WCBS Video Heartworm medication raises questions after dogs die, Joe Bergantino reports. Related Links # ProHeart 6 # FDA # FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Heartworm Medication Raises Questions # A CBS 2 Special Report Mar 1, 2004 10:59 pm US/Eastern NEW YORK (CBS) The focus of an investigative story by our sister-station WBZ-TV Boston is a popular medication being used to prevent heartworm, a potentially deadly disease. WBZ's Joe Bergantino has learned that after taking this drug thousands of dogs have gotten sick, hundreds have even died. Joanne Plumer treats all of her dogs like members of the family. So she immediately noticed something was wrong with her 13-year-old named April. "She couldn't stand up any more, she couldn't eat, her mouth was full of blisters, her fur was falling out." It all started the day after April got a shot of the heartworm medication ProHeart 6. Three weeks later, April had to be put to sleep. "We were devastated with April. We were totally devastated with April. She was my baby," Joanne recalled. Within a few weeks, Joanne's other dog, 10-year-old Cuji, also treated with ProHeart 6, got very sick. Cuji died three months after getting her shot. "She went completely blind. Then you know, she started coughing and coughing and she couldn't catch her breath and we checked her out and she had complete kidney failure," Joanne remembered. These are not isolated cases. WBZ's I-Team investigation found that in the past two and a half years the FDA has received more than 4,000 reports of dogs getting sick after getting a shot of ProHeart 6. And more than 400 dogs have died nationwide. The FDA says it's been able to link ProHeart 6 to a small percentage of those cases but even those numbers are, in the FDA's words, "a cause for concern." The FDA is investigating. In fact, the FDA has twice told the makers of ProHeart 6 to change its labeling, most recently asking the company to add that there have been rare reports of death. "I think this is just the tip of the iceberg," says Veterinarian Bob Rogers. He wonders why the FDA has not taken the drug off the market. The FDA's answer: it believes the medication could potentially save the lives of more dogs than it harms. But Dr. Rogers disagrees. "I have seen veterinary drugs pulled off the market when there were less deaths involved than this." As for the manufacturer of ProHeart 6, a company called Fort Dodge Animal Health, it declined an on-camera interview but released this statement saying "Millions of U.S. dogs have benefited from the heartworm protection provided by ProHeart 6. The reports submitted to the FDA represent a fraction of 1% of total doses sold…and the product has been proven to be safe." Donna Sadoski doesn't believe that. Her 11-year-old dog Sammy went blind after getting a shot of ProHeart 6. "I wonder how many animals will be put to sleep? How many animals will have life threatening problems they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives before someone stops this medicine from actually being given to them," Donna told WBZ. The makers of ProHeart 6 say they do not believe their heartworm medication caused Donna's and Joanne's dogs to get sick. But the FDA continues to investigate, at this point asking the company to find out if there are any impurities in the drug's formula that may be causing problems. (MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc., All Rights Reserved.)
I use ProHeart 6 all the time for my dogs,niether have ever gotten sick. It's more of a benefit to me. I can't remember from one month to the next when to give them their pill. So for me it works. I've been using it ever since it came out. I love it .One shot once a year .These are isolated incidences. Any medication there is a chance of having a reaction.
I have hear more bad than good regarding ProHeart 6. The bad did not have a good outcome. I know medications can effect dogs differently than others - some with side effects, others with none. But after reading so many bad things about ProHeart 6, my dogs will not be getting it.
No one noticed that both of her dogs were elderly???, two dogs dieing from the same medication, in the same family?? Its like any other medication, there are risks. And what good are you going to hear??If you read into some over the counter meds they all have side effects. If your pets has underlining diseases don't use drugs. This product isn't killing young healthy pets, these pets mostly had illnesses already. Rimadyl is a drug for senior arthritic pets, it is nasty for the liver, but people keep using it. Why when there are other choices? Veterinarians tell them of the dangers. We insist dogs get regular Liver tests done when on Rymadyl. I have not seen or heard from our clinic any side effects, but we use it only in the summer. I don't personnally use it, but if someone has a healthy dog they should look into it. I've seen more reactions after Vaccinations.....
Yes, I did notice both dogs were elderly. I have read articles from vets and people regarding Proheart 6. If you do a search under google and type Proheart 6, you will see many articles regarding the bad experiences . If anyone hasn't had problems with their dog being on it, that's great and I won't discourage those from using it but I won't be using it on my dogs. Here are a few links regarding the dangers/problems. http://bewareofproheart6.freecyberzone.com/ http://www.proheartinformation.com/