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

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    Collies react more sensitively to certain medical substances like Ivermectin. This was already detected by breeders years ago – some of their dogs died. They talked about “the ivermectin-sensitive Collie” and they were concerned about this and asked their vets.
    So in several countries, research was conducted.
    In 2001 in the USA, the reason for this sensitivity was discovered: A gene defect named MDR1-defect.
    And because there now is a test for this defect, more facts could be gathered.

    It is now known that especially the rough and the smooth collie are affected by this defect, but also other sheepdogs like the Shetland Sheepdog or the Australian Shepherd.
    Then it became known that not only Ivermectin, but many other medical substances can cause unwelcome side effects – some of them fatal.
    And the lists showing this medical substances are still growing.

    I myself have lost a dog due to a wrong drug. And now my new Collie is affected by the MDR1-defect. Therefore I know what I perhaps have to expect. And I have informed myself.

    I beg you: Test your dogs! Inform your vets! Still too many people do not know anything about the gene defect.
    The test is offered by some private laboratories.

    Informations about the defect you will find here:
    And here you will find a list with dangerous drugs:

    Here in Germany the University of Gießen collects informations about experiences with wrong drugs.
    For more informations please look here:…t_einsender.php
    (Unfortunately up to now it´s only in German.)

    Knowing how difficult it may be for a vet to treat a dog affected by the defect in case of a serious illness my hope is, that in the near future no dog affected by the defect will be born. And there are already some breeders who want to consider this defect in their breeding plans. They look for information and for suitable dogs.

    This informations they can find on the homepage This is a comprehensive platform independent of clubs and countries. Here breeders and owners can show the test results of their dogs.
    Here breeders can find suitable dogs. MDR1 test results and more health data of dogs are shown. This is a service for breeders and owners, they don´t have to spend any money for it.

    We gladly accept any help spreading this important informations.

    Thank you very much for you attention!

    Kris (Kerstin) Klemme,


    Hi and welcome thank you for that post very informative 🙂


    Hi and welcome,you learn something new every day
    Melanie and Travis


    I have a rough collie and a sheltie, thanks for the advice


    When each of my pups gp to their new homes, they take with them a booklet that I have written about feeding, training, grooming and for the past 10 years has including an important note about not allowing any drugs containing Ivomectin to be used on the pup.  There is also a warning about Rimadyl. :-\
    I don’t know of anyone in the UK who tests their dogs for this gene.  It is assumed within the breed, that all dogs are sensitive.


    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?


    this is me being me because sometimes i assume everyone knows these things but i took it that EVERYONE with collies knew that collies and ivermectin dont get along

    but then thats me assuming again  ::)


    Well that is very interesting had never even heard of it, is there any way of telling if a dog of the certain breeds has this or does it have to be a blood test just asking as a friend of mine has a 1 year old soft coated collie.



    personally im not a fan of ivermectin full stop as i once uhhhhh ate some destined to go in a horse  😮

    was rather poorly afterwards

    but never took the top off using my teath again


    [quote author=teamblackandwhite link=topic=6437.msg112595#msg112595 date=1169158817]
    personally im not a fan of ivermectin full stop as i once uhhhhh ate some destined to go in a horse  😮

    was rather poorly afterwards

    but never took the top off using my teath again

    Yes wouldnt recommend that, but on the subject my friend borrowed my Vax carpet washer and she went into anaphalactic shock and so did her pup so it just shows you, you never know


    completlly off topic

    i have one of those stand up vax cleaners – is it one of those you have

    do you think its completlly pants cos i do  ::)


    I have a Bissell carpet shampooer and it’s brilliant.  😉 ;D


    Yes the stand up one is crap but they are taking it back just incase something is wrong and will return to me, i use my friends bissell and wow its amazing


    Thank you very much for keeping this subject!

    I asked in Gießen ( about where to test.
    And I got the answer that you can send the blood to Gießen. And because of the temperature now there would be no problem that the blood wouldn´t be all right after arriving in Gießen.
    (And they hope to have an english translation one day…)

    Here is the link to the test formular:

    This is, what it says:

    Telefonische Rückfragen… – If there are questions, please phone Mrs Leidolf on tuesdays and thursdays – german telefon number 0641 9938411 (mh, don´t know about phoning from Great Britain, but as far as I have heard their english is excellent)
    Kosten – costs: 30 Euro
    Rechnung – bill, which will be send together with the test resultat
    Untersuchungsmaterial 1 ml EDTA Blut – please send EDTA whole blood (0.5 ml)
    Name des Hundes – name of the dog
    Zwingername – kennel name
    Rasse – breed
    ZB.Nr. – studbook number
    Wurftag – date of birth
    Chip Nr. – chip number
    Täto.Nr. – tattoo number
    Besitzer – owner, please sign to guarantee that your informations are right
    Ort – village
    Datum – date
    Unterschrift – signature
    Vorname – prename
    Name – name
    Straße – street
    Postleitzahl – postcode
    Telefon – telefon
    Land – country
    Testergebnis mit Rechnung an – please send the test resultat and the bill to
    Besitzer – owner
    Tierarzt – vet
    (please choose only one)

    Vom Tierarzt zu bestätigen – to be confirmed by the vet
    Blutentnahme am – day, when the blood was taken
    Die Identität des Hundes wurde von mir geprüft und die Probe stammt von oben genannten Tier – The identity of the dog was checked by me and the blood is from the above-mentioned dog
    Sind bereits Arzneimittelunverträglichkeiten bekannt? – Are already some sensibilitys of drugs known?
    nein – no
    ja – yes
    wenn ja, welche – if yes, which
    Hinweis – hint, please send unwanted drug sensibilities, protokolls of anaesthesias and anaesthesia incidents to the project group in Gießen
    Die Verantwortung für die Richtigkeit… – The sender is answerable for the correctness of the dates
    Gewährleistungspflichten… – That´s not so easy to translate, perhaps: guarantee can´t be given
    Schadensersatz… – That isn´t easy to translate, too. It means, that compensation can be given only for the payed money

    Please notice again, that I´m German. Therefore this translation couldn´t be taken as an official one. I also will not give any guarantee or compensation.  😉

    And please don´t forget to send your test resultat to be published on our homepage

    Have a nice day,



    Here are news from Gießen – they unfortuntely will have to change their charge from a – as far as I know – reduced charge to a “real” charge. The new charge will have to be paid from march onwards.
    So you should take the advantage of the actual charge of 30 Euros.
    Here again is the link to Gießen: University of Gießen

    Greetings from Germany,

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
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