What Is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin has been more commonly discussed recently, causing an uptick in interest in the veterinary drug. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has put together some information to keep you informed and able to keep your pets healthy, happy and safe. Read more to see what it’s used for and what can happen if your pet gets into it.

What Is Ivermectin Used For?

Ivermectin (a drug in the avermectin family) is used for control of parasites in animals. It’s mainly used to treat gastrointestinal and lung parasites and certain external parasites found in cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, cats and swine. It can also be used as heartworm prevention in dogs and cats.

This drug comes in several different formulations including intravenous, oral solutions, paste, topicals, chewable tablets and more.

This drug should only be used and administered to your pet when directed by a veterinarian.

Signs and Symptoms of Overdose in Dogs and Cats

In the case of an overdose in dogs or cats, serious or even fatal signs can occur. Signs can include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Ataxia (impaired balance or coordination)  
  • Vocalization
  • Disorientation
  • Dementia
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Hypothermia
  • Drunkenness
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Dehydration
  • Recumbency (frequent leaning, reclining or resting)
  • Blindness
  • Slow breathing
  • Drooling
  • Coma and death

If you believe your pet may have overdosed on ivermectin or ingested something potentially toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 immediately.

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