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Clinical presentation and management of moxidectin toxicity in two dogs

Authors

  • N. J. Snowden,

    1. Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7UU
      *Division of Companion Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1QH
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  • C. V. Helyar,

    1. Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7UU
      *Division of Companion Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1QH
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  • S. R. Platt,

    1. Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7UU
      *Division of Companion Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1QH
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  • J. Penderis

    1. Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7UU
      *Division of Companion Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1QH
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Abstract

Moxidectin is a macrocyclic lactone related to ivermectin used in horses and dogs for endoparasite treatment and prophylaxis. The clinical and neurological presentation of moxidectin toxicity in two dogs following inadvertent poisoning with a moxidectin-containing equine de-worming medication is reported here. In both the dogs, the predominant clinical signs were generalised tremors and ataxia. Moxidectin exerts its neurotoxic effects in mammals by potentiating the effect of γ-aminobutyric acid and, consistent with this, both the dogs demonstrated a poor response to treatment with diazepam. It would be more appropriate to avoid γ-aminobutyric acid agonists, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, in dogs with moxidectin toxicity and consider using anaesthetic agents with a different mode of action, such as propofol. The prognosis in dogs accidentally exposed to moxidectin-containing equine de-worming medication appears to be excellent if the cause of the neurotoxicity is correctly identified and the case is appropriately managed.

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