Lyme Disease

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Lyme Disease

This is a discussion on Lyme Disease within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi - I have been researching and haven't found any recent posts regarding Lyme Disease in dogs. Most information on the internet says that the ...

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Old 04-17-2017, 07:32 PM
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Lyme Disease

Hi - I have been researching and haven't found any recent posts regarding Lyme Disease in dogs. Most information on the internet says that the dog won't show any symptoms, or after a 3 - 4 week duration of antibiotics they are completely cured. I'd like to share our story of our 6 yr old Rottie who was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

Last November our dog, Zooter, began having severe neck pain. It came on very quickly and severely. If he went from a lying position to sitting up he would make a noise that I can only describe as a scream. It was horrible. We have retired and now live in Baja, Mexico so we immediately called our vet in California, and he told us what meds to put him on for pain and to help treat inflammation. As soon as we could get him to California and to the vet, we all determined that he had IVDD. We spoke at length with our vet and with a specialist regarding spinal surgery, but before it was even considered the specialist required an 8 week rest period. After a few weeks of resting, Zooter improved dramatically and after 8 weeks he was back to normal.

Skip forward to February and Zooter woke up that morning and didn't feel like eating. We took him for our normal morning walk and he was much slower and kept bumping into things. He slept most of the day and he didn't want to open his eyes. Since we live in Mexico, I thought for sure he had picked up pink eye or another infection. The next morning we drove to the vet and his corneas were completely filled with blood and he could not see. We were shocked as this happened literally overnight. The vet here in Baja kept referring to Lyme disease, but didn't have the ability to run all of the tests to confirm. We didn't really think that was possible because I am very religious about our flea and tick medicine due to the amount of fleas here in Baja. (We have run a flea comb though Zooter a hundred times, and even at the vets office, and never found a flea on him.)

Since we didn't know for sure what was going on with him, and were holding out some hope that we could save his eyesight we immediately drove up to California to a Veterinary Specialist. We drove straight to the clinic and they did a zillion tests on Zooter. The only test that came back positive was for Lyme Disease.

We immediately put him on Doxycycline and Prednisone, along with pain meds and several eye drops for his eyes. After one week we had a follow up visit and his eyes had improved and he wasn't experiencing any other symptoms. So we continued on our 4 weeks of antibiotics and the prescribed dosage of prednisone along with pain meds and eye drops.

After a month his eyes had completely cleared of blood. A little eyesight came back - he can see shadows if it is light out, but he cannot see at all if it is dark. He has adapted very well to being blind. We finally finished all of our meds about two and half weeks ago and he was doing great - until two days ago. He is experiencing severe back leg pain and at times it looks like he has lost all use of his back legs. Then the next minute he ready to go for a walk and you wouldn't even know he was just screaming in pain. So we have started on the Doxycycline and pain meds again hoping that this will help in the next few days.

The reason I'm posting is because I couldn't find any helpful information online regarding severe symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs. There was fault on our part that we assumed that the flea and tick meds we are using was enough, and we had never even thought about getting a Lyme test done with our vet. I wish that I had known more about Lyme Disease when he started having neck/spine pain back in November and hadn't just assumed that it was a spine injury. The other thing we didn't know was that some dogs can have severe relapses with Lyme Disease - we weren't advised that we should go back to the vet to get tested again after he had finished all of his meds to be sure that all of the organism was gone. This roller coaster has been horrible, especially when your dog can't tell you what hurts and why.

So, maybe just some helpful info to others who might be looking for information on Lyme Disease in dogs. Get them tested, the flea and tick meds aren't 100% - only a deterrent, and if your dog has sudden and severe pain - at least ask about the possibility of Lyme Disease.
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:35 PM
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Very sorry to hear of your dog's experience with Lyme disease. It is very prevalent on the East Coast, particularly in areas where deer live. Lyme disease is very difficult to protect against because ticks are very difficult to find on animals. Unfortunately, ticks are widespread in many areas, particularly in parks and wooded areas that are popular spots to let dogs roam. It is critical that a dog be carefully examined for ticks after they have been outside for any period of time. Anti-tick sprays and shampoos appear to be of no value.
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