This morning in Sunday clinic in Portarlington I have treated two cases of suspected canine Lungworm infection. It's a minor epidemic at this stage. When new pathogens or parasites emerge in the animal kingdom they propagate with impunity until medical treatments, host immunity or preventive controls catch up.
Vets, Doctors and Scientists share a common culture of learnng and vigilance in the face of evolving pestilence.At this time we, the veterinary profession are winning the war against Lungworm. Round one. Advocate is the simple and effective treatment and prevention against the Angiostrongylus Vasorum parasite. There are no miracle drugs in this life however. Medicines are only as effective as the protocols underpinning their use. By this I mean, in the case of Advocate for example, the pipette used must be the right dosage for your dogs weight and must be used monthly to prevent parasites developing partial resistance.
If your dog has signs of Angiostrongylus infection such as anaemia and coughing Vets may use other drugs such as Ivermectin or Moxidectin which can both be administered orally and by injection as additional treatments to accompany the use of Advocate.
Ivermectin is one of the oldest drugs of a group called Anthelmintics which control internal and external parasites in animals. Ivermectin is still very effective and widely usd. There is however an unusual genetic exception to its use. Dogs of Collie blood mostly have a genetic intolerance to Ivermectin and its mistaken use in these dogs has had fatal consequences in the past. Dogs with this genetic intolerance to Ivermectin include Collies (Rough and Border), shetland sheepdogs, minitiature shelties, Australian shepherd dogs, old English Sheepdogs and any crossbreed of these.
Lets face it- using ivermectin in any but the sickest of dogs is risky because every Heinz 57 in Ireland has some collie blood in them somewhere. Even the ones who dont look the least like sheepdogs.
Moxidectin is a newer generation derived avermectin and is contained in Advocate. It has the benefits of its older relative without any risk to dogs carrying the susceptible gene.
I can reassure any concerned collie owner that Advocate is safe to use in all dogs even the bluest blooded collie.