Ivomec for Dogs

Ivomec is an injectable medication made specifically for cattle and swine, but many people use Ivomec for dogs as a substitute for more expensive heartworm medication. The active ingredient in Ivomec injections is Ivermectin, the same as that used in brands such as Heartgard.

Some Precautions

While many people use Ivomec to prevent heartworm in dogs, you should still talk to your veterinarian before you use it. Some breeds of dogs, like Collies and some other herding breeds, are very sensitive to the medication and should not receive it. No form of Ivomec or Ivermectin should be used in dogs less than six weeks of age. Ivomec for cattle and swine comes as an injectable medication, but for dogs it is used orally. Before dosing with any heartworm prevention medication, you should have your dog tested to make sure that he is free of heartworms.

Other Uses for Ivomec

Most owners use Ivomec to aid in the prevention of heartworms, but it can also be used orally to treat skin and intestinal parasites. Many veterinarians use oral Ivomec to treat demodectic and sarcoptic mange.

Proper Dosage

Talk to your veterinarian to confirm proper dosage for your dog, but the following guidelines are standard dosing recommendations:

  • For heartworm prevention, give a does of .0015 to .0030mg per pound, once a month.
  • For skin parasites, give two doses of .15mg per pound, 2 weeks apart.
  • For intestinal parasites, give a single dose of 1mg per pound.
  • For demodectic or sarcoptic mange, give two doses of .1mg per pound, 7 days apart.

Giving the Medication

Once you've determined the proper dosage for your dog, you will need a syringe with a needle to draw the medication out of the vial and a syringe without a needle to give the medication to your pet. Draw out the medication with the needle syringe and inject it into a glass with a little bit of juice or soda. Then use a needle-less syringe to draw the liquid back up out of the glass. Stand to the side of your dog and hold his muzzle in your hand. Insert the syringe into the side of your dog's mouth and aim it towards the cheek. Depress the syringe until all of the medication is gone.

Side Effects of Ivomec for Dogs

After dosing your dog with the medication, watch for possible side effects. These include:

  • Stumbling or lack of coordination
  • Blindness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Strange behaviors

Most side effects, if they occur, will happen within twelve hours of receiving a dose. If you notice any of these signs after giving Ivomec, consult your veterinarian.

Continuing Treatment

Like other forms of heartworm medication, when treating your dog with Ivomec you should make sure to give a dose every month. Even though the mosquitoes that spread heartworms are not active in the winter, continuing treatment will ensure that your dog does not contract this deadly parasite. If you skip doses, you will need to have your dog retested for heartworms because the preventative medication can be dangerous in a dog which is already infected. When using Ivomec to treat skin parasites, intestinal parasites or mange, simply use it on an as-needed basis.