Ivermectin is a potent medication used to treat different types of parasites in dogs, cats, horses, and other animals. Some of the conditions that use Ivermectin for treatment include heartworm eradication, ear mites, mange causing hair mites, and other internal and internal parasitic infections.
It is also one of the primary ingredients in some medications, such as Heartgard Plus used for heartworm prevention. The paste works by paralyzing parasites to death by damaging them neurologically and eliminating them from the dog’s body. It is so potent that over dosage can become lethal and toxic to dogs as it goes directly to the brain after application.
How Safe Is Ivermectin To Dogs?
The dosage of Ivermectin administered to the dog is responsible for the safety levels of the drug. The amount of dosage depends on what you are treating. With A high dosage of the medication might result in complications with higher risks of side effects. For example, heartworm infections require a relatively low Ivermectin dosage that comes with fewer chances of side effects.
Ear mites, démodé tic mange, sarcoptic mange, and other parasitic infections require higher Ivermectin dosages that could lead to more adverse side effects. When used appropriately and at the correct dosage, Ivermectin is safe for the dogs.
How Much Ivermectin Paste to Give a Dog
For heartworm prevention, the typical dosage of Ivermectin in dogs should be 6 ug/kg. The dosage should not exceed 300 ug/kg for the treatment of sarcoptic mange, while for démodé tic mange, it should be 400-600 ug/kg.
Dogs Susceptible To Side Effects of Ivermectin
Not all dog breeds are sensitive to Ivermectin. However, some breeds’ sensitivity to the medication is genetic. They have a unique genetic mutation that allows the drug to get to the central nervous system by passing through the dog’s brain barrier. It is advisable to check with your dog’s veterinarian before administering any amount of Ivermectin to your dog for safety. The breeds most likely to have side effects from Ivermectin are the following.
- Australian Shepherd
- English Sheepdog
- German Shepherd
- Longhaired Whippet
- Old English Sheepdog
- Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
- Silken Wind hound
- Skye Terrier
Other dogs prone to side effects from Ivermectin include dogs with the previous over dosage on the same class of drugs, senior dogs, dogs with mixed breeds, and puppies.
Side Effects of Ivermectin
Side effects of Ivermectin in dogs can range from mild to severe, depending on the dosage and breed. If your dog has acute side effects, they will start to show between 4 and 12 hours of administering the drug. If the symptoms are less severe or mild, they will begin to become apparent within 48 to 96 hours after administering the dosage. Some of the most common side effects are as follows:-
- Difficulty controlling voluntary movement
- Dilation of the pupil
- Inability to stand
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Respiratory distress
- Slow heartbeat
How to Treat Ivermectin Symptoms
Ivermectin toxicity is irreversible. The best you can do is treat the symptoms to the best of your ability by making your dog as comfortable as possible. If Ivermectin exposure occurs within four to six hours, you should induce vomiting or try to minimize the drug’s absorption by administering activated charcoal. You should also keenly observe any of the secondary complications caused by the drug. Your veterinarian could also recommend any of the following measures to treat the symptoms.
- Giving fluid therapy intravenously
- Ensuring that electrolytes in the body stay balanced
- Providing nutritional support intravenously
- Frequently turning over the dog
- Using appropriate beddings
- Providing physical therapy to the dog
- Using ocular lubricants
- In the case of respiratory distress, use a ventilator to aid in breathing
- If the body temperature is low, use heat support
- If the body temperature is high, use fans to cool the room
- Use urinary catheters if your dog cannot stand to take a piss
- Use seizure medication where appropriate
Do not expect miracles as recovery may take several weeks depending on how severe the side effects of the medication are. The dog’s initial health before administering the drug will also significantly influence the healing process.
Wrapping It Up
Ivermectin is a strong and –potent medication that you should give your dog with the utmost care. It would even be wiser to get the dosage directions from a veterinarian to avoid the side effects that too much administering might cause. However, if your dog shows some adverse effects after usage, the above remedies will help bring it back to normalcy.