We have a very unusual case last week. A farm doggy got access to a sheep drug called ivermectin. There was a dented canister and we’re pretty sure he licked some. No critical comments please! Accidents happen all the time; and his owners were kind enough to let us share his case, hoping that might help another doggy.
Collies are sensitive to ivermectin, which can cross their blood barrier into their brain. I’ve seen a few cases before; where sheep dogs had eaten sheep droppings; which had some of the residual drug in them.
Medical neurology cases are complex and challenging. Once we knew from taking a thorough history, that ivermectin was the most likely thing to be causing his sudden collapse, we pulled out all the stops to obtain a really unusual human product called intralipids. These can bind the ivermectin drug when given intravenously; and can rapidly improve these patients.
We called UCD vet school, and they had some; but they said they couldn’t dispense it unless the doggy was under their care. We don’t often run into red tape in our job; but this was definitely really disappointing. Now our critical patient wasn’t fit to travel all that way; and his poor owner was stressed enough already. I was worried the doggy would seizure in the car; and so there was no way I was moving him out of our ICU and shipping him off to Dublin.
So we turned to our pharmacy friends in Mullingar hospital and Tullamore hospital. They couldn’t have been more wonderful and more helpful! Both of them had some, and were willing to let us have enough, on prescription of course!!
His owner did an epic dash to us to collect the script and get to the hospital pharmacy and back again to help save his special doggy.
We gave his infusion successfully within hours of his diagnosis, and we’re seeing daily improvements. He’ll be with us a while longer; but so far he’s on the mend.