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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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A dog ate 4 heartworm pills in around 5 minutes ago and

Customer Question

A dog ate 4 heartworm pills in around 5 minutes ago and another one around 3 hours ago. Will she be poisioned and what should I do.
Heatguard by Merial Limited
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 1 year ago.

Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.

How much does she weigh?

What size Heartgard pills did she ingest?

What breed of dog is she?

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 1 year ago.

Hello again - I see that you have not been able to reply to my questions yet. I will be going offline soon and wanted to provide you with an answer just in case you are online when I am offline.

The good news is that Heartgard pills are very safe for dogs even when more then one pill is ingested. Most dogs can eat an entire 12 pack in one day without any signs of toxicity at all. The main medication in Heartgard pills is ivermectin. The amount of ivermectin in the heart worm pills is very low. To give you an example of how low. Many vets will use ivermectin to treat dogs will a skin mite called Demodex. The dose of this skin mite is more then 100 times the dose that is in the heart worm preventive. Therefore typically eating 5 Heartgard pills in one day is very safe.

The only exception would be if she is a herding breed such as a Collie, Australian Shepherd, or Sheltie. These breeds can be much more sensitive to the ivermectin. These breeds can potentially have a gene that does not allow them to eliminate ivermectin very well which can cause a toxicity. As long as she is not one of these breeds she really should be fine. If she is a Collie or other herding breed then I would recommend taking her to an emergency vet to get more help tonight since this medication could potentially be toxic.