Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1
What is Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 in dogs?
Originally, thought to be specific to the drug Ivermectin, Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 is actually a disease characterised by adverse reactions to multiple drugs by an affected dog. This is an inherited disease that has an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. Affected dogs produce a very diminished level of a specific protein called P-glycoprotein. This protein is an essential part of the blood-brain barrier that limits entry of specific drugs and other compounds into the central nervous system. Dogs affected by Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1, cannot remove these drugs from their central nervous system were these drugs accumulate in the central nervous system causing problems for the dog.
Genetics of Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1
Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 is a result of a defect (mutation) in the MDR1 (also called the ABCB1) gene that causes the dysfunction of a protein called P-glycoprotein. As an autosomal recessive trait, the condition can be passed on from 2 parents that are either carriers or affected by the condition. A clear parent (a dog with 2 normal copies of the gene) will not pass on the full condition to their offspring regardless of what dog they are bred with. Many carrier dogs can still be affected by the same drugs as affected dogs at high dosages of the drugs as they still produce P-glycoprotein, but at lower levels than clear dogs.
Severity of Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 in dogs
Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 is of medium severity as it only damages affected dogs if they are given any of the drugs that will accumulate in the central nervous system. Affected dogs given normally safe doses of these drugs can have a range of reactions from minor adverse effects to death.
What are the symptoms of Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 in dogs?
Symptoms of Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 vary depending on what drugs are given and in what quantities to the affected dog. Symptoms can be allergic reaction-like in the affected dog, but most of the time they are neurological in nature. These include symptoms ranging from mild to excessive salivation, tremors, ataxia (a lack of voluntary muscle control during walking for example), blindness, deafness, anorexia, coma and even death.
Diagnosis of Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 in dogs
Sadly, the most common diagnosis of Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 happens after the dog has already been given one of the common drugs that they are sensitive to and had a reaction. Modern DNA Disease Screening for the mutated MDR1/ABCB1 gene can test dogs for their sensitivity to these drugs before they are administered.
Treatment of dogs with Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1
Treatment is normally supportive care of the Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1 affected dog once they have had a reaction to one of the specific drugs. Preventing the use of these drugs is the best way to protect affected dogs from having any reactions. Aside from Ivermectin for which the condition was originally named, the other drugs include acepromazine, doxorubicin, butorphanol, vincristine, emodepside, moxidectin, metronidazole, loperamide, rifampin, selamectin, milbemycin, vinblastine and erythromycin. Dogs, being dogs, will often eat the faeces of other animals and care must be taken around the faeces of other animals treated with these drugs as the residue in the faeces can be enough to cause serious effects in dogs affected by Ivermectin Sensitivity MDR1. This is especially so with Ivermectin, which is commonly used as a worming treatment for horses and other livestock.
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