Many herding breed dogs have a genetic predisposition to adverse drug reactions involving over a dozen different drugs. The most serious adverse drug reactions involve several antiparasitic agents (ivermectin, milbemycin and related drugs), the antidiarrheal agent loperamide (Imodium), and several anticancer drugs (vincristine, doxorubicin, others). These drug sensitivities result from a mutation in the multidrug resistance gene (MDR1 gene). At Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine you can test your dog for multidrug sensitivity and prevent serious adverse drug reactions. We can work with your dog’s veterinarian to find appropriate drug doses or alternative drugs for your dog based on results of MDR1 testing.
The Partnership for Preventive Healthcare, is an initiative jointly sponsored by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Together the two associations offer a set of Canine and Feline Preventive Healthcare Guidelines. One of the important recommendations is that dog owners use genetic testing—like the MDR1 test —as part of an overall healthcare plan for their pets.