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Old October 3rd, 2008, 12:05 AM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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Originally Posted by buschgobbler View Post
They thought that this could be a number of things -- potentially lymphoma or an autoimmune disease. They also mentioned that it could be some sort of US born virus -- although they did not really know. They conducted a number of tests (blood, urine, spinal tap, etc.) and gave us two sets of pills (one for the virus and one for the cancer). She has been on these for 4 days and has not gotten any better (although she has not gotten worse)... Someone mentioned lymes disease and we are now testing for that.
Before I get into an answer I would like to discuss lyme disease testing and anaplasmosis. I agree that a CBC might be helpful however I assume that this has already been run at least once by now. Hazelpackrun's recommendation about the 4Dx test is a great one. It looks at lyme/ehrlichia/anaplasmosis/heartworm in a simple snap test that takes about 15 minutes. Also reference laboratories like Antech and Idexx can do comprehensive rickettsial/protozoal screenings which can be helpful since 4Dx is not comprehensive and does not get all strains. Ask if the test was only for lyme or if it was a comprehensive test. Anaplasmosis is a disease that is often found when other tick borne diseases are diagnosed. Luckily whether it is diagnosed or not, when you treat for one tick disease, anaplasmosis is often covered. A therapeutic trial of doxycyline can also be beneficial. Doxycyline is usually well tolerated and very inexpensive.

My recommendation would be to go back to the neurologist. This sounds complex and I do not want to go guessing. The specialists are there to diagnose the complicated cases. Often they might try a therapeutic trial (such as the two medications - btw, what were they? Is one was prednisone?) Therapeutic trials are nice because they can not only solve the problem but safe you and your pet from more expensive and/or invasive diagnostics. Unfortunately if the therapeutic trials did not work then we might have to bite the proverbial bullet and proceed with further testing. Has an MRI or CT scan been performed? One of these might be very beneficial and every neurology specialist will have at least one of these test abilities.

Also if lymphoma (I am keeping out good thoughts that this is not the case) is of concern, then your regular veterinarian could perform lymph node aspirates which are fairly non-expensive (comparatively) and fairly non invasive (comparatively ).

Also how high is your pet's globulin level? Can you find out? It can sometimes be very helpful.

Wishing you all the best.
Christopher A. Lee, DVM, MPH, Diplomate ACVPM
Preventive Medicine Specialist With a Focus on Immunology and Infectious Disease
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