How to Use Ivermectin to Prevent Heartworms in Dogs

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Weigh your dog to prevent overdosing.
Weigh your dog to prevent overdosing. (Image: dog image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

Heartworms are a common nuisance to dogs. If not prevented, heartworms can wreak havoc on a dog’s health and even prove fatal. According to the University of Missouri Extension, Ivermectin, milbemycin oxime, moxidectin and selamectin are approved preventatives that are given once a month to prevent canine heartworm infections. Take your dog to a veterinarian to be tested for heartworms before using the Ivermectin. The Ivermectin medication should be used only on dogs that test negative for heartworms.

Things You'll Need

  • Scale
  • Needle
  • Ivermectin
  • Moist dog food
  • Hot dog

Weigh your dog to determine the appropriate Ivermectin dosage needed. The amount of Ivermectin given to a dog depends upon the dog’s total body weight.

Place the needle into the Ivermectin and extract the correct dosage. Dogs should receive 0.1 cc of Ivermectin for every 10 lb. of body weight. For example, a dog weighing 40 lb. would receive 0.4 cc of Ivermectin.

Insert the Ivermectin into moist dog food or a hot dog to mask the strong taste of the medicine.

Give the moist dog food or hot dog, containing the Ivermectin, to your dog. Stand guard or watch over your dog until it properly consumes all moist dog food or the hot dog.

Treat your dog with the Ivermectin once a month or as your veterinarian prescribes for lasting success. Check with your veterinarian beforehand to determine how often and for how long your dog should be treated with Ivermectin.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can find Ivermectin and needles at agricultural stores or at your veterinarian's office.
  • Avoid using Ivermectin on collies, Australian shepherds or related dog breeds. According to the Washington State University, certain dogs, such as collies, cannot pump some drugs out of the brain as a normal dog would, which may result in illness requiring an extended hospital stay or even death.
  • Giving your dog too little Ivermectin could prove ineffective at preventing heartworms. On the other hand, giving your dog too much Ivermectin could prove fatal.

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