Re: The reason for the Ivermectin-sensitive Collie – A deadly gene defect

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Is it really so that none tests his dogs?

That would be a pity. Because – what would they do in case of a serious illness? It´s easy to without Ivomectin – but what about all the other drugs? “MDR” means “multi drug resistance” and  this means a sensibility to more than Ivermectin. As a owner of a dog affected by the defect I had to learn, that I have to be carefull with an unknown number of drugs. I don´t want my dog to be the next dog to verify that a certain drug harms or even kills Collies.

As I have learned this defect means the loss of a certain protein which plays an important role in our metabolism and – as an example – builds the so called blood-brain barrier. This barrier protects our brain against the side effects of certain drugs – like Iveremctin. Without this barrier a dog poisened with Ivermectin may show disorientation, may shake, fall into a coma, die…
But this certain protein – the name is Poly-glycoprotein – is also found in livers, kidneys, testicles and other inner organs. What if there is no Pgp in livers or kidneys or testicles or…? What will drugs do there without this protection? What about collies suffering from kidney problems or even dying of kidney failure? What about the often reported stories about collies dying after an anaesthesia?
May there be a connection between the defect and this?

Up to now too little is known about the consequences if a dog has to go without this protein. Therefore here in Germany there is a project group “MDR1-Defekt” at the university of Gießen.
They have no collies for animal experiments (and I hope they wouldn´t get some) but collect experiences from vets, owners, breeders. As an example they collect medical records about anaesthesias.

Last autumn I visited a lecture about the defect which was hold by members of the project group. There Dr Geyer said that every collie takes part in a great field trial about drugs and the defect. And the collie of a friend took part unvoluntarily because he had to get a pain killer. After a few days liver and kidneys were poisened and they stopped giving this drug at once. A necessary operation was postponed because my friend wouldn´t risk the live of her collie.

So the “ivermectin-sensibilty” means much more. And about this “much more” too little is known. (This makes the defect a very interesting thing for scientists – but not for owners!)
The best way is to own only a dog which is not affected by the defect. And that means a important  task for breeders!

As far as is known today to avoid dogs affected by the defect is very simple – the rule ist: Just take one dog without being affected or being a carrier.

But as more than 30% of the collies are affected by the defect, it is not so easy to find the right dog for special breeding plans. And here our homepage – – will help.
Up to now we have mostly dogs living in Germany, but our homepage is updated nearly every week. We hope for much more tested dogs and test results!

Here in Germany we prefer a blood test. This is offered by the university of Gießen but also by some private laboratories. There shurely will be laboratories in great britain.

More about this defect you can also read on this sides by the collie association:

Perhaps they will know some laboratories offering the test?

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