Ivermectin for flea control?

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Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby BabyReba » Thu May 05, 2011 9:10 am

To head off concerns before they're even voiced: No, I'm not planning on using Ivermectin for flea control, and I am well aware this is a completely off-label use of the product and of toxicity of this chemical if used improperly.

So Rob and I have become acquainted with an old cattleman/cane farmer here in Central Florida -- he's probably in his 70s and he's been doing this his whole life, and it's a living his family has been at for a couple of generations -- and he has a handful of working dogs. Some kind of Southern curs, not sure what exactly, and neither is he ... they look like bulldog/hound mixes, some of them have corkscrew tails and long-ass ears. Weird-looking dogs, but they work the cattle and hunt hogs and so forth. Seem healthy as horses, a couple of them are rather old and still working. And we noticed that even though they're in and out of houses and barns and fields, they don't seem to be crawling with fleas ... in fact, he claims they rarely ever have flea problems even though fleas are so prevalent here and even spoiled housedogs are often plagued with them. So we asked him what kind of flea preventative he uses and he said "Ivomec." I had never heard of anyone using it that way before, so I asked for more info. He said that once a month, he gives each of his dogs one tenth of a cc per 10 pounds of body weight and it worms them and keeps the fleas at bay.

Has anyone ever heard of using Ivermectin for flea control? I know it's used for lice in livestock, but I've never heard of anyone using it for flea control in a dog ... seems kind of extreme. I didn't want to question the practice to this dude, since he's probably been doing this his whole life, so I just nodded and listened. So I figured I'd try to satisfy my curiosity here on the forum.

Again again: Just curiosity, I am not asking because I am thinking of trying this!
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby mommy2kane » Thu May 05, 2011 9:35 am

Hmmm ... I guess I've heard of people using it for flea control, but I thought it was a myth. You know me -- I use it for heartworm prevention, at a lesser dose than the popular 1/10cc per 10 lbs. To be honest, I don't really do anything for fleas. I know we've used some of the flea/tick shampoos when bathing ... and flea "sprays" occassionally. But that's about it.
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby pblove » Thu May 05, 2011 9:41 am

I have known some of the farmers up here to use it for fleas on their working dogs .
I have not tried it though.
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby Sowilunena » Thu May 05, 2011 9:42 am

Interesting....I have read in other forums (and from horse people) that use the ivermectin deworming that comes in a tube for horses on their dogs because it is much cheaper than the heartworm prevention for dogs (people that have more than 7+ dogs) but all they have told me is for just that deworming. They must build some type of defense I guess for other bugs? I wonder if getting fleas also depends on the blood of the dog? Meaning I have seen dogs that go everywhere and do all sorts of things and they get no flea treatment yet my dog stays out but doesn't go anywhere and he has fleas and I have to keep him on a monthly topical flea treatment.

I am also interested to see what others will post!
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby BabyReba » Thu May 05, 2011 10:02 am

we never had flea problems or fleas when we lived up north, but we moved down here and it's like a plague of fleas. we finally found that Advantix seems to work best for us down here ...

BTW, that tube of Ivermectin horse wormer is not something I'd use for my dogs ... I know people who use it, but you have no way to accurately control how much you're giving, so it seems sketchy and too risky to me. Though I do know a guy whose dog ate a whole tube of it once and lived to tell the tale ...
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby mommy2kane » Thu May 05, 2011 10:12 am

BabyReba wrote:we never had flea problems or fleas when we lived up north, but we moved down here and it's like a plague of fleas. we finally found that Advantix seems to work best for us down here ...


Yea, I guess there's a difference between VA/MD and FL! We've never had an issue with fleas, except the one time we were transporting a dog and that dog had fleas. I was mortified!

BabyReba wrote:BTW, that tube of Ivermectin horse wormer is not something I'd use for my dogs ... I know people who use it, but you have no way to accurately control how much you're giving, so it seems sketchy and too risky to me. Though I do know a guy whose dog ate a whole tube of it once and lived to tell the tale ...


I agree. It's so much easier to measure out the liquid Ivomec than it is the paste. The paste is a crapshoot and I try to dose as accurately as possible. And yes, that dog lived to tell the tale ... but I'd never want to experiance that! Darn dogs!
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu May 05, 2011 1:23 pm

Ivermectin at high doses DOES have some efficacy against fleas... its not great, its not safe, I'd rather people use the nasty OTC products... but it does work.

Selamectin is the active ingredient in revolution and it is related to ivermectin.
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby Mya&theSiebenDackels » Thu May 05, 2011 10:31 pm

When we got our Potbellied pig Elmer we used to own from his breeder(who lived in Florida) he used Ivermectin on all his animals(Pigs, dogs etc.) for worms/fleas. I have heard of it before being used on dogs for flea control. The only animal we ever used Invermectin with were Pot bellied Pigs.
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby BabyReba » Fri May 06, 2011 8:51 am

weird. well, live and learn i guess. i just can't imagine giving my dogs so much ivermectin that enough would be coursing through their blood at all times to kill fleas. creeps me out a bit to think about ...
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri May 06, 2011 2:03 pm

BabyReba wrote:weird. well, live and learn i guess. i just can't imagine giving my dogs so much ivermectin that enough would be coursing through their blood at all times to kill fleas. creeps me out a bit to think about ...


You aren't the only one.
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Re: Ivermectin for flea control?

Postby elegy » Sat May 07, 2011 6:34 am

ivermectin doesn't stay in the body that long, does it?
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