Hialeah Gardens, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/15/2014 -- Ivermectin is an antiparasitic that is used to kill worms, ticks and mites in both small and large animals. In dog, low doses of the drug (Heartgard®) are given to prevent heartworm, a parasite that can be deadly in dog. It is given once a month during the summer months when a dog is outside and likely to be infected from a bite by a mosquito infected with Dirofilaria immitis. Demodectic and sarcoptic mange are treated with ivermectin off-label. It is used to treat ear mites in both cats and dogs. The most common side effects are reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and depression. Collies,
Shetland Sheepdogs and Old English Sheepdogs at a higher risk for side effects because the gene that codes for a protein that removes ivermectin from the brain is mutated and does not work as well as it should. Signs of neurological side effects include lack of coordination and dilated pupils. The effects can be life-threatening and immediate treatment is needed in these situations. Horses, pigs and cows also receive ivermectin for a variety of worms, ticks and lice.
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