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What to expect with recovery from Tick Fever diagnosis

Judes
July 7th, 2012, 07:38 AM
mlauretta, welcome to the board. I'm sorry it's under such trying circumstances.

This might be a longshot, but did your vet test your dog for anaplasmosis? Typically, what you see in a complete blood count is low white blood cells and low platelets. Were her platelets low?

Anaplasmosis (or any of the other tick-borne diseases like Lyme's or ehrlichiosis) can cause a dog to stop walking. Usually it's a rotating lameness (moving from leg to leg) but in some cases, if the dog is sick enough, it can make them unwilling to move at all.

The drug of choice to treat tick-borne diseases is doxycycline...and many weeks of it. Did they give her any antibiotics at all?

Hi I am a very new addition to this site and have read many posts which you were so thorough and helpful. I truly hope you can help me also.
We have an 11yr old German Shepherd - Taj (our eldest of three - Bruce his son and Zoe our Dachshund) who was recently diagnosed with tick fever and after a night at the vets he's home with meds etc. (doxycycline)
He was totally normal last week now he's lost some weight (not eating well and to add to the situation Zoe is currently finishing her cycle so we know this isnt helpful re: appetite) which we supplement with Ensure and Nutrical.
The vet said he sees signs of kidney and liver issues beginning and just within the last 48hrs he's limping badly on one hind leg. I must add he's a large guy and we know he was experiencing arthritis a bit in his hind quarters prior to this development.
To get to the point as I could go on all day about my babies... I really would like to know what may we expect as he is going through this recovery phase. He eats sporadically (mostly for my husband) and he drinks a lot of water. He is rather alert with noises etc but of course with the leg he remains lying about a lot more. I really cannot handle losing him right now and pray a lot for his recovery but being new to this type of illness I am unclear what to expect. The vet is cautious as he says it depends on the dog while some websites say it takes a while, some say it looks worse before improvement is seen... Can you help?

hazelrunpack
July 7th, 2012, 11:44 AM
Hi, Judes. Sorry to hear about Taj. :( I took the liberty of moving your post to its own thread in hopes that some of our members with supplement experience will see it.

Did they say which tick disease it was? We've only had experience with Lyme's and Anaplasmosis and doxy worked quite quickly in all cases--usually we saw much improvement within 3 days. However, we've never had a case that involved the kidney or liver since we usually catch the symptoms really early.

Did the vet say whether he thinks the renal and hepatic changes are reversable? Maybe ask him for suggestions as to what renal and hepatic support supplements might be helpful? I don't have a lot of experience in supplements, but I know that for liver support, milk thistle and SAMe have been used successfully by some of our members. I have no idea what the dose would be--but your vet should be able to advise.

Here's a general link talking about liver supplements:

http://www.ei-resource.org/treatment-options/treatment-information/antioxidants-and-liver-supplements/

I'm hoping your vet or some of our other members will know something about supplements for kidney support.

I hope Taj improves quickly! :goodvibes:

MaxaLisa
July 7th, 2012, 01:15 PM
Thanks for moving this HRP!

If the liver and kidney values are elevated from infection, they may recover, depending on the type of damage.

Do you have the technical name for the Tick Fever? Here it is often ehrlichia canis, but in other countries it may be called something else. On the tick list, we recommend a dosage of 10 kg/lb *twice* a day, as said, an extended period of time.

Doxy can make them acidic, some use pepcid or sucralfate/carafate with it if it's not tolerable. For some, capsules are better tolerated than tablets. Liver support is ver important. My favorite is Country Life's "Liver support Factos", it also improved my dogs' kidney values, but I don't know if it's available there.

GSDs are susceptible to developing a more chronic form, so most important to hit it hard and aggressively in them. Probiotics too, separated by a good 2 hrs between doxy doses. Of course, always give doxy with food.

Judes
July 10th, 2012, 04:58 PM
Thanks so much for the responses, but Taj didn't make it. We had to put him down this very day around lunch time. My husband and I are truly heart broken as he ate this morning and took his meds etc... but he developed a new symptom where his hind leg, since Saturday was painful and he hobbled around to use the bathroom but he got increasingly less mobile due to the pain, until today, my hubby called me at work upset as Taj was crying in pain and couldn't move. He was also hyperventilating and unresponsive I believe due to the pain so he rushed him to the vet but they were not hopeful and we couldn't let him suffer as they only could offer IV antibiotics and were unsure of its effect.

To the questions - We were not given a clinical name but for sure it was the Brown Dog Tick (verified by internet comparisons) so I believe it must be canine ehrlichiosis as he demonstrated all symptoms eventually - Saturday was the nosebleed but only once - thank goodness as it is quite scary, and he came out of it fine, he even ate. But the arthritis flared in his leg (hip) pretty bad. We took him to the vet Sunday morning and got blood builders and some tabs for his hip.
He fought as much as he could but I believe his age was not a helpful factor although he looked quite strong and maintained his size as he was fine and ate well the entire week before and showed no signs of any illnesses. I guess that's why we're so shocked as he only lasted one week. We have his son home and a Dachshund which we have to test as soon as we recover from this very costly vet bill.
Thanks so much for this forum and to you two as I have made many notes from your responses, inclusive of other forums.
My main point would be we need to gather as much notes from those who experienced these various stages of illnesses and compile them because they are truly scary. However not enough is stated per phase on any website I have checked, because we don't want to give up to early or drag them out too long. Our prime concern as pet owners is to ensure they are happy and healthy as a recompense for their pure loving hearts.

hazelrunpack
July 10th, 2012, 08:29 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about Taj, Judes. :cry: I know from your posts that he was well-loved. He was a very lucky boy to have had you to care for him. :grouphug:

:candle: Taj

Judes
July 11th, 2012, 06:01 AM
Thank you so much he was and still is. :angel2: thanks for the group hug and candle it means a lot to us that although we never met the shared compassion of loving a pet is international. God bless you.
I wish other pet owners would share their experiences so we can collate a symptom charting the possible courses of this very evil disease. Frontline is my next attention as I believe they need to revise their product as we used it along with yard treatments and still had no effect and such a horrible result for Taj.

MaxaLisa
July 12th, 2012, 07:27 PM
I am so sorry for your loss :(

There is a lot of information compiled here:
http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/21434/Re_Ticks_Tick_Diseases_General#Post21434

One problem is that many vets do not know how to recognize it quickly, and don't understand how fatal it can be.