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Ivermectin for Dogs

If you’re currently using Heartgard as a heartworm preventative, there is a much cheaper alternative that contains the same ingredient (Ivermectin).

The cheaper alternative is a product called IVOMEC. On average, pit bull owners save $99.81 annually by using IVOMEC as an alternative to Heartgard.

That’s a savings of $1597.06 over your dog’s lifetime!

Cost of IVOMEC VS Cost of Heartgard

3-Year Supply of Heartgard: $335.94 (Can only treat one dog for 3 years)

3-Year Supply of Ivomec 1% Solution (50ml  bottle): $36.49 (Can treat an average of 3 dogs for three years)

What is IVOMEC?

Ivomec (Ivermectin) is a drug used to treat and control roundworms, lungworms, grubs, sucking lice, and mange mites in cattle and swine.

Pit Bull breeders and owners have been using Ivermectin as a heartworm preventative since 1981.

The benefits of Ivomec

Ivomec (Ivermectin) prevents heartworm disease and treats parasites such as roundworms & hookworms.

How do I give it to my dog?

Extract the Ivomec liquid from the bottle using a syringe with a needle attached. Ivomec is administered by mouth using a syringe (with the needle removed).

You can inject Ivomec into a piece of bread and feed it to your dog. DO NOT inject Ivomec into your dog’s skin.

How much do I give my dog?

For dogs: Dose is 0.0015 to 0.003 mg per pound (0.003 to 0.006 mg/kg) once a month for heartworm prevention; 0.15 mg per pound (0.3 mg/kg) once, then repeat in 14 days for skin parasites; and 0.1 mg per pound (0.2 mg/kg) once for gastrointestinal parasites. (Source: https://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/drug-library/library/ivermectin-ivomec-heartgard-for-dogs-and-cats/)

How often do you give your dog Ivomec?

Ivomec should be used once a month.

How many dogs can I treat with one bottle?

One bottle (50 ml) of IVOMEC 1% Can treat up to 3 dogs for three years.

Storage and shelf-life of Ivomec

Ivomec is to be stored in a cool place, protected from light and moisture.  The shelf-life is three years.

 Shopping list:

  1. IVOMEC 1% Injection for Cattle and Swine (Can be purchased at most feed stores, including tractor supply plus). You can also find it online: Ivomec on Google Shopping. Average cost: $36.49
  2. A 3cc (3 ml) syringe with a needle (May be purchased at your local feed store, including tractor supply plus). The average cost is $1.50


  • BEFORE USING IVERMECTIN, YOU MUST TEST YOUR DOG FOR ADULT HEARTWORMS. Ivomec is not intended to treat adult heartworms. Giving a heartworm preventive to a dog with an adult heartworm infection may be harmful or deadly.
  • DO NOT USE IVOMEC PLUS. Ivomec Plus & other Ivomec products with added benefits can contain ingredients that are harmful to your dog.
  • HIGH DOSAGE WARNING: Ivermectin in high doses can be dangerous, even fatal, to dogs, especially to those with the MDR1 mutation. 

The breeds most affected by the MDR1 mutation are Herding Breed Cross (10% frequency), German Shepherds (10% frequency), Shetland Sheepdogs (15% frequency), English Shepherds (15% frequency), McNab Cattle Dogs (30% frequency),  Silken Windhounds (30% frequency), Australian Shepherds, & Mini Australian Shepherds (50% frequency), Long-haired Whippets (65% frequency), Collies (70% frequency).

  • HOW TO TEST YOUR DOG FOR THE MDR1 MUTATION: Washington State University offers to test for the MDR1 mutation. If you want to get your dog tested for this mutation, you can start by visiting the following URL: http://vcpl.vetmed.wsu.edu/blood-sample.
  • DISCLOSURE: The information provided on this website is to help dog owners save money. If you choose to use this information, you are doing so at your own and your dog’s risk. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has any adverse reactions. These may include but are not limited to: Depression, loss of appetite (anorexia), excessive drooling, vomiting, dilated pupils, lethargy, disorientation, tremors/seizures, inability to stand, difficulty controlling voluntary movement, blindness, slow heartbeat, coma, or respiratory distress.

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