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Thread: Using ivermectin off-label to prevent heartworm disease in dogs?

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    Senior Member RachelsaurusRexU's Avatar
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    Default Using ivermectin off-label to prevent heartworm disease in dogs?

    I've read on many forums that some people use 1% injectable Ivermectin (the kind for livestock) instead of Heartgard and the like on their dogs. Among the reading I've done, it seems to be something that quite a few kennels, shelters, breeders, farmers, and others who have multiple dogs to treat use, though many regular dog owners use it as well. Many of the people stated that their vets gave them the dosage of one tenth ml per 100 pounds of body weight, given ORALLY. Does anybody have experience with this?

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    Senior Member 3Musketeers's Avatar
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    I remember reading something similar from here: Desperate Measures: Home Mange Cure

    They used it to cure a feral cat from mange. I guess the dosage is something you have to be very careful with, but otherwise it seems like a much cheaper alternative to buying the one pre-made for dogs and cats (in terms of dosage).

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    Senior Member RachelsaurusRexU's Avatar
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    I found this post on another forum. I guess this is supposed to be closer to the amount of ivermectin in Heartgard...

    Ivermectin is the active ingredient in Heartgard. It costs around $5 a month to keep a 50-pound dog on Heartgard. What if you could protect your dog from heartworms for only pennies a month? It IS possible, but you MUST know what you're doing. You can buy ivermectin from stores such as Tractor Supply Company, and maybe even some feed stores. It is sold under several brand names, but the most 'popular' is Ivomec. It is sold as a cattle deworming injectable liquid, however, it is given orally to dogs for heartworm prevention, and also mange treatment. Visit the following link to see what the packaging looks like: javascript:enlarge('http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/entirelypets_1946_22583883','489','709'); It is extremely important that you buy the 1% ivermectin solution if you choose to do this How Much to Give? The dosage for ivermectin is very often misquoted. The recommendation to give 0.1cc per 10 pounds of dog, that is most commonly recommended, is way overdosing. In fact, the correct dosage of ivermectin 1% for heartworm prevention is much, much less than 0.1cc (one-tenth of a cc) per 10 pounds of dog. A 25-pound dog only needs 0.068cc (which is 68 hundredths of a cc, or 68/100cc) of Ivermectin, according to the amount of the drug in Heartgard, and a 50-pound dog needs just 0.1cc - NOT 0.5cc, which is what you would give if you were dosing 1/10cc per 10 pounds of dog! This means that the correct dosage of ivermectin 1% for heartworm prevention in dogs is actually closer to 0.02cc (2 hundredths of a cc, or 2/100cc) per 10 pounds. That's a huge difference! If you get a syringe (without a needle) that only holds 1 cc, and is marked off in tenths, with tick-marks between each tenth, it's not that difficult to draw up the right amount of liquid, because each little tick-mark is one hundredth of a cc. It really can't be done with a syringe that is made to hold more than 1 cc, though, because of the very small amount of liquid that you need. It should be noted that ivermectin should not be administered to collies, shetland sheepdogs, or related breeds, because they are sensitive to the drug.
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    stajbs (04-14-2011)

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    this was very informative. Thanks for the info.
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    Junior Member Pompey's Avatar
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    You've gotten some great replies already but just wanted to add I've been giving Ivermectin horse paste for HW prevention for about 4-5 years now and never had issues with overdosing, toxicity or side effects. Nor have I had any dogs with heartworm, and some summers can get pretty infested over here. I also never take them in for a routine screening test before starting, only do the testing every other year or two. Its saved me easily $1,500 per year with the amount of dogs I have.

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    I do use ivermectin 1% for my pack, all but my yorkies. I had always gone by the 0.1cc/10lb rule. My dogs do still get vetted yearly for a physical, titers and heart worm check and all of that. My vet is aware and ok with me using the ivomec 1%. It really has saved me a ton of money and honestly, my guys have never had a problem taking it.

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    We have done this for years. We used the 1% Ivermec, .1cc/10 lb of weight per dog. Got a batch of 1cc syrnges from a guy who works for a medical supply company, got the doseage from a vet in our local sled dog club, but still ran it by our vet. I was scared to death the first time I did it years ago though. It has saved us a ton of $$ over the years when we had 5-6 dogs at a time. However now that we only have two dogs I just purchase what we need and I only give it every 40-45 days from May-December here.

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    Awesome. Thanks, all! I have five dogs and this is something that will save me money as well. Heartgard gets expensive with so many dogs!

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