Originally Posted by SuperWanda
MaxaLisa -- thanks for your posts -- does your GSD have low platelets from metacam. Was he treated for those tick-borne blood parasites as well?
We are in Manitoba, Canada so don't have Ehrlichiosis here. Anaplasmosis is found in less than 5% of only one species of tick here (Ixodes scapularis) and although that makes it fairly unlikely, we did have her red cells analyzed for Anaplasma phagocytophilum and none were seen.
My GSD has an infection of unknown origin, all tests are negative.
The metacam has been making his mucous membranes go pale - grey to sometimes white. I'm told that's not a platelet sign, but the last time this happened, it was in response to the antibiotic azithromycin and his platelets had dropped quite low when tested. So out of curiousity the other night I just did a search for metacam and platelets to see what came up, and found your thread.
My boy has an ongoing "low end" platelet issue which gets worse on some meds. So far, the red blood cell count is staying in the low normal range. He does have a "generous" spleen, but nothing out of the ordinary showed up on ultrasound.
Because of my other dog, I've been on the K9 tick list for about the last 10 years - seen lots of dogs and blood profiles go through that list. I've also seen a lot of dogs not make it because they were treated too long with steroids and no antibiotic - often the dog initially responds to the steroids, which seems to confirm it's the right treatment, but then continues to go downhill. These dogs typically do start to respond when doxycycline is finally started, but often it's too late. . Absolutely heartbreaking.
Because of the list, I recognized the signs in my GSD. He responds to doxy treatment used for tick diseases.
In your dog, with the red blood cell problem, and the platelet problem, white blood cell counts, it would be prudent to be using an appropriate "tick antibiotic" along with the steroids. Steroids only in your dog's situation, would scare me. The first rule about tick diseases is that our tests for tick diseases aren't infallible, and we haven't yet learned of all the diseases that they can transmit. It wasn't that long ago that the research was saying that dogs don't get Anaplasmosa. California has a strain of lyme that doesn't show up on some tests. Many things are possible, so remember that those statistics and negative blood results aren't absolutes.
Had someone on another board in a similar situation, but their dog had been bit by a coyote 6 months earlier. All tick tests negative. Platelets finally started turning around after doxy started.
I don't know about the foods and zinc. My friend with the Husky and zinc issue has to give regular supplements, she uses the condition of his nose to determine optimal therapeutic dosage. There's a recommended starting dose for this Husky problem. I think that liver from red meat sources will help with both the anemia and zinc issue?
I am hoping for good news for your girl on the next round of tests!