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I am hoping our experience can help someone. Had we known what we know now, it would have made things much easier not only on our dog, but us as well.
Early spring, tis the time for ticks. I have been in dogs for like 40 years, never have I seen lyme disease, although knowing about but " certainly not one of my dogs" was the falsehood of mentality.
This post is in two parts- one what happened with us, the cause and treatment and personal notes. The second part is how this occurs, so please bear with me.
We had just lost Femka. When Zubin first showed up with depressed signs, I hate to admit this, but we put it on his grief at the loss of "his mother" as he saw her. Then went to stiffness in the neck. Having a puppy here ( Lindsey) it was totally resonable to think she bounced on his neck in the wrong position as personally witnessed several times. We took him into the vet the second day if nothing else than to get an anti-inflamatory and to have x-rays done. All x-rays showed no cracks in the neck etc, but he was obviously painful. "Rest, anti-inflamatories and pain meds and keep him quiet" was the diagnosis. ( more on that in a minute). So the treatment started. Zubin went from barely managing to severe pain within 3 days. Here is a video I took to play for the vet. It is gut wrenching to hear so a warning on that to anyone before you watch it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr8RWnnVeus

Day 4 vet said to increase pain and anti inflamatory doseage. We are both scared to bits as Femkas loss was too recent in our hearts and brain. Vet kept saying " its a strained neck muscle- this is a sighthound- you will get drama" ( I am not kidding!) Day 5 I have had it- to me Zubins pain management was not working at all. No longer believing this vet that this is just a strained muscle took to another vet.
Here we go- the second vet said the on set of Lyme disease usually more than not does start in the neck. Its not just weakness in the limbs. He said at the onset of stiff neck in tic season it is vital to start either or both doxicycline and amoxicillian. He gave him an injection of this ( some mixture - I am not sure I am afraid as my receipt says 'doxi/amoxi injection.) and we took home after 12 hours of fluids as well.
By the next morning he went from screaming in pain to only occasional yells and within 7 days, it was gone!
The lyme tick is so small. How the tic operates is while in a neonate it feeds off the stool spores of mice. Once the tic is infected, when it bites a dog it immediately infects the dogs. Once the tick as a full meal, it is no longer infected with the virus. It doesn't matter if your dog is on tick prevention meds or not- as once it bites the tic dies with most preventions, but the disease has already transmitted.
Here is my advice- during early tic season, if your dog gets a stiff neck or shows pain in the neck, its a simple dose of antibiotics and I have found out since then, not all vets start this prevention right from the start.
I hope this helps someone. ( by the way- that video is mild compared to how bad it really got..).
** update from todays vet visit. If todays HW/Ehrilichia/Lyme/Anaplasma shows a postitive for lyme, he will be retested for the antibodies levels of the lyme. They want under 30 in numbers. ( judging by the writing I think its called a C6 Quantita test. )
 

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My vet has a good handle on it. I was please to find out his visit went so well today though. He is now back to 97.1- excellent weight also as he lost weight during all that.
 

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Anne's page is excellent, although out of date I believe in reference to the Snap
Test, now that we have progressed to Snap 4, a better test all around than the Snap 3. I refer anyone interested in learning more about Tick Diseases to go to Anne's page, as well as Gil Ash's pages, and to join the Tick List.

I have dealt with Lyme Disease way more than I would ever wish on anyone else. At last count, I was up to 6 dogs who had Lyme Disease with varying outcomes. I have been lucky enough not to have to deal with any of the other TBD's yet.
 

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Yikes- 6 dogs??? Bless your heart and prayers- one dog was bad enough. Poor boy was soooo miserable! And yes- same for us as well as so far only lyme disease.
 

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The 6 go back a fair number of years, and my ex husband was an avid hunter. Here in Wisconsin that's just asking for Lyme Disease :(

My stud dog ended up with Lyme twice (looking back, I don't believe it was properly treated the first time) and it really impacted his fertility negatively. When I finally gave up and neutered him, the vet said he had never seen anything like his testicles before. It was his belief, and mine, that the Lyme settled in his testicles.
 

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The 6 go back a fair number of years, and my ex husband was an avid hunter. Here in Wisconsin that's just asking for Lyme Disease :(

My stud dog ended up with Lyme twice (looking back, I don't believe it was properly treated the first time) and it really impacted his fertility negatively. When I finally gave up and neutered him, the vet said he had never seen anything like his testicles before. It was his belief, and mine, that the Lyme settled in his testicles.
Oh Good Lord! Yea my vet said to do this C6 as we might retreat him as a prevention. How is your male now?
 

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Excellent news- my vet just called me. The test showed a weak postive- which is great news! We are still going to run the C6 in about 3 months, but a weak postive is a good sign his body handled the medication and disease well in recovery.
Yea zubin- you scooby-do!
 

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A couple of notes:

Lyme isn't a virus. Also, I don't quite understand what you're saying about the life cycle and neonates and stool spores, so if you could clarify that or link a source, it would be helpful.

If you live in a Lyme area, a regular SNAP test (the HW/Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasmosis/Lyme test you're talking about) every six months or so is a smart thing to do on top of your anti-tick protocols. We've had two dogs now who have managed to pick up Anaplasmosis and not Lyme. They're Lyme vaccinated, so that could be a reason that's happened. It also could be that Lyme may transmit slower than Anaplasmosis, though the OP is right that it can be transmitted fairly swiftly (which isn't what we used to think).

Comet's Anaplasmosis went acute fairly swiftly (he had a negative SNAP test not that long ago), and it was quite scary to seem him move around like he was badly injured. Fortunately, the doxycycline is a magic drug. It's the preferred protocol to amoxicillin, though doubling them up in the first dose might have some helpful effect that I don't know about.

That video is so, so sad. I'm sorry your pup went through it, but really glad to hear he's on the mend. The truly scary thing that happens with Lyme is nephritis, kidney failure that can set in fairly quickly. A friend lost her Toller to Lyme nephritis because she and the vets never thought to check for Lyme in that region of VT. I hate ticks.
 

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The vet had given us papers on the life cycle of the tick that carries the disease. That is really just the process- but you are right- its not a virus.
By the way- I was wondering if I should do the snap test every 6 months. I asked the vet for the frequency and she said yearly. hmm.. ( will have to ask that one.) .. hmm...
That video was taped for the vet. And it was really a calm one- but heartbreaking to say the least! Todays visit I am so relieved. I know we still need to follow this up, but at least now its a weak positive.
I do hope Comet is okay. That is one I have not run into- and from the sound of it, pray it doesn't happen here.
 

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The vet had given us papers on the life cycle of the tick that carries the disease. That is really just the process- but you are right- its not a virus.
By the way- I was wondering if I should do the snap test every 6 months. I asked the vet for the frequency and she said yearly. hmm.. ( will have to ask that one.) .. hmm...
That video was taped for the vet. And it was really a calm one- but heartbreaking to say the least! Todays visit I am so relieved. I know we still need to follow this up, but at least now its a weak positive.
I do hope Comet is okay. That is one I have not run into- and from the sound of it, pray it doesn't happen here.
I was curious about the mouse stools comment because I hadn't heard that, and I'm always interested in knowing more about how these **** diseases work.

Where are you? Anaplasmosis has more recently been reclassified and added to the SNAP test, but I think it's in most places that Lyme is.

Six months is my personal preference and seems to make sense around here (CT—Lyme ground zero). I know my dogs are exposed on every single walk, so the six months is about being proactive and making sure the diseases don't have time to do permanent damage if there is an infection. One of our only advantages in this fight is that the diseases typically (though not always) progress slowly.
 

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I was curious about the mouse stools comment because I hadn't heard that, and I'm always interested in knowing more about how these **** diseases work.

Where are you? Anaplasmosis has more recently been reclassified and added to the SNAP test, but I think it's in most places that Lyme is.

Six months is my personal preference and seems to make sense around here (CT—Lyme ground zero). I know my dogs are exposed on every single walk, so the six months is about being proactive and making sure the diseases don't have time to do permanent damage if there is an infection. One of our only advantages in this fight is that the diseases typically (though not always) progress slowly.
I live in virginia- but we live in an older stone home with lots of very old english boxwoods-. This appears to be the source of the tics. My husband trimmed up the bushes and also trimed them a bit at the bottom as the field mice were nesting in the bushes.
According to the papers from the vet- what happens is that the mice burrow- and of course- create stool. The young tics- not yet either old enough to venture out, or in the case with Zubin, probably deep in the ground, eat off the mice stool- and thus- become infected with the Lyme.
Now- the tic has the lyme, and will remain so until the tic has a full meal- in other words- if the tic takes a bite, but not full, but bites another- it still has lyme.
So- thats why it is spread so much in early spring- ( remember winter- unless a deep freeze- which we usually do not have), or fall when its cold and mice return and burrow, followed by ticks- etc- ( see the cycle there?) = that is why.
Its funny when we lived on the mountain, the winters were so much colder! I mean even up to like 20 degrees colder, but here- they are not. ( outside of NOVA).
Its really just knowing the source- ie the best prevention is to take care of the mice- ( uh ever try to do that on a total of 6 acres???)
 

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This is not the exact papers we have but states it the White footed mice. The paper we have goes onto to state that the nymph size tic is also feeding on the stools of the INFECTED mice- so its not just mice stools. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1556&aid=458
And tippy- you are at ground zero- wow!
Right, it feeds on infected mice, but I don't think it eats stool. That seems strange to me.

Yeah, CT is a TBD hotbed. Kind of stinks.
 

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Right, it feeds on infected mice, but I don't think it eats stool. That seems strange to me.

Yeah, CT is a TBD hotbed. Kind of stinks.
That is what my paper says. On monday I could ask my husband to take it to work and have him scan it for me- and I will post it. Maybe it can help someone.
Could you please give the same good advice of what Comet had? I know its not lyme disease, but it is linked to these tests we are discussing.
Please discribe the condition, the onset, what to look for, course of treatment, and how long it took for Comet to get over his condition. Its still tic related.
( ohhhh Zubin sends you a warm gentle Borzoi lean.. lol) ( he is resting on me .. lol)
 

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Anaplasmosis/Lyme really scare me bc of Lyme nephritis, but also the hypothesis that chronic Anaplasmosis inflammations set dogs up for cancer. My goldens who have tested positive for Anaplasma gave their DNA/blood etc to a big study Idexx labs is conducting in conjunction with NCstate.

I am very consistent with the C6, and even a PCR test if there's any gray area. There is too much that is unknown, still, about TBD. From vet to vet, the protocol for Doxy dosage varies from 5 mg per kg to 10 mg per kg, and the time from two weeks to a month. My vet is very aggressive with tick diseases and chooses 10mg per kg for a month.

I HATE ticks, and I've had a few right on me after field training this fall. Yuck.

I'm actually so worried about ticks, that I have started wanting winter puppies only, so they can be as developed and old as possible before any chance of getting a tick. Frontline plus is soso- I'm thinking of adding Preventic collars, except that they don't work if a dog swims and are bad for kitties.
 

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Very good information- Thank you! I see you live in Maine. I would take it that is considerably colder in the winter months where you are. I see your logic with winter pups. That makes complete sense to me.
 

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I live in virginia- but we live in an older stone home with lots of very old english boxwoods-. This appears to be the source of the tics. My husband trimmed up the bushes and also trimed them a bit at the bottom as the field mice were nesting in the bushes.
According to the papers from the vet- what happens is that the mice burrow- and of course- create stool. The young tics- not yet either old enough to venture out, or in the case with Zubin, probably deep in the ground, eat off the mice stool- and thus- become infected with the Lyme.
Now- the tic has the lyme, and will remain so until the tic has a full meal- in other words- if the tic takes a bite, but not full, but bites another- it still has lyme.
So- thats why it is spread so much in early spring- ( remember winter- unless a deep freeze- which we usually do not have), or fall when its cold and mice return and burrow, followed by ticks- etc- ( see the cycle there?) = that is why.
Its funny when we lived on the mountain, the winters were so much colder! I mean even up to like 20 degrees colder, but here- they are not. ( outside of NOVA).
Its really just knowing the source- ie the best prevention is to take care of the mice- ( uh ever try to do that on a total of 6 acres???)
I'm in VA as well. What part. This is a good local link as well. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1292256/lyme_disease_is_prevalent_epidemic.html?cat=8

Northern VA has a high rate of Lyme in humans and dogs. My parents GSD went from normal to really bad in days...it was Lyme. My sister has a chronic Lyme that was more advaced when it was diagnosed after multiple misses. Once my parents GSD had the meds in him it was amazing how fast he recovered. It's a horrible illness and what it does. My sister-in-law a few years back, NOVA as well, got Rocky-Mt. spotted fever via a tick bite.


http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=726
How common is Lyme disease?

About 15,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year in the United States. Most of these cases come from Atlantic coast states, from northern Virginia up to Massachusetts.

The incidence of Lyme disease in Loudoun County is about 20 times greater than that of the Virginia average. This is most likely due to:

the preservation of our county’s rural nature and woodlands;

our increasing population, which allows more people to come in contact with ticks, particularly on their own property;

a well-trained medical community that appropriately diagnoses early Lyme disease; and

well-educated residents who know to see a doctor if they have an unusual rash or had a deer tick attached to them for more than 30 hours.....
 
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