Getting the Ivermectin Dose Right for Dogs

If you’re a dog owner, you know that keeping your furry friend healthy is a top priority. One aspect of pet care that often gets overlooked is parasite prevention. Ivermectin is a commonly used medication to prevent and treat parasites in dogs, but getting the dose right is crucial to ensure your pet’s safety and effectiveness of the treatment. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about getting the Ivermectin dose right for your beloved canine companion.

If your veterinarian has recommended using ivermectin to treat your dog for a parasite infection or skin condition like mange or demodectic mange (demodicosis), it’s crucial to get the dosage right. Ivermectin can be very effective when used properly, but an incorrect dose can risk serious side effects. This highlights the importance of working with your vet to determine the ideal ivermectin dosage for your dog’s individual needs.

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin belongs to a class of medications called anti-parasitic drugs. These medications, like ivermectin, are used to treat parasitic infections in animals and humans. Ivermectin specifically targets parasites like roundworms, threadworms, and the parasites that cause conditions like mange. By paralyzing and killing parasites, ivermectin helps rid dogs’ bodies of infection and alleviate uncomfortable skin symptoms.

For dogs, ivermectin is most often prescribed in tablet or topical formulations. Tablets are usually given on an empty stomach with water, while topical treatments are applied to the skin directly. Ivermectin should not be given to certain breeds of dogs, like collies and Australian shepherds, as they can have dangerous neurological side effects.

Factors that Determine the Correct Ivermectin Dosage

Correct Ivermectin Dosage

There are a few key factors veterinarians consider when determining the appropriate ivermectin dosage for dogs:

The dog’s body weight – Since ivermectin dosage needs to be calibrated based on body mass, an accurate weight must be obtained. Your veterinarian will need to weigh your dog to decide proper medication amounts.

Purpose of treatment – The reason ivermectin is being given will impact dosage. Higher doses may be used for treating mange than for heartworm prevention, for example.

Route of administration – Tablets and topical solutions require different concentrations and application amounts to achieve effectiveness.

Sensitivity and risk factors – Dogs susceptible to toxicity, like herding breeds, may require lowered doses or alternative treatments. Young and senior dogs may also need dosage adjustments.

Following veterinary guidance is crucial, as medicating with ivermectin incorrectly can be extremely dangerous for dogs.

Understanding Ivermectin Dosage Regulations

To prevent misuse and help veterinarians determine proper dosing, ivermectin regulations state:

  • Ivermectin must be prescribed by a licensed veterinarian
  • It can NOT be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription
  • Prescriptions must include the required dose, route, frequency, and duration

Extralabel use requires justification

This ensures veterinarians consider the unique needs of each patient to arrive at a tailored, safe dosage. It also prevents pet owners from purchasing and giving ivermectin without oversight, helping avoid accidental overdoses.

Ivermectin Dosage Charts for Dogs

While regulations require veterinary guidance on dosage, typical ivermectin dose guidelines based on dog size are as follows:

Ivermectin Oral Dosage Chart for Dogs

Dog Weight Dosage Quantity

  • 5-15 lbs 0.1-0.2 mg/kg 1-2 tablets/chews
  • 15-30 lbs 0.2-0.4 mg/kg 2-4 tablets/chews
  • 30-60 lbs 0.4-0.6 mg/kg 4-6 tablets/chews
  • 60-100 lbs 0.6-1 mg/kg 6-10 tablets/chews
  • Over 100 lbs 0.6 mg/kg, then 0.1 mg/kg/10 lbs body weight 6-10 tablets, then 1 tablet/10 lbs body weight

Ivermectin Topical Dosage Chart for Dogs

Dog Weight Dosage Quantity:

  • Up to 5 lbs 0.05 mL
  • 5-15 lbs 0.1 mL
  • 15-30 lbs 0.2 mL
  • 30-60 lbs 0.3 mL
  • 60-100 lbs 0.4 mL
  • Over 100 lbs 0.5 mL

These standard dosage guidelines provide starting points for veterinarians to tailor as needed, but should NOT replace professional advice. Dosage needs to account for the individual dog and treatment purpose.

Administering Ivermectin Properly & Safely

Ivermectin Properly & Safely

Once the correct ivermectin dosage for your dog has been prescribed, proper administration techniques help avoid medication mishaps:

Oral Tablets

  • Give only as much as prescribed
  • Administer on empty stomach with water
  • Never split/crush tablets without vet consent
  • Monitor for 1-2 hours for side effects

Topical Solutions

  • Part fur at application site to access skin
  • Apply ONLY amount prescribed
  • Do not allow dogs to lick solution off
  • Check site in 4-6 hours for redness

Carefully following your veterinarian’s dosage directions and monitoring your dog after giving ivermectin is crucial. While a properly calculated dose is very safe and effective, too much ivermectin can cause neurological toxicity. Contact your vet immediately if your dog experiences trembling, disorientation, or dilated pupils after taking ivermectin.

The takeaways on ivermectin dosage for dogs:

  • Have your veterinarian weigh your dog and determine dosage
  • Never give ivermectin without a prescription and dosing recommendation
  • Carefully follow prescribed dose and treatment guidelines
  • Monitor your dog after administration

Ask your vet with any dosage or administration questions

Following these tips will help ensure your dog benefits from ivermectin safely so this medication can do its important job. Work closely with your veterinarian for ongoing guidance about the ideal ivermectin dosage for your canine companion.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What should I do if I accidentally overdose my dog with Ivermectin?

If you suspect an overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance and assistance in managing any potential adverse effects.

  1. Can I use Ivermectin meant for horses on my dog?

No, it’s essential to use only veterinary-approved medications specifically formulated for dogs and follow your vet’s recommendations for dosage and administration.

  1. How often should I administer Ivermectin to my dog?

The frequency of administration depends on the type of parasites being treated and your veterinarian’s instructions. Follow the prescribed schedule diligently for optimal results.

  1. Are there any natural alternatives to Ivermectin for treating parasites in dogs?

While some natural remedies may offer limited effectiveness against certain parasites, they are generally not as reliable or potent as veterinary-approved medications like Ivermectin.

  1. Can Ivermectin be used as a preventive measure against parasites in dogs?

Yes, Ivermectin can be used preventively to protect dogs against heartworms and certain other parasites. However, it’s essential to follow your vet’s recommendations for dosage and administration frequency to ensure effectiveness and safety.


Ensuring the right Ivermectin dose for your dog is essential for maintaining their health and well-being. By understanding the factors influencing dosing and following your veterinarian’s guidance, you can effectively prevent and treat parasites while keeping your furry friend safe. Remember, when it comes to your pet’s health, always prioritize safety and consult with a professional for personalized recommendations.

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