In fact, some medical institutions will not test for allergic dermatitis until sarcoptic mange is ruled out in this manner. When used at a low dose for heartworm prevention in a dog free of heartworms, ivermectin is relatively safe.
This type of reaction may be accompanied by lethargy, a low body temperature and vomiting. Since serum ivermectin test results aren't always immediately available, in the interim, your vet might also try to rule out other causes for your dog's symptoms, including exposure to other potentially toxic substances, diseases affecting the brain, and metabolic disorders. At my animal hospital, I recommend proactive owners find out if their breed susceptible dog has this gene before administering any ivermectin based product.
A local holistic practitioner will be able to guide you in determining: When used in a dog infected with heartworms, a shock-like reaction believed to be caused by dying microfilaria can occur. This medication should not be administered with tranquilizers or flea and tick preventatives.
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In dogs, the risk of side effects associated with ivermectin depends on the dosage, on the susceptibility of the individual dog and on the presence of heartworm microfilaria a larval form of the heartworm. It is also used to treat ear mites as well as hair mites, which can cause mange.
This mutant gene may make the dog more sensitive to several other medications as well.
Is There a Safer Heartworm Preventive?
Ivermectin toxicity can occur whether the drug is given orally, topically applied to the skin or parenterally by IV or injection. It does not kill the adult heartworm, though ivermectin can shorten its lifespan. Although dosages for heartworm treatment are very low, be sure to follow your vet's instructions carefully to avoid overdosing your pet. Ivermectin works by causing neurological damage to specific parasites, which results in paralysis and death.
The healthier your dog is, the less attractive she'll be to all types of pests and parasites, and the better able her immune system will be to fight off invaders. Your pet's medical protocol should be given by your holistic veterinarian. Depending on how much ivermectin is ingested and the sensitivity of the patient, treatment can be lengthy, and symptoms can take several weeks to disappear. Even when heartwom is diagnosed, treatment takes several weeks, and it is very uncomfortable for the dog.
Higher dosages, such as those used to treat demodectic mangesarcoptic mange, ear mites and other parasitic infections, are more likely to be associated with adverse reactions.