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Looking at puppy plans thru vet. It comes with Heartgard. Some say safe, others not. Aside from the fact I don't know that I want chemicals in her every month.
What do y'all Aussie, Collie, etc people think?
 

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I have my GSD, who has not been tested for the MDR-1 mutation, on an ivermectin-based heartworm prevention. Seriously, heartworm isn't something you want to fool around with. They need to be on prevention.
 

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Brand name commercial heartworm preventative treatments such as Heartgard (and the generics like Tri Heart and Iverhart), Revolution, Interceptor etc are considered safe dosages for MDR1 mutant/mutant dogs.

The major risks are from using anti parasite meds in high doses for other reasons like demodectic mange, from using more then one drug at a time (it is NOT just anti parasiticals that are an issue with mdr1), or needing to use the heartworm drugs at the dose required to kill off adult worms

That last is a major point because not using a monthly or regularly scheduled preventative risks heartworms and the huge danger of killing them off; a danger for any breed but worse for drug sensitive dogs.

Some more info
 

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Oh yeah, if there's heartworm at all where you are, preventative isn't optional. And I say that as someone who also limits chemical treatments where possible (eg my dogs are only de-wormed if there's evidence of a parasite load, rather than just doing it routinely). The vet-approved preventatives are very safe; the treatment for heartworm is much harsher in comparison. Even for dogs without MDR1 to contend with. These worms have literally taken up residence in the dog's heart at this point, and while many dogs survive treatment, it's really hard on them physically. Even the 'fast kill' method requires a month or more of extremely strict crate rest/limited activity because of the stress it puts on the circulatory system.

Additionally if you give heartworm preventative as prescribed and your dog still manages to get it (which is extremely rare, to my understanding), these companies will cover your dog's treatment costs.

I'd still get her tested for the MDR1 mutation, since it impacts quite a few things as Shell mentioned.
 

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FWIW. My mini-schnauzer is on monthly heart worm preventative meds. The med contains 68 mcg Ivermectin. That is 68 micrograms in a 17 lb dog. I only use this during the active mosquito season.

Ivermectin in this low dose is beneficial to prevent heart worms without determent to the dog.

Do a bit of research on Ivermectin and discuss with your Vet.
 

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I thought there were non-ivermectin heartworm preventatives?
There are. But while people focus on ivermectin, other common heartworm drugs are of the same class and have the same basic risks (or, not so much risks when given at HW preventative dosage)

selamectin is active ingredient in Revolution, a topical hw med

milbemycin is the active ingredient in Interceptor, Sentinal and Trifexis
Both are in the class of drugs that mdr1 mu/mu genes change how they pass the blood brain barrier.

Ivermectin is used at high doses for mange while the others are not and that IS a risk to affected dogs.
Its also used as a livestock dewormer and dogs that eat the livestock poop can get a dangerous dose of it.
Its also probably the only HW drug that people use off-label without a script and thus with a much higher chance of messing up the doseage
 

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Thanks for the info. I'm familiar with ivermectin - horses all my life - but had vague recollections of other canine heartworm preventatives and wondered if they were safer for collies.
 

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Looking at puppy plans thru vet. It comes with Heartgard. Some say safe, others not. Aside from the fact I don't know that I want chemicals in her every month.
What do y'all Aussie, Collie, etc people think?
Hi Aussie Love,

As the others have stated, many heartworm preventatives contain ivermectin while some don't but it is best to check with what your Veterinarian recommends. The doses of Ivermectin in these heartworm preventative products are very low and can be used safely on dogs with this mutation. The labeled doses are under the toxic levels. That being said, Heartgard Plus should be ok for use on your pet. But please check with your Veterinarian.

However, please keep in mind that ivermectin can be risky when treating for manges or ear mites for dogs with the mutation. I would recommend getting a genetic test done to confirm.
 

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Thanks for the info. I'm familiar with ivermectin - horses all my life - but had vague recollections of other canine heartworm preventatives and wondered if they were safer for collies.
I have a Collie and after reading about several dying on the West Coast from Ivermectin used in Heart guard [Collies one of few breeds with the problem gene are unable to eliminate the ivermectin from the brain area]. I decided to have my new rescue Collie tested, after Pfizer discontinued their ivermectin free pills, which I think was around $70 and it came back negative. Worth my peace of mind and have used Heart guard now for 8 years with no problem. I am not a fan of topicals after speaking with a few Vets but am also not an expert.
 
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