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MDR1 Gene Mutation

Kimberly SeymourKimberly Seymour Portland, P-Town, No-PoPosts: 181Member
edited 20 November, 2009 in Australian Shepherd
Just curious to see how many of you know about the mutation and how many have actually had your pups tested? Although research is still being conducted by WSU, it's been determined to affect 50% of Aussies, Mini Aussies, and Aussie mixes. Samson just got his results back with a Mutant/Normal (so one gene is mutated and one is normal). That pretty much sealed the neutering deal (aside from other obvious reasons), and he gets snipped on Friday. But I've discovered a lot of people are unaware about the gene mutation or the fatal effects it can mean, so I was curious how many of your dogsters are informed?


  • edited 10 September, 2009
    Yep, that is one reason Pi has not gotten the shot to help with his Demodex. I haven't gotten the test done yet because I just learned about it in another thread (Vet had me believing I had to find a vet to do it) and money is tight.
  • Kelsey CooperKelsey Cooper Port OrchardPosts: 314Member
    edited 10 September, 2009
    I know about it, and I have the kit at home, just waiting untill I have the extra money for it, untill then I've always be very strict about what he is given at the vets, and when ever we go to the vets I bring my list of this that could be an issue with the MDR1
  • Philip BantaPhilip Banta Posts: 25Member
    edited 10 September, 2009
    My breeder actually tested my puppy for this before we got him. He was clear i was extremely happy. I was talking to her and it seems more and more breeders of aussies are starting to do this.
  • tina eldertina elder BradentonPosts: 218Member
    edited 10 September, 2009
    OH i must ask what does this mutation cause i have never heard about it till now!!! what is it and how does it affect the dog and can it cause early death???!!
  • Kimberly SeymourKimberly Seymour Portland, P-Town, No-PoPosts: 181Member
    edited 11 September, 2009
    Yay :) I'm so glad many of you are very aware of this genetic problem! More veterinarians are becoming aware of it as well, but many still don't know about it. When a dog is Mutant/Normal or Mutant/Mutant for the MDR1 gene, it causes the dog to be extremely sensitive to drugs, some of which are common. Ivermectin and Acepromazine are two very common drugs used (for heartworm treatment and as a pre-anesthetic, respectively). Because they are overly sensitive to these drugs, normal doses of the medicines are fatally toxic to the dog. So a dose normally given to a dog is fatal to a dog with the mutation. It's always comforting to see that responsible breeders are aware of the issue and more are having puppies and parents tested before breeding or sending to a new home.
  • Caitlin JonesCaitlin Jones Posts: 1,317Member
    edited 11 September, 2009
    Hmms, unfortunately, I was unaware of this problem :r. Where can I get my pup genetically tested, and how much does it cost? Its probably in my best interest to get him tested pretty soon (if funding permits,) as you can see, he unfortunately didn't come from a very sound breeder. Furthermore, do you think I can trust my vet enough to give my dog medication if he is not tested yet? (Or, are there a particular line of drugs to avoid while some are ok?) I'm kind of ashamed that I never read about this while researching Angel's breed (Never even knew what an Aussie shepherd was until I saw him in the kennel, but he has a few other genetic conditions I was researching at the time.)
  • Caitlin JonesCaitlin Jones Posts: 1,317Member
    edited 11 September, 2009
    Well, google ftw, I guess I can answer my own questions. :)) I will probably have to wait a bit to get him tested, since funds are a bit limited now, but THANK YOU so much for this thread...I was going to his vet exam next Friday to get his vision tested and start him on his heartworm meds. ::o At least now I'll know whether or not my vet is good, he's the type to kind of push every drug and prevention and shot he can as long as the owner is willing to pay for it. Hopefully he's knowledgeable enough to know not to give him any bad drugs without knowing if he has the gene or not. Though it makes me scared that I could have killed my puppy just giving him his heartworm prevention. : (
  • Leanne ZarasLeanne Zaras Posts: 20Member
    edited 12 September, 2009
    This is a great post! All Aussie owners need the reminder... many haven\'t heard yet! My mommy had me tested before I had my spay surgery. My results are Normal/Mutant. So my doctor was very cautious with the amount of anesthesia she used during my surgery. Then, when my demodex showed up, we knew that we could NOT take an agressive approach and mommy basically waited until I grew up a little more and my immune system got stronger instead of giving me a lot of medicine for it.
  • Susan WolfeSusan Wolfe Posts: 236Member
    edited 14 September, 2009
    "Fatally toxic" to acepromazine is an overstatement. When normal doses of acepromazine are used on MDR1 mutant individuals the dog may be sedate for a longer time than the average dog but there aren't any reported deaths from it that I know of. It isn't necessary to avoid acepromazine in these dogs. A reduction in dose usually avoids a problem.
  • Sherry BodinSherry Bodin Hood CanalPosts: 2,746Member
    edited 29 September, 2009
    Maggie has it (mutant/mutant) and she was given Ace before I knew, she was given a full dose and did not respond well (didn't have any bladder/bowel control and took 48 hours to come out of her "sedation"). I now consider all my dogs affected until proven otherwise. Bumps for the wonderful info!
  • Kimberly SeymourKimberly Seymour Portland, P-Town, No-PoPosts: 181Member
    edited 8 October, 2009
    No problem :) Washington State University is leading the research on the mutation, testing one dog is about $70 I believe, but requesting a test is free. Due to the need to have an invasive procedure done on short notice, I requested that any questionable drugs be given in low doses. The specialist was familiar with the mutation and was very conscientious of what he got. The acepromazine he received caused a bigger reaction (i.e. he was more doped up than most dogs), but he recovered just fine. As to acepromazine being 'fatally toxic', I am not retracting that statement. In Normal/Mutant dogs the effects are not completely known, so to be careful, but in Mutant/Mutant dogs, doses normally used on dogs have caused fatalities. The research supports this, which led to the testing to discover the mdr1 gene. And the veterinarians that keep up with current news would not be so careful about administering drugs to mdr1 mutant dogs if this were not a possible side effect.
  • Alexis BruehlerAlexis Bruehler Posts: 2Member
    edited 2 November, 2009
    I don't know if either of my boys has this...but when Teller was a pup, he would "up-chuck" his heart gard right after he took it. When we learned about the problem posted here, we decided not to give our dogs anything with Ivermectin in it. We are talking about having the testing done, especially since Moose seems to be on meds alot for his allergies (which will hopefully go away when we leave FL!)
  • Elinor ReneauElinor Reneau Posts: 9Member
    edited 2 November, 2009
    Hi...we're new here. I have an 11week old "mini" aussie & a 15mo old mini eskie. We tested Skyler for the gene, he is mutant/normal. Our vet worked closely with WSU on what to give Skyler for flea & heartworm mets. Turns out the vet that heads the gene program is my vets old professor...yay! WSU said that there are no known reactions to normal doses of Heartguard Plus in even mutant/mutant dogs & no known reaction to Frontline Plus. Tomorrow will be Skyler's first dose of Heartguard Plus...I'm scared but my vet did alot of research & alot of consulting with WSU that I trust it will be ok, still nervous though.
  • Lauren WedgeLauren Wedge Posts: 7Member
    edited 3 November, 2009
    After reading all this I am wondering if this is part of the reason Jameson is still so lethargic 5 days after being neutered? Does the mutation cause the effects of anesthesia to linger? I knew enough to give him interceptor instead of heartguard but i had no idea about anesthesia. I have not had him tested but now I am considering it!
  • Elinor ReneauElinor Reneau Posts: 9Member
    edited 3 November, 2009
    Yes, it can cause anesthesia to linger. As for intercepter vs heartguard. My vet actually called Dr Mealy @ WSU, she is the one who found the gene & has done all the extensive testing - she recommended Heartguard Plus + Frontline Plus for heartworm/worm/flea/tick coverage. I gave Skyler his first dose of Heartguard Plus today, no reaction at all (can't say I wasn't nervous). The drug that is in both Heartguard & Interceptor ARE BOTH on the list but Dr Mealy said that there has not been any recorded reactions to Heartguard Plus for even mutant/mutant dogs. (Skyler is mutant/normal).
  • Eric EngleEric Engle Posts: 73Member
    edited 11 November, 2009
    I always test for MDR1 mutation as soon as possible. I just got the blood work back on Dancer which was 100% normal organ function and normal/normal. I have had one dog which was normal/mutation, and as far as parasite prevention I've had my best results with Sentinel which is a mix of lufenuron and milbemycin... The only downside is its more a birth control for a flea rather than a direct parasiticide. Seeing as Dancer is normal/normal though I have her on Adv Multi which is moxidectin (same meds as in heartgard) and imidacloprid (flea med from advantage) only caution there for any mutant/mutant is imidacloprid has an "avermectin" drug in it which is in the same family as ivermectin. I've heard horror stories with Ace in MDR1 mutant/normal dogs so I've always opted for another pre-med such as propofol or telazol instead of torb/ace.
  • Holly DavisHolly Davis EurekaPosts: 515Member
    edited 17 November, 2009
    After reading about this on here I am quite upset with the vets I have had the past three years. Tetra is half aussie, btw. She started heartgard plus as a puppy, probably about 6 months old, and was on that for two years. She has been on advantage multi for 6 months, and is about to get her next 6 month supply. I had read about the ivermectin sensitivity both on the packages and in books, but I figured that if she was at risk the vets would have told me, seeing as I told them she was half aussie. So I figured it must not be a problem in mixed breeds, but apparently that is not true. Now I am wondering how safe it is, though I have not noticed any serious problems yet, obviously. She did tend to get the runs after the heartgard, but the vets said that was normal. :? Should I just keep giving her this stuff (A.M.) since there have not been any problems? Part of me wants to call up the vet that first gave her heartgard and ask why they never even thought to mention this mutation to me, or warn me that I should look out for an adverse reaction....I can guess the vet that gave her the multi just assumed she was not sensitive due to being on HG, but I am kind of upset by know what could have happened had she been sensitive:(
  • Elinor ReneauElinor Reneau Posts: 9Member
    edited 18 November, 2009
    Heartguard Plus is what WSU told my vet to recommend when my vet was talking with them. I asked her why would Heartguard Plus be ok with the ivermectin but Advantage multi not be recommended since it only had a derivitive of ivermectin in it. My vet said Dr Mealey (WSU vet that discovered this gene) said Heartguard Plus is one of the only meds they have tested & PROVEN safe for those with the mutation, they do not even recommend the generic form of Heartguard Plus. Dr Mealy was very specific when talking to my vet. As for my vet, THEY ROCK! ;P She has done TONS of research on this. She knew the gene issue was there but nothing about it or its significance. She said she enjoyed touching back with her old vet professor (Dr Mealy) and enjoyed learning so much more about something she didn't know much about & could save a dogs life. She even wrote up a new treatment plan for the breeds that could have this mutation so when they are neutered/spayed/procedures it will be easier on them. The clinic has already started this & she already has specific treatment plans in Skyler's chart for his neutering and any future procedures.
  • Holly DavisHolly Davis EurekaPosts: 515Member
    edited 19 November, 2009
    Ah, I did not read the other posts close enough to realize you had already said HG plus was ok.:r But the multi not so much for dogs with the mutant gene? She has already been on it for 6 months, and I have not seen any problems other than the stuff smells bad.:)) I am still a bit perturbed that no vet ever mentioned it, even when she got spayed.
  • Elinor ReneauElinor Reneau Posts: 9Member
    edited 19 November, 2009
    Talk to you vet but my guess is that since it has been this long and has been fine, probably not an issue. Our vet only strongly recommended the 2 products I've mentioned because there has been extensive testing on them in relation to the gene mutation.
  • J NJ N Posts: 5Member
    edited 20 November, 2009
    Please post more pictures of that muffin Skyler!!
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