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Keywords:

  • Breed idiosyncracy;
  • Drug reaction;
  • Mechanical ventilation;
  • Respiratory paralysis

Ivermectin is widely used in veterinary medicine as an anthelminthic and generally has a wide margin of safety, but Collies are prone to ivermectin toxicity. Two groups of Collies were presented to the University of California Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) with ivermectin toxicity. The medical records of the 2 groups of Collies were reviewed retrospectively. Group I comprised 5 adult Collies that received at least 400 μg/kg ivermectin PO and were presented to the VMTH 3 hours after intoxication. These Collies showed marked clinical signs on presentation. Three of these dogs required mechanical ventilation and were euthanized for financial reasons; the remaining 2 dogs were comatose but recovered in 5–7 days. Group II was comprised of 12 adult Collies presented to the VMTH 2 days (n = 10) and 5 days (n = 2) after subcutaneous injection of 200–250 μg/kg ivermectin. These animals showed greater variation in severity of illness among individuals; 5 animals progressed to stupor or coma, whereas 4 animals remained ambulatory. Most of these dogs' clinical signs deteriorated from the day of intoxication until approximately day 6, from which time they showed gradual but steady improvement. All of the Collies in this group survived, but it took 3 weeks for most of them to recover. Collies suffering from ivermectin toxicity can have a severe and prolonged clinical course requiring intensive nursing care. Respiratory, cardiovascular, and nutritional support may all be required. With appropriate care, however, the prognosis for complete recovery is good.