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Ivermectin Alternatives for Dogs

| Updated September 26, 2017

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that treats a variety of parasite problems in dogs, including demodectic mange and scabies, according to veterinarians at Mar Vista Animal Medical Center in Los Angeles. Ivermectin is also the ingredient in certain preventative medications, such as monthly flea and tick preventatives. Certain herding breeds, such as collies, Shetland sheepdogs, Australian shepherds and old English sheepdogs, are sensitive to ivermectin. Luckily, there are alternatives from which to choose when medicating your dog.


Amitraz is a type of dip that is a more traditional way to treat dog mange and scabies. The Mar Vista Animal Medical Center recommends bathing your dog with benzoyl peroxide before applying an amitraz dip to clear up skin infections and open the hair follicles, making the dip more effective at penetrating the parasites. While wearing gloves, apply the dip to your dog with a sponge and allow it to dry. Apply an amitraz dip to your dog every two weeks until the parasites have disappeared. Do not use amitraz on toy breeds or dogs less than four months old.

Milbemycin Oxime

Milbemycin oxime is the main ingredient in certain monthly canine heartworm preventative drugs. Milbemycin oxime can also control hookworms, roundworms and whipworms, according to Doctors Foster and Smith Pharmacy. The drug also treats demodectic mange, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. Possible side effects include depression, lethargy, vomiting, staggering, loss of appetite, diarrhea, seizures, weakness and excessive salivation. Side effects are rare at the recommended dosage.


Selamectin is another anti-parasite medication that is the main ingredient in certain flea, tick and heartworm preventative medications. Selamectin also kills ear mites and sarcoptic mange (scabies), according to veterinarian Dawn Ruben of the Pet Place website. Selamectin works by interfering with the nervous systems of parasites, which results in their death. Side effects are rare but include loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and muscle tremors.