Not to open up old wounds, but I have recently become familiar with the events that took place at CG a few months ago regarding ivermectin dosages.
Personally, I´m very precise and I try to be as accurate as possible with respect to everything, not just guinea pigs. So I know you´re the right person to ask about this. That´s why I´m posting this question here and not there.
My question is not so much with the ratio of how much Zimecterin to water there should be in the mix, but in the water itself. Is it really ok to use water or vegetable oil instead of propylene glycol? I know you said that water and oil mixtures shouldn´t be stored for future use, but I just wanted to double check with you so I can come up with the best mixture possible for my piggies.
Second, when I apply the solution topically, I´m assuming the best way for me to do that is to put 0.25 CC of the solution on the bald spot behind each ear and rub it in? I remember reading a few weeks ago that someone suggested this, but I don´t remember who or where. That was before I realized I would be affected by it. Also, would it be wiser to use 0.30 CC on each ear, because the dosages are being administered separately (one behind each ear)? Or do you think that´s risking overdose? I don´t want to overdose them, but I also want to make sure they get enough ivermectin in their systems to be effective. My gut instinct says that there´s less chance of overdose administering topically, rather than orally, but I could be wrong.
Finally, I know that the cage and all the bedding has to be cleaned. Does it have to be changed upon each treatment? Or can I just clean it out after the 2nd treatment? I´m only planning on giving 2 treatments because Cream is only showing very slight symptoms and Root Beer isn´t showing any at all. They have an entire 5 X 2 grid cage to themselves, so it takes a while to get dirty. I do spot cleaning all the time, but I typically don´t change the entire bedding that often.
Thanks so much for your help.
P.S. Walnut´s lump is getting smaller every day, and it hasn´t been drained professionally with a needle since we took him to the vet on March 7. Seems as if the $294 visit is paying off. He´s still on tribrissen and will be until the bottle is empty.
As for what to mix the horse paste with, I have heard people say that the propylene glycol mixes best. I read in one of the reference books that it supposedly is water soluble, so I threw that one in, and my vet friend prefers vegetable oil because it is safer than propylene glycol. You might have problems getting a good suspension with the oil or water (I really don´t know which one would work best if you are not using the propylene glycol). You would have to see for yourself and report back. I only included oral dosing so no one would mix up topical (at 0.5mg/kg) vs. oral (at 0.2mg/kg) dosing
I have only personally used the injectable and only mixed it with canola oil. I had to mix it very thoroughly just before I drew the dose and it would separate on standing. The propylene glycol is one of the two ingredients that the injectable is already mixed with so using that to dilute it further is like adding water to juice and would mix automatically.
These days I use the injectable at full strength in very tiny measured amounts topically and calculate a topical dose at 0.5mg/kg.
I tend to think with the horse paste you will be best off giving it orally. If it is a paste and diluted, a larger volume would be put on the animal and it would be rather oily. I first tried the injectable diluted topically and it was rather messy. The pour-on that is commonly sold is half the strength of the injectable.
I did a general cleaning just before I gave them the dose. It is systemic and works for a while so stray bugs (one would think) would be killed. If you choose to administer three treatments at 10 days apart, it might catch any stray bugs.
Remember the safest thing to do is always to have a vet do this. The notes I have are for reference. Read the ivermectin page thoroughly to understand how the dosing is done. Basically, you have a product with so much drug that is suspended in a solution and a certain volume contains a certain amount of drug. You have a dose rate that is specified in miligrams per kilogram of pig. So you need to figure out how much of the drug your pig needs and then figure out what volume of the drug that has the correct dose in mg. I suggested diluting the ivermectin so it would be easier to measure and give a more accurate dose orally.
I hope you can figure out what I am saying and decide what you want to do from this.
I recently used Ivomec Drench (for sheep) topically at the dosage Lynx figured out for me. It worked very well, with hardly any greasiness on the coat. I was able to put a drop behind each ear and then a few drops down the back using a small syringe. It was much easier than fighting the pigs trying to get it in their mouths.
I let it sit for about a minute, until it stopped bubbling, and carefully measured out 21.75 cc of extremely hot (but no longer boiling) water and put it in a small jar. I figured the volume of the paste was around 1.5 cc, but just to be safe, I only counted 1.0 cc when making the solution.
Then I measured out enough ivermectin to use on a 250 pound horse (22.74 mg) using the measurements on the Zimecterin syringe, and shook VIGOROUSLY for at least 30 to 45 seconds. I’m a pretty big guy, and I was able to shake it with a lot of force. It seemed to mix fine with good consistency.
I only had 2 pigs to treat, so I was able to finish the entire job in less than 5 minutes. They sure love that sugar-laced vitamin C syrup. Once I had the ivermectin in the syringe, I filled the rest of the empty space with the C syrup to make it taste good. I shot the full 1.0 cc (only 0.2 cc of it was the ivermectin mix - each pig weighs between 950-1000 g) into each of their mouths, and then dumped the excess ivermectin/water mix down the drain. I really don’t have any idea how the chemicals would react if allowed to sit longer.
I think that as long as you use it quickly after mixing, water is a very good (and safe) option to mix with the horse paste. Obviously, like Lynx, I tend to err on the side of caution. But in this particular case, I felt that I knew exactly what I was doing and the benefit significantly outweighed the risk. I double checked all of the calculations on the info page, and then went ahead with the procedure. I don’t want to sound like a preacher, but no one should do this on their own unless they are TOTALLY confident that they’re doing it right.
After giving them the medicine, I replaced all the bedding where they sleep, under their hideaway houses. I also mixed up the bedding in the remainder of the cage, which is still relatively clean, because I laid it down only 2 days ago. When I give them their next round of ivermectin on March 24, I will completely change all the bedding to make sure the medicine works properly and the mites don’t come back.
The only way I could have done this more accurately would be to use a scale to measure out 1.216 grams of the paste on a scale (1/5 of the total 6.08 grams in the tube used to treat a 1250 pound horse) instead of using the syringe that the paste comes packaged in to make the measurement. In fact, if I had a good enough scale, I could have measured a much smaller amount of paste, mixed it with less water, gotten the same concentration of ivermectin, and wasted a lot less of the paste. But once again, and I´m sure Lynx will concur, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS WITHOUT KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT YOU´RE DOING, and if you have ANY doubt in your mind whatsoever, GO TO THE VET. A sick piggy with a $150 vet bill is better than a dead piggy.
And yes, it is very, very important you thoroughly understand how the math was done and how the proper dose is figured. That´s why I tried to make it as absolutely clear as I could.
- For the love of my girls!
I think these piggies are more confusing than my kids! I just dosed them all and every time I do I check and recheck and recheck again to make sure I am giving the right amount. I think I am becoming neurotic about Ivermectin! The stuff works wonders though. I have 3 happy piggers to show it!
Lynx... how many treatments is the norm these days? Do you treat any of your pigs once a month as a preventative?
I treat mine when I think there may be a problem, not routinely. In the two plus years I have had pigs, perhaps four times. First, with a couple patches of hairloss on Nina´s end, also if there was general hair loss (in one case I think it was ovarian cysts instead) or excessive scratching and for the fur mites.
I have given 3 or 4 doses if it looks like it would help.
- For the love of my girls!
I was just thinking that myself. As long as it can´t harm the piggies, the more mite-killer you use the better it will be.
The thing is, without an extremely fine-tuned scale that can measure to 0.001 grams, I can only make 5 treatments out of a $17 tube of the horse paste. But I guess that even without a scale, 25 weeks of treatment (for up to 105 pigs per week, if I ever had that many ) is still cheaper than a single vet visit. And that´s paying a high markup (15.95 + tax) for a tube that should really be priced around $12.
I think I´m going to give 3 treatments to the girls, and 3 treatments to the boys. I´ll start the boys´ first treatment in 2 1/2 weeks at the same time the girls get their last treatment. That will use up the 5 treatments from the tube I bought today. It will also give the boys extra time to gain some more weight, although they´re all already around a pound. Walnut is the biggest, and he weighed in at 522 grams when we took him in on March 7 for the blister on his ear. They´ll be exactly 11 weeks when they get their first treatment.
After I rid the entire herd of mites this time, I´m planning to do preventative maintance in the future, but I´m not sure of the best method. If you give it once a month, I´d assume they should only get one treatment? Or would it better to give them 2 doses, 10 days apart, and wait 2-3 months between preventative treatments?
My local store sells the tubes of horsepaste for about $10 a tube.
BTW, how many mg are there in the 50cc bottles, and where can I get them online?