Phone: (317) 721-7387 | Fax: 317-564-4902

HOURS: Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm, Sat: 9am-12pm, Sun: closed

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

CERTIFECT™ vs ProMeris® for Dogs and Amitraz – is Everything Old New Again?

DEAR READERS: This post was written over a year ago. I’ve never sold Certifect in my hospital, and have no experience with it in clinical practice. Please contact your veterinarian, or Merial, if you have questions. Thanks!

DEAR READERS, PART 2: Certifect does NOT contain enough amitraz to treat Demodex, says Merial. Ask your vet for other options.


certifect amitraz promeris frontline

CERTIFECT™ is like FRONTLINE® Plus but with amitraz added?

By now, hopefully all pet owners know that ProMeris® for Dogs is no longer being manufactured by Pfizer, after a study suggested ProMeris® might cause Pemphigus foliaceus, an immune system mediated skin disease, in some dogs.

ProMeris® contained a combination of metaflumizone and amitraz. It is unclear if the amitraz portion of ProMeris® had anything to do with the Pemphigus. We do know that amitraz on its own, which has been used for years and years in products like Mitaban®, causes no such diseases.

promeris amitraz

CERTIFECT™ is NOT made by the people who made ProMeris®.

In my personal and clinic experience, ProMeris® smelled HORRIBLE, ate paint off of surfaces if a dog wearing it happened to lean against something, and caused local skin reactions including scabbing and hair loss in about 2% of all dogs receiving it. Was it the metaflumizone? Or the carrier that the metaflumizone and amitraz were in? Did they make it with used motor oil or something?!

Anyways, none of this was Pfizer’s fault, since they gained control of ProMeris® when they acquired Wyeth / Fort Dodge Animal Health in 2009. Pfizer also makes revolution®, a prescription topical that prevents fleas and heartworms, and is a fabulous drug. Obviously Pfizer thinks they can sell more revolution® than ProMeris®. Hooray Pfizer! Good riddance to ProMeris!

So now, a competing company – Merial, makers of FRONTLINE® Plus – is coming out with a drug they call CERTIFECT™, advertised as “a better way to detach and kill ticks”. CERTIFECT™ is essentially modified Frontline Plus with our old friend amitraz added.

So, if ProMeris® sales fell flat, I wonder what makes Merial think CERTIFECT™ will fare any better? Merial claims the tiny amount of amitraz added to CERTIFECT™ improves its tick-repelling profile. Therefore, CERTIFECT™ works better against ticks than their other tick-labelled product, FRONTLINE® Plus.

Amitraz and therefore CERTIFECT™ must be used carefully, and only in selected patients

Veterinarians have been concerned about the safety profile of amitraz for years. It’s a powerful drug, and does lots of great things if you use it carefully.

The pharmacological action of amitraz is not well understood, but it is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in mites and may have effects on the central nervous system of susceptible organisms. Amitraz can cause a significant increase in blood sugar levels in patients, and should not be used on “fragile” diabetics. In cats, we know that amitraz ingestion (ie: from self-grooming) can cause sedation similar to that caused by alpha-2 agonists such as dexmedetomidine (a common veterinary injectable sedative).

Other, much more concentrated amitraz containing products have included instructions like:
1. Flammable until diluted with water
2. Do not stress animals for at least 24 hours after application.
3. Protect exposed skin with rubber gloves, etc.
4. Wash hands and arms well after application to animal.
5. Avoid inhalation of vapors.
6. Animals treated may exhibit signs of sedation; if animal is un-arousable or sedation persists for longer than 72 hours, contact your veterinarian.
7. Safety of amitraz has not been demonstrated in dogs less than 4 months of age.
8. Reproductive safety has not been established.
9. Toy breeds may be more susceptible to CNS effects (transient sedation).
10. If treating around eyes, use an ophthalmic protectant (e.g., petrolatum ophthalmic ointment) before treating.
11. Other adverse effects include: dizziness, slow heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, hypothermia and high blood sugar levels.
12. Can be toxic to cats.
13. May interact poorly with selegiline (L-deprenyl, AniprylⓇ, used for cognitive dysfunction in dogs), or tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline, climipramine / ClomicalmⓇ).

Merial should address safety of amitraz-containing CERTIFECT™

As you might be able to tell, I was not a fan of ProMeris. I never did sell it.

So here’s my problem. Nobody denies that amitraz is an outstanding anti-tick drug. I get it, that’s cool, it’s good stuff when used gently and with veterinary supervision, on certain young healthy dogs.

But shouldn’t Merial learn from the errors of predecessors and BEGIN their marketing campaign by reminding veterinarians about the bad things that amitraz can do? And instead of a campaign called “A New Standard in the Fight Against Ticks That May Carry Disease” perhaps go with something more like “If FRONTLINE® Plus isn’t repelling and killing ticks fast enough for your liking, please ask your veterinarian if it would be safe for you to try CERTIFECT™“.

Or how about just “it’s not as bad as ProMeris®, we promise!

Pet owners, understand that CERTIFECT™ doesn’t contain any “new” molecules, only old ones in new combinations. Many of the old warnings may therefore still apply.

None of this is intended as directed against Merial, which as a company has created some VERY helpful veterinary drugs for many years. (IVOMEC® / HEARTGARD®, HEARTGARD® Plus , FRONTLINE® , FRONTLINE® Plus , and some truly outstanding vaccines).

I just wish that the general public could be warned about known, potential hazards BEFORE CERTIFECT™ gets much further into its launch. By the time most people Google Certifect and find this post, the product will probably be all over the marketplace.

If you accidentally put CERTIFECT™ on your cat, even though the label specifically told you not to, please contact your veterinarian right now.

As for Leo’s Pet Care and our clients, I will recommend a common-sense approach: wait for others to try it first. Once CERTIFECT™ has been on the market for a year or two, and a more complete safety profile has been determined, then you can consider putting this on your young, healthy dogs, if ticks are a big problem where you live.

If that’s not your dog, maybe just stick with good ol’ Frontline. Or, better yet, instead of old-school FRONTLINE® Plus or amitraz-containing CERTIFECT™, buy some Vectra 3D® from your veterinarian.

  • George

    Thank you for this review from Russia ) You write in very intresting and readable style

  • Mary

    As a rescuer who sees a LOT of mange, we felt like Promeris was well worth the very minor percentage of risk and in fact we never experienced the negative side effects that some have reported.  We were devastated when it went off the market because nothing kills both types of mange like promeris applied every 2 weeks – it worked well and fast.  Waiting around for dips, ivermectin, etc to work meant dogs would die in shelters while we were just trying to get the mange ones healthy and adoptable – those methods are so slow.  Thank God for Certifect because it is definitely used and needed in the rescue community!  Without it, I would have to turn my back on the mange dogs because of the amount of time needed and the very limited foster spaces!

    • Tomenglish77591

       Mary – as a fellow rescuer I too was disheartened when Promeris left the market.  I, too, never saw a negative effect from Promeris and in fact used it to save many mange dogs.  I still have several boxes of Promeris that I covet for the hard cases.  I have been searching for a new product that may approach Promeris in efficacy for treating demodex.  Can you tell me of your experiences with Certifect?

      • Mmarshall

        We have been using frontline for years on our golden. He spends alot of time in the woods and our vet record.mended a switch to certifect. It smelled horrible (which of course we could tolerate if it meant better protection), but it has created a horrible burn/scabbing on the application spot. We will be holding off future certifect applications. Thank you for your article.

        • Lisa_karns

          We used this product 2 times on our German Shepherd puppy, Both times he was very un-nerved at application and then lethargic for 24 hours after dose.  I feel terrible after using it the second time.  We will NOT use this product again either.

  • http://www.leospetcare.com/ Greg Magnusson, DVM

    To: @Mary:disqus CERTIFECT does NOT contain enough amitraz to be effective against Demodectic mange. Both CERTIFECT and FRONTLINE are labelled for Sarcoptic mange because of the fipronil, NOT because of the amitraz, but only as a “control” of mange, not as a treatment.

  • Merial CustomerCare

    Dr. Magnusson,

    We share your interest in protecting dogs from ticks and want to address some of the concerns you raised in your recent blog post about CERTIFECT™.

    Your post indicated that you are concerned about similarities between CERTIFECT and ProMeris® Duo. While CERTIFECT also contains amitraz, it is a completely different product than ProMeris Duo. In CERTIFECT, a small dosage of amitraz potentiates the acaricidal effect of fipronil to provide increased speed of kill of ticks and tick detachment. ProMeris Duo for dogs relied on amitraz alone to kill ticks and therefore used a higher dose of amitraz than CERTIFECT. At the minimum protective dose level, ProMeris Duo for dogs contained 14.34 percent amitraz, while CERTIFECT contains just 7.6 percent amitraz.1,

    In your post, you also mention your concern with the safety profile of amitraz. CERTIFECT was extensively tested in safety studies and was approved for use on pregnant, breeding and lactating bitches and puppies eight weeks or older and five pounds or more.1 In safety studies, CERTIFECT was administered to adult dogs six consecutive times at a 14-day interval at doses up to five times the maximum recommended dose. No adverse events were observed during those studies. CERTIFECT was applied on puppies seven to eight weeks old with volumes equivalent to one, three or five small dog-dose pipettes (5-22 lb.) and no toxicologically relevant effects were observed.

    CERTIFECT should not be used on cats. If CERTIFECT is accidentally applied to a cat or a cat licks the product off a treated dog before the application dries, some dose-dependent adverse effects may be observed due to oral ingestion of the product. In field studies, no adverse effects were noted in cats in homes with treated dogs.

    Merial developed CERTIFECT to provide faster, longer-lasting tick control for dogs that are at increased risk for infestations. Enhanced tick control is important because ticks have increased in number and expanded their geographic distribution as a result of several factors such as habitat modification, increases in tick host populations, decreased pesticide use, increased levels of human and pet interaction with areas where ticks live, and increased access of tick hosts to neighborhoods and yards.

    Working together, veterinarians and pet owners can decide which flea and tick control product is best for dogs. When deciding on the right product for a dog, it is important to consider lifestyle and regional or local parasite risks, such as the rise in tick populations. Merial believes that the veterinarian is the only professional qualified to serve the health care needs of pets, the concerns of their owners and the appropriate use of their small animal products such as CERTIFECT.

    We hope this answers some of your concerns about CERTIFECT. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to continue the conversation.

    Best,

    @FRONTLINEExpert

    ™CERTIFECT is a trademark of Merial. ®ProMeris is a registered trademark of Wyeth. ©2011 Merial Limited, Duluth, Georgia. All rights reserved.

    ________________________________________________
    1. CERTIFECT Label.
    2. ProMeris® Product Label. Drugs.com Web site. http://www.drugs.com/vet/promeris-for-dogs.html. Accessed May 26, 2011.
    3. Data on File, Merial, Limited.
    4. Data on File, Merial, Limited.
    5. Data on File, Merial, Limited.
    6. Data on File, Merial, Limited.
    7. Blagburn B, Dryden M. Biology, Treatment, and Control of Flea and Tick Infestations. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Practice. 2009; 39: 1173-1200.
    ________________________________________________
    *CONTENT OF THIS POST EDITED ONLY FOR FORMATTING by Dr. Magnusson

    • Kleineke

      Warning Dangerous product for dogs: Certifect from Merial!!!
      @Merial: Stop telling all this crap about being effective! My dog is not the only one who got in trouble because of Certifect!!!
      It is a very dangerous product and a lot of dogs respond very badly, although there are in perfect health, young and strong. Although our vet advised to use it, and we did, my dog was put in danger!
      First time: dog became quiet and way too calm, responded less.
      Second time (6 weeks after the first dose): same symptoms, seemed even little worse.
      Third time (8 weeks after the second one): dog became extremely lethargic, could hardly sit, couldn’t keep his head up, wobbly, didn’t respond to his name or anything else, seemed scared and lost. After more then 7 hours he very slightly improved and seemed to remember where he was and who I was.
      At this very moment, more then 24 hours after using the product (smell is horrible and very unhealthy!) he’s still not the way he used to be! He did not lick off the product and overdoses is also excluded. Certifect advises to use this product on monthly bases….

      I don’t care about your commercial bullshit, it is an extremely dangerous product. But somehow Merial is more interested in the financial and commercial benefits of Certifect rather then the health of the dogs. To you it might be “just another dog”, to us he’s men’s best friend! We as dog owners love our dogs, take care of them and certainly don’t want to kill them with your “wonder product”!!!

  • Eric

    Hi Dr. Magnusson,

    Thank you for your blog. I have been using Frontline Plus for over 6 years on my dog and it was working well, until this year. The FrontLine Plus has not been effective killing the ticks this summer.

    I mentioned this to my vet and the office recommended we try Certifect. However, in researching this I came across your blog and this post regarding amitraz and also the entry on Vectra 3D, which my vet does not carry.

    I was wondering if the addition of amitraz in Certifect will actually increase the effectiveness of the fipronil. It sounds like it is meant to kill the ticks faster, but if they are not dying from the fipronil in FrontLine Plus any longer, I am not sure if we should try the Certifect or make the switch to Vectra 3D (which I have found available at other local vets).

    Thank you for your feedback,
    Eric

    • Dennis

       http://forums.webmd.com/3/pet-health-exchange/forum/2443/2
      This link describes several disturbing issues while using Vectra 3D. I thinks it’s well worth reading. I would just like to know what good old-fashioned safe flee control product Dr. Magnusson recommends? My Shih Tzu is allergic to Frontline Plus and loses hair around the application site. She takes HeartGard monthly.

      • http://www.leospetcare.com/ Greg Magnusson, DVM

        Dennis… pets who experience skin reaction to topical flea medications (<5%) often do better with oral flea meds like Comfortis / Trifexis (same flea ingredient) or Program (lufenuron). I'm going to add additional comments to the link you described, because several things there don't make sense…

  • Audrey

    Our Australian Shepard had a remarkable and rapid adverse reaction, after applying Certifect, as evidenced by lethargy, unsteady gait, and mental status changes.  We returned to the vet and he administered IM medication to counteract the  Amitraz.  Our dog has improved and he appears to be returning to his baseline.  As with any new medication, adverse reactions are always possible and should be used with caution, but we won’t be using Certifect again.

  • CathyA

    Dear Unnamed customer care from Merial.  You said:
    Working together, veterinarians and pet owners can decide which flea and tick control product is best for dogs.

    Working together.  That means showing all your cards.  Why is it I have to work SO HARD to find labels and MSDS for your products?  Please stop treating pet owners as brain dead and give us information!

    ………..shouting down the well for naught…….
    CathyA

  • Alana

    I want to thank you for your informative and highly readable article. I have a Yorkie who seems to attract ticks like a magnet! He is Lyme’s positive but is not symptomatic. I had a Yorkie who was critically ill with Tick Paralysis and nearly died. After excellent critical care she survived but it was a very frightening experience for both of us. We hike and also live in an area that is very wooded and has a high population of deer, perfect tick territory.
    After all this, tick control and prevention is high on my list. I’ve done extremely well with Frontline Plus applied every 25 days per my vet’s recommendation. I was on the fence trying to decide whether I should switch to the new Merial product and was looking for some educated info on the product. Your article helped me with my decision to stay with the tried and true Frontline Plus. I’m going with the tried and true adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So glad I found your site! Thank you! Alana

  • Rnct64

    I live in the woods and my dogs have brought about 10 deer ticks in the last 2 weeks! I contracted lymes disease 2 weeks ago and am very ill since I already have lupus! I have a shih-tzu that was extremely difficult to rid of fleas and a mix breed that seemed tolerant of anything. The problem is a few months ago the veterinarian assistant told me that the revolution I started using was very effective on ticks even though it was not labeled that way.Within 6 weeks the ticks and fleas finally miraculously disappeared I believed her! I guess,being in Connecticut it was also the time of year. Well now today my veterinarian told me to use certifect because revolution IS NOT EFFECTIVE ON DEER TICKS<ALTHOUGH IS ON OTHERS!! I have learned my lesson and now research everything. After reading this I am very fearful. I had another shih-tzu who passed at 15 but I will never forget the day I tried a hartz flea and tick product on her and she was lethargic and listless for 3 days1 Shih-tzu's appear to be super sensitive to everything. I was not sure if maybe I should try K9-Advantix II instead.Please advise me ! TYVM!

  • Melissacastle

    Dr. Magnusson,

    Thanks for the informative blog post.  We’ve just finished our first (and last) application of Certifect – and will never use it again.  My pup has a tough time with most flea/tick medications, so my vet suggested a “new” type of application as a last resort of sorts.  Three hours post-application, poor Tucker was outside in the yard rolling in his own (freshly produced) diarrhea  - trying to get the smell off.  Without knowing how intense the smell of the medicine was, we put him in the bathroom while we prepared to clean him off.  We were nearly knocked off our feet when we came back five minutes later – entering the bathroom was like being hit by a wall of toxic fumes.  No wonder the poor guy wanted to roll it off.  We’ll call the vet tomorrow to let them know about our experiences, and forward your article to them. Thanks for the info.

    –Melissa
    Pittsburgh

  • Dee

    Dr Magnusson – So relieved to find your website, as I’ve been searching for some useful information about Certifect – and there is none on the Certifect site, as to possible side effects, suitability for the whole range of dogs etc.

    The vet recommended Certifect today for my 5-year-old dog who needs a monthly spot treatment for tick protection during spring and autumn. Previously she’s had Frontline, and, more recently, Effipro. 

    I didn’t realise how strong the smell was until bedtime – she has a sleeping mat next to my bed – as she’s been out in the garden most of the evening. If I’ve got the vapour in my throat, and my eyes are watering, what must it be like for her? When I knelt down beside her, and started to check her over for adverse symptoms, she snapped a warning, so must be feeling really rough. She’s not scratching up too much, but it’s less than 12 hours since the application, so will have to see how she goes on.

    Fortunately she’s a healthy, reasonably young dog, with a strong constitution, so I’m hopeful she’ll be OK, but never again will I use a new product without checking it out properly for myself first. And definitely no more Certifect in this household.

    And again, I want to thank you, because when I swapped to Effipro, on the vet’s advice, though I was happy enough with Frontline, I could easily find all the information needed, and the same when new worming products were suggested for the cats and the dog, but the Certifect website is just not giving enough information.

  • DW19

    I have not personally tried this product but the following was post by someone on facebook who has seen reactions to the Certifect product. There was a very graphic photo included of a yellow Golden with rather large areas of it’s neck and shoulder covered with severe red/bloody/raw skin patches with extreme hair loss in those areas as well. Unfortunately I couldn’t post the photos here. The following is the comment that was made: “Fellow animal lovers, please use caution with flea tick prevention this summer. There is a product on the market called Certifect. We’ve seen quite a few reactions including one that has affected a friend of mine and her dog, Luna (I’m posting these pictures with her permission hoping to reach friends and family). Please consider using a different product this summer.”

  • arianbwa

    I have 6 dogs.  We have had problems with lyme and other tick borne diseases.  I just started using Certifect and noticed that my oldest dog (15+ years old) has an ugly scabby spot and loss of hair around the spot I used it on.  The other 5 dogs are okay but I will not be using Certifect on at least this one dog again.  He is a long haired, double-coated dog (American Eskimo).  I couldn’t see the effect because of the profuseness of his coat but I started to notice that when I petted him there I felt scabbing and I thought it was a tick–but it’s scabbing, it’s dark, it comes off leaving a hairless spot  on it.  Come on—don’t these pharmaceutical companies test these drugs first?!!!!!

  • 2punkdogs

    I wish I had seen this before I applied Certifect to our dogs. Maggie is miserable. She was extremely lethargic, has trouble walking and is grouchy for the first time in 4 years. Duke was also very lethargic, but is walking normally. Maggie has previously had reactions to Advantix, but seemed okay with Frontline. We definitely will not use Certifect again.

  • Jennifer I

    There are risks with any medication that must be weighed against the benefit it provides.  I have been fighting ticks with my dog for over a year.  I’ve tried Advantix, Preventix, BioSpot on the dog.  I have tried Precor, Cy-Kick, D-Fense SC and professional services on my yard and inside by home.  Nothing seemed to work.  I recently took him to the vet for grooming and yet another tick dip, and the vet recommended Certifect.  I’m desperate at this point, and will try anything short of Napalm and actually getting rid of the dog.  Bear is about 80#, and was, indeed, lethargic for a couple days after the treatment.  However, I continue to groom him daily to check for ticks, and they have decreased notably.  The only ones I found on the floor today were dead, so I guess the Certifiect is doing its job.

    • http://www.leospetcare.com/ IndianapolisVet

       @Jennifer I Thank you for posting! I completely agree, Certifect is likely to be a GREAT product if used cautiously and with a full UNDERSTANDING of the potential risks. Very well written comment, thank you.

      • VickyGroves

        my 33lb scottish terrier went into acute liver failure after 3rd dose. he spent 3 nites at the vet & vet didnt think he was gonna make it or that i was gonna have to make a decision.that 3rd day at the vet i went to visit him & he showed a lil activity finally that gave me hope & made me think something did this to him even though he is 9yrs old.he was so weak & lethargic for couple days & now i know why.i only started using certifect cause my vet had switched & run out of my scotty’s dose & vet wasn’t gonna carry frontline plus once it was gone so i had to switch cause i had nowhere else to go & get it close to me.wish i would’ve thought to just order it online.he’s home & slowly progressing each day & takes couple meds right now.my cousin had told me last nite that her neighbors dog just recently passed away. frontline plus has always for worked on my dogs for fleas/ticks.i have used it for 9yrs & if its ever not made any more,i know to make sure the next stuff doesn’t contain amitraz!!! i’ve found a all natural site for animals called Pet Wellbeing & it has 2 vets that are with this company & i ordered milk thistle for my dogs,its good for any dog to help keep healthy liver.if they take daily steroids or on heartworm preventive monthly they say its good to put ur dogs on this cause the medications over time mess with the liver.this will help rid the toxins.

  • VickyGroves

    i just recently used a 3rd dose of certifect on my 9yr old scotty.i’ve always used frontline & my vet 3 months ago got the certifect & said once they run out of frontline they wont carry it no more so i went ahead & swiched.my dog had gotten stuck from trying to escape their pen & he acted like he was hurting a little so i took him to vet & she kept him over nite & gave him pain medicine.he came home next morning & i bought his dose of certifect while i was there & put it on him later that day after i took him home.the next morning he was laying around & not being his self.i was thinking his pancreatitis
    was back.he had episode of that a yr ago.it all seemed like same symptoms except no vomitting this time so i got him back to the vet next morning.he was hospitalized vet checked his labs & he had low platelets.she said he was in acute liver failure on second day cause his platelets dropped lil lower & his eyes were lil jaundice.my couple small doses of infants tylenol i had given him(not given both in same day)vet doesnt feel that caused his liver to mess up.on the third day he was lil active but vet was still concerned he may not make it or i may have to make a decision.i hadn’t mention to her at all that i put his certifect on saturday cause he seemed to do fine the other time i put it on but i think with the pain medicine he got then putting that on him made him sick and he still lil weak.he’s walking  but his back legs aren’t all the way strong.if he goes lil to fast down the steps his back legs go out under neath him. i will never use this again & im informing all my friends to not use it.now that ive read this & seen the replys people have put on here,makes me angry & hurt to know that this stuff is dangerous & my cousin’s neighbor just recently had a dog die from this.

    • VickyGroves

      my dog is still alive but spent 3 nites hospitalized & it was to the point that i almost had him put down cause of liver failure but on 4th day he was walking lil better & his platelets were still low but he maintained his body temp on the third nite & survived thru the nite on his own so she assumes he must be one that keeps low platelets cause they didnt drop any more.she sent him home on prednisone & antibiotic for 14 days.

      • DW19

         @VickyGroves If you haven’t already PLEASE tell you vet about applying the Certifect so that she doesn’t keep prescribing for other patients!

  • dw4cis

    I just lost my 92 pound 11 year old Akita/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix because I listened to the hype about Certifect instead of sticking to Frontline!!!! I put the application on him & my lab mix Saturday morning with no adverse effects. Sunday morning was not so good. The lab mix was fine and still is, but not the case for my Akita mix. He apparently had been vomiting and having diarrhea all over the air conditioned garage during most of the early morning. Not realizing which dog was sick, I let everybody outside while I cleaned up the mess. Shortly later, I noticed the Akita mix looking lethargic and drooling. I immediately began to double and triple bathe him to get the Certifect off his body while my wife began calling the vet. By the time he was clean, dried, and driven to the vet it had been approximately 29 hours since the application of Certifect. The vet began support for him while calling Merial. Apparently, he had classic Amitraz toxicity symptoms and an antidote was described and administered. His condition seemed to improve shortly after being given the antidote, but not long after, his breathing became very rapid. This continued throughout the night and by morning his breathing was getting more cumbersome and he was getting more lethargic. Rushed him back to the vet where support was administered again and x-rays showed his lungs very full of fluid. Blood tests showed slight kidney failure and hypo-glycemia. We had hopes of turning some of this around, but within a few minutes at the vet his eye response stopped and suddenly he began locking up all over and experience seizure-like activity. Within a few minutes, his breathing and heart slowed until it stopped. Within 48 hours of applying Certifect, a perfectly healthy, dedicated, loving dog died. He had never had any problems, allergies, or health issues whatsoever. He ran two miles with me the morning I treated him, happy as he could be the whole way!!! There has been some speculation that because he had light-colored eyes, his body’s reaction to Amitraz could be similar to “Gray Collie Syndrome” and the “Blood/Brain transfer” in light eyed dogs. All I know is I’m very, very sad and our family has suffered a great loss. We feel very misled and misinformed. IF ONLY I HAD STUCK TO FRONTLINE!!! Please tell everyone about our story and the loss of Lakota. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE.  There are no warnings at all about such dangers on this product nor any mention of antidote. This is so wrong!
    Darren Warren
    615-967-8181
    dw4cis@yahoo.com

  • Majdotkool

    I applied Certifect to my yellow lab on May 7th, by May 18th he was drinking excessively and urinating often.  I took him back to the vet and he was diagnosed with diabetes.   It’s been six weeks and his numbers have not changed from the 450 area.  I read the literature on Certifect today and it states DO NOT give to diabetic dogs.  The vet’s office said they were not aware of this.  I’ll be taking him back in this Saturday for some testing.  Any advice besides not putting any more Certifect on him?  Should my vet have been aware of this even though they say Merrell never told them of this restriction?  Many thanks for any help you can give.

    • Darren

      Sorry my delayed response, but I have been out of town and struggling with technical support issues.

      My only advice is to discuss administering the “antidote” for Amitraz toxicity. Hope my response is not too late and your baby is doing better. Labs and Retrievers don’t seem to be as sensitive to the negative effects of Amitraz. Some research does seem to show a connection to blood sugar reactions such as diabetes or hypo-glycemia.
      Please tell everyone you know about my story. We have saved some lives already and want to continue saving many more.

  • Dan Rodecap

    I put Certifect on my 9 yr. old 100# lab/shepheard mix. He had an immediate reaction to it with skin lesions, boils, blistering, and burning. It did not heal, and he became somewhat “lame.” Was put on NSAID’s for a short time, helped the “lameness” some, but was not his active self. Came home this past Wednesday and he could not get up witout help. Took him to Emergencey Vet’s and they asked aobut meds he was on, etc. and Certifect was the only one and was diagnosed with advanced Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). Stopped eating/drinking and died a terrible death, having to put down this wonderul dog this morning? Could Certifect have started this over reaction of his immune system? Are there other reports? Just trying to find closure. Thank you.

  • rhondareichel

    I had a dog with demodex mange and the vet gave me some certifect and it made the dog so sick. It didn’t come out of the dog house for 3 days and when it did it was swollen red with sores oozing pus plus it had a fever. I am afraid to apply the other 2 doses and have written Merial for a refund. This is a dangerous medicine in my opinion and I wouldn’t use it again. The vet tech at the clinic applied it behind the head so there is no way the dog could have licked it. Please use caution with Certifect as I am lucky my dog survived it.

  • Mary Warren

    In addition to the scabbing skin and hair loss in my male Eskimo described in an earlier post. My female 5-yr. old American Eskimo died of apparent renal failure within 24 hours of the second month’s dose of Certifect. We had used Frontline+ with no problems, but tried the new product since it was made by the makers of Frontline. What a mistake that was! I noticed significant blood loss in the urine, called the vet in the late evening but was told to bring her in in the morning. She was unable to stand and exhibiting signs of labored breathing. She never moved from her place on the kitchen floor until she died the next morning. I believe she died from the Amitraz–the only ingredient different in the two topical products.

  • Mary Warren

    In addition to the scabbing skin and hair loss in my male Eskimo described in an earlier post. My female 5-yr. old American Eskimo died of apparent renal failure within 24 hours of the second month’s dose of Certifect. We had used Frontline+ with no problems, but tried the new product since it was made by the makers of Frontline. What a mistake that was! I noticed significant blood loss in the urine, called the vet in the late evening but was told to bring her in in the morning. She was unable to stand and exhibiting signs of labored breathing. She never moved from her place on the kitchen floor until she died the next morning. I believe she died from the Amitraz–the only ingredient different in the two topical products.

Sign Up for our Mailing List

Add your email address to receive a weekly roundup of posts from Dr. Magnusson! We will never use your email address for anything else.