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  • Results 1 to 7 of 7
    1. #1
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      Ehrlichiosis anyone?

      Anyone's dog had ehrlichiosis? I got a call that Lark tested (+) on her test drawn last week. I picked up some doxycycline for her and started it right away. I'm just wondering what anyone else's experience has been- symptoms, treatment, how was it picked up- did you see symptoms or was it just found on routine testing.

      Lark has been limping some in just the last 2 weeks. We didn't witness an injury but she'd had a few longer walks a couple of days in a row and she started limping on a front leg. The onset seemed a bit sudden, but you know how these things can be. I had her at the vet for some routine vaccines on Friday and to get her leg checked out. The vet could elicit no pain response when manipulating her leg. We did a tick and heartworm test because it hadn't been done since last year, not necessarily thinking it was related to the limping. I don't think she's had any other obvious symptoms. When I went into the vet's office to pick up the medicine, someone else was there picking up meds for ehrlichiosis also. I haven't found any ticks on her but that obviously doesn't mean anything. She gets her Frontline plus every month without fail.

      When she was 7 months old there was some question of whether she had elbow dysplasia. The clinical signs and x-ray evidence cleared up over the few months that we had to wait prior to surgery, so the ortho vet said she didn't need surgery. She's limping on the same elbow, however, so the general vet thinks it may just be arthritis showing up. Lameness can be one symptom of ehrlichiosis, though. I'm hoping once treated the lameness will go away. If it doesn't, I guess I'll be back to ask a bit more about arthritis strategies.

      Thanks for any ideas or sharing of experiences.

    2. #2
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      Gabe tested positive for it last year. Absolutely no symptoms, but his vet said most dogs do not show signs of it but will test positive. He was on
      doxycycline also. The vet said that he will always test positive because their making antibodies against it. His two other 4 snap tests showed positive results, although much weaker numbers. I use Frontline plus and always check after we go to the park, but I think I missed one maybe on his tail. I was told not to worry about it, but keep checking for any other ticks.
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    3. #3
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      One week update

      Lark has been on the doxycycline for 7 days (or 7 doses) and the limping has largely resolved. It has been a gradual improvement. We saw the vet 10 days ago and the vet just thought she was starting to develop arthritis in that questionable elbow. That it might be related to a tick-borne disease was not anyone's first thought. But, since it had been missed at her routine yearly checkup in May and limping can appear with tick diseases, I asked that we go ahead and do the SNAP 4DX. The positive result for ehrlichiosis wasn't called back to me until Tuesday and an hour later she got her first dose of doxy.

      I've also restricted her to leash walks just around the yard or up and down the street long enough for her to do her business. Last week walking out to the end of the yard or around the perimeter of our yard was enough to make it painful for her to get up after lying down. It broke my heart to see her so uncomfortable. Now she isn't limping when she gets up and I'm hoping I'm not imagining that she seems a little happier in general. I can't say she's 100% yet but we're heading in the right direction.

      I will always ask for a tick-borne illness test from now on if my dog starts limping without obvious cause. Had we not done the test she might have ended up being treated for "run of the mill" arthritis and not treated for this disease until it had progressed to potentially something worse. I hope I'm not being prematurely optimistic, but so far, so good.

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      kimbersmom (08-27-2018)

    5. #4
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      I’m surprised your vet didn’t suggest the tick disease check. There are so many in our region! Kimber’s rehab vet suggested running SNAP at least once a year, and was pretty insistent on doing one the few times Kimber seemed extra gimpy.
      Miss Kimber, CGC, 6/15/2005-1/26/18

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      smartrock (08-27-2018)

    7. #5
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      Cabo tested positive for it years ago. He happened to be due for his yearly SNAP test shortly after I pulled a tick off him, so I don't think he was positive long enough to show symptoms prior to being diagnosed and starting treatment. He never showed any. We did doxy. Make sure you do it for at least a full month, maybe two months. And make sure you do the highest recommended dosage. Most vets aren't familiar with treating tick diseases (maybe that has changed), and I talked to a vet tech friend of mine with experience and pushed back for my vet to keep him on the doxy longer. Which he looked up the treatment in his medical book and saw what I was asking for was correct.

      Cabo actually tested negative for the first time this past January. I think we are now about 6 or 7 years post diagnosis, so it took that long to test negative.

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      smartrock (08-28-2018)

    9. #6
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      The vet sends an annual reminder postcard for all immunizations and the SNAP test but somehow the SNAP was missed a few months ago. Since I don't accept the core vaccines on a yearly basis, maybe she thought I would pass on that as well. I don't know why, since in order to board my pups they need not only the core vaccines but Lyme, bordatella, and CIV annually, kennel rules.

      In various articles or websites, the length of time for dosing various meds for ehrlichiosis is kind of all over the place, anywhere from 10 days to 8 weeks. Ridiculous. The Merck Veterinary Manual, which was the most prescriptive one I found, says 5-10 mg/kg for 10-21 days for doxy, longer for some of the others like tetracycline. The most recent ACVIM consensus statement from 2002 says to give it for 28 days. For humans, the treatment with doxycycline is until 3 days after the fever has gone away or 7-14 days, according to the CDC. Their guidelines for Lyme treatment in humans prescribes longer treatment. How's anyone to know what to do?

    10. #7
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      I would go a longer course than a shorter one, just so you make sure you get it all, and it doesn't recur because you stopped antibiotics too soon. I don't think the experts agree on a length of treatment. If I had a positive test I would probably treat for 6 weeks, sort of a compromise between 30 and 60 days.

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      smartrock (08-28-2018)

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