A VET from Alderholt and Three Legged Cross surgeries is urging horse owners to clean up after they have wormed their animals following the death of a dog who ingested the toxic wormer.

Vet Vaughn Stoman treated the dog, which was brought in by its owner after it began fitting but was unable to save the animal.

The following day the owner remembered she had been worming her horse in the field, with her dogs at her side, before her dog became ill.

Now the surgery is warning horse owners that the active ingredient in the wormer is Ivermectin, which is potentially lethal to dogs and cats.

Val McCarthy of Alderholt and Three Legged Cross surgeries said: “As many of you will know from experience, worming any animal can be a messy business, but with horses, it is obviously on a bigger scale.

“Our client had been administering horse wormer via syringe into the mouth, with the usual resultant spitting and dribbling. Amounts of the wormer had landed on the ground, and dogs being dogs, one had cleaned up.

“Ironically, these things are made to be palatable to help us with the task of giving them regularly, but the strength of the Ivermectin in horse wormer is higher than in products for dogs, and potentially fatal.

“Please be very careful when administering wormers to your horses – whether in the field or stable – make sure that you clean up thoroughly afterwards, and dispose of syringes.”

Symptoms to look out for if a dog has ingested Ivermectin are fitting, shaking, paralysis, vomiting, and dilation of the pupils, convulsion, lethargy and coma.

There is no reversing agent for this form of poisoning, so treatment is supportive and symptomatic, and if successful, can take days, or even weeks before the dog or cat recovers.