Maggie: Healthy Again & Wiser
Maggie, an 8-year old female Australian Shepherd, came to the our emergency department one Friday evening exhibiting tremors, weakness, and a wobbly gait. Earlier in the day she had been playing on the farm. Had Maggie eaten a horse medication with ivermectin? This deworming medication can prove toxic to susceptible herding breeds. Maggie was treated to lessen the dewormer’s absorption and increase its excretion. Still, Maggie became comatose. When she showed no improvement by Monday, Maggie was transferred to our internal medicine department. Blood tests confirmed ivermectin in her system.
We continued supportive measures and around-the-clock nursing care. Based on what is known about ivermectin and how it affects breeds like Maggie, we realized time was a big part of the cure. Since Maggie could not eat or drink, we inserted a temporary feeding tube. Nine days later we discharged Maggie for home care. At the following week’s recheck Maggie bounced through the door wagging her tail. Within a week she was her usual self. We removed the feeding tube once she could eat normally, and now she’s a bit wiser and enjoying life on the farm once again!