MDR1 GENE - AUSSIE DRUG TOXICITY
It is well known that certain breeds have reactions to certain drugs. It was previously unknown why some dogs were sensitive and some not. Advances in molecular biology has found the problem to be due to a mutation in the multi-drug resistant gene (MDR1). This gene encodes a protien, P-glycoprotien, that is responsible for pumping many drugs and other toxins out of the brain.
Dogs with the mutant gene can not pump some drugs out of the brain as a normal dog would. The result may be illness possibly requiring an extended hospital stay, or even death. You simply need to use alternative drugs recommended by you vet that are safe for these breeds.
Infected breeds that have been positively diagnosed include:
Collies (rough and smooth), Shetland Sheepdogs, Austrailian Shepherds (all three sizes), Old English Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, McNabbs, Long-Haired Whippets & Silken Windhounds and Mix-breeds with any of the above in their background! As the testing becomes more precise and more breeds are tested it is expected that more breeds and more drugs may be added to the list. (For example; an Aussie x Golden Retriever cross has been tested positive - positive, which means that the Golden had to have had the gene also! Story published on the WA State U site at http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-VCPL/news/ginger.aspx.)
How common is the MDR1 mutation in Aussies?
50% of the Standard Aussies and 50% of Mini-Aussies have at least one copy of the gene.
How do I know if my dog has the MDR1 mutation?
If your dog has already reacted to one of these drugs, it has the mutation. However, reactions can be so dangerous to your dog it is advisable to have the dog tested so you know whether it is sensitive before it receives any of the listed drugs.
What do the MDR1 test results mean?
This is a DNA mutation test. It will determine whether or not a dog has the MDR1 mutation and, if it does, whether it has one copy or two. The test report will provide you with the genotype for your dog, generally listed as Normal/Normal, Normal/Mutant or Mutant/Mutant.
Dogs with even one copy of the mutation should be considered sensitive to listed drugs. If your dog carries the mutation, provide a copy of the test results and a copy of the listed drugs to every veterinarian who treats your dog and let them know your dog cannot have those drugs.
What dogs should be tested and how often?
Since this is a DNA test, a dog only needs to be tested once. Due to the high frequency of the mutation in the breed and the variety of drugs to which dogs with the mutation can react, all dogs, including rescues of unknown parentage and Aussie-mixes should be tested. Their lives could depend on it.
The only exception is as follows: If both parents of a dog have tested Normal/Normal, they cannot pass on the gene and their offspring will not need to be tested. However, if a Normal/Normal dog is bred to one of unknown status or one that has even a single copy of the mutation, the offspring must be tested.
How do I get the test done?
For those in North America, The test is available through Washington State University. Information can be found on their website:
In Europe the test is available through Genetic Counseling Services in the Netherlands:
Below is a list of drugs that have been documented, or are strongly suspected to cause problems in dogs with MDR1 Gene Mutation:
PLEASE PRINT a VET INFO SHEET and DRUG LIST
for Yourself AND Your Vet as a Saftey Precausion.
SICKNESS OR EVEN DEATH CAN EASILY BE AVOIDED
STAY AWAY FROM THE FOLLOWING DRUGS OR HAVING YOUR DOG TESTED BEFORE USING THEM!
*IVERMECTIN (antiparasitic agent)
LOPERAMIDE (Imodium, over the counter human anti-diarrhea agent) DOXORUBICIN (anti-cancer agent) VINCRISTINE (anti-cancer agent) VINBLASTINE (anti-cancer agent) CYCLOSPORIN (immunosuppressive agent) DIGOXIN (heart drug) ACEPROMAZINE (tranquilizer) BUTAPHONAL (pain control) POTENTIAL PROBLEM DRUG ONDANSETRON DOMPERIDONE PACLITAXEL MITOXANTRONE ETOPOSIDE RIFAMPICIN QUINIDINE MORPHINE
MDR1 ALERT DOG TAGS!
MDR1 Medical Alert Kits In Stock Now
Protect your MDR1 Mutant Dog!
an MDR1 Kit to help you protect your dog. The kit includes
a Medical Alert tag, warning stickers for the dog's veterinary
file and multiple copies of the Problem Drug List for you to
give to your vet, keep in your purse or wallet, and place in
the glove box of your car.
The tag is 1 1/8" diameter round polished stainless steel. It's a nice size even for a little dog. It has unusually deep engraving that is filled with black enamel to make it very readable. This is a very durable tag and will last years longer than the average plastic or brass tag.
The MDR1 Medical Alert Kits are available now for a $5 donation.
To order one or more kits, send your name and address along with your credit card (MasterCard or Visa) information, or a check made payable to MARS for $5 per kit (S&H included) to:
Buster Alert Kit
20 Union Street
Camden, ME 04843
If paying by credit card, please include the name as it appears on the card, the account number, the expiration date and the three digit security number from the back.
To protect yourself, never send credit card information via email.
Important Info For All Aussies!
Compact Classic Aussies
Shauna More, PO Box 895, Winnebago, MN 56098
I was recently contacted by someone asking whether a dog could have an MDR1reaction due to eating feces from Ivermectin-treated livestock. I wasn't sure about that, so I checked with Dr. Katrina Mealy at Washington State University. Dr. Mealy is the scientist who discovered the MDR1 gene.
She told me that Ivermectin and the related drug, selamectin, were shed in feces of treated animals in active form. She went on to say that .they have had a number of reports on dogs that had ingested enough feces to have serious to fatal MDR1 reactions.
If you have Aussies or dogs of any other MDR1 breed who are prone to poop eating and may have access to excrement from livestock, it would be wise to do whatever you can to prevent them from doing so.
** Please share this information with other owners of affected breeds! **