Author Topic: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?  (Read 1115 times)

JenniferW

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Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« on: September 17, 2018, 06:56:24 PM »
My vet wants entirely too much for the heartworm prevetion meds.  Is a bottle of Ivermectin as safe and effective as the brand name stuff?  Looking to spend just a few dollars per year on this prevention, not $150 per year.  If it is good, where is the best deal on it? Trying todave every penny I can.  We live in an area with mosquitos and my brother's dog got heartworms -- it was very expensive to treat like 2 grand.

CalBal

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 07:30:54 PM »
I don't know anything about Ivermectin, but that seems like it is a lot unless it is a very large dog. I pay $37 for a 6-month supply of Interceptor Plus, which is heartworm plus internal parasite prevention, and that's for the 25-50lb dog dose (through Chewy.com, and I think it may be slightly cheaper through petmeds.com, but I get free shipping when ordered with food).

Another Reader

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 07:39:40 PM »
Ivermectin is toxic.  If you dose the dog incorrectly, you could kill or severely injure the dog.  It may be absorbed more slowly in the pill form as well.  I would not risk the dog's health or life to save a few dollars.  Buy the correct dosage and formulation through a discount pet food retailer, such as Chewy.

JenniferW

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 08:12:44 PM »
I dose my own insulin every day, three times per day.  If I make one mistake in calculation, I could kill myself pretty easily.   So I am pretty good at measuring dosages and at math.

oldladystache

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 09:46:37 PM »
Enough Ivermectin paste for a 1200 pound horse can be had for less than $3.00

bogart

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 10:51:27 PM »
The basic problem with cow/pig ivermectin (which seems to be what's generally used as an OTC alternative) is that it's tremendously concentrated, relative to the dose that even a large dog needs.  You can dilute it, using instructions that are pretty readily found via google (of course, dilution is just ... math). 

If your dog is or may be collie or part collie (or similar -- australian shepherd, e.g.), then they have a genetic variant (or can) that makes them very sensitive (like, deadly sensitive) to overdosing on ivermectin.  For other breeds, this is not as risky, and indeed there are conditions (scabies) that are treated with much higher doses of oral ivermectin than is used for heartworm prevention.

I use cow ivermectin in non-diluted form (but tiny amounts) for my ~75 lb. dog.  I clip the tip off a fish oil capsule and squirt it in there, then give it orally as I would a (non-tasty) pill, being careful to keep the capsule upright so the ivermectin doesn't spill out (other than into the dog...). 

And yes, it's cheap as all heck.  I think the requirement of heartworm testing (for a dog on preventative) + prescription product is a pretty big and, honestly, problematic (as it means fewer dogs get preventative) scam.  I get that that approach (testing, etc.) is "best practice," but in the real world where we all make decisions about tradeoffs (and here I'm not really talking FIRE, more a can-I-afford-healthcare-for-myself, which is a big issue for many Americans), I don't think it's appropriate. 

When I adopted my (rescue) dog, he was heartworm positive, so went through treatment and it was awful ... would not want to do that again.   But when the same medication is available OTC, I'm happy giving it that way.

Many vets will not see/treat your dog (on an ongoing basis) if they don't provide an annual heartworm test  + prescription (though you could get that filled elsewhere, or not, and I don't think they'd know).  Mine lives in a rural area and is willing to do so.  May be worth checking with yours if that's a concern.

JenniferW

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 12:46:59 AM »
Thanks for the info!

I went ahead and ordered this tube of Ivermectin Paste for 1200 pound horse from Amazon, based on the reviews for the use in dogs:

https://www.amazon.com/Horse-Health-Ivermectin-Single-Paste/dp/B003NTOI76

You just put a pea sized amount on the roof of their mouth or in their food once per month -- the exact size of the pea I'd determine the first few times using a formula and some math and a scale which weighs in micrograms.

One tube of $6 paste treats a dog for 1 year!   That's 50 cents per month.  It's a shame that vets have made this treatment so expensive causing so many owners to risk not paying for it and dogs suffering unnecessarily.

My dog isn't a collie fortunately.  She's like a Lab, Beagle German SHepherd mix from what I can tell.  A cut little albino mutt with pink skin & nose & green eyes.  (Dudley lab variant).

Check out this one review someone posted about this paste:


elliha

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 01:33:21 AM »
I would not do it unless it was while under contact with a vet. Collies is the breed where the most dogs have this mutation but German Shepards can have it too but it is less common.

JenniferW

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 02:05:14 AM »
I'll bring the tube of the stuff into the vet with her in a few days and ask them.  If they wont' asnwer I'll try another vet and so forth.  I don't mind paying them once for a consult to tell me if it is okay to use or not.  Evidently someone else's vet recommended this stuff for their dogs.  We'll see what they say about my dog.

Dave1442397

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 07:53:40 AM »
Here's the site I found when researching this topic - http://heartwormprevention.com/

JenniferW

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Re: Ivermectin as Affordable Heartworm Prevention?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2018, 07:41:16 AM »
Bought the Ivermection ($6 or so from Amazon, for a horse).   Gave my dog very small amount -- pea sized, on roof of mouth on 9/22.  She's been just fine since then.  I have a calendar event each month to remind me to give her another dose. 

My brother has 5 dogs and he's paying $40 every 6 months for each dog.  So if he switched to this he'd save at least $30 per month.

I was comfortable giving it to my dog because she doesn't have collie in her and the fact that vets have recommended horse ivermectin to people with large number of dogs as affordable solution.