[ SHOWGSD-L ] tick bourne illness

  • From: Judy Thigpin <k9sar_judy@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: showgsd-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2009 21:31:36 -0500

I agree with those who state the dogs never really totally recover from
any of the tick bourne diseases unless it is caught very early.  My GSD,
Rocky, was diagnosed with exposure to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and
Ecrlichiosis about 4 years ago.  He was treated with doxy longer than
recommended and he had flare ups until his death 4 months ago.  He had a
fever of 106.2 when he got sick and it took the vet school a few days to
even determine a diagnosis.  It was 2 weeks before he started acting like
himself and months before I considered him back to normal. 
To our knowledge, his death (4 years LATER) was not tied to the tick
bourne disease, but I'll always believe it took years off his life.  His
death was sudden, with no warning, one minute he was standing beside me,
the next he had collapsed and was gone within a couple of minutes. He
died 2 weeks before his 9th birthday and seemed to be healthy, had just
been to the vet 3 weeks before.  He was a SAR dog and still actively
participating in searches, training, etc.  One of the articles I read
from the link I noted states:  "It is not unusual for dogs in this final
stage to suffer massive internal hemorrhage, or succumb to sudden stroke,
heart attack, renal failure, splenic rupture or liver failure, resulting
in death. A peculiarity about the disease is - these dogs often do not
look or act as though they are in a terminal stage of disease until their
final hour. " This statement convinced me that Rocky's death was related
to the tick bourne disease, although, my vet did a necropsy and could not
determine a cause of death, but I chose not to submit tissue samples,
etc.  I believe he had a stroke or a similar event.  The article is near
the end of the web site and I don't remember ever reading it until
several weeks after I lost Rocky.  

IMO, all of these diseases need to be treated as chronic disease with
frequent monitoring by your vet, including semi annual blood work.  If
your dogs just don't seem right, be sure and mention tick bourne disease
to your vet because often a quick diagnosis makes all the difference in
the prognosis.

Here is link you may find interesting -
http://www.swiftwaterfarms.com/swiftwater/p11Ehrlichiosis.htm  My
understanding is, it's not unusual for them to test positive for months
after being treated.

We also started a yahoo group that is monitored by a vet. 
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/k9tickdisease/   We require approval
to limit spam.

Feel free to contact me privately if you have questions.

Good luck, hope your dog does well.

Judy Thigpin 

> On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 6:34 PM, gail rutter <ruttergsd@xxxxxxxxxx> 
> wrote:
> > Need to hear from anyone who has had experience with this, 
> please.
> > I have a dog who, after it taking several months and multiple vet 
> visits,
> > we found tested positive and he has been on doxycycline.  I'm 
> looking
> > for experience with the healing process and therapy and/or 
> further
> > medication.
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