How Safe Is Ivermectin for Dogs?

How Safe is Ivermectin for Dogs?

Ivermectin is widely recommended for a variety of ailments in both dogs and cats. It is used to treat a wide range of parasitic illnesses. Ivermectin is frequently used to effectively treat parasites, both internal and external.

Additionally, it’s a component of numerous widely accessible treatments for heartworm prevention, including Heartgard Plus and others.

What is Heartgard Plus?

Heartgard Plus Chew for Dogs is an intestinal parasite control product that helps control roundworms and hookworms in addition to killing heartworms larvae. Heartgard Plus Chew for Dogs is a tasty once-monthly real beef chew that is safe for dogs and puppies six weeks of age and older. It contains 272 mcg of ivermectin and 227 mg of pyrantel pamoate. Heartgard Plus Chew eliminates both common intestinal parasites and heartworm larvae. For dogs of varying sizes, the chew is offered in three dose strengths, each of which is packaged in packs of six or twelve chewables.

Heartgard Plus Key Points:

  • Veterinarians choose it as their first option for heartworm prevention
  • Protects against heartworms and common intestinal parasites
  • It can be used safely in puppies as young as six weeks old
  • There are three sizes available to fit any size dog.

Safety of Ivermectin in Dogs

Ivermectin’s safety is frequently closely correlated with the dosage used. Like with many treatments, higher dosages frequently come with increased risks of problems and serious adverse effects. Depending on the intended use, there are a variety of dosage ranges for ivermectin. Heartworm infection prevention dosages are typically rather low, with little chance of adverse consequences.

Higher doses are more likely to cause side effects when used to treat parasite illnesses like ear mites, demodectic mange, and sarcoptic mange. When administered as directed, is thought to be a generally safe drug for dogs.

How is Ivermectin given?

Ivermectin can be given with other ongoing deworming treatments. Ivermectin comes in a variety of forms, including tablets, chewable tablets, a topical liquid (for treating ear mites), and an injection.

You can administer it with or without food. If your pet vomits or acts sick after receiving it on an empty stomach, give the treatment with food or a little treat to see if that helps. Speak to your veterinarian if your pet indicates any signs of reaction or side effects.

Your veterinarian will provide you the best course of treatment according to your pet’s health and lifestyle.

How Ivermectin Works

Ivermectin is used to eradicate parasites. It works by destroying the parasite’s nervous system. The parasite is killed and rendered paralyzed as a result of this action. However, certain dog breeds are genetically more responsive to the drug than others. Ivermectin can pass across the blood-brain barrier in dogs because of its genetic alteration and makes its way into the dog’s central nervous system, which can be fatal. Please consult your veterinarian to confirm that the breed of your dog can safely use ivermectin before giving it to them.

Which Breeds Can Be Sensitive to Ivermectin?

The mutation has been discovered to be more common in the following breeds of dogs:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Border Collie
  • Collie
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Miniature American Shepherd
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Skye Terrier

It’s important to understand that not all dogs in the breeds mentioned above carry the mutant gene.

Test for Ivermectin Sensitivity

Fortunately, there is now a quick genetic test that can determine whether a dog carries the mutation or not. Veterinarians advise herding breed dog parents to have their animals put through this quick test. A brief swipe of a little brush in the dog’s mouth serves as the test, and a testing lab receives the sample afterward.

Consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog being susceptible to ivermectin or other parasitic drugs or if you have any queries about using a heartworm preventative.