German Shepherd Dog Health Tip (Heartworm Medicine)

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Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Today, I thought I would discuss heartworm medicines.  There are a lot of different types of monthly heartworm medicines available for your German Shepherd Dog.  Some treat only heartworms and others treat all worms, while others kill fleas, as well as heartworms.  The common theme to all these medicines is that they are way overpriced.

If you live in certain areas of the country, you must treat your German Shepherd Dog with a heartworm preventative or they will be infected with heartworms.  Heartworms can and will eventually kill your German Shepherd Dog. Even the treatment for heartworms, while very expensive, can and sometimes does result in the death of the dog being treated. Therefore, use a heartworm preventative.

German Shepherd Dogs get heartworms from being bit by infected mosquitoes.  Every time an infected mosquito bites your German Shepherd Dog, the mosquito will leave one microfilaria at the bite site.  This microfilaria migrates through the bite into your German Shepherd Dog’s circulatory system where it develops into a heartworm.  Eventually the heartworm attaches itself to the inside of your German Shepherd Dog’s heart.  Most all heartworm preventatives kill the microfilaria before they can become heartworms and attach themselves to the German Shepherd Dog’s heart

We at Keystone German Shepherds use injectable Ivermectin.  Note: Noromectin is generic for Ivermectin.


Ivermectin is the active ingredient in Heartgard manufactured by Merial and distributed through your veterinarian or online pet supply store at an average cost of $50.00 to $60.00 for a six month supply for a German Shepherd Dog. The other active ingredient is pyrantel, which is for round and hookworms (stomach worms).  I will discuss stomach worms in tomorrows blog.

We purchase the Ivermectin at our feed store and can treat 30 German shepherd Dogs for 12 months at a cost of $33.00.

We cut the Ivermectin with glycol propylene at the ratio of 1:2 Ivermectin to glycol propylene.  We then orally dose our German Shepherd Dogs based on weight at a dose of 0.10 cc/20 pounds, using a 1 cc syringe with the needle removed.

Keystone German Shepherds as well as most all kennels have been using Ivermectin in this manner for over 25 years with no occurrence of heartworms.

We also treat our German Shepherd Dogs every month out of the year because even in January in Oklahoma, we can have a bout of warm weather and have mosquitoes become active for a few days.

Certain breeds of dogs cannot tolerate Ivermectin or its generics, therefore, always consult your veterinarian before using any medicine on your German Shepherd Dog.

Ask me a question and I will provide my opinion.




  1. Gayle Cartwright

    Hey Dean & Patty,
    Since I have bought Niko from you I have been treating him and my two East German/Czechs with Ivermectin which leads to the concern and ask the reason why you cut it with glycol propylene? I was not aware of this. I have been buying from the Feed store.

    I can say they my GSD’s have always been worm free even with the use of Ivermectin. I’m just wondering about this glycol propylene since reading this.
    Gayle Cartwright

    • KeystoneGermanShepherds

      Hi Gayle,

      We cut the ivermectin because it is way to strong to make it easy for dosing. Even at the rate we dose it, we are about four times stronger than Heartgard. If you are using straight ivermectin you can ask your vet what the appropriate dosage would be. If you are are using the straight ivermection and dosing at 0.1 cc per 20 pounds as we do then you are dosing 3 times stronger than what we are dosing our dogs.

      I cannot really say more because of legal reasons. Because I am not a vet it is illegal for me to tell anyone how to dose their dogs. I can just tell people what I do for my dogs.



  2. Gayle Cartwright

    I Read it well and understan it, thank you 🙂

  3. marc

    i have had dogs all my life i cook for my dogs, ive had golden ret, rotties both pairs lived 23 and 25 yrs old, all these dogs i dosed with ivermectin orally, monthly, this is the 1st german shep i have had hes 3 yrs old been on milbegaurd last 7 months in a rescue situation prior to this no one knows what the dog was on, 8 months ago he was tested negative for heartworm thur blood test and put on the milbgaurd, this month nov 2021 i have to choose his heart worm medication, i wanted to know can he be put on ivermectin i cut it .01 cc per 10 pounds orally, however the owners we got the dog from says NO to this iam trying to keep the piece you breed these dogs, i figure you would know…please help me decide on his continued heart worm preventive.. the cost to me at like 30 bucks a pill for the milbegaurd is costly to my family right now its just me and my wife and i do not want to get rid of the dog, but the vets out here are like 65.00 for the vist then medication cost, i already have the ivermectin, hell my brother uses durvet horse paste de wormer for his begals last 30 yrs with no heartworm infestation at all. 1 tube does his dogs 2 times he doses like a 1/4 turn and a pea sized amount to each dog every month, hes got like 35 dogs, were in NC heavy infestation of this parasite here. thanks for you advice, in advance


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