IVERMECTIN PARASITE WORMER
Dosage Calculations and Personal Experience
by Breeder/Judge/Organic Chemist
The main difficulty
for people who want to dose their own dogs with Ivermectin to prevent or
heartworm and other parasites is that the dosage directions are:
in milligrams per
kilogram body weight (most people in the USA are not metric);
for pigs or cows; or,
in terms of
vet-supplied Heartgard instead of over-the-counter Ivomec or
But this is not really much of a problem. Customarily, breeders and
multiple-dog families want to use the liquid ivermectin (usually 1%, and
sold in 50-ml bottles), and for ease or convenience, administer orally
via a 1-ml syringe (no needle – that is left in the rubber stopper of
the bottle). Ivomec™ from the feed store or mail-order house saves a
bundle of money, and the economics is almost algebraic when there are a
few to several dogs in the household.
Calculating Ivomec/Ivermectin Worming Dose Per Pound:
Amounts recommended for cattle and pigs on the label and/or insert are
difficult for most dog owners to extrapolate, and because of the secrecy
in the vet profession (who want to sell the high-priced, high-profit
version themselves and rake in an office-visit fee in addition), neither
they nor the manufacturers will tell dog people what the effectual
canine doses are, or package it in a concentration suitable for dogs,
which are far lower in weight than swine.
Lengthy and convoluted “instructions” abound on websites, but usually
require sensitive chemical scales or volumetric means, to mix it with
propylene glycol carrier/diluent according to their directions.
ivermectin straight out of the Ivomec bottle has 10 mg of ivermectin per
ml, or 1mg for a tenth of a cc/ml. (a cubic centimeter is the same, for
all practical purposes, as a milliliter). So, if I draw one-tenth of one
ml into the 1-ml “TB” syringe, that’s 1 mg. For a 75-lb dog, 0.0015 x 75
= 0.11 mg ; and 0.003 x 75= 0.23 mg. Average these and get 0.17mg for
that size dog.
A 50 ml bottle of 1% solution will probably be priced somewhere around
$50, so shop around. I do not offer this information as a professional
or as a prescription, as one must be a licensed veterinarian to do that
legally. This is just for general information.
Neither am I going to go to the bother of mixing my sterile ivermectin
with propylene glycol and transferring to different
containers. Not when, for decades, I have had great success and safety
with the dosages I’ve used. A “maintenance” level of one-tenth ml every
month or six weeks for my adult German Shepherds may contain
considerably more ivermectin than the makers of Heartgard recommend, but
it still is both safe and effective, in my experience. Only if we have a
very bad “tick summer” will I increase the amount one or two times
during the season.
Ivermectin Wormer Safety:
Ivermectin has a very broad “margin of error” or safety margin, which
means that very large doses can be and are used without bad effects,
except in certain bloodlines of Shelties, Collies, and a few other
breeds and crosses who have inherited a certain susceptibility to bad
reactions. In fact, for some diseases, what we would consider enormous
amounts are given on a daily basis.
Back to PARASITE Index
or see related worming information:
Conversion Chart weight and measurements
Dog Wormers Dosage Chart
As with the above wormers, most are actually for large animal wormers. Always
discuss choices with your vet before deciding what to use.
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