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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

SMP 500 and Ivermectin for dogs: Indications and potential side effects

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(Editor’s Note: A number of pet owners have turned to social media to ask for “remedies” for their pet who has exhibited signs of an illness. An alarming number of netizens have been recommending SMP 500 and Ivermectin when these medicine should only be given if prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. Because of this, we decided to share with you important information on these two medicine, specifically the side effects which can even lead to death if given without proper tests, and without proper diagnosis by a vet, the only person who can tell the owner the correct dosage.)

In the field of veterinary medicine, maintaining the health and welfare of animals frequently requires administering medications to address and prevent a variety of conditions. Two notable medications in this regard are SMP 500 and Ivermectin, which play unique roles in managing and preventing diseases in canines.

Photo sample of SMP 500. (Photo from iStock royalty-free images.

SMP 500: Indications and Usage

SMP 500 is primarily known for its role in treating a variety of infections across different species of animals, including dogs. As highlighted in the Veterinary Products section of The Filipino Vet, SMP 500 is indicated for treating pyogenic complications of canine distemper, meningitis, tonsillitis, metritis, genitourinary infections, peritonitis, and mastitis in small animals like dogs and cats. The broad spectrum of its antibacterial action makes it a valuable tool in veterinary medicine.

The dosage of SMP 500 for dogs, as prescribed, is typically one tablet per 7 kg of body weight, administered twice daily. This can be given orally or by dissolving the tablet in water and given as a drench, depending on the ease of administration and the specific condition of the dog. This flexibility in administration ensures that the medication can be effectively given to dogs of varying sizes and conditions.

Potential Side Effects of SMP 500

While SMP 500 is a beneficial treatment option for a range of bacterial infections, it is important to be aware of potential side effects. Like all antibiotics, there is a possibility of gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea, which are commonly seen in dogs. In rare instances, dogs may experience an allergic reaction to the medication, manifesting in symptoms such as hives, swelling, or respiratory difficulties. It is essential to discontinue the medication and promptly consult a veterinarian if any adverse reactions are noticed.

Furthermore, long-term use of antibiotics, including SMP 500, can lead to antibiotic resistance, making future infections harder to treat. Therefore, it is essential to use this medication strictly as prescribed by a veterinarian to minimize this risk.

A brown dog is being treated in a clinic. (Photo from iStock royalty-free images.)

Ivermectin: Indications and Usage

Ivermectin is another vital medication in veterinary care, primarily used as a parasite preventative. According to Catherine Barnette, DVM, and reviewed by Ghanasyam Bey, DVM, in “Ivermectin for Dogs: A Medication That Can Prevent Heartworm and Other Parasites,” Ivermectin is effective in preventing heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms when administered monthly. It is available as an oral tablet or an injection, making it versatile for different administration preferences.

Besides its preventive role, Ivermectin is also used to treat various parasitic infections, including mange, scabies, nasal mites, and Cheyletiellosis. These treatments are often considered “off-label” uses and may require higher doses than those used for heartworm prevention. The specific dosing regimen depends on the type and severity of the parasitic infection, emphasizing the need for a veterinarian’s guidance.

Potential Side Effects of Ivermectin

Ivermectin is generally safe for most dogs when used as directed, particularly in the low doses found in heartworm preventatives. However, as noted by Barnette and Bey, higher doses of Ivermectin, which might be used for treating active infections, can lead to neurological side effects, especially in dogs with the MDR1 mutation. This genetic mutation, more common in herding breeds such as Collies and Australian Shepherds, makes dogs more sensitive to Ivermectin and other medications, increasing the risk of side effects.

Common side effects at higher doses include dilated pupils, incoordination, a drunken gait, and seizures. These symptoms are rare but can occur if the medication is overdosed or if a dog with the MDR1 mutation receives it. Therefore, genetic testing for the MDR1 mutation is advisable for breeds known to carry this mutation before administering higher doses of Ivermectin.

Another critical point is the potential for serious side effects if a dog accidentally ingests large-animal formulations of Ivermectin, which are much more concentrated. Such incidents can lead to severe toxicity and require immediate veterinary attention.

Comparative Analysis and Conclusion

Both SMP 500 and Ivermectin are invaluable in veterinary medicine, each addressing different health issues in dogs. SMP 500 is a potent antibiotic used for a range of bacterial infections, while Ivermectin is a well-established antiparasitic agent used both preventively and therapeutically.

The primary concern with SMP 500 lies in its potential to cause gastrointestinal upset and allergic reactions, alongside the broader issue of antibiotic resistance. On the other hand, Ivermectin’s safety profile is robust in preventive doses, but higher therapeutic doses require careful monitoring, particularly in breeds with the MDR1 mutation.

The use of SMP 500 and Ivermectin should be tailored to the specific needs of the dog, considering the indications, potential side effects, and the individual dog’s health status. Veterinary guidance is paramount in administering these medications effectively and safely. By adhering to prescribed dosages and being vigilant about potential side effects, pet owners can help ensure the health and well-being of their canine companions.

About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist, writer, and tutor. She has been a solo parent for 17 years now because she is the wife of Jonas Burgos, a Filipino desaparecido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.

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