Basset Hounds Forum banner

Update on Lady

4340 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  biscuit
Well. Speak of the need to have a good vet and to trust them, even when you don't want to ...

I was certain Lady had kidney disease. But apparently, her platelet count is very low, while one of her white blood cell counts (can't remember the name) is very high. The vet said she usually sees this with some kind of blood parasite --- meaning things like ehrlichia --- which is what Biscuit had. :(

The tick panel is negative, however. But she's being treated with doxycycline and we'll see what happens. Maybe it will do the trick - maybe not.

In any case, I say "need to ... trust them, even when you don't want to ... " because earlier today, I was seriously grumping about my vet because she took a blood test but made no mention of a urine sample. Now, however, I think she was going by educated intuition which, obviously, I don't have - :blink: - given I know squat about veterinarian medicine.

If we figure out what this is, I'll post it.
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
It's so upsetting when they're sick. :( Wishing you and Lady the best.

Ehrlichia links...

Ehrliciosis and Related Infections, Merck Veterinary Manual
An Overview of Canine Erlichiosis, UGA
Ehrlichiosis(canine), Wikipedia
Poor Lady! It looks like the prognosis may be good, though and that's what I would focus on. SHe's been through a lot, the poor girl. Chin up, Linda!! You're doing the right thing.
Thanks for the links, Betsy!

Beverly, the prognosis is absolutely excellent. Fortunately, I've been absolutely devilling the vet for a couple months now (She's not eating right! Her poop looks funny! Her poop looks funny again! There's something funny going on! on and on and on) --- it's been bad enough that I was beginning to think I must have Munchausens (sp?) by Proxy. :D

But I'm glad I did. As the vet said, these ticks around here are tricky little devils and you have got to watch the pups like no one's business.

The odd thing is, a month or so ago, I noticed something about her face that reminded me of Biscuit while he was sick --- but I thought nah, I have got to be imagining things. Then, the day before she went in, I noticed her eating had begun to lessen again, and I had this momentary thought of TICK DISEASE! But I just figured I was still traumatized from that whole thing with Biscuit.

Apparently not.

There's such an object lesson in it though, and that is, find a good vet and trust that vet! Had she listened to my diagnosis, we'd be headed down the wrong path!
See less See more
And a second lesson: Who knows your dog better than you? And if you think there's something wrong, push it until it gets resolved. I hope Lady is feeling better very soon. Do they make doggy hazmat suits? You might get her one for when she's outside.
Yes, Lightning!

And a third lesson, as well! Don't stop using Frontline or whichever tick med you're using in November just because it's so outrageously cold that you're certain there are no ticks out there! Having pulled a tick off Yogi a day or so after the absolutely outrageous ice storms we had in January, I can testify even the cold doesn't stop them!

Biscuit from what I've heard from you about your vet, hang on to her! One doesn't develop a relationship with a vet the first visit. It's something you both have to work at so you come to trust each other.

Hope this does the trick for Lady!
Yes, Lightning!

And a third lesson, as well! Don't stop using Frontline or whichever tick med you're using in November just because it's so outrageously cold that you're certain there are no ticks out there! Having pulled a tick off Yogi a day or so after the absolutely outrageous ice storms we had in January, I can testify even the cold doesn't stop them!

Amen to that!

My list of personal acquaintances who have tested positive for Lyme now numbers 16(including myself and Murray)- the 2 latest additions are a friend and her 10 year old daughter who went for a walk in the woods 3 weeks before Christmas and were lucky enough to develop bullseye rashes soon afterwards (many people infected with Lyme do not develop a rash). They took doxcycycline and are OK, but honestly, what biscuit is saying is true- don't stop the Frontline over the winter if you live in an area with high tick infestation! Those suckers are out there!

And biscuit, I hope Lady will be OK- please keep us posted-
It's kind of scary, murraysmom.

We don't have Lyme disease here, but ehrlichia is starting to approach what you describe, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is already there. :blink:

And get this: apparently Dengue Fever is headed our way. :eek: :eek: Not happy!

As for Lady, it's obvious the antibiotics are making her sick, but I think she's going to be okay. She's eating well and her mood is really good and she's having fun. She's having a nice nap right now, in fact. :)
Glad to hear she's eating and feeling in better spirits. :)
Well, the improvement in Lady is dramatic. I was fairly concerned on Saturday because she couldn't make it onto the porch and took a spill --- which really freaked me out --- but all that has passed.

I do have a question, though --- shortly after Biscuit got ehrlichiosis, there was a huge announcement in the paper that horses here were suddenly dying of it (it had apparently never been seen here before).

Now, in one of the links (Merck), I just read that horses can be hosts to one of the varieties of ehrlichia.

I have horses pastured on my land, at least one of whom was here when there was the first big outbreak in this area. And yes, the dogs and them play (kind of).

Is there any possibility one or more of them may be a host? I seem to recall reading somewhere that the kind of ehrlichia that infects them can also infect horses.

Or are we just basically like - um - endemic or epidemic here?

ps: I'll ask my vet about this, too. It will be at the very least interesting to hear the results and maybe even helpful for me.
See less See more
Biscuit I believe my vet had to special order tests for the species of Ehrlichia found in horses becuase it wasn't part of the routine test. Found the following
Finding Rickettsiae in All the Wrong Places

Julie Rawlings, MPH

Despite our egocentric worldview, we must remember that both domesticated and wild animals can be infected with the organisms that cause Lyme disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE), babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in humans. Dr. Louis Magnarelli, with the Department of Entomology at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, presented recent findings on the laboratory detection of tick-borne organisms in humans, animals, and ticks at the first day of the 13th Lyme Disease Conference.

Report From Connecticut
Dr. Magnarelli quoted recent Connecticut Department of Health statistics: 3434 human Lyme disease cases, 104 HGE cases, and 45 human babesiosis cases were reported in Connecticut during 1998. Human cases of Lyme disease and HGE have occurred in all counties of the state. Babesiosis has been most prevalent in New London County, particularly in coastal areas. RMSF is the least common tick-borne disease in Connecticut--there are usually fewer than 5 cases reported each year. It is thought that many tick-borne infections go undetected and unreported.
When suspected, most clinicians rely on antibody tests to confirm tick-borne infections. Multiple assays can be conducted to determine whether persons or domesticated animals have been exposed to more than 1 pathogen.

Together Again, for the First Time
In the Northeastern United States, Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector for Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease; for the HGE agent; and for Babesia microti, an agent of babesiosis. According to Dr. Magnarelli, studies were conducted during the early 1990s to determine whether Lyme disease patients also had antibody to the HGE agent (Ehrlichia equi or a closely related organism) and B microti. Analyses of 511 human sera in Connecticut revealed that 20 (3.9%) persons had antibody to both B burgdorferi and the HGE agent. Antibody to all 3 agents was detected in 4 (0.8%) additional serum samples.
In view of this information, Dr. Magnarelli said that the focus of research shifted to the white-footed mouse, a chief reservoir for both B burgdorferi and B microti, and to the white-tailed deer, a preferred host for I. Scapularis in adults. Using indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) staining methods, researchers found antibody to 2 or 3 tick-borne pathogens in mice and verified coexisting antibody to B burgdorferi and the HGE agent in deer. Western blot analyses of mouse and deer sera confirmed the presence of antibody that reacted very strongly to an HGE agent outer surface protein, with a molecular mass of about 44 kilodaltons. In addition, HGE agent DNA was detected in deer blood specimens, which were collected from various locations in Connecticut.

Canis and Equus
Dr. Magnarelli said that veterinarians who have learned about the advances in laboratory diagnosis of HGE infections have begun to request assistance in diagnosing Ehrlichia infections in dogs and horses. Using DNA detection procedures, IFA staining methods, and immunoblotting techniques, researchers have documented granulocytic ehrlichial infections, caused by the same organism that infects humans, in horses from Connecticut and in the lower Hudson River Valley region of New York State. Ehrlichia equi was subsequently isolated from equine blood samples. Detection of specific antibody in dogs also verified their exposure to granulocytic ehrlichiae. Both dogs and horses developed strong immune responses to the p44 antigen of the HGE agent.
In his summary, Dr. Magnarelli said that advances made in detecting DNA of and specific antibody to tick-borne pathogens has aided the laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease, HGE, and babesiosis. He also suggested that because there is increased evidence of coinfections in people and domesticated animals, laboratory testing for evidence of all 3 of these infections should be considered when a tick-borne disease is suspected.[/b]
Biscuit I believe my vet had to special order tests for the species of Ehrlichia found in horses becuase it wasn't part of the routine test.[/b]
That's one thing I'm thinking.

I'm also thinking maybe I better tell the guy who owns these horses that maybe he better be being careful with them and with his other critters. My hypothesis right now is that one of his horses might be a host because Lady isn't a wanderer and loves the yard.

Or it could be the deer who jump the fence or the groundhog :angry: :angry: or other critters.

But it seems worth it to me to investigate a possible horse connection because they're always hanging over my fence and bugging the dogs. :blink:
had a bout of canine ehrlichia here a few years ago. a real SOB but the dog made it through,she is 15 years old now. my father had to put a dog down 2 years from rocky mountian spotted fever all of this in new jersey.these thing happen all over the place.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is really nasty stuff --- maybe nastier than ehrlichiosis.

I remembered you had a pup who survived ehrlichiosis --- the way it looks now, Lady will make it two on the board who have. :D She's doing good, although that doxycycline - ew! I can tell it's making her sick. But she's eating.

Right now, I'm convinced Lady has Potomac River fever --- ehrlichia risticii --- but whatever the case, I've decided to ask my vet to help me track down a good lab for more blood tests so we can at least go through a process of elimination on exactly what it is.

Creepy stuff! The ehrlichias appear to be having a population boom! :eek:
Just a thought, you may already do this- when the dogs are on antibiotics, or me for that matter, I always add Dannon plain yogurt to the diet to keep the good stuff in the digestive tract from being killed off- glad to hear Lady is doing so much better!
Thanks for the reminder, murraysmom. A month or so ago, I got a Salton Yogurt Maker and have been making my own! Am starting a batch now.

In any case, Lady's symptoms have almost entirely receded, other than lameness associated with her dysplasia. I haven't yet talked to the vet --- she's definitely swamped --- but given the improvement, I'm not going to be surprised if she determines this wasn't an acute case, and that Lady's ehrlichiosis is subclinical.

I'm saying that because she's been showing signs of Doggie Alzheimer's off and on now for several months - I can't remember when I first took her to the vet, but I know it was at least last fall (October?). But all of that has disappeared. So. Hm.
hey biscuit do you use goat's milk for your yogurt?
I don't have goats right now, Billy! Although there's some cute little baby ones right across the way from me, and I've been tempted to nab one of 'em --- those little goaties are really darling!

But I know a lot of people who make yogurt with goat milk. Me, I make goat cheese with it - just strain it through cheesecloth and add garlic and black pepper while it's straining. It's almost as good as the real thing.

I'm trying to figure out a way to make Greek yogurt, btw. If anyone knows the secret (other than "you need a Greek cow!") tell me!!
Apropos of nothing, this isn't really on topic, but my Irish immigrant grandparents used to keep a goat right in the heart of the city of Boston because goat's milk was supposed to be good for ulcers. (This was in the 50's) My poor aunt was mortified because the goat used to follow her all the way down to the trolley stop then make her way home after Aunt Eileen got on.
One day when I was little the goat chased me all the way down the street until a neighbor corraled the beast and saved me from her.
I'm hoping Lady's doing better but a thread on goats will always get me interested. :lol:
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.