MarLoWin Aussies

Why health testing?

mdr1 mutation dangerous drugs
All the intelligence, loyalty and versatility you expect in an Aussie only in a "Smaller Package"
​Overall, the toy aussies and mini aussies are a heatlhy breed.  There are some things that we test for such as MDR1, DM, HC, CEA, PRA and others as they come available.  Like any disease whether it be with us or our pets, it is scary to think of them being sick.  We test our dogs so that we have the knowledge to avoid a possible mating that would produce an offspring with two copies of the gene.  

I have put links below for the institutions that I find to be the best and most accurate as well as easy to communicate with if I have questions.  

I do not claim to be an expert on any of the diseases that can affect the australian shepherds, but as I continue to grow my education to hopefully be a good "steward" to my breed.

Multi Drug Resistance gene (MDR1)

MDR1 is a disorder in which dogs have a sensitivity to certain drugs.  Dogs with two copies of the mutated gene will develop a sensitivity to ivermectin and similar drugs.  Dogs with the mutation will pass on one copy of the gene.  Ivervectin is one drug that can cause an interaction.  Ivervectin is used in wormers used in farming and ranching situations.  In these type of situations, I would caution anyone who owns and australian shepherd to be careful around newly wormed livestock.  Toy aussies for sale

Some drugs that dogs with MDR1 can have reactions with are:

 Ivermectin (found in heartworm medications) Loperamide (Imodium over the counter antidiarrheal agent) Doxorubicin, Vincristine, Vinblastine (anticancer agents) Cyclosporin (immunosuppressive agent) Digoxin (heart drug) Acepromazine (tranquiliser) Butorphanol ("Bute" pain control). 

Washington State University was the first to develop the test for this gene.  Please visit their website for more information.

Half of the breed carries at least one copy of this mutation. Eliminating all these dogs would cause a severe restriction in our breed population which could result in making serious health issues for which we have no tests more common. It’s important to remember that MDR1 is not genetic issue that will cause harm to your puppy. It simply means you cannot give Ivermectin or other drugs that are listed on the drug sensitivity list to your puppy.  As in the same way you wouldn’t give your dog chocolate or Tylenol because both products can result in death.

Because MDR1 is very common in this breed, I will never cut an otherwise health dog from my program for MDR1. Consequently when both parents are carriers, each puppy will be tested for the gene, so you as a buyer can be aware of your puppy’s status. However, I will never breed two affected dogs together, because they produce 100% of affected puppies.


Collie Eye Anamoly  is a disorder which causes abnormal development in layers of tissue in the eye under the retina called the choroid 

 These changes cause what is referred to as Choroidal Hypoplasia. The abnormal choroid appears pale and translucent. In most cases CEA is present at birth and can be detected in puppies as young as 4-8 weeks of age. There is currently no treatment for this disease.


Degenerative Myleopathy  is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord of dogs. 

 Dogs that have inherited two defective copies will experience a breakdown of the cells responsible for sending and receiving signals from the brain, resulting in neurological symptoms. 


Hereditary Cataracts is the  clouding of the lens of the eye caused by a breakdown of tissue in the eye.   This condition 
generally results in an inability to see clearly and can cause total blindness.  In canines, cataracts are often familial; this type is known as Hereditary Cataracts. 


Progressive Retinal Atrophy/Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration

 PRA - disorder in which the cells in the retina of a dog degenerate and die, in most cases eventually leading to complete blindness 

 PRCD - degeneration of both rod and cone type Photoreceptor Cells of the Retina, which are important for vision in dim and bright light, respectively.

Cerf Testing

OFA Testing

​OFA stands for Orthopedic Foundation of America.  Bad hips are not a problem in the toy aussie breed.  I do not test my toy aussies for Hips and Elbows but do have patellas checked by my vet.  I do however have testing on my Kevlar because he is my main stud and he has been used with bigger females.  Although I do not believe that the hips are a problem in the mini aussies, I do test my adult minis.  The Toy Aussies do not have a "parent club" to make recommendations to OFA for what testing should be done.  Therefore I base my testing on what is suggested for Miniature American Shepherds

toy aussies


mini aussie

health testing