Bluehealer antidote®

Project Leader: Dr Simon Humphrys, Invasive Animals CRC

Aim: To determine the efficacy and safety of methylene blue administered intravenously and orally as an antidote to methaemoglobin inducers

Project: 1.u.1e, 1.u.2e


Project summary

A key barrier to increased participation in fox, wild dog and feral pig 1080 baiting programs is the risk that working and pet dogs will be accidentally poisoned. This risk has been significantly reduced with the development of para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) and sodium nitrite baits which have an effective antidote.

This project’s objective is to determine the efficacy and safety of methylene blue administered intravenously and orally, as an antidote — Bluehealer® — to otherwise lethal methaemoglobinaemia caused by PAPP / sodium nitrite poisoning of domestic dogs. The outputs and outcomes from this project will be used in registration applications for new veterinary medicine products that can be safely and effectively used by veterinary professionals and dog owners in case of accidental poisonings.

Key achievements

  • Fox and wild dog ‘strength’ PAPP bait toxicosis profiles characterised in domestic working dogs.
  • Efficacy and safety of intravenous methylene blue administration demonstrated in domestic dogs that have consumed a fox or a wild dog ‘strength’ PAPP bait product.
  • Recommended intravenous methylene blue treatment regimes for early and late stage PAPP toxicosis prepared in consultation with veterinary professionals.

Key deliverables

  • Orally delivered methylene blue efficacy trials completed.
  • Registration application for Bluehealer® prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
  • Assessment of an oral formulation of methylene blue that dog owners can treat accidentally poisoned animals with under veterinary direction.
  • Submission of a registration application for an oral formulation of methylene blue and treatment regime.

Project team

Dr Simon Humphrys (IA CRC), Dr Steve Lapidge (IA CRC), Dr Graeme Brown (University of Sydney), Dr Bob Pigott (Bioquiv).

Project partners

IA CRC, Australian Wool Innovation, Pestat, University of Sydney, Bureau of Rural Sciences, Bioquiv.

Further information

See Australian Wool Innovation’s Beyond the Bale (Issue 42, Feb 2010, page 19) about ‘Mick’ the working dog that was accidentally poisoned by a PAPP fox bait and was successfully treated with PAPP’s antidote by the Dubbo vet hospital.

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