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Dog wth Ehrlichia on Doxycyline & RAW Diet

August 28th, 2007, 01:29 AM
Before I ask any questions I would like to mention that I live in Belize Central America. One hour West of the only vet clinic I trust to treat my animals and the Vet lives 1 & 1/2 hours North of the Clinic. I have her home and cell #'s but unless it is a dire emergency I prefer to let her rest. With 6 dogs, 5, Birds and a Peccary she hears from me a lot as it is.

I have a dog with Ehrlichia (actually, I have 6) however she is the only one exhibiting current symptoms. Tonight one of her eyes was very red and bloodshot, both glassy. I just got the results last week from a titer taken 4 weeks ago approximately 8 - 10 weeks after the end of an 8 week treatment on Doxy. The 2nd titer was 1:20 previously 1:160 however her platelets from the CBC were 14.Our vet said to not treat her with doxy due to the low titer bit I recognize the symptoms. After her symptoms in the last 6 hours I spontaneously decided to put her back on Doxy tonight. 100 mg bid (she weighs 27 lbs) She's 4 Years old and may have been infected when we got her @ 3 months. I have a feeling that the rickisetta may have infiltrated her bone marrow. Right now and for the last 3 weeks I have been transitioning to RAW feeding in an effort to increase all the dogs general health. All but the 2 oldest (12 years) are doing well and have been on exclusively RMB for over a week. Will the Doxy mess with her digesting raw meat & bones or will it not affect her?

Also can she have a very low titer and an active infection or has it revved up since the test was taken? I feel certain that it is the T.Fever as she always used to get a bloodshot eye and lethargy and nosebleeds, as soon as she started the first course of treatment within 24 hours she was a completely different dog.

Is there anything I can give her to help her platelet count come up?

August 28th, 2007, 02:04 AM
I'm not sure which Ehrlichia your dog contracted...but 4 of our dogs contracted Anaplasma phagocytophilum last fall and were initially treated with doxycycline. Only one was symptomatic...the other three were asymptomatic and diagnosed due to low platelets and white blood cell counts before the titer came back positive. The reason this may be relevant is that A. phagocytophilum was recently renamed--it was reclassified to another genus--but it used to be known as Ehrlichia equii. Not sure if this is what you're battling, or not?

Two of our dogs had a lot of trouble kicking the bug. We finally went to a 6-week course of doxy, followed by a 4-wk course of amoxicillin. Our dogs did not tolerate the amoxicillin as well as they did the doxy, but it did seem to do the trick. Seems like a lot of these tick-borne diseases succumb to a one-two punch where just the doxy doesn't finish the job.

One is still not out of the woods, but seems much better. He'll need some more blood tests before we know for sure if he's kicked the anaplasmosis. Interestingly, after his titer and cytology showed that he'd more than likely overcome the anaplasmosis, his platelets and WBC were still low. After a few weeks off the doxycycline, however, his blood counts are rebounding, so the depressed counts seem to have been a result of the doxy.

As to the titer levels. Of the 4 after treatment, 2 had very high titers but showed no symptoms and the cytology was clean. The opinion we got from the vets was that these dogs had kicked it--the titer was high because it measures antibodies to the organism. The body had responded well, produced lots of antibodies, and fought off the infection.

The other 2 had titers that weren't as high. Of these, the one I spoke of earlier was symptomatic from day one; the second seemed to kick the bug, but then relapsed a few months later. The opinion here was that the immune system had not responded well enough to clear the organism, resulting in active infection. These were the two that we eventually did the two-drug regimen on.

I believe there are other antibiotics that also work well against these diseases. You vet will know what choices are good.

As to whether the doxy will interfere with the raw diet or vice versa, I'm afraid I don't know. :shrug: Hopefully, someone else on the board will!

Good luck with your dog :fingerscr Keep us posted as to how she's doing!

August 28th, 2007, 02:34 AM
the tests get sent out of country (not sure where) and the only thing they titer for is E. Canis, which I hear can get positives from other E. sp. as well. I'll forward your post about the Doxy/Amoxi to my vet in the morning and ask her what she thinks. We may be taking a trip in after the clinic opens too. Cassie is resting well right now and seems more relaxed and herself already.

Thanks much for the reply & info

Cassie is the Fluffy White Dog

August 28th, 2007, 07:56 AM
Beautiful doggies ! I think going raw is a great idea for your dogs ~ just not now for all of them. If the dogs are asymptomatic, then going raw may well help them battle the infection with improved health but go very slowly. In Cassie's case ~ I think you are asking too much at once of her immune system. I would home-cook for her until she is asymptomatic then transition slowly and stick to non-novel proteins. In all cases given your situation I would be HYPER-VIGILANT (to the point of being obsessive-compulsive :rolleyes: ) about ensuring meat freshness and good hygiene.

August 28th, 2007, 09:16 AM
There is a snap test available from Idexx that checks for anaplasmosis, Lyme's, heartworm, and E. canis, but at this point it probably doesn't matter. For most of the tick-borne diseases, the treatment is the same.

You have a lovely Pack! :thumbs up Cassie looks like she could have some English setter in her--and ironically, ours are setters...(and we have a Cass, too). Makes you kinda wonder if they're particularly susceptible, doesn't it?

Best of luck with Cassie! :fingerscr and 32 crossed :pawprint:s sending you healing vibes!

August 29th, 2007, 01:20 AM
If the dogs are asymptomatic, then going raw may well help them battle the infection with improved health but go very slowly. In Cassie's case ~ I think you are asking too much at once of her immune system. I would home-cook for her until she is asymptomatic then
transition slowly and stick to non-novel proteins.

I talked to the vet today and she agreed that due to symptoms Cassie should go back on the doxy. Originally she was prescribed 100 mg 1 x daily but I saw during research that some dosages were much higher and after we talked it over she's on 100 mg bid.

Before I switched to raw all the dogs were on Pedigree Kibble (best you can get here) and I do not want to go back to that. Cassie has been on exclusively RAW for over 2 weeks now. I have been feeding raw chicken to all four dogs on the new diet. The JRT gets a wing or neck and liver or gizzard max 3 oz. Cassie a wing or neck and half a drumstick or small piece of breast and one or 2 feet or giblets max 4 oz.
The 2 labs get 1/4 chicken leg & thigh or breast & wing. giblets or foot or neck. Max 10 - 12 oz. All 2 x's daily plus they all get pumpkin and yoghurt on top. Stool is firm, brown, and doesn't smell. By the next day parts have turned white and break down into powder with no bone chunks. Maybe every other day i give them either a raw egg or a cooked one shell included. No one has gained or lost weight and they seem to love it.

The 2 older dogs(both 12) have been getting home cooked brown rice and poached boneless chicken with a variety of legumes & veggies thrown in (whatever's on hand when I cook a batch). + pumpkin and yoghurt.

Everyone seems to be eating well and digesting good although Sammie the 12 y.o. Rottie's farts smell bad enough that the other dogs get up & leave.

Every one gets cow feet as treats.

Every thing the dogs are being fed is human food grade as Chicken foot and cow foot are commonly consumed here. So its clean, & refrigerated or frozen in bags until I'm ready to use it. As a matter of fact I had a bowl of Chicken Foot Soup for dinner tonight. Why should the dogs have all the fun? :D

I don't want to harm Cassie by giving her raw meat but it seems to have been just long enough that to change her diet again would just put more stress on her system. I wonder though if the doxy would affect the enzymes in her stomach acid and affect the way her digestive system handles the bone. Does anyone know exactly what doxycyline affects in the body. I know it has to be given with food to prevent nausea and is shown to metabolize through both the kidneys & liver.

Different opinions or info I may not be aware of would be welcome.

August 29th, 2007, 02:14 AM
I would stick with the raw food diet. At this stage anything you can do to boost an immune system would be a plus and pedigree would definately not be a healthy choice. I would consider adding some good doses of probiotics to help prevent any side effects from the antibiotics. The capsules that you buy refridgerated are the best choice if available (and have both acidophilus and bifidus) but plain yogurt is also great if that is all that is available.

The last thing I would consider would be coconut oil. It is a great immune booster and is very effective for yeast issues which may arise with extended antibiotic use.

Good luck.