Bailee has Lyme Disease...

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Here\'s my Wubba- - now play with- me!!
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 9:15am PST 
I apologize if a similar thread exists on the forum already, I was not able to find one.

Bailee was diagnosed with Lyme a month ago thanks to our very thorough vet - we took her in because after running her usual laps around the yard she wouldn't put any weight on her back right leg for two days. We were afraid it was a torn ACL since she's had an ACL strain in that leg before. The vet said the trouble appeared to be in her ankle instead and suggested a lyme (blood) test, which came back positive. She just finished the 30 days of doxycycline and was on an anti-inflammatory for 10 days and then again for about a week (with a one-week break) because she wasn't putting the full weight on that leg again.

My question is what should we expect from here on out? She has a suppressed immune system so I'm concerned that it will not be completely gone after the 30 days of antibiotics, but I'm assuming that when we go back in for her check up (in the next week) they will test her again. I've read too many stories online at this point (and subsequently started to panic) so now I'm just looking for information from people on this site as to what their experiences have been.
Gus & Grace

Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 9:28am PST 
I have Lyme Disease... Chronic Lyme.

I'm sorry Bailee has it frown

Gus was bitten by a tick earlier this year. I had him put on doxy - 30 days.... We stopped it at 30 days because he had no symptoms. smile

However, if he did have symptoms I would have had him treated just like a person: I would have continued treatment until 4 weeks after the symptoms stopped.

If Bailee is still having pain in his legs - I would not stop the antibiotic.

Lyme has a 4 week life cycle. So it's important to go 4 weeks after symptoms subside to make sure you kill all of it. Otherwise you may stop and any left over will reproduce and you will be back to square one in another 4 weeks.

You could also try Ledum - it works well for Lyme Disease in animals....

just my thoughts.

Pats for Bailee
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 9:55am PST 
Ember has chronic Lyme, but at this point we have it suppressed to a point that it doesn't show up on Accuplex tests.

Lyme is, in a way, a disease of the immune system. Most dogs in my area will test positive for Lyme even though they are asymptomatic. Their immune systems are successfully suppressing it on their own. Even Doxy does not kill a Lyme infection, it suppresses it to the point where your immune system can take over. So the problem with an immunosuppressed dog (or human) is that their immune system is not going to take over. Even in an otherwise healthy dog, the Lyme can come out of remission after a successful Doxy treatment.

That's where I was was Ember 2 years ago. I'd treat the Lyme, she'd be ok for a few weeks, then the symptoms would start again and by about 3 months later she'd need Doxy again. Eventually the Lyme becomes resistant to Doxy and you have to find different, stronger antibiotics. I started taking her to a holistic vet who used a specialized mix of immune boosters to help Ember's own immune system fight the Lyme without Doxy. My goal was to at least lengthen the time she went between Doxy treatments, but as it's turned out she hasn't needed any at all.

What your vet should have told you from the start is that you need to do what's called a C6 titer test. This measures the exact amount of Lyme in their blood at the time of diagnosis. From this, you have a basis for further treatment. You re-test after treatment (and during, in some cases) to make sure treatment is effective, and to get a "remission" level. If symptoms return, you can test again to make sure you are looking at an active Lyme infection before you start Doxy again.

The reason vet's don't tell you this is that each C6 test costs about $175. It's not cheap, but the information you gain is extremely helpful. You may choose not to do C6 tests anyway, and just carefully monitor symptoms - I think most people do - but it burns me that vets just assume people don't want to spend the money. You have a right to know it's an option, because if you can afford it, the knowledge is valuable.

All that said, if the symptoms you're seeing are limited to that one foot, you should have that foot examined separately. Just because a dog has Lyme, doesn't mean all health issues from this point forward will be caused by Lyme. I know dogs who have been treated for Lyme over and over because the symptoms weren't going away, and it turned out they had another condition completely unrelated to Lyme (including but not limited to, ACL tears, OCD lesions, elbow displaysia, bone chip in shoulder).


Throw the Dang- Ball!
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 10:10am PST 
Lyme disease i the most common tick-transmitted disease in the world. It is caused by the spirochete bacteria. Most dogs show lameness. Some may also stop eating. In the most serious cases, the kidneys can be damaged. Lyme-induced kidney damage is most common in Labrador Retrievers. Young dogs are also more susceptible to Lyme. Every state in the US has Lyme carrying ticks. Lameness is the most common sign of Lyme disease. Sometimes it may only last a few days, other times it can last much longer. Sometimes dogs will show shifting lameness, where they favor one leg and then the other. Kidney damage is the most devistating symptom of Lyme disease. If it isn't treated, it can result in glomerulonephritis. At this point, total kidney failure is not far. A lot of dogs with Lyme disease will also walk with a stiff, arched back.

Puppy Penny let- the games begin
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 10:34am PST 
Our Penny is 6 months old and we have just found out she has Lyme. She is having trouble walking at all. She has the Doxy and as she has just started it so she is very poorly.
Please keep us in your thoughts, as she is a baby it is hard to see her go down hill so fast and so hard.
Any advice would be great at this point.

Edited by author Mon Feb 4, '13 10:39am PST

Cookie Pela

Leaping Is My- Specialty!
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 11:43am PST 
Cookie has Lyme and it is my fault. When I adopted her, I failed to check that she had the vaccines that my other dogs have had. I just assumed she would. But she was a city dog and didn't get Lyme vaccine. She got Lyme and it showed up in a blood test. She took a months worth of doxycycline and will have to be checked regularly for increase in the condition.

But it doesn't seem to faze her at all, and fortunately she is able to keep the doxy down, which isn't always the case.

Hope it goes well for all those who have gotten this scary piece of news. Hopefully your pups will be as okay in spite of it as our little Cookie.

Puppy Penny let- the games begin
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 12:51pm PST 
Hey you should not beat your self up.
Penny was vaccinated for it as we live in a very rural area.
It has not stopped her from getting it.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 12:54pm PST 
I don't have any advice as I thankfully do not have to deal with this issue.
I just wanted to wish you and Bailee well and hope that she recovers with few problems.hughughughughughughug to you and Bailee and to all of you who posted and are dealing with pups who have chronic lyme disease. I wish all of you well and hope your pups are able to live long happy lives with few problems related to having a chronic condition.hugwishesflowers

Code name:- Farmcollie
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 3:11pm PST 
Depending on how they test her, your dog may test positive for lyme for a long time even if she doesn't have an active infection. Many of the tests check for antibodies, and those can linger for years. Chandler's anaplasmosis (another tick borne disease) has finally tested as negative after about 5 years since his initial infection and two courses of treatment.

The new Cornell multiplex test does test for both chronic lyme and new infections, from what I understand.

The best source of information I know of about tick borne diseases and their treatment is this web page:
Tick borne diseases in dogs

I highly suggest you read it. I also found the discussion list that is linked on the website to be very useful.

Puppy Penny let- the games begin
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '13 8:18am PST 
Thank you all for your good wishes and help. I will be looking up the web site.
Pen is much better today and can walk, she even barked and looked at her toys. Its all progress happy dance
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