What is the best meds. To give for heartworm, hookworm, fleas, ticks, etc.? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question What is the best meds. To give for heartworm, hookworm, fleas, ticks, etc.?

So was looking into Heartguard but read some of the chewables did not work against all strains of heartworm. This was back in 2011 though.

We are currently giving advantage multi. Ht it's the kind you put along their backs in liquid form. We have read that this is very toxic though and not good to use.

Any suggestions? Or should we just stay with the advantage multi?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 05:19 PM
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I suggest you do as much research as possible before you make a decision. Any treatment has risks.

I personally use ivermectin for Heartworm, and Summertime garlic for flea and tick prevention.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 07:38 PM
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I switched to Advantage Multi last year after doing a lot of research -- including looking at the study on resistant strains. I think it's the best product in its class for our area. I'm in an area where HW is endemic, and where there are ivm-resistant strains documented: the Gulf Coast of the United States.

If I were not in an endemic area, and not in an area with documented ivm-resistance (i.e., where you are), I would still be using ivm-based products (Heartgard, Pet Trust, Triheart Plus, Iverheart -- all the same basic product). The reason is not only that it costs 1/3 what Multi costs, but you can use separate the flea prevention from the HW prevention if you want to. Ivermectin has also been used safely at this dose for decades (absent MDR 1 genes) and the doseage in these pills is very tiny. It's the most studied, most widely used HW prevention, and it works effectively for millions of dogs.

Unfortunately, ivermectin is no longer a great option for those of us in the Mississippi Delta, due to the resistance problem that's developing down here. You don't have resistant strains, and may never get them, as you are protected by a long, cold winter.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 08:02 PM
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I use Heartgard Plus for heartworm, roundworms and hookworms. I have never had a problem with Heartgard. I do not like to bundle HW treatment with flea/tick treatment as flea/tick is really not necessary year-round in Chicago or even every month during the time when HW medication is considered necessary in this area. I do HW year-round, but that is because my dog arrived into resuce HW+ so we are extra careful. Also, if I lived where Magwart lived, I would probably use one of the combo treatments because in her area fleas/ticks are a year-round problem.

In Chicago, during the prime flea/tick months, I use Frontline - but, my usage is dependent on the type of activities I am doing with my dog during those months. I have found that if we are largely doing stuff in the city, city parks, city lakes, etc... I haven't needed to administer Frontline. But, if we are going camping/hiking in wilderness areas or on a road trip to areas of the country with larger flea/tick populations, I will administer Frontline before the trip. This strategy has worked for me.

I should add that if I am fostering a dog during flea/tick months, I tend to administer Frontline to both my dog and the foster dog (if the foster dog has not already been given a flea/tick treatment).

Hope this helps

Last edited by LifeofRiley; 08-25-2014 at 08:05 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 09:00 PM
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David and others , please investigate some other preventive that does not have ivermectin


This toxic reaction occurs especially in dogs that are genetically hypersensitive to ivermectin, an anti-parasite medication most commonly used for heartworm prevention, or to treat ear and hair mites, which can lead to mange. Ivermectin prevents or kills parasites by causing neurological damage to the parasite, resulting in paralysis and death for the parasite. But dogs genetically sensitive to the medication have an anomaly that allows the ivermectin to pass the dog’s blood-brain barrier and into its central nervous system, which can be lethal for the animal.
About Ivermectin » Overview
  • Parasitic diseases are common in animals. Parasites can affect the skin, ears, stomach and intestines, and the internal organs including the heart, lungs and liver. Several drugs have been developed to kill or prevent parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites and worms. Ivermectin and related drugs are among the most effective of these.
  • Ivermectin is a parasite control drug. Ivermectin causes neurologic damage to the parasite, resulting in paralysis and death.
  • Ivermectin has been used to prevent parasite infections, as with heartworm prevention, and to treat infections, as with ear mites.
Ivermectin as a Heartworm Preventive Medication in Dogs
Ivermectin is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent heartworm infections in dogs. Products containing Ivermectin are normally administered monthly for heartworm prevention and include medications such as Heartgard®, Iverhart®, Tri-Heart® and many other generic ivermectin-based heartworm preventive medications.
When used as a heartworm preventive medicine, ivermectin is used at much lower dosages than when used for other purposes. When used at the lower heartworm prevention dosages, ivermectin has a much lower potential for side effects than when used at higher dosages and this is the reason that ivermectin is approved for use as a heartworm preventive medication but must be used off-label (in a fashion not approved by the FDA) for many other purposes.
Read more at Suite101: Ivermectin for Dogs: Usages, Safety and Side Effects of Ivermectin in Dogs
Brand Names and Other Names
  • This drug is registered for use in animals only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Ivomec® (Merial), Zimectrin® (Farnam), Eqvalan® (Merial), Heartgard® (Merial), Iverhart® (Virbac) and various generic preparations
Uses of Ivermectin
  • Ivermectin is used to control skin parasites, gastrointestinal parasites and parasites within the bloodstream.
  • Ivermectin prevents development of heartworm disease in dogs and cats.
  • Ivermectin can be used in an extra-label manner to kill microfilaria (microscopic offspring) in heartworm infected dogs.
  • Ivermectin is not effective against tapeworms and liver flukes.
How Ivermectin Is Supplied
  • Ivermectin is available in 10 mg/ml and 2.7 mg/ml injectable form; 0.153 percent and 1.87 percent paste form; 10 mg/ml liquid oral form and 68 mcg, 136 mcg and 272 mcg tablets.
  • Heartgard Plus® and Iverhart® are available in various concentrations of ivermectin combined with pyrantel pamoate.
Dosing Information
  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian. The dose for ivermectin varies from species to species and also depends on the intent of treatment. General dosing guidelines follow.
  • 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.
  • For cats: Dose is 0.012 mg per pound (0.024 mg/kg) once monthly for heartworm prevention.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.
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While the sensitivity to this type of medication is not always guaranteed, the following breeds are most likely to be affected (although not every “sensitive” animal in the breed is affected):
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • English Sheepdog
  • Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
  • Australian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • Long-haired Whippet
  • Silken Windhound
  • Skye Terrier
  • Collie



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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 11:37 PM
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@ Carmen - I believe the only risk in using Ivermectin is for dogs that have the MDR-1 mutation. And, that risk is really only of concern at doses that are far higher than the monthly HW treatment... i.e. doses necessary to treat mange. Magwart is correct, Ivermectin is the most studied and widely used HW preventive.

Last edited by LifeofRiley; 08-25-2014 at 11:43 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 12:08 AM
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In a non-MDR1 dog, I've never seen a GSD have an adverse reaction to ivermectin at the dose in HW prevention products. The shelter I volunteered at gave Ivermectin to close to 200 of them over several years. I know some GSDs are supposed to have MDR1, but we never saw any of them react badly to the ivermectin. Possibilities: (1) MDR1 is very rare in GSDs, or (2) the dose was too low to trigger a reaction, or (3) the reaction was so mild no one noticed it. I'd have expected to see at least occasional reactions in the shelter GSDs treated with ivermectin here, as it's quite commonly used in many shelters in the region (because it's cheap). I'm curious whether any GSDs here on the board have reacted at the (very low) Heartguard-level dose?

I *have* seen a problem in a GSD adolescent that was treated with cattle Ivomec by someone who wanted to save a few dollars by treating the dog with farm medicine--he gave the dog much too high a dose. Overdosing with ivermectin can cause Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which leads eventually to irreversible blindness. I fostered a dog this had happened to--he was going blind due to his prior owner's negligence. It takes far, far more ivermectin to do that than the Heartguard-type products contain, at least in an non-MDR1 dog, according to the ophthalmologist who treated the dog. It might happen when people buy Ivomec at a feed store and think they know how to do the dosing calculation...and end up being wrong. The dog pays the price for the human not being able to do math.

Last edited by Magwart; 08-26-2014 at 12:18 AM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 12:25 AM
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One other point of research -- Washington University's MDR-1 researchers say at Heartguard-level doses, even MDR-1 dogs are safe:
Drugs reported to cause problems in dogs that carry the MDR1 mutation. Information from the VCPL at Washington State University.

  • Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent). While the dose of ivermectin used to prevent heartworm infection is SAFE in dogs with the mutation (6 micrograms per kilogram), higher doses, such as those used for treating mange (300-600 micrograms per kilogram) will cause neurological toxicity in dogs that are homozygous for the MDR1 mutation (mutant/mutant) and can cause toxicity in dogs that are heterozygous for the mutation (mutant/normal).
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info everyone. We will be talking to our vet in the next few weeks as I am having Kato taken infor the heartworm testing (as for some reason they did not do it at his year and a half check up/needles). He has never been tested before so I am crossing my fingers he is ok. We only do the advantage multi from April to October since winter is to cold. And our vet said not to worry to much about heartwork as it's very rare where we live. But that ticks are a much higher concern. Still nervous for his blood test though.

Should I be using the preventative year round if we have really cold winters?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 01:36 AM
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If ticks are a problem, one further thought:

Advantage Multi doesn't protect against ticks. If you separate your HW protection from your flea/tick protection, you could use a product during the summer that would protect against the ticks (Vectra3D or something along those lines). It might be much better targeted to your environmental risks.

Your vet can guide you on this -- and on your seasonal concerns. I have to do year round (we get mosquitoes even in January...), but in Canada, it's quite likely that you do not.
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