Ivermectin is a common ingredient in heartworm prevention, but perhaps you’ve heard it’s unsafe for certain dog breeds.

In this episode of Ask Dr. Andy, Dr. Roark discusses the science behind this common question.

1. Every breed should be able to have ivermectin… if dosed properly.

via GIPHY | Watch the full video below!

Ivermectin can be toxic if given in high doses. This is why it’s important to use a known brand that has been prescribed to your pet by a trusted veterinarian.

2. Potentially sensitive breeds can be tested prior to giving ivermectin.

via GIPHY | Watch the full video below!

There are several breeds, listed below, that are more likely to have a genetic mutation that could cause ivermectin sensitivity. If you have one of these breeds, you can ask your veterinarian about testing for that mutation first:

  • Australian shepherds
  • Miniature Australian shepherds
  • Collies
  • English shepherds
  • Longhaired whippets
  • McNabs
  • Old English sheepdogs
  • Shetland sheepdogs
  • Silken windhounds
  • German shepherd dogs

Want to know more?

It’s important to keep your pet safe from heartworm. Find out more by watching the full episode of Ask Dr. Andy now:


Subscribe to the Cone of Shame channel on YouTube for more information on keeping your pet healthy.


Danielle K. Lambert Archer headshotDanielle is a veterinary practice manager and the founder of SnoutSchool.com, a website dedicated to teaching veterinary hospitals to use social media effectively. You can get her 5 favorite social media tools here, or follow her on social media to see excessive photos of her Brussels Griffon. She’s @DanielleSnout on Snapchat, Instagram & Twitter.