Ivermectin for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Luis Dogalyo
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There is a lot of doubt when we talk about ivermectin for dogs, because we know that certain doses in certain breeds can be toxic and lethal to the dog.

How do I know if it is safe to give ivermectin to my dog? Keep reading if you want to know, because in this article we wanted to show you everything about ivermectin for dogs: what it is, what it is used for and its dosage.

We also explain its prevention and contraindications so that its application is as correct and safe as possible.

What is Ivermectin for dogs

Ivermectin is well known to dog owners and veterinarians as it is generally the drug of choice for the prevention of various diseases such as scabies and filariasis. It is considered a very effective antiparasitic for destroying various types of parasites, both external and internal.

Once ivermectin has entered the animal's body, it inhibits the natural functioning of the parasites against which it acts, resulting in their paralysis and death.

Ivermectin for Dogs: What it is, What it is Used for and What is its Dosage

This drug is so popular because of its good performance against parasites, low cost, and easy access. It comes in the form of tablets, injectables, or topical products, the former being the most commonly used option.

It should be taken into account that, depending on the age of the dog, its weight, and the type of parasite to be treated or prevented, the dose will vary and that it is essential to administer an adequate dose in a specific manner. You should therefore never administer it alone to your faithful friend without a prescription from a veterinarian, as it is the veterinarian who will indicate the steps to follow as well as the appropriate dose to administer.

What is Ivermectin for dogs is used for

This drug was used for large animals, but it didn't take long for it to spread to pets. This drug has several uses against certain parasites. Ivermectin is used to eliminate and prevent parasites and is specifically used in this way:

  • It acts against external parasites. Like ticks, although it is not very effective in dogs, it is recommended that you acquire an antiparasitic more suitable for these unwanted visitors if your friend's problem is that he has only fleas or ticks. It also kills mites, which are a type of external parasite responsible for scabies in dogs. In fact, ivermectin can be used to treat both scabies and demodectic mange. Here's how to tell if a dog has scabies.
  • It works against internal parasites. These parasites can cause gastric, cardiac, metabolic and respiratory problems, such as filariasis, which can also be dangerous for humans because it can be transmitted (zoonosis). In this other unCOMO article, we explain how to find out if a dog has filariasis, so that you know the basic symptoms and can take him to the vet as quickly as possible.

Ivermectin dosage for dogs

As mentioned above, ivermectin doses for dogs vary according to the weight of the animal and the problem to be treated. In general, these are the most common doses:

  • If you want to prevent filariasis: 6 micrograms (μg) per kilo of dog.
  • To treat sarcoptic mange: 300 μg per kilo.
  • To treat scabies: 400-600 μg per kilogram.

One microgram (μg) is equivalent to 0.000001 grams.

In case of high-dose poisoning, you may experience the following symptoms

  • Pupil dilation.
  • Blindness.
  • Hypersalivation.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Side effects of Ivermectin for dogs

Like any type of medication, ivermectin can have side effects on the dog to which it is administered. That's what can happen with ivermectin.

  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • trembling
  • fever
  • itching
  • apathy and drowsiness

Ivermectin: contraindications for dogs

It is very important to consult a veterinarian before giving ivermectin to your dog as the wrong dose of this medication can harm the dog, as well as if you give it when it would be contraindicated. It is usually the contraindications of ivermectin for dogs that need to be taken into account:

  • Some breeds can die if given this anti-parasite: the Rough Collie, the Border Collie, the English Shepherd, the Australian Shepherd and the Afghan Greyhound. This happens in dogs of these pure breeds as well as in mixed-breed dogs that have the genetics of these breeds. It occurs through an inherited genetic mutation that makes these dogs sensitive and creates an intolerance to ivermectin.
  • This drug should not be used in dogs under 3 months of age. Here we tell you when to start worming a puppy and how to do it.
  • Special care should be taken with the doses given to small breeds, as a high dose could cause poisoning and adverse effects.
  • Do not use this medicine on older dogs.
  • It is not indicated for use in pregnant or lactating bitches as it may be harmful to the bitch and her puppies.
  • Do not give ivermectin to your dog if he is immunocompromised or malnourished.

If you would like to read other articles similar to Ivermectin for dogs: what it is, what it is used for, and its dosage, we recommend that you enter our Dog Health category.

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