Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Beware! Ivermectin Toxicity

by Jennifer Hughes
(West Palm Beach, Fl)

Epitome of how hyper she is

Epitome of how hyper she is

We have a 5 month old Miniature Australian Shepherd named Syla. She is a playful, hyper, loving puppy who we have grown to love over the past 3 months. She recently started to lose hair above her eye. The non-profit clinic we took her to gave her a shot of Ivermectin with directions to come back once a week to administer another shot to treat Mange. Two days after receiving this shot, we noticed she started to lose balance, fall over, ran into things, stumbled. This was not our normal, playful little girl. We took her to a different hospital and concluded she was suffering from Ivermectin Toxicity.

They told us to give it time, it should wear off, to come back if it got worse. It did. She was unable to walk the next day, stand up for longer than three seconds, feed herself, walk up or down the stairs. This was miserable to see. The doctors wanted to see her right away. She didn't recover in the day we had hoped for as we weren't very knowledgeable of how serious this can be to her breed.

She has been in a 24 hour hospital for the past two nights, going on number three tonight. Herding breed dogs, such as Australian Shepherds, should be tested for MDR1 mutation before being administered this drug. Their brain is unable to filter out certain drugs if they have this.

Syla currently is unable to stand or even acknowledge someone is in the same room as her. She had her first seizure last night but snapped out of it on her own. She has not improved since we brought her in to this facility on Tuesday. We are hopeful, as are the doctors, but we are fearing the worst as the hospital bills have already multiplied. We don't know how we are going to keep this up for more than a few days. In some cases this could take weeks in a hospital for an Aussie to come to. Don't let this happen to your pet!

Comments for Beware! Ivermectin Toxicity

Click here to add your own comments

Ivermectin Toxicity
by: Anonymous

I just lost my Mini Aussie today 11-26-14 for this. It's hard and not fair. He got into some horse manure a day after I dewormed my mare. I've always been really good about keeping him out of the manure but must have missed it this one time. He was only a year old, and progressed quickly with in a matter of just a few hours he lost his sight, had a drunken wobbly walk, no balance, and started to drool. By the time I got him I the vet he was having seizures every 10 minutes. He spent one night at the overnight hospital with out any improvements and they wanted to keep him for several more days and add a feeding tube. As we all know there isn't a money tree to go pull $1200 a day in vet bills off. And it most certainly wasn't any fair to him to have to go through something so horrible. I knew it was bad but didn't know it was so traumatic and deadly.

by: Diesels mom

The first thing my breeder told me about Aussies is that Ivermectin is toxic poison. I had to stop a veterinarian once from giving him a shot, even though he said it would be ok. The rule is "WHITE FEET, DON'T TREAT" This goes for all collie type dogs. All breeders as well as veterinarians should be warning Aussie owners. I'm so sorry you had to learn the hard way.

It happened to my baby girl too
by: Rachel

I too, had this experience. Not knowing the true breed of our "found on the side of the road" baby girl but having all the markings of an Aussie, I was advised to give her a very small dose of Ivermectic for a possible mange issue. She had the same horrible results as your baby..drunken walk, pupils dilated, falling over while trying to potty, running into the door and the coffee table. She spent a day and a half at the vets and then we brought her home. Fortunately since I had given her such a small dose, she has recovered after a week. My heart is breaking for you and your baby. This is a serious issue that ALL Aussie owners need to know about.

Our time with Syla
by: Jennifer Hughes

Here is a video I put together of Syla's time with us. Update as of 4/12/13. We now have two more Australian Shepherds, Lennon and Sadie. We're also expecting our first baby next month and they can't seem to get enough of the baby already!

toxity from ivermectin
by: Anonymous

my 15 week old aussie female named haven was givin ivermectin 2 weeks ago and she is now on a catheter, iv, and she is being fed by a syringe!!! i love this puppy so much and hearing all these stories has brought my hope down big time!!!! is there anyone out there that has a happy ending!!! i don't want to have to make a decision that i don't want to have to make.. I lost my last dog of 7 years to seizures and a genetic disorder!!! please say a little prayer for my aussie haven i don't want to lose her, she was such a little lover of a pup

by: Anonymous

I am so sorry bout our bay girl, she was beautiful and full of energy. We lost our Aussie to Invermectin Toxicity, two days ago. We didnt know of this problem until afterward, whn we started researching, trying to figure out what happened. Not only were we giving him hert gurd, we de-wormed him and had the yard sparayed with "bio-green" (Invermectin) pestisides. It was all just so heart breaking. Thank you or sharing your story. This information shold be common knowledge for all vets who are prescribing Ivermectin.

by: Jennifer

Thank you for your kind words. Syla
paased away on 9/6/2011.

by: Anonymous

I have found that the best treatment for the stubbornest mange, and it's non-toxic, is to go to a plant store and get powdered sulfur. That is what they sell to kill mites on plants, and it works on dogs too, as well as on humans. It's cheap, it's just white powder. Just dilute it with hot water in a bucket, as directed on the container, to get about a gallon or more. Then dip the dog -- put the dog into a tub or sink, or else do it outside. Use a sponge or fingers or whatever, just get a lot of it on the dog. It's the very best, most effective solution. There is no need to go to a vet and spend a lot of money, just dip the dog every four days or so and let her dry. In fact, I think it's best to avoid anything a vet would use as there are some toxic things that they could put on a dog that could harm her. There is a medicinal dip that vets use that is documented to kill 3% of the dogs it's used on. And ivermectin is of course toxic to Aussies, and as you know should be avoided.

by: Nonnie

I am so sorry about your loss. My heart is hurting for you.

We went through something similar two years ago. It happened very suddenly. We didn't go through days or worrying, but it was traumatic, nonetheless.

I will be praying for you. I hope you will consider getting another Aussie soon. Our toy Aussie died on September 16, 2009, one week shy of her first birthday. I know how it feels and I share your tears.

We planned to wait until the new year before we would even look for a breeder. I didn't wait that long. I needed a puppy to love. I found a wonderful breeder and we emailed for a few weeks. Of all the breeders I contacted she was the only one who answered back. To make a long story short we got a mini female blue-eyed blue Merle that we named Bailee Joy. Six weeks later we got her half-sister, a toy brown-eyed black tri that we named Maggie Mae.

I will pray for you.

Ivermectin Toxicity
by: Mary

I am so very sorry for your loss. You did what you thought was best for her. All Vet Hospitals, Clinics or anyone giving shots of any kind should be aware of these kind of dangers or they shouldn't be giving shots at all. RIP LITTLE GIRL

by: Nonnie3896

Is there any way to find out if Syla's parents, especially the Dad, are carriers of MDR?

I have two Aussies who share the same dad, who is a MDR carrier. I probably won't get them tested as it is a bit expensive, but my breeder says they should be normal or carriers and probably won't develop toxicity. But to be on the safe side, I will just this information to the girls' files at our vet. They already know that we have to have Sentinel for heartworm prevention.

Please let us know how Syla is doing...

Note from Anton: We have received the very sad news that Syla has passed away.

Sad day
by: Mom

On 9/6/11, this morning, my daughter Jen informed me Syla passed away.
Thank you for your prayers and support and continue to pray for Jen and Chase in their loss.
May others know more about their story of Syla and make others aware of Ivermectin Toxicity.

by: Jennifer Hughes

I wish I had better news to share with you. Syla passed away this morning. Her temperature continued to fluctuate causing Pneumonia. This turned out to be too much for her to fight off. I only ask that you share her story with everyone. This could have been prevented, which is the worst part of it all.

by: Nonnie

I am so sorry for your baby. I hope there has been some improvement by now. I am saying a prayer for you and your puppy. Please keep us updated as you can.

by: Anne

Hi, I have heard of other aussies going through the ivermectin reaction and pulling through. I think your girl will be okay, but read up on the
genetic mutation for Ivermectin that Aussies have. There is a test to determine whether or not you aussie carries the gene. It is called the MDR1 test. As reputable breeders we test all our breeding aussies in our kennels. As breeders most of us tell new puppy owners NEVER to worm or give Ivermectin.
I am sorry your breeder did not tell you.
Here is the link to the Ivermectin sensitivity in Aussies and the MDR1 test.
Good luck with your little one, sorry you both are going through this... it could have been prevented.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

so sorry
by: Anonymous

this is horrible, I am so sorry, yes, I've read about this before, I asked my holistic vet, and she seems to think if given in small dosages, according to the dogs weight, it should be ok, but most regular vets don't know this, and don't do this, and Aussies are know for an allergic reaction to it. you were so kind to share your story, and warn others, thank you. I am praying your pup will be back to normal soon. I would find a holistic vet (reputable) and have him/her detox your pup, there may still be some help/hope.

by: Kathy

This terrible! Hope your girl pulls through.

Your baby
by: Colin

I'll keep your little baby dog in my prayers.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Reader's Aussies.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & CareGuide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Questions About Training Your Australian Shepherd? Stop problem behaviors and transform your Australian Shepherd into a model Aussie.

Read More icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Ask a Dog Veterinarian Now

We have partnered with JustAnswer
so that you can get an answer ASAP.