Ivomec heartworm

I did heartworm preventative on all the dogs today, which reminded me to post the recipe I use.

I get cattle Ivomec and dose at about 1/100 cc per 10 lb once every 30 – 45 days. I was a little bit late this time, right at 45 days, but I was getting them all tested for heartworm (which I do once a year) and was paranoid about somehow masking the infection. They’re all negative and so the preventative begins again. Ivermectin is actually effective for close to 60 days; the 30-day dosing on the Heartgard box is so that if you forget a month your dog should still be OK. If I were in the South I’d probably go closer to the 30-day recommendation.

Obviously, it’s very hard to draw up 1/100 of a cc of Ivomec! So I use a tuberculin syringe and get 1/10 cc, then draw up 9/10 cc of saline solution. Take off the needle, tip the syringe back and forth ten or twenty times, and dose about 1/10 cc per 10 lb of dog. I tend to go over just a tiny bit, so Clue gets the dosage for a 30-lb dog, Ginny gets it for 15 lb, Bronte gets it for 35-40. 

That’s about it! Ivomec makes a lot of sense when you have multiple dogs, as long as you make sure the medication is very well mixed with the saline or propylene glycol or corn syrup or whatever you use. I think it’s a lot of needless mixing for just one dog, and I don’t DIY for puppies either. 

Ivomec can seem to be astoundingly inexpensive if you divide it out; one $40 bottle will dose a corgi once a month for something like a hundred years! But remember expiration dates; Ivomec on a typical feed store shelf has a couple of years before expiration. For one dog, that means that Heartgard (which is $5/dose from my vet) is actually less expensive than using the incredibly tiny amount of Ivomec that you’d need for those two years, and then throwing away a mostly full bottle.


4 thoughts on “Ivomec heartworm

  1. Something that works for me, when buying bulk pet things like this, is co-oping with friends. As an example, we buy the horse joint supplements for MUCH cheaper than the pills, and rather than letting some go bad, we share the container (Split cost fairly) with friends, sealing reasonable portions in secure containers for each of us, and then we dip back into the big container as we need more.

    This saves lots of money for us, and works out really well. This is also how we save on shipping when we make a petedge order, and can order some toys/supplies bulk/wholesale. Local dog people, can be SO helpful in cutting costs, esp if the group is large enough to buy things in bulk to split. Much like the raw diet co-ops.

    • Hi Joanna,
      I followed you here from that other evil world (where many of us still miss you, by the way). 🙂 I am wondering if you can give me an opinion on something.

      We just adopted a heartworm positive dog from a breed-specific rescue about a month ago. New pup is a 2ish yr old golden retriever. He is doing great and is a joy to have in the house.

      Now – my question. We are getting a wide variety of recommendations for how long to keep him quiet. He had the 2-shot adulticide about 6 weeks ago and the follow up microfilariae treatment 2 weeks ago. One vet says keep him quiet for 3 months (!) after the final treatment. Another says start walking him now and he can be allowed to romp at will and chase balls at the end of the month if we think he has recovered his stamina. Wildly different recommendations there. Do you have any opinions to share?

      For your info, his case was said to be mild. No clinical symptoms, just caught on a routine screen when the rescue took him in.

      Thanks in advance, Joanna!

      • Hi! Sorry, I didn’t realize that your comment had gotten stuck in my moderate folder.

        I know that the exercise has to be restricted for 6 weeks after each immiticide injection. So if he only got the two of immiticide 6 weeks ago and the microfilariae treatment was ivermectin, he should be OK to start light exercise within the next couple of weeks. If the microfilariae treatment was another round of immiticide, you’ve still got a minimum of 4 weeks to go.

        The danger is, basically, that the dead and rotting worms will cause an embolism. The highest danger is in the first week but six to eight weeks are the normal recommendation. But I think everything has to be balanced against common sense. The danger is not EXERCISE, it’s the heart beating really fast. A dog freaking out in a crate is in as much danger as a dog running full-tilt in a yard. Whatever you have to do to keep the dog calm and happy and exercising as little as possible is important to do.

        • Thanks Joanna! You are repeating what the majority of our sources have told us. I just felt bad not following the recommendation of the one vet that told us 3 (!) months after the final treatment and wanted another opinion. The microfilariae treatment was Ivermectin, not Immiticide. So, we did decide to start light exercise this week and work him slowly back up.

          Poor pup just wants so badly to play fetch. I swear he is looking at us and thinking “What kind of crazy stupid human family did I end up with? Don’t they know what these tennis balls are FOR?” 🙂

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