotten what she said and I became a advocate of not only myself, but of my kids and of my fur-babies. Want to put someone on a prescription, I want to know why, what the side effects are, what I should watch for, what other product can be used and why it isn’t better. Doctors either hate me, or they admire me, but there is no in between.

    So the moral of the story is that one asks questions, and demands understandable answers. Without feeling guilty. Each of us as a pet owner, spends a small fortune on the health and care of our animals. Between shots and heart worm preventative, to say nothing of flea products, one is spending $500 a year easily. One is entitled to ask questions, demand answers and continue doing so until one is satisfied. One also is entitled to say no to procedures, shots or anything else that makes one feel uncomfortable, instead of telling that inner voice to ‘trust the expert’.

    I am glad you blogged about Jack. Taking the time to tell your story will save other dogs from the same fate, and that at least allows some good to come out of it. Take care of yourself, and remember, regardless of the outcome, you loved Jack enough to take care of him and do what you were told was the best for him.

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  261. Karissa says:

    This is so bizarre to read. Two weeks ago we lost our black 6-year-old lab/chow mix named Newton (he looked very similar to Jack) three days after taking him and our other dog Otis (boxer) for their normal checkup/shots. We took them in on the morning of 2/4/2013 and picked them up around 3-4 p.m. later that day. We noticed Newton wasn’t eating as much the next day but we figured it was due to him just having shots and not feeling up to it. He was always pretty lazy and easy going. On 2/6/2013 just 48 hours after his vet visit, we were getting ready for work like normal and I had already left for the day. My husband had finished preparing to leave for school and called Newton to put him outside, yet Newton didn’t come. So he went into the living room only to find Newton on the ground jerking and acting like he was gasping for air. My husband quickly picked him up and took him to the nearest vet only to find that Newton had died on the way there. We were so shocked because he had JUST been to the vet and we were told he was perfectly healthy. The vet we took him to the day he died offered to do an autopsy on Newton and said it looked like he had died from a pulmonary embolism. I am still trying to make sense of it all and I figure it has to be a reaction from the vaccinations but my other dog Otis received the exact same ones. After reading your post, I wonder if it may have something to do with the type of breed mix or something? We are devastated by the loss of Newton and while my husband keeps telling me it was just one of those “freak things” that happen in life, I still find myself trying to find an answer.

  262. Pingback: VACCINE ALERT – PLEASE READ! | CA GSP Rescue

  263. Eva Marie says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My understanding is this is a time release shot. That means your dog had a reaction when it was given and again when the second release occurred. We had one who had a reaction every month for 7-8 months and had to be supported by intensive care each time until the medication was out of his system. This drug needs off the market.

  264. Cheri says:

    My sister just got her dog the six month shot. I lost my dog last year from old age or I probably would have given my dog the shot too. Thank you for posting. I had a dog that I put blockade on in the 80′s. You may not remember that but it killed a lot of dogs. My cousin told me about it and that it worked wonderful. It said you could spray it on them as often as you needed but I am really funny and so I just did it weekly. He ended up with little red whelps all over his body right after I sprayed him the second time and I found this out by him yelping while I was playing with him. She had long haired dogs and he was short haired. He lived but I noticed he ran into thing all the time but he was a lab mix and I figured he was too excited. Long story short his retina’s were destroyed. He lived to almost 12 years old and was a happy puppy. I am so sorry about your fur baby. And I learned all I could to control fleas naturally. Vacuuming is the main thing. I believe we will see our sweet babies again. But knowing that they are at the bridge, healthy and whole, makes me smile.

  265. I also had a tragedy when I brought my 11-month old Newfoundland “Ozzy” in for a rabies vaccine. Ozzy was a giant brown bear of a dog, and so sweet that everyone he met loved him. Ozzy had been healthy and happy, and at 11 months of age weighed in at 146 pounds. He had no other vaccinations or procedures done. I just needed him to get the rabies vaccine because I was training him for therapy work. Six days after the shot I found that he’d lost 15 pounds, so I rushed him into emergency care. After three full days at the ER, nine days of constant care at home and another six days at our vet, Ozzy had lost 35 pounds and lost over 75% of his kidney function. We had to put Ozzy to sleep one week before his first birthday. In our case it was obvious that the vaccine was the cause, because the ER people tested Ozzy for just about everything you could possibly imagine. His immune system was compromised and started attacking his own red blood cells.

    I don’t advise this of everyone, but I’ve stopped administering rabies vaccines to my dogs. I live in the city and my dogs are house dogs, and the last recorded incident of any domestic dog in my state contracting rabies was nearly a decade ago. The chances of one of my dogs getting rabies is astronomically low, while the chances that they’ll get sick or die from the vaccine is much higher. It means I can’t board them or have them groomed, but that’s OK. I’ve never boarded a dog in my life, and I’ve always done my own washing/brushing.

    I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you. It’s inexcusable that a vet would recommend a drug they haven’t even researched themselves.

  266. Vasya says:

    They doing the same things with peoples, from the day when babe born…. why you surprised?

  267. Jennifer says:

    Just took my Boxer for his shots and heartworm today. My receipt shows that he was given Proheart.as soon as we got him home he was throwing up and pooping. Called the vet back and they said bring him back. Went to have him walk to the car and his legs just wanted to give out from under him. Hubby had to carry him, and he was breathing funny. I literally flew back to the vet office where they gave him a steroid. After about 15 min he seemed better and could walk again. Threw up a little before getting back in the car but again, once we got home he had welts, from his tail to his collar. Called vet back and they told us to bring him back and they will puppy sit him today to keep an eye on him. Hope he gets better soon.

  268. Melissa says:

    Im sorry for you loss! Some people don’t understand that these cute 4 legged furry creatures are like one of our own babies! At least that’s how I feel about mine. I have lost 2 Dobermans but not due to vaccines. I am glad that I came across your post on the ProHear 6 as I just got an email from my vet about doing this shot. I was going to schedule this but Im not any longer! I would be so devastated if some thing happened to my Chiquita(Chihuahua) or Bonita and Harley(minpins), I would die. So for now I will continue with the oral heartworm protection, Again so sorry for you loss and thank you for posting!

    Melissa

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  270. Heather says:

    I’m late but just came across this post. I am very sorry for the death of Jack. I am curious prior to the shot being given was he on month preventative? If so, was it ever give a day or so late? Thanks for the info!

  271. Heather says:

    Also, if he was on monthly preventative, was it given 6 months or longer?

    • Yes, he had been on Heartguard since he was a puppy. I am sure there was a time or two in his life that we probably gave it to him a day late. He tested negative for heartworms at his last regular vet visit.

  272. Janice Storey says:

    Hi. My name is Janice Storey and I am one of six that appeared in front of FDA Committee along with veterinarian in maryland in front of a 15 judge panel to vote for or against RETURNING Proheart 6 back to the market. We barely WON 8-7. PH6 killed my dog within 2 months in 2002. I have many boxes of files on this subject and people from across the country that encountered their dogs becomeing very ill and or dying from the original proheart. It took 2 1/2 years of my life to build up files, including gathering data from the Freedome of Information Act which showed the vets having the first issues when administering the product to their own dogs! It went off the market in the USA while they continued to sell it abroad to other countries. It took them years to finally get the drug back on the market and that is what all of you are encountering now. In my opinion you will see reactions to this product since the laborary results I presented to the FDA committe showed the product was killing the adult heartworms and killing microfilia within 45 days. This in my opinion was acting as a treatment therefore and not a preventative. It is a time released product….never give yourself or anything you love a time released product…it cannot be corrected. The vets were also told by Fort Dodge/Wyeth that they are only seeing 1% of reactions….however there is very clever marketing involved with the vets since it is DOSES SOLD…that the pharmaceutical uses for their 1% calculation. So that would make that percentage go up…you think? Please never consider this time released product to your dogs…..no matter how much the vet tells you it is safe. Vets NEVER tell you that dogs can acquire male heartworms and no test EXISTS to test for MALE HEARTWORMS. My dog tested a false negative before his injection and he DID have heartworms……they began to die and then create blood clots in his lungs and that is whay eventually killed him. But first he became letharthic and lost weight and then died. I presented LABORATORY RESULTS on a doberman out of Dallas to the FDA committee. Since this dog had NO OTHER PRODUCT administered to him (vaccinations or any other kind of problem….3 years old and excellent health) so they could claim it was the cause. DOG was a show dog….had been to vet and tested FOR ALL PARASITES, WORMS….two months before inejction……the hw test was negative. However this vet kept an open mind and when I called him and told him what happened to my dog, Trouble, he retested the dog, took xrays, etc. and sure enough he found the heartworms…but they were dying and causing all kind of problems for this poor dog. It took a specialist for many, many months and alot of money to save the dog….but he did survive….only because they listened and knew what to look for that caused the problem. Even the autopsies are hard to prove that the dying heartworms kills the dogs….cause they are so small and break up. PLEASE GO TO THE HEARTWORM SOCIETY WEBSITE AND BECOME EDUCATED ABOUT HEARTWORMS….YOU WILL LEARN ALOT. No female can be detected until she is 6 mos of age and then she can produce and create the microfilia in the blood. I am telling you this because I was involved in getting it removed from the market and I have cried on the phone with countless people whose dogs died and or became ill from PH6. That is why the new rules with the adminstration of the product by the vets was revised. Things had to change because of it not being as safe as they tell you. I do pray all of you listen that read this. Also this is a money making drug for the vets cause you have to come back to the vet and spend money every 6 months. Stay with a proven ivermectin product unless your breed (collies, australian shepherds, etc.) does not react well to Ivemectin…it has been around for over 40 years and is much safer for dogs. In fact a dog that has heartworms, depending on his condition and him being kept sedentary can be treated off label by a vet to slowly kill the worms (but dog cannot run around for a month) and there needs to be blood work done, heart xray done etc. to be sure the dog is in good shape to do the off label treatment. Otherwise they will want you to take the treatment which invovles shots and that is very hard on the dog if you read the disclosure statement. Please go to the heartworm society website and become more educated about the heartworm process in order to protect your dogs. You can also go to http://www.dogadversereactions.com and read the stories (if still there) on what others encountered after the original PH6 was given to their precious dogs. I wish you all the best.

  273. Shelley Cropper says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, i cannot imagine the pain you felt losing him in such a way. I have a nearly 6yr old pomeranian, who had never been seriously sick a day in his life, only ever visited his vet for his yearlys. That was until october 2012, at his annual visit his vet suggested the peoheart injection for him as it was supposedly more convenient, a needle once a year, so whilst he was getting neutered & microchipped the injection was administered. I was never informedof any side effects & was certainly never asked to sign a consent form for the injection. Not 1 week later he was still out of sorts, still not eating, reverse sneezing, coughing, trying to vomit but couldnt, diarrhoea & runny nose. I immediately took him to the vet who examines him & determined he had a sinus infection & had developed allergies. Ever since he has permanently been on iramine (for allergies) steroids (intermittently) & antibiotics. I am at the vets every couple of months with him because he gets alot worse. My husband & i call him “the old man with emphysema” because of how bad his breathing & snoring has become. We thought his developing these problems meant that something had gone wrong during surgery & the vet didnt want to admit it. But since researching the possibilities i have come across yours & several other stories. Now i am extremely worried, i dont know what to do now, because obviously he may be on all this medication for no reason & i would seriously lose it if something happened to him!!!

  274. web hosting says:

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  275. Sharon Rasmussen says:

    Thank you for posting your story about Jack. I’m so sorry for your loss. My vet and I just discussed the possibility of changing my dog’s heartworm prevention from a monthly pill to the 6 month shot of ProHeart. He believes it to be a safe alternative but after reading of your experience I am staying with the monthly oral pill. I appreciate that you shared all the information, including the indecisive necropsy results. Some people would not be as fair minded. God bless your family. I hope your happy memories of Jack will give you comfort.

  276. Mandy Vaussine says:

    I am so glad I ran across your blog. This past Saturday (one week ago today), I took my dog to the vet. He did the exact same thing. “Hey, we have this new shot…” I was not given any additional information, nor was I asked to sign any kind of form. On Wednesday, my dog started showing the exact same signs that you described. My poor Tink has now seen a second vet for a second opinion. Turns out she has adult heartworms, but no babies. The prevention I was using previously was just not effective enough, especially in Louisiana where we have an abundance of mosquitos. Never give a dog heartworm prevention when they test positive for heartworms, and make sure your vet tests the blood before swapping their heartworm prevention. Anyway, my poor Tink is now fighting for her life and I am absolutely devastated. She is only 3 years old and she has been a wonderful therapy dog for my 5 year old son with Asperger’s Syndrome. The second vet put her on steroids and antibiotics, but we are not sure she is going to make it through the next two weeks. We are praying, but we are still terrified.

  277. miss415 says:

    I think our local laws force us to over-vaccinate our pets! I recently learned about titers testing and was happy to learn my city accepts titers in place of rabies vacc. Titers is a blood test that checks levels of the antibody (vaccination) & most pets , depends on size and various other factors, are good for 7-10 years. After my 12 year old Lab mix had his rabies vacc last year, hind legs started trembling with 4 days. He’s a really active & loves to run and still does in spite of the trembling. I just thought I’d mention this since I read you plan to continue vaccinating as req’d by law every three years.

  278. Chastity Nefzger says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and sorry to say that we a sure it killed our baby Joey today.
    He was 9 months and very healthy and never lapsed on his heartworm pills. He got the shot on Monday and died this Monday morning. I am so outraged and hurt. Not only did the vet not tell us about the risks but they kept sending us home saying he was going to be fine. We took him in twice last week and he was going back in this morning but he died around 3:20am. He was not eating and was lethargic and then was vomiting they gave him meds when we took him in and it seemed he was getting better then he got really bad. We called the vet yesterday to bring him in but they said they were busy with an emergency and that he would be fine until the morning. I have been researching and have found 2 vet offices that say on their websites that it is completely safe. Something needs to be done.

  279. Erica says:

    First and foremost, I am so sorry for your loss of Jack. Secondly, thank you for sharing your story. I am a veterinarian and was asked about a “heartworm vaccine,” by a client today. I am a 2012 veterinary graduate and had not heard about such a thing, but let my client know that I would take some time and research it before getting back to her. I came across your post and wanted to thank you for taking the time to make your story available. Also, as a veterinarian I want to thank you for keeping your former veterinarian’s name anonymous, as I can imagine that this event has affected her deeply. Your story has definitely inspired me to continue making sure I stay informed about new products / drugs on the market that I recommend for my patients, and the importance of providing the information pet owners need to make informed decisions about their animal’s health. Again, thank you for sharing your story.

  280. Kimberly Clark says:

    I just ran across your article and let me say that I am so sorry for your loss of your dog Jack. I am going through a situation now and am searching for answers for my Rottweiler Caesar who is currently at the vet hospital on supportive treatment with a 50/50 chance of surviving Parvovirus. Caesar (16 months old yesterday) was vaccinated against Parvo and all puppy diseases at the appropriate times as a puppy. Yesterday, the vet called and said she decided to test Caesar for Parvo for some reason and to her surprise, he is positive. She stated she called the drug company that makes the vaccine and talked to them about this situation and that they told her they would pay $1500.00 towards his vet bill, but she could not tell me why or how this happened. I am completely devestated. I can’t eat or sleep. Caesar is a special dog and would have began to breed this month if this had not happened. He is AKC registered, he is huge, his bloodline is exceptional and he is still growing. Before I took him to the vet on Monday afternoon, he weighed 165 pounds, is 37 inches tall and almost 50 inches long. Yesterday, he was so weak that he could hardly hold his head up. I got in the cage with him tso I could love on him, rub his big head and talk to him. Do you know how I can find out what drug company makes the vaccine and

  281. Karyn says:

    I started researching possible reactions to vaccinations recently and I really wish I had seen this article sooner. We lost our beloved Yorkshire Terrier, Dakota after he received the ProHart 6 injection on Saturday, July 13, 2013. He acted pretty normal through the rest of that weekend. But then he vomited a few times on Monday and Tuesday. However, he continued to eat and drink and behave normally so I brushed it off as a little indigestion or his collapsing trachea issues. Wednesday and Thursday he seemed a little less active and by Friday the 19th of July he just laid around. He would not eat or drink anything and he didn’t want to play fetch or go outside for a walk. Very unusual for him. I was very concerned and took him to the vet. He had a fever and they did x-rays just to make sure he didn’t have blockage or anything. They also gave him a round of fluids. They sent us home with antibiotics because they felt sure it was a virus. But he continued to decline and we could not get him to eat or drink anything. We were hand feeding him baby foods and water with a medication dropper. His labs revealed that his platelets were dangerously low and his kidneys and liver were in jeopardy. We made daily trips to the Vet clinic for more rounds of fluids, but in the end he did not survive. We lost our little furbaby on July 29, 2013 – he had just reached his 6th birthday days before he received the ProHart 6 injection. Too young to leave us! He had also received a Distemper booster vaccine at the same vet visit. I believed from day one of his illness that his sudden illness had something to do with the injections he received on the 13th.

    I have printed the article and the drug information sheet which I am going to show our vet clinic. I love our vet and have trusted that clinic for over 30 years. I feel they did everything they could to help us save our dog. But I have questions as to why we were not offered a drug information sheet or a list of possible side effects at the time this injection was offered. And I wonder if we would have questioned it if we had been given the info. I am a nurse and previously was a Pharmacy Technician … so I am accustomed to those scare sheets (as most pharmacists call them) so it is very possible we may have gone ahead with the injection any way. Who knows?? I do understand that we run the risk of adverse reactions (humans and our pets alike) to anything we put into our bodies. But maybe, just maybe … we would have questioned giving him the ProHart 6 injection at the same time he was receiving his vaccine injection.

    I also shared your story on my Facebook page so others can be warned.

    I’m so sorry for your loss , as well! R.I.P. Jack and Dakota!

  282. Chrissy says:

    I’m in the UK. My collie was prescribed steroids for chronic bronchitis with no mention of the possible longer term effects. When she started losing her fur the vet tried to say it was just normal shed. When her liver values were slightly raised the vet mentioned every possibility but steroids. And yet as I have now found, fur loss and liver damage are known effects! When I raised all of this with the vet, the response was yes it could be the steroids but she was not so concerned because my dog was 13. Collies often go on on to 15 and more! I find now that there are supplements you can give to mitigate the toxicity of the steroid. Why was I not told? You can give safer inhaled steroids as an alternative but the vet was unaware and I had to push to get the treatment. That same vet is now pushing the annual re-vaccination but I have learnt to research and not just accept everything – it seems the general view is that beyond a certain age, annual vaccine boosters are at best unneccessary and at worst dangerous – particulary if the dog has a health condition. It’s all just money making :-(
    There are of course some brilliant vets out there but with the benefit of hindsight I would now recommend doing some research before starting any drug treatment.

  283. Anton says:

    Im doing research right now into vaccinations and heart worm prevention as we have a tiny Jack Russell puppy. I didn’t think heart worm would be such an issue. We have been using a vet who comes once a year and gives the dogs all their shots including an annual heart worm injection and I never thought to question this until now. So thank you dear Jack.

    Something I’ve just learnt through all this is that dogs dont need annual shots at all, that Rabies for example is not needed more than every three years minimum and others not needed ever again possibly, this has shocked me ,as I’ve also learnt that annual vaccinations can be crippling and long term even lethal.

    Im not in the clear yet as far as finding out what I need to find out to continue responsibly with the dogs shots but I found it so strange here reading Pfizer’s findings that I wanted to write.

    This is how Jack was found,

    “Jack dead in a pool of blood and vomit. His poor little body crumpled up in a strange way, like he had literally fallen over dead”,

    Pfizer’s findings on doing a 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.)”

    This is very strange to me. Any dog lying in a pool of blood and vomit, especially “blood and vomit” at the same time has some chronic obvious internal damage somewhere. Pfizer couldn’t find it?

    So I wanted to ask was the blood coming out his nose or his mouth or even ears, or from any where in particular, head body anus? Could he have hit his head in such a way as he fell that his lip was split thus he bled from the head region, where there any obvious injuries to his head muzzle area?

    Not to possibly confuse the issue of Jacks tragic death but I had a German Shepherd die in circumstances not entirely dissimilar, except I was with him. he was on the “usual” yearly shots which included a yearly heart worm injection directly into his blood stream. He died completely unexpectedly. I had his head in my lap as he was lying down at the time. I was sitting on the floor with him as I often did to watch television. It was like he wanted to say something he kept lifting his head. I just kept stroking his nose. But then his body suddenly started making rapid jerking movements which grew rapidly into convulsions. Out of nowhere and with a huge effort he threw his head up in the air and an entire bowel full of blood came gushing onto my lap out his mouth and he died, the blood just roared out his mouth then he was gone……… The direct cause I was told by another vet were almost guaranteed to be the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that had caused a severe haemorrhage of his stomach lining. His body void of so much blood just collapsed inwards literally like he had deflated. This all took a matter of minutes.

    I never took this any further. I was in such extreme shock for such a long time. He was a large healthy robust animal with just a slight casual limp behind, age related arthritis of some sort the vet said and that’s how he ended up on the drugs. He had only been on them for two weeks and the dose wasn’t particularly high, he was also taking a tablet to prevent stomach ulcers along with the non steroidal anti inflammatory. Even though he was nine he went from a supreme shinny wonderful bright eyed athletic guard dog, he was a magnificent alfa male and fully into his job, from that to dead in a matter of days from some stupid apparently “completely harmless” drug. All the vet at the time said was “what a shame, never mind he had a good innings” some half baked cricket term implying he had had a long and good life what more can one expect!

    Since then I had another tragedy, I bought an African mastiff after the GS, she was a huge athletic wonder dog too, I was over joyed a very big butch alfa female this time. Boy was she gentle with everyone she loved. She lived until she was seven, only seven! Same story there one minute gone the next in the absolute prime of her life.
    She too had all the recommended by the vet annual shots. One day she suddenly stopped eating just like that like Jack. Day before she ate like a piggy she loved her food. Then nothing not interested. I rushed to her to the vet also expecting something like GI. He could find nothing, he took blood tests which he said indicated she might have cancer and that she should have a biopsy done. He gave her a steroid shot in the meantime saying it might increase her appetite. I took her home and she ate something on her own for the first time in three days, we were overjoyed. Next morning she was completely paralysed from the waist down the steroids apparently I was told by the surgeon who was going to do the biopsy, affect the cruciate ligaments of heavy dogs, no they had relaxed and snapped she wouldn’t regain the use of her back legs without further operations. They wanted to go ahead with opening her up first, a major invasive exploration of her stomach for suspected cancer, while she had no use of her back legs even, she could only lie down, wouldn’t eat anymore and I was giving her water in a syringe. I threw a complete fit and asked for her to be put to sleep immediately.

    Are drugs and vaccinations killing our dogs? I don’t know what to think anymore. Im terrified, all I have now is a tiny Jack puppy and it looks like if Im not careful the vets are going to take him away from me sooner than later. I always trusted vets explicitly ): I still do more or less, there’s no alternative one has to. Otherwise we all have to start a BVSc just so we can look after our own beloved dogs.

  284. Pfizer is it all about the almighty dollar?????? the vets in my town wont touch it and who do u guys think u are GOD cause u are killing so many…..I was one of 7 regular people who traveled to Wash DC to testify an I was the 1st to talk and read u my daughter letter and the one I wrote…thanks to the peeps who stand up fopr themselves and out family pets….check out Dogsadversereactions.com and read Bear in tx and if u have a heart you will do what is right and take this bad drug off the market or I am starting a class action law suit against you stupid people….take that to the bank I dont back down even after u guy when it was Wreath fried my computer I bought another on and will do again if u get a hacker to fry this one……I am so damn serious I will conduct the FDA again and see if we cant get another meeting going…..I have alot of people that are backing me …..I am a paralegal and have 10 lawyers i work for so screw with me again and see what happens u think you untouchable just wait and see

  285. Kjirsten Trundle says:

    Thank you for your insight and updates, I found this extremely interesting an informative and I have no doubt would have saved many many lives of our beloved waggy tailed friends.

    Am sure Jack is having a ball (pun intended) in the next realm.

    Cheers
    Kjirsten

  286. Bianca Dulfer says:

    I’m so sorry for you loss. I too have a Jack (lab/spaniel mix) and he was HW positive when I found him so I am always very concerned about the best way to make sure that never happens again. I appreciate all the information you provided and as a result will stick with the trifexis for my 3 dogs.

  287. Angela mcqueen says:

    My dog Mugzie is a beautiful playful 2 year old Puggle. I bought him from a breeder when he was 6 wks old. I am a first time dog owner so I was very careful about his care. The first thing I did was research and find him the best vet in my area. I made sure he had all his vacations and preventative care on time. In January of 2013 I relocated to New York. I was pleased to discover that there was a branch of his vet in New York so I continued his care with them here. On December 8 2013, I took Mugzie for his routine visit for vacations and check up. He was healthy and happy. During our vet visit, my vet asked me if I wanted to try an injection for heart worm prevention. She explained that it was 1 injection 2 x a year and was more convenient than the monthly pill I usually give him. That was all of the information she gave me. It sounded good so I said yes. He was given the injection of Proheart 6 along with vacations for rabbies and distemper and a liquid medication. He received this at about 11:00aPlease3:00am the next morning Mugzie was vomiting uncontrollably. He later became lethargic and stopped eating and drinking.I took him back to vet that day. She advised me that she felt Mugzie’s condition was caused by an allergic reaction to Proheart 6, but she wasn’t sure. It has now been 5 days since he got sick and he is not yet out of the woods. He responded to treatment but then he relasped and stopped eating and drinking. He also seems to be in a lot of pain. He is back in the hospital and his vet is optimistic that he will servive. I pray so because Mugzie’s very important to us. He is a part of our family and we will be devastated if he doesn’t make it. I’m so sad and scared. From my experience and from the research I have done (too late to save Mugzie from his pain and suffering) I don’t feel that this drug is safe.

  288. Molly says:

    So the dog tested negative or positive for heartworms? Necropsy results found heartworm. Something in this story doesnt add up to me.

  289. kay says:

    I’m so sorry about sweet Jack. He’s just beautiful. I too recently lost one of my beloved pets tragically and sadly and suddenly so I understand how heart wrenching pet grief is. I pray that you get better soon and that you will see Jack again in heaven one day

  290. Lisa says:

    It amazes me that people will give their dog anything a vet recommends without researching it first. The veterinarian industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and dogs die every day because of dangerous medicines that vets suggest owners get. It’s just like the FDA, look how many drugs are recalled after big pharma makes huge profits. IF YOU LOVE THEM, RESEARCH FIRST!!

  291. Tracy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I had never heard of this heartworm prevention shot until a friend told me about it and that she gets it for her dog. Sounded like a great idea so I decided to do some research and came across Jack’s story. I also read several other similar stories and the possible reactions to proheart 6. I will not be giving this to my dog and will stick to the monthly prevention medicine. People should really do some digging in to this. It contains pesticides and stays in your dogs body for 6 months! Heartworm prevention is extremely important, when we got our dog, Leo, he had heartworms and treatment was brutal. Proheart 6 should be taken off the market, again, and not be re-released.
    Thanks again!

  292. Heather says:

    I’m sorry to read about your loss and the ordeal that followed. So many veterinary-care-associated people assume petowners are just lacking in education, and I hate to see that when the point is clearly being made that the experts themselves require more education into the matter! Ugh.

    I find it suspicious and entirely predictable that the tests initiated by Pfizer were found to be inconclusive. I doubt they did the necropsy with much else on the table but liability, but I myself am curious what they found to be the cause of the state you found your dog in, surrounded by vomit and blood. Surely, something caused it and that is something entirely traumatic within his system, that would leave internal damage that I would think would be obvious to a doctor performing necropsy. But it doesn’t sound like it was fairly addressed.

    I just adopted a dog myself and took her in for her first vet examination this weekend. I specifically told the initial tech that I wouldn’t be starting her on any long term treatments yet until I could do the research. When she stepped out, I decided to do some on my phone! She came back minutes later with a complimentary dose of Trifexis, which I politely told her she could take right back! I paid $60 for Healthgard and I’m okay with that. Both she and the actual doctor expressed surprise, TOTAL surprise, saying they hadn’t even heard of anything negative. (Sigh) I found it online in a matter of 3 minutes.

    Again, I’m very sorry. Thank you for sharing.

    • Alex E. says:

      I am not sure I have ever heard of HealthGard — can you provide the data/website for that please?

      I know that there is a product called HeartGard – but as you will see next there is even a “warning” for that product – ie. Ivermectin – MDR1 gene dogs should not use it – http://www.awca.net/drug.htm
      *******
      IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION: HEARTGARD is well tolerated. All dogs should be tested for heartworm infection before starting a preventive program. Following the use of HEARTGARD, digestive and neurological side effects have rarely been reported. For more information, contact your veterinarian or click here for important safety information and full prescribing information.
      *******

  293. Pingback: Heartworm Vaccination Caution: Proheart 6

  294. Tamie Cawley says:

    Thank you for sharing such crucial information. I’m truly sorry for your loss. I believe this Veterinarian Clinic should be shut down and the Dr or Nurse who administered the Pro 6 should be held accountable for her ignorance. How does a Dependable, respecting and caring Dr. not know the exact side effects? Before she suggested the drug she definitely should of been informed and proper caution should of be #1 priority. Blows my mind how this VET is only getting a slap on the back. She is still practicing when she’s not doing research on certain”new” meds. I really want to thank you for sharing. Unfortunately under the circumstances, I’m truly sorry. I wouldn’t give up. How many other dogs has she treated and they passe???

    • Alex E. says:

      As you stated – they are NEW drugs/meds… have you never had anything “new” go bad before? – I am not defending ALL vets… but realize that it is the drug companies “word” that the vets go off of – and then present information to the vet clients. When the drug first came out – the vets gave out “consent forms” to the clients that made the statement that it is a new drug and the side affects.

      Ever bought a new car or item that then came out with a “recall” – or “go to factory” to replace something? — Things are new and people “jump on the bandwagon” without waiting to see what happens. Ever had or heard of car seats being recalled? … or various other items…. not just car stuff or medical… but many other items…. give them a break and move past the blame game – because it isn’t just the VET to blame, but the client as well…. good old philosophy of “it takes 2 to tango – ie both parties are partially to blame.”

      Pro Heart 6 has been stated that it “affects” various animals differently, but you have to heed the warnings just like anything else out there. — Are we also going to blame the vet that administer the Pro Heart 6 for not doing a MDR1 gene test?…. The OWNER of the animal should KNOW what breed it is – and have it tested if there is ANY possible way it could HAVE ANY chance of the MDR1 gene.

  295. melissa says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I am interested since I believe Trifexis has contributed to my dog’s heart disease. My dog is 12 and was always healthy, active and playful, until he started to take Trifexis. From a mild murmur that was dicovered a few years ago, in one year’s time his heart has doubled in size, with obvious signs of early heart disease. Sentinel was no longer available from the pharmaceutical company, so was told to try Trifexis, which was new. The only thing that was changed and added that year for my dog was the Trifexis. As I read reviews online, I am heart sick and disgusted to learn that the drug can contribute to heart disease and even cause death in dogs, along with a bevy of other side effects. I could kick myself for not researching more thoroughly, since I trusted my vet recommendations. I ultimately made the choice. I have stopped Trifexis and will discuss with my vet other options for heartworm and flea prevention. I am not sure if Sentinel is any better, but he never had any problems with the drug in the past. What heartworm preventitive do you give your dog now? Thank you again for sharing your story.

    • We are actually using Trifexis now. We have been giving it to Katrina, and our latest addition, an English bulldog named Max for about a year with no issues so far.

    • Cheri says:

      Melissa. There are a lot of options out there. Dr Fosters Smith has monthly but you need a prescription if your vet no longer offers it. Petsmart sells prescription food and they also may have monthly heartworm pills. And I hope Ashley never ends up having issues with it.

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