Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ivermectin - warning

Ivermectin is a medication which is used in dogs to prevent heartworm infection and treat various parasitic infections, including ear mites, demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange. In addition, ivermectin is used in dogs that already have heartworm infections to kill the larval form of heartworms that are found in the blood stream (microfilaria).

Ivermectin is found in various formulations, including Heartgard Plus® and similar heartworm preventive medications, Acarexx® and Ivomec®.

Most Common Side Effects of Ivermectin in Dogs

When side effects do occur, the most commonly seen symptoms are lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms often resolve without medical intervention within a few days.

In some dogs, ivermectin can also affect the central nervous system, leading to side effects such as incoordination and seizures. This reaction can be fatal as well.

If your dog has been given ivermectin and you believe he is suffering side effects from the medication, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

MDR1 Gene Defect and Ivermectin Sensitivity in Dogs

The dogs most likely to experience serious side effects with ivermectin are those dogs that have a genetic gene mutation known as the deletion mutation of the MDR1 (multi-drug resistant) gene. Dogs most likely to be affected by this gene mutation are those of the collie breeds. Specific breeds known to affected are:

* Collies
* Australian Shepherds
* Shelties
* Long-haired Whippets

Read more at Suite101: Side Effects of Ivermectin in Dogs

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