Horse Poop Can be Toxic To Dogs!

We're reprinting a Facebook post by Dr. Karen Allen of Hastings Lake Animal Hospital (Alberta, Canada). It's our hope that the experience she describes doesn't happen to any beloved dogs in the Wellington Equestrian community! Please be sure to protect your dogs by confining them to safe, clean areas. And if you suspect that your dog might have enjoyed some horse poop, as Bradie did, watch for symptoms that should be treated immediately.

Here's the post....

Bradie went suddenly blind last night at 10pm. Here's his story. Yesterday Bradie was having a perfectly happy farm dog day helping his people deworm his horse friends. Bradie was enjoying a few little snacks, some horse food and chowed down some horse manure... his favourite delicacy! Last night he started to feel a little weird and then he thought it was awfully dark all of a sudden and he couldn't seem to find his way around - he even bumped into a wall and almost fell down the stairs. He was very alarmed and was relieved that his owners brought him to the veterinary clinic this morning because he definitely needed a checkup he figured. On his exam Dr. Allen said there was absolutely nothing else going on with him except his pupils were very dilated and nonresponsive to light, and of course he couldn't see a darn thing. Turns out he had Ivermectin Toxicity from eating horse poop or possibly getting some of the dewormer from one of th horses that eats Ivermectin cubes for deworming - most dogs have severe neurologic signs, including coma but Bradie only had the eye issues it looked like thank goodness. Collies and herding breeds are well known to have MultiDrug Resistance1 gene mutations (MDR1) which make them highly sensitive to a number of pharmaceuticals, including the avermectins. The good news, is Bradie should fully recover his sight if our diagnosis is correct. A reminder to all our herding dog owners that these dogs are about 200 times more sensitive to ivermectin (and some other drugs) and even eating manure from horses or cattle that have been dewormed with ivermectin can cause toxicity. Most dogs are much sicker than Bradie and end up in a coma which can take days/weeks to recover from. We can test dogs for the MDR1 gene which is important to do as these dogs have issues with multiple drugs, not just ivermectin. Washington State University has a wonderful website on MDR1 Mutations outlining affected breeds, drugs that cause toxicity, and breeding recommendations. All herding dog breeding stock should be tested prior to breeding. The test is a simple cheek swab. We will keep you all posted on Bradie but we expect a full recovery and Bradie wanted to put out a reminder to all his herding dog friends so nobody else goes through this scary ordeal of losing their vision or something worse.

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