Why should we be careful when giving drugs like Ivermectin or Prazimec-D to dogs suffering from skin diseases?

Misleading Social

Stray dogs are common in many countries worldwide and are a common sight in the South-Asian region. Some of these dogs are also seen suffering from various diseases. Among them, scabies, rash infections, etc., are prominent. We often come across many Samaritans who also like to help such dogs.

In such a background, social media posts have been shared for several years, claiming that one of the easiest and most effective ways to help these dogs would be to provide them with drugs like Ivermectin and Prazimec-D.

Can any dog ​​suffering from skin or parasite disease be given these drugs? Let’s take a look at the claims in detail first.

Social Media Posts 

Along with a picture of a dog suffering from skin disease, an image of a drug called Ivermectin was shared, urging the public to provide dogs with this cost-effective medicine, as it would bring significant relief to the dogs.

Facebook | Archived

Many had welcomed this message seen by the user comments. We also noticed Sinhala language posts with similar narrations about Ivermectin, with some of the posts mentioning a similar wonder drug called Prazimec- D, as a cure for skin-related diseases linked to dogs.

Fact Check

We first investigated about these types of drugs and how they can be given to animals.

Ivermectin

This drug is used as a treatment for helminths and other infections caused by internal and external parasites found in animals. But it is advised to act on veterinarians’ recommendations when giving this medicine to animals.

Ivermectin can be given with or without food. It is available as capsules/tablets or liquid. In all cases, a single dose of Ivermectin is insufficient, and it is vital to administer doses at regular intervals as veterinarians recommend.

However, the dosage varies depending on the dog breed. Being overdosed could lead to nervous system inefficiencies and complications such as vomiting and dysentery. Therefore, it is imperative to get the recommendation of a veterinarian while giving this medicine. More details about this can be read here | Archived.

Explainer: Ivermectin as a cure for Covid 19…? Find out the Facts

Prazimec – D 

Prazimec-D is used against parasites. It is also used to treat internal and external parasites such as worm infections, ticks, and other parasitic infections. Again, the dose depends on the dog’s weight and other factors. More details about this can be read here | Archived.

Veterinarian Achini Athapaththu 

Veterinarian Achini Athapattu had given a lengthy explanation regarding the administration of Prazimec D to dogs. She also points out a number of factors need to be considered administering these drugs and that certain types of dogs could get poisoned by these drugs too. Also, she says that this medicine is unsuitable for rashes caused by hormones or fungal infections and is more suitable for rashes caused by mites.

Also, Veterinarian Achini emphasizes that it is essential to get proper veterinary advice before giving this medicine. Some animals could develop resistance to these drugs if given in more significant quantities. The related explanatory video from the Sinhala language can be watched here.

Views of some other Veterinarians 

Veterinarian W A D C H Wickramasinghe, who shared his views with Factcrescendo Sri Lanka, said that the economic situation of a crisis-hit country like Sri Lanka, lack of veterinarians, etc., could pave the way for the prevalence of such social media posts. But he said it is risky to give these two types of drugs to dogs without veterinary recommendations.

He said we care about several vital factors, such as the age of the dogs, existing medical conditions, pregnancy, etc. which need to be considered when administering Prazimec-D medicine. He also emphasized that Ivermectin relieves some rash diseases but using it without a doctor’s prescription for all rash-related conditions is risky.

Commenting on this, Sri Lanka Veterinary Association Secretary Dr. Chamari Kannangara too stressed that it is risky to use these drugs without medical approval. She said a high dose of Ivermectin taken by mistake could have serious consequences.

The Sinhala language article on this topic can be reached here

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Conclusion

Therefore, although the drugs Prazimec-D and Ivermectin can be given to dogs suffering from skin-related diseases with good results in certain cases, generalizing these drugs for all parasitic infections and skin diseases related to dogs, is not only misleading but could be risky too. It is always advised to seek veterinarians’ recommendations before giving these drugs.

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Title:Why should we be careful when giving drugs like Ivermectin or Prazimec-D to dogs suffering from skin diseases?

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Misleading

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