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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:29 AM
flames9 flames9 is offline
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Ehrlichiosis--Poor Pup!!!

Hello from Managua Nicaragua (I am a Canuck though) We are fostering approx 1 yr old female dog. We also have 1 dog and 2 cats of our own. Idea is to foster this 1 dog and if all goes well, keep her!! A bit of info on her:

She had some kind of infection going on inside her when we first got her, so she was on Clavamox for 10 day. Yesterday I noticed white flat like worms (just a few) in her stool, so it was back to the vet today. Vet said she just does not look right, so lets redo the blood work!! The RBC and platelets 2 weeks ago were on the very low side of normal---but today they were very low (can't recall the #'s) So he redid the tick test(was negative 2.5 weeks ago) but today it was just barely positive!! He said that the disease can take 1-3 weeks to show up--which it now just had!!

So now she is on 3 weeks of doxycyline.

From my readings, it is passed via blood. So there is some risk to my other dog and 2 cats. As well they say since we caught this early, her chances are good for fighting it, BUT she may be a lifetime carrier of it.

I guess our biggest concern is she infecting our dog and 2 cats!! If anyone has any info that would be super. Our vet here in Nicaragua is very good, but they don't have all the latest high tech or info that other vets form N. America may have.

I guess my biggest concern is the safety of my 1 dog and 2 cats. Is there any way this foster dog could pass it on to them?? The two dogs do play together. Many Thanks
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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pbpatti pbpatti is offline
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Welcome flames9, I do not have any info for you but someone should be along soon that will be able to give you some guidance. Got pictures?
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:48 AM
flames9 flames9 is offline
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Pics

Here is a few pics! 1st one was approx 2.5 weeks ago, she weighed in at 14.8 lbs. yesterday at the vet she weighed in at 17lbs!
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:56 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flames9 View Post
I guess our biggest concern is she infecting our dog and 2 cats!! If anyone has any info that would be super.
Hazelrunpack is the resident tick expert here, but I'm pretty sure the only way to get erlichiosis is via ticks, and the ticks have to remain feeding on the victim for at least 24 hrs in order to transmit the organism. So if you can minimize or prevent ticks from landing on all your pets (and yourself!), and remove them immediately if they do, then the risk should be greatly reduced. Erlichiosis can't be passed directly from animal to animal. More info for you:
http://www.vetinfo.com/derlick.html#b
http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/glos...rlichiosis.htm
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Old October 28th, 2012, 12:18 PM
flames9 flames9 is offline
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All our animals are on Frontline and we constantly check for ticks!! We arrived in Nicaragua Summer 2011--hardly ever saw ticks in our area, then comes along June 2012 and whamooo ticks galore!!! Our Anna was covered in them, even with Frontline on. Then th eticks soon went away! And now we are fostering Mel, and she was covered in them! But tick free since those baths. Nica street dogs run a tough life!!

My understanding thus far her chance of spreading it directly to our other animals is pretty much zero. And that after her meds are over(3 weeks), she may be completely healthy for the rest of her life--but may still be a carrier of the disease and could act as a reservoir. Does that sound correct??
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Old October 28th, 2012, 12:53 PM
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Few pics showing her weight gain!! And how much happier she is!! Love her long legs and big ears!! If she had been a male, her name would have been colt!!
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Old October 28th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Yes, as with many Rickettsiales bacteria, the organism can be harbored in the body for a very long time, but as long as the immune system is healthy, once the acute disease it brought into check with antibiotics, normally it can be kept in check and the dog remains symptom-free. She would only be a reservoir is a non-infected tick should latch on, gorge and drop off--that tick would then be infected--but I don't believe that casual contact would be dangerous for either you or your other animals. It does need a tick vector to be transmitted.

Was it an Ehrlichia or was it Anaplasma? (Anaplasma phagocytophilum was just recently pulled out of the Ehrlichias, renamed and put into its own Genus by the taxonomists and some vets still call it Ehrlichia phagocytophilum)

We have a lot of experience with Anaplasma and the treatment that seems to work the best for us is 4-6 weeks of doxycycline. Any less than that and you run the risk of relapse and having it become chronic. So far, we've not had any cases of chronic disease, probably because we're so hyper about it and are on the watch for any symptoms that we catch it very early. We do have one girl that came to us with chronic Lyme's, however. She does have occasional relapses that we treat with doxy and so far (knock on wood) we're always been able to get her back to near remission with the antibiotics.

She's very fortunate to have come to you! What a cutie and so glad that she's gaining weight--and probably feeling loads better since you started the doxy, too! As for Frontline, we also use it. It kills most of the ticks, but when the tick population explodes, there's always the chance that one or more tough individuals will make it through the Frontline. We check the dogs every day, but that doesn't mean you can always find the ticks till they've been on long enough to swell a bit...and that means they've been on long enough to transmit disease.

It pays to be very vigilant for symptoms--mild lethargy, rotating lameness, increased drinking/urination, no matter how slight.

Sending along for your little darling!!!
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Old October 28th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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I will have to cal the vet again and confirm what Type, he just kept saying she was positive--he did what he called a Snap test.

She is a very happy, mellow and playful dog!! Were just fostering her at the moment. But won't be sending her back to the rescue organization. They do their best at keeping the ticks off them, but its almost a loosing battle. Thnaks fore the help
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Old October 28th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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If the same strains are prevalent down there, the snap test should be able to narrow it down to Lyme's, Anaplasma or Ehrlichia exposure. Regardless, I think I'd ask for an extra week of doxy if it's anaplasmosis or ehrlichiosis.

Are you giving her a probiotic at some point during the day (best would be a few hours before or after giving her the antibiotic)? Doxy can be really hard on the gut and we've found that daily probiotic helps a lot. We just use an inexpensive acidopholus for human use that comes in capsule form--if you want to, you can just open the capsule and sprinkle it over food.
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