Miracle Liquid Wormers

April, 1996


Dear Dr. Silverio

I am seriously considering starting my dogs on Ivermectin as a heartworm preventative. Currently they are taking Heartgard Plus. but as you know, this can get very expensive.
I’ve talked to a few breeders who use Ivermectin and they seem to be well pleased with the results. However, they all give different suggestions as to how much of this medication you need to give your dog. The most common response I’ve heard is 0.1 cc per 10 lbs. of body weight. But, isn’t the recommended dosage to kill other types of parasites in addition to heartworms?
Would you please tell me the correct dosage (in cc’s) as to how much Ivermectin I need to give my dogs if I want to kill heartworms only? And, do I need to mix the medication with anything to get the dog to take it better, especially since, I’m assuming, the recommended dosage will be minute? Also, I’ve heard certain breeds are more susceptible to this drug than others. We have a Labrador Retrievers and a Chow mix. Are there any reported side effects from these breeds?

Sincerely,
Angela E. Sullivan

Dear Angela,

Please refer to my article in the January issue of SPO Magazine. addressing the use of Irermectin in dogs. As mentioned in that article, the dose of Irermectin necessary to treat or prevent intestinal parasites is about 30 times the dose used to prevent heartworm disease. The dosage you listed, 0.1 cc per 10 lbs. of body weight, is the dosage recommended for the prevention of intestinal parasites and heartworms. Therefore, if you wish to use the cattle wormer, Ivamec, as a heartworm preventative only, the amount
needed would, indeed, be too minute to measure accurately. One way to solve the problem is to dilute a small amount of Ivamec in vegetable oil or propylene glycol (a solvent sometimes used to treat bloat in livestock). The vegetable oil tastes better, but the drug will mix better with propylene glycol because that is the same liquid used to dissolve the Ivermectin in a bottle of Ivamec.
One delution scheme which would minimize waste would involve using a 1 cc syringe and the more common 3 cc syringe. Draw up .1 cc of Ivamec, using the small syringe, and mix well with 3 cc of vegetable oil or propylene glycol. Using this diluted product, the heartworm preventative dose would be a familiar .1 cc per 10 lbs. of body weight. A larger amount could be diluted and stored in the refrigerator for future use, but the length of time its potency would remain is unknown.
As stated in my original article, a number of dogs have been found to be sensitive to Irermectin at the higher dosage, but not at heartworm prevention dose. Most of the susceptible individuals identified are Collies, but other breeds have also been represented. These other breeds do not include a Labrador or a Chow.
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss another broad-spectrum anthelinintic which has apparently received some attention recently. Albendazale is the name of the active ingredient in the livestock dewormer Valbazen, manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health. It is available in paste form and as a drench (11.36 % suspension in liquid).
Although it has FDA approval for use in dogs, it has been found to be effective against a number of canine intestinal parasites. The drug has excellent activity against Whipworms and the common
hookworm and roundworm of dogs. It is also effective in treating one type of tapeworm, Taenia, and a less common protozoal parasite called Giardia.
The Tapeworm segments, or Proglattids, which are visible in an infected dog’s stool, contain eggs which are not directly contagious to another dog. These eggs must first be ingested by an intermediate host, in which they develop to another stage of their life cycle, and then be ingested by another dog before adult tapeworm can be developed by that dog. For Taeniid Tapeworms, the intermediate host can be a number of mammals, including rabbits. Diprylidium caninum, the species of tapeworm using the flea as its intermediate host, is apparently not as effectively killed by the use of Albendazale. Other tapeworm medication is necessary to treat dogs infected with this type of tapeworm.
The recommended dosage of Valbazen suspension needed to kill susceptible parasites is 25 mg 1 kg, given orally 2 times a day and continued for 2 or 3 consecutive days (2 days is adequate for treating giardiasis; 3 days is probably necessary for other parasites). When using Valbazen suspension, each dose would be about I cc per 10 lbs. of body weight, or 3 cc for a 30 lb. beagle. It is not considered safe for use in pregnancy, and whenever this product is used in any dog, it is considered extra-label usage, not officially recommended by the manufacturer and not approved by the
FDA.


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