Medications Aussies can't have

Multidrug Sensitivity in Herding Breeds: MDR1 Gene Mutation

MDR1 Gene Mutation: The MDR1 gene aids in limiting drug absorption and distribution to the brain, as well as enhancing the excretion of many drugs used in dogs.

Some dogs, particularly herding breeds, have a mutation in the MDR1 gene, leaving them defective in their ability to limit drug absorption and distribution. The effects can be life threatening for dogs with this mutation.

Drugs that are affected by the MDR1 Gene Mutation:

Acepromazine -
Used in (Premade®, Aceproject®) tranquilizer
Butorphanol -   
Used in (Torbugesic®, Torbutrol®) for Pain and sedation
Doxorubicin -     Used in (Adriamycin®) as an antibiotic and used in
Erythromycin -   Used to treat bacterial infections, including Lyme disease.
Ivermectin - Used to treat parasites - Do not EVER use
Loperamide -     Used in (Imodium®) to treat diarrhea and inflammatory
       bowel disease.
Moxidectin -       Used in (Pro Heart®) for parasites
Selamectin -      Used in (Revolution®) for fleas and ticks
Vinblastine -      Used in (Velban®) in treatment for cancer
Vincristine -       Used in (Oncovin®, Vincasar PFS®) in treatment for
Emeprid -          Used to treat nausea and vomiting. 

(Vets have other drugs they can use in place of these)

Approximately 50% of Australian Shepherds test positive for the MDR1 mutation.  You can have your dog tested or simply avoid these drugs. Be sure your veterinarian is familiar with Aussies.

Testing a Dog for the MDR1 Mutation is Easy:
Order a testing kit by contacting the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at Washington State University: or by phone 509-335-3745

Be sure to interprete the test results correctly.  Only "normal/normal" means no mutation.

Drug information provided by:
Washington State University