Efficacy of ivermectin chewable tablets and two new ivermectin tablet formulations against Dirofilaria immitis larvae in dogs

Allan J. Paul From the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (Paul, Todd, French, Wallig), Animal Science Research, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, PO Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065 (Plue, Wallace), and Howell Branch Animal Clinic, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Acre).

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Kenneth S. Todd Jr. From the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (Paul, Todd, French, Wallig), Animal Science Research, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, PO Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065 (Plue, Wallace), and Howell Branch Animal Clinic, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Acre).

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Kenneth E. Acre Sr. From the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (Paul, Todd, French, Wallig), Animal Science Research, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, PO Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065 (Plue, Wallace), and Howell Branch Animal Clinic, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Acre).

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Raymond E. Plue From the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (Paul, Todd, French, Wallig), Animal Science Research, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, PO Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065 (Plue, Wallace), and Howell Branch Animal Clinic, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Acre).

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Dennis H. Wallace From the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (Paul, Todd, French, Wallig), Animal Science Research, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, PO Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065 (Plue, Wallace), and Howell Branch Animal Clinic, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Acre).

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Richard A. French From the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (Paul, Todd, French, Wallig), Animal Science Research, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, PO Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065 (Plue, Wallace), and Howell Branch Animal Clinic, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Acre).

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Matthew A. Wallig From the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (Paul, Todd, French, Wallig), Animal Science Research, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, PO Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065 (Plue, Wallace), and Howell Branch Animal Clinic, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Acre).

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SUMMARY

One hundred four heartworm-free Beagles < 1 year old were studied to determine the efficacy of ivermectin chewable tablets and of 2 other ivermectin tablet formulations against heartworm larvae. At 30 days after sc inoculation of dogs with infective Dirofilaria immitis larvae, all ivermectin formulations were given orally at dosage of 6 μg/kg of body weight. The ivermectin chewable tablets also were given orally at dosage of 2 and 6 μg/kg at 30 and 45 days, respectively, after injection of larvae. Replicates of 6 or 8 dogs in each study were formed on the basis of gender and body weight and, within replicates, were randomly allocated to treatment groups. At 30 days after injection of larvae, the additional dogs (in replicates of 8) were assigned to the control group and to the group given ivermectin chewable tablets at dosage of 6 μg/kg. All dogs were housed individually. Necropsy was performed approximately 5 or 6 months after larvae were administered.

In both trials, all control dogs had heartworms at necropsy (Univerity of Illinois—geometric mean, 35.0; Florida—geometric mean, 26.1). In both trials, the ivermectin chewable tablet (6 μg/kg) and both tablet formulations (6 μg/kg) given at 30 days after larval injection, and the chewable formulation (6 μg/kg) given at 45 days after larval injection were 100% effective (P < 0.01) in preventing development of induced infection with D immitis. Of 8 dogs at the University of Illinois that were given ivermectin chewable tablets (2 μg/kg) at 30 days after larval injection, 6 had heartworms (geometric mean, 2.25; efficacy, 93.6%; P < 0.01) and 5 of 7 dogs treated similarly in Florida had heartworms (geometric mean, 4.4; efficacy, 83.3%; P < 0.05).

Drug-related adverse reactions were not observed in either trial.

SUMMARY

One hundred four heartworm-free Beagles < 1 year old were studied to determine the efficacy of ivermectin chewable tablets and of 2 other ivermectin tablet formulations against heartworm larvae. At 30 days after sc inoculation of dogs with infective Dirofilaria immitis larvae, all ivermectin formulations were given orally at dosage of 6 μg/kg of body weight. The ivermectin chewable tablets also were given orally at dosage of 2 and 6 μg/kg at 30 and 45 days, respectively, after injection of larvae. Replicates of 6 or 8 dogs in each study were formed on the basis of gender and body weight and, within replicates, were randomly allocated to treatment groups. At 30 days after injection of larvae, the additional dogs (in replicates of 8) were assigned to the control group and to the group given ivermectin chewable tablets at dosage of 6 μg/kg. All dogs were housed individually. Necropsy was performed approximately 5 or 6 months after larvae were administered.

In both trials, all control dogs had heartworms at necropsy (Univerity of Illinois—geometric mean, 35.0; Florida—geometric mean, 26.1). In both trials, the ivermectin chewable tablet (6 μg/kg) and both tablet formulations (6 μg/kg) given at 30 days after larval injection, and the chewable formulation (6 μg/kg) given at 45 days after larval injection were 100% effective (P < 0.01) in preventing development of induced infection with D immitis. Of 8 dogs at the University of Illinois that were given ivermectin chewable tablets (2 μg/kg) at 30 days after larval injection, 6 had heartworms (geometric mean, 2.25; efficacy, 93.6%; P < 0.01) and 5 of 7 dogs treated similarly in Florida had heartworms (geometric mean, 4.4; efficacy, 83.3%; P < 0.05).

Drug-related adverse reactions were not observed in either trial.

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