Parasites are a common problem in dogs and can cause a multitude of disorders, from minor (if caught early, that is) to severe–as heartworm infestation. There are many drugs available to treat and/or prevent the onset of parasite infestation, especially heartworm, and Ivomec (known as Ivermectin) is one of the most successful in keeping your dog healthy from parasites.
Heartworms are the result of an infected mosquito feeding off your dog. The infection gets passed into the bloodstream. The larva or microfilaria stays in the bloodstream for a while before attaching themselves to the inside of the heart and sometimes in the blood vessels of the lungs. As they mature in the heart, they lay more eggs that go into the blood stream. It is the adult worm that causes the debilitating heartworm disease, which reduces your dog’s health and can cause death.
Ivomec is by prescription only and is used as a preventative to ward off heartworm in your dog, as well as treat other parasitic infections. Ivomec is a parasite control drug that paralyzes the parasite, causing it neurological damage that results in paralysis and death.
Dosage for your dog depends on the particular species of dog and body weight. Ivomec is a chewable tablet to be administered once monthly. Prior to taking the medication, your dog must first take a blood test to be sure that test comes up negative for heartworm. The medication cannot be taken if heartworm is already present. Vet suggests that you keep your dog on an anti-heartworm medication on a year-round basis. Ivomec also comes in other forms, such as an injectable and creams, so your doctor can advise the best option for your dog’s particular needs. HeartGard Plus can be used for both heartworm prevention as well as protection from roundworms and hookworms.
Ivomec should be administered per your veterinarian’s recommendations and is generally safe. An overdose of this medication would cause side effects such as stumbling, tremors, blindness, disorientation or weakness within 12 hours of overdose.
Do not be use Ivomec, HeartGard or any other heartworm preventative product if your dog has a known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drugs. It is advisable not to give these drugs to collie breeds or collie mixed breeds because of a potential toxicity, especially when using higher doses. Do not use these products if your dog is less than six weeks of age. It is imperative to work with and through your veterinarian to provide a safe treatment for your dog.