Ivermectin Poisoning in Sheepdogs


Ivermectin Poisoning in Sheepdogs

Submitted by:Stephanie Summers


Did you know that sheepdogs are extra sensitive to Ivermectin wormer? They can even die. Here is a brief story of what happened to a neighbor’s dog:

My neighbor has a small hobby farm with horses. Horses like other livestock, need regular worming. Standard worming procedure is to paste worm a horse every two months. My neighbor did as she had been instructed. Little did she know that her dog, an Australian Shepherd, had gotten into the horse poop a day after the horses were wormed. A couple of days went by and my neighbor’s daughter had been telling her mother that something was wrong with the dog. “She can't see very well.”

The next day, my neighbor took her dog to the vet. She suddenly appeared to be almost blind at only 14 months old. Tons of questions and tests later, they had determined that she had eaten the horse manue after the horse was wormed. The Ivermection that my neighbor  had wormed the horse with had passed through the horse strong enough to blind a herding dog when ingested.

Apparently, collies and shepherds are extra sensitive to Ivermectin compared to other dog breeds. Blindness is only one side affect of Ivermectin poisioning, but with herding dogs, because they are smarter that other breeds, they can and usually do compensate for the blindness. They could be mostly blind or completely blind and you might never know it.

My neighbor took her Aussie to an opthamologist, which cost a small fortune just to walk in the door. They treated her dog and they had a return visit. The doctor said that she didn’t know if her sight would come back and that it would be hard to tell if it did because herding dogs are such good compensators. After several weeks, everyone decided that the dog had lucked out and if her sight wasn’t restored completely, our human testing couldn’t tell otherwise.

There are tests performed by veterinarians that can tell if your dog is sensitive to Ivermection poisioning or not.  But I think to be on the safe side, that is better to keep your dogs away when worming livestock.  If it can happen with horses, it can happen with other livestock including sheep.  We don't want our smart herding dogs to be blinded because of ignorance.  Please keep the dogs poop free.

Just a word to the wise, watch out for the poop!

Stephanie Summers


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