got a puppy! What do I need to know about dewormers/eating horse poop?
Our puppy is now 5 months old and venturing down to the barn with me to do barn chores. The alluring manure pile has caught her attention, and while I try to get her away from it, she has grabbed a bite or two.
I recall reading about ivermectin and dogs on the board. I follow a deworming schedule based on my vet's recs and regular fecal checks.
While I am diligent about throwing away the tubes in a place she could not get into them, what about the drugs coming out in the manure and her sneaking a bite from the manure pile afterwards?
I have never gotten a definitive answer on that. I would discourage poop eating, but I haven't heard of ivermectin toxicity from a dog eating tainted poop. I did ask about it at the vet school, after my dog had ivermectin poisoning, and they also said it was theoretically possible, but they had never heard of a case.
Some dogs have a mutation which affects their ability to clear ivermectin and several other medications from their systems. Consequently, they overdose much more easily than other dogs. Herding breeds are most likely to have this mutation, but I've heard of it in Jack Russells and other breeds not normally associated with the problem. THERE IS A TEST FOR THE MUTATION. Just get the darned test instead of speculating on internet lore about whether having white feet puts the dog at risk, etc.
One of my friends spent several thousand dollars on vet care after her dog licked up a dribble of wormer which had landed on the barn floor. The test would have been far cheaper; she would have taken extra precautions around this dog had she been aware of the danger.
If you are really concerned, there is a product called Forbid that you can feed to the horses which will make their poop taste icky. Maybe a bite or two one time would be enough to deter your pup, depending on his personality? You would have to be able to feed it to any horse whose poop he could eat, which may be tough in a boarding situation? Probably not the best solution, however. I do know that some dewormer is expelled in feces, however, as it can have a detrimental effect on dung beetles, etc.
Heartguard is made of ivermectin and pyrantel, the two most common horse de wormers. The chances that your pup will od from munching poop are low, but I would talk to the vet about the test if you a really concerned.