Originally Posted by SuperWanda
I hope that question makes sense -- I basically want to know if the infection is causing the immune system to attack the cells or if the infection is directly attacking the cells?
I can't say with certainty, I think either can be true. It is true that infection causes inflammatory processes in the body that can cause this.
I have seen treatment with doxy raise both platelets and red blood cells. The general wisdom is to use the immune suppressing drugs only if the platelets get at a life threatening low level. In general, steroids will interfere with the doxy treatment.
In a few dogs, though not the general case, this has turned into an ongoing inflammatory/autoimmune process, thought to be separate from the infection, though originally caused by the infection (if that makes sense).
I don't know if you have seen this, but he's the only dog known on the tick list to have beaten ehrlichia risticii, an ehrlichia transmitted typically by drinking water and not by ticks: http://www.vintagegoldens.com/jasperstory.html There are many success stories of other types of ehrlichias, including anaplasmosa!
I have started to put some tick links together here:
The diseases that you would want to look at would be the ehrlichias, anaplasmosa, babesia.