For additional Ivermectin information and companies from which to order, OC-PAW suggests using the following site:
When rescuing a dog from a shelter in which the dog was to be euthanized, here is an article to consider if the dog is tested heart worm positive. This treatment is affordable, less traumatic for the animal, and has shown to be effective. Many people are so discouraged when they are told of the high cost of the treatment by many of the vets, that they just return the dog to the shelter to be euthanized. Please read this article and consider this option. This article is from the Terrierman's Daily Dose. Go to their website and sign up to receive informational emails.
Doxycycline Shortage leaves People and Pets Scrambling for Treatment Alternatives
Ivermectin in high doses
can be dangerous, even fatal, to dogs, especially those with the MDR1 mutation (see Ivermectin Sensitivity
below), but even healthy dogs can be harmed if the dosage is high enough. Ivermectin solutions almost always must be diluted in order to provide appropriate dosages for heartworm prevention.
DO NOT USE UNDILUTED IVERMECTIN
unless you are very careful to follow the instructionsbelow
, and you have either a large dog or know for certain that your dog does not have the MDR1 mutation. Note that the common recommendation to give 0.1 cc undiluted ivermectin per 10 pounds of body weight provides 37 times the amount of ivermectin needed for heartworm prevention. This dosage would be extremely dangerous for dogs with ivermectin sensitivity
Herding breeds and/or dogs with white socks should be given Triflexis as the conservative slow kill method.
The Billion Dollar Heartworm Scam
This is a
from this blog in 2008.
Almost everything you have been told and taught about heartworm
is probably an exaggeration or an outright lie, and this misinformation is probably costing you real money.
Here's the truth:
- Heartworm is not a canine pandemic.
In fact, heartworm is pretty rare in much of the country, and in very cold areas of the country a veterinarian may go his or her entire career without seeing a single case. Look at the map, above, put out by a major vendor of heartworm tests (Idexx) who has every reason in the world to overstate (rather than to understate) the problem. You will notice how low the baseline state numbers are -- 500 cases is the top of the color scale -- and that this map covers seven years of data collecting. You will also note that this map does not show adult heartworm infestation in dogs, but simply the number of dogs that tested positive for heartworm. More on that important distinction in a minute.. . . . Data on heartworm incidence rates at the local level reinforces how rare heart worm really is. For example, on the map above, California is coded red-hot with 500 cases. And yet, when a total of 4,350 dogs in 103 Los Angeles County cities coming from 21 participating animal hospitals were tested, only 18 heartworm-positive tests turned up. And yet, veterinarians are training their staffs not to talk about heartworm tests and medications as an option, but as a need, and for this "needs to be given" message to be bombarded on the customer 3-5 times per office visit.
- Heartworm infection is NOT rapid and will not kill your dog overnight.
It takes about three months for microfilaria (baby worms) to grow inside your dog to a larval stage, and even longer for these larva to mature into adult heartworms. If your dog is dosed with a simple Ivermectin treatment at any time during this period before adult worms are present (a period that lasts about three months long), the larvae will never develop into adult worms, and will die. Read that statement again: a single dose of Ivermectin will stop heartworm dead up to 3 months after your dog is first infected.
In most of the country, only seasonal heatworm "prevention" is needed.
The short story here is that heartwormis a kind of nematode (dirofilaria immitis
) spread by mosquitoes (and only
by mosquitoes). The lifecycleof the nematode involves six stages, and a dog can get infected with heartwormonly
if two of these stages are fully completed inside the body of the mosquito, and those stages can only
be completed inside the body of the mosquito if the temperature stays above 57 degrees for at least 45 days straight
, both day and
night. If the temperature drops below 57 degrees even once
during that 45-day period, the lifecycleof the nematode is broken, and heartwormcannot be transmittedto your dog. What this means, in simple terms, is that a year-round program of Heartgard(sometimes spelled 'Heartguard") or some other "preventative" medicine is NOT needed in most of the country outside of Florida, the Rio GrandeValley of Texas.. . . . . Look carefully at the maps below
(click to enlarge
). These maps come from “Seasonal Timing of Heartworm Chemoprophylaxis in the United States
” by Dr. David Knight and James Lokof the American HeartwormSociety. Find your area on the map, and begin heartwormtreatment on the first day of the month noted in Map A, and end treatment on the first day of the month noted in Map B. In short, if you are living in Virginia, you would begin treating your dog June 1st (top map) and end treatmenton December 1st (bottom map).. . . . . This is a very aggressive treatment schedule
-- more active than is really needed. After all, if heartwormlarvae gets into your dog on June 1st, they will have NO IMPACT on your dog for months and months. In fact, if you are in Virginia simply treating your dog with Ivermectin(Heartgard) on September 1st and again on December 1st will give 100 percent heartwormprotection for your dog. Even in areas where heartwormis a year-round vexation (Florida and the Rio GrandeValley of Texas), a once-every-three-months dose of Ivermectinwill give your dog 100% protection.(click on maps to enlarge
)Maps created by DH Knight and JB Lok
- There is no "preventive" medicine for Heartworm.
Despite what your veterinarian may have told you, there is NO "prevention" for heartworm infection; there is only heartwormtreatment. ALL heartworm medicines work the same way -- they kill heartwormmicrofilaria present in the body of the dog.
- Heartworm "prevention" medicines are actually toxic poisons.
The drugs used to kill heartwormmicrofilaria are Ivermectin (Heartgard, Heartgard Plus, Iverhart, Merial and Verbac) or Milbemycin (Interceptor, Safeheart, Sentinal and Norvartis). Both drugs are nematode poisons, and in both cases a single dose will kill all microfilarial infection that occurred up to 90 days earlier (i.e. all Stage 3, 4 and young Stage 5 heartworm infections).
- Humans cannot get heartworm.Heartworm cannot be passed on to humans -- we are the wrong host animal. Very rarely a heartworm-positive mosquito will bite a human and a small benign cyst may develop in the lung of a human, but this is NOT heartworm, and can be best thought of as a tiny scar showing where a bit of microfilaria attached to the lung wall where it was killed off by the human body.
- Some breeds of dogs should not be treated with Ivermectin.
Some lines of collies and collie-crosses have strong -- sometimes fatal -- reactions to ivermectin, the most common heartworm preventative medicine. Though this is not common, and seems to only hold true for collies, serious thought needed to be given to dosing any collie, collie-cross, or herding dog with white feet Ivermectin. For these dogs, the safest heartworm medicine is Interceptor.
- What about that wormy heart-in-a-jar at my vets office?
Most veterinarians have a "fear bottle" in their office which shows a canine heart riddled with spaghetti-like heartworms. Nothing generates cash like a heartworm fear bottle -- a veterinarian will often place one prominently in his or her office as a kind of cash-generating machine since one look will sell a heartworm test and year's worth of Heartgard, no questions asked. So where do these fear bottles come from? I've been told by a pharmaceutical sales representative that most of these wormy hearts in these jars come from stray animals killed in Mexico, and that the heart specimens themselves (often decades old) were given out by pharmaceutical company representatives when they first began selling Heartgard back in 1986. One thing for sure: today, you can got to Maine and find a wormy heart in a jar even though the local veterinarian has never even seen a dog with this problem in the last 20 years.
- Do I have to go a veterinarian to get Ivermectin?
No. More on that in a second. Suffice it to say that it's not necessarily a bad thing to go to a vet for a prescription for Heartgard, especially if you are going to see your vet on another matter anyway. I would not buy Heartgard from the vet, however, without first checking prices online. Most vets price-gouge their customers by 100 percent or more for medicines sold in their offices, and in most states a veterinarian cannot charge you more for writing a prescription for a medically necessary medicine as part of an incidental visit.. . . . . Another cash-saving tip is to get a prescription for Heartgard for a dog twice the size of your dog, and then split the tablets in half. This trick results in considerable savings because the marginal cost between one Heartgard weight category and the next is often very slight despite the fact that one pill contains twice as much active ingredient as the next.. . . . . Finally, remember that you do not have to dose your dog all year long or even every month. In fact, if you have a 50-pound dog, and buy 12 doses of Heartgard for a 100-pound dog, you could be 100-percent covered for six years, even in a year-round heartworm area, provided you dosed your dog once every three months and cut the pills in half.. . .Of course, if you want to dose your dog every month and do so cheaplyand without going to a veterinarian for a prescription, there's a trick here too. Here it is: Order your Ivermectin in a pre-mixed solution from J.R. Enterprises. The cost is $25 for a 65-cc bottle of .05% Ivermectin, which is enough to treat five 20-pound dogs for 26 months. J.R. Enterprises even throws in a measuring spoon! Since this Ivomec and polypropelenegylcol solution is not FDA-approved for dogs, they sell it for experimental purposes only. That said, it works fine, and this is exactly the kind of heartworm preventative medicine used on all dogs all across this country prior to the advent of Heartgard and "the billion-dollar heartworm scam" in 1986. .. . . . . .Finally, and if for no other reason that to explain how J.R. Enterprises does it, here's how you can treat a huge number of dogs with non-prescriptionIvermectin for a dirt-cheap price. Whether this is cost-effective or not (and whether it is worth the trouble or not) really depends on how many dogs you have. In case you run a shelter, here's the recipie: 1) Buy a 50 cc bottle of 1 percent Ivomec solution. This should cost you less than $50, and is made to inject into farm animals as a wormer. This is high-grade Ivermectin, and is made by Merial, an established veterinary pharmaceutical company. You will not be injecting your dog with a diluted version of this medicine, but instead you will be giving it to your animal orally. 2) A single cc (which is the same as 1 ml) of 1 percent Ivomec (Ivermectin) is enough to prevent heartworm in 30 100-pound dogs for a month. What this means is that unless you have a really big kennel of really big dogs, you will need to pull 1 cc of Ivomec into a 1 cc tubercular syringe, and dilute it with 19 cc's of propylene glycol which will give you a 1/20th solution. When mixed in this proportion, you give one cc orally per 40-pounds of dog once a month for heartworm prevention. A 20-pound dog would get 1/2 of a cc orally. A 10-pound dog would get a 1/4 of a cc orally. An 80-pound dog would get two cc's orally, etc.
- Do I need to have my dog tested for heartworm before starting Ivermectin?
Generally, no. Unless your dog is an older dog loaded with years of untreated heartworm (which you will know from the dog's long-term lethargy and chronic coughing), a dose of Ivermectin will not do your dog harm. A puppy, under six months of age, of course, will always test negative for heartworm because the microfilaria have not yet had a chance to develop and circulate. Testing a dog under age 6 months for heartworm is a common veterinary scam; do not fall for it!
- Is curing heartworm expensive and difficult?
No it is not. Any veterinarian who tells you otherwise is not keeping up with the literature. It turns out that even if your dog has adult heartworms, if the dog otherwise appears healthy (i.e. it is active, not lethargic, and does not have a chronic cough), a monthly dosing of Ivermectin at a dosage normally used to kill roundworms (a dosage that is 3 times higher than that used to simply prevent heartworm), plus a once-a-month 5-day dosing of Doxycycline (the same antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease) will kill all the adult heartworms if it is sustained for a period of 18 months. This treatment works better than previous Ivermectin-only treatments because the Doxycline wipes out the Wolbachia microbe that grow in the gut of the adult heartworm, essentially sterilizing all of the female heartworms. A round-worm strength dosing of monthly Ivermectin will not only prevent new heartwormmicrofilaria from taking hold in your dog, it will also work to dramatically shorten the life of any existing adult worms in your dog. Bottom line: after 18 months of treatment, your dog will be heartworm-free at very little cost compared to other remedies.. . . . . A repeated caution, however: if you have border collies or herding dogs with white feet that also appear to have full-blown heartworm, consult a veterinarian, as some lines of collies are very susceptible to Ivermectin toxicity. This is very rare, and the cause is unknown, but it is an area of concern among collies and collie-crosses.