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  #1  
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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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
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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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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
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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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Old October 28th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Nope, no probiotic, not easy to find in Nicaragua,lol I was thinking of asking the vet about doing 4 weeks of Doxy. She appears to have a healthy appetite still and appears happy!! We do give her this jelly that is supposedly full of vitamins--Nutri plus Gel (made by Virbac) See if I can find a Probiotic on petfooddirect.com Poor girl still needs to be spayed once this fight is over!!
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Old October 28th, 2012, 05:12 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Oh my goodness, thank you for taking care of this dog!

I don't know if I misssed it, but were any blood tests done, to test liver and blood counts, a chem panel and cbc?

You want to hit this hard. On the tick list, the recommended dose is 10 mg/kg twice day, for 6-8 week min, depending on the above blood tests.

There I an overwhelming amount of info here!
http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/...eases#Post1594
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  #12  
Old October 28th, 2012, 06:37 PM
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I dont have the blood results with me, but her RBC were very low, as well where her platelets--which was easily noticed as she bleed a lot after she was stuck! As stated before about Oct 16th the Vet took a SNAP test and it was negative!! And this time it just started to turn blue, so I think we have caught it very early on. She has a healthy appetite, wants to play. I have heard 3 or 4 weeks if its Ehrlichia, and if its anaplasmosis then its 6-8 weeks--am I correct on that? I wil confirm tomorrow with our vet. Very detailed link,many thanks
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Old October 28th, 2012, 07:01 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Be it Ehrlichia or Anaplasma, I would treat 8 week at the aggressive dose for ure if there is blood results as you describe. You can assume that your dog is in the chronic stage. I would run a cbc in a week to make sure they aren't continuing to drop. If this is the case, you might need prednisone, but you want to only use that in lifesaving situations, as it will interfere with the antibiotics.

Whateve liver support herbals that you have available would be helpful. I know someone in Costa Rica spoke of a popular brand, but I can't remember what it was.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
Be it Ehrlichia or Anaplasma, I would treat 8 week at the aggressive dose for ure if there is blood results as you describe. You can assume that your dog is in the chronic stage. I would run a cbc in a week to make sure they aren't continuing to drop. If this is the case, you might need prednisone, but you want to only use that in lifesaving situations, as it will interfere with the antibiotics.

Whateve liver support herbals that you have available would be helpful. I know someone in Costa Rica spoke of a popular brand, but I can't remember what it was.
I would not think she is in the chronic stage--12 days ago she had a negative test--and this 1 was just barely positive! She is full of energy, healthy appetite, a very happy dog. Not arguing, just stating what I am seeing. The vet wil be taking more blood work in the coming weeks.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 07:42 PM
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If you can't find acidopholus at a health store, a little plain yogurt with each meal will also help a bit. It has to be an active culture yogurt and have no added sugar or artifical sweeteners in it. It's not a strong probiotic but will help some. This is something that you can easily give a few hours after you give the antibiotic (but don't give them together).

As for length of treatment--we've had so much better luck going long than just treating for 3 weeks. Our one and only anaplasmosis relapse was on hubby, who only took the doxy for three weeks. The dogs have all had it for 4 weeks or longer (typically 6 weeks if they can tolerate it that long) and none have had any relapses.

Also, after she is asymptomatic and done with the antibiotics, some of those followup tests MaxaLisa mentioned are a good idea. Although your girl didn't test positive the first time, that doesn't necessarily mean she was just at the onset of the disease. The tests miss up to 30% of the cases and sometimes you never get a positive at all. So at least a followup CBC is in order to make sure platelets and RBCs are back to normal. And since these disease can be so hard on the organs, if you can afford it, a full blood panel checking for organ function might also be a good idea.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 08:37 PM
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If you can't find acidopholus at a health store, a little plain yogurt with each meal will also help a bit. It has to be an active culture yogurt and have no added sugar or artifical sweeteners in it. It's not a strong probiotic but will help some. This is something that you can easily give a few hours after you give the antibiotic (but don't give them together).

As for length of treatment--we've had so much better luck going long than just treating for 3 weeks. Our one and only anaplasmosis relapse was on hubby, who only took the doxy for three weeks. The dogs have all had it for 4 weeks or longer (typically 6 weeks if they can tolerate it that long) and none have had any relapses.

Also, after she is asymptomatic and done with the antibiotics, some of those followup tests MaxaLisa mentioned are a good idea. Although your girl didn't test positive the first time, that doesn't necessarily mean she was just at the onset of the disease. The tests miss up to 30% of the cases and sometimes you never get a positive at all. So at least a followup CBC is in order to make sure platelets and RBCs are back to normal. And since these disease can be so hard on the organs, if you can afford it, a full blood panel checking for organ function might also be a good idea.
Thnaks for the info!! Blood tests and most vet care is very inexpensive here in Nicaragua...its just a matter of what they can and can't do! Many Thanks
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Old October 29th, 2012, 02:29 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I would not think she is in the chronic stage--12 days ago she had a negative test--and this 1 was just barely positive! She is full of energy, healthy appetite, a very happy dog. Not arguing, just stating what I am seeing. The vet wil be taking more blood work in the coming weeks.
I hope she is only in the acute stage.

Do note that the Snap only tests positive or negative, there is no "weak" positive on this test, it is just yes or no.

Good that she is feeling well. However, that is not always a good sign of the status of the disease, as you see with the abnormal bloodwork.

Hopefully she responds well, it's those platelets and rbc's you really need to watch.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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See, told you someone would be by soon...thanks for posting pictures of this sweet girl. Sending that she recovers fully and quickly.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Many thanks all!!

Going to take her back in Fri or Sat for follow up blood work and talk to the vet about extending the treatment time!! 1 of the positives for Nicaragua--you can pretty much get any meds you want without a Dr prescription,lol And many of the drugs are the exact same you use in N.America, at a fraction of the cost!!

Back to the Vet this Friday at 10 am to recheck her bloodwork! And get my dog tested again!! back in June she had a lot of ticks on her (even with Frontline) and tested negative! Doesnt hurt to test again--even though she appears normal! Vet visit here is very inexpensive!! Mels last visit cost a total of $85--that included the snap test, other bloodwork, the vet visit and 3 weeks of Doxy!! And this vet is considered $$$$!!! Many vets here practice out of their homes--just a small office/room attached to their house!! We got to witness that first hand when we had to rush 1 dog we were looking after (belonged to the school) when her internal stitches broke from being spayed!! Was right out of the movies,lol Almost ran out, as it didnt look overly clean--his Vet Dr cert was photo-copied!! Right across from his "operating room" was the families kitchen table--and they were eating,lol!! He stated he had to get some saline solution--got into his broken down 1970's datsun and went to the local pharmacy,lol Stood there and watched him do the whole procedure (I'm a RN, so doesn't bother me) Wife could not watch!! Was an eye-opening experience! But he did a good job.

Last edited by flames9; October 31st, 2012 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Because I can!!
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Old November 1st, 2012, 05:46 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Retesting on the snap isn't the critical part now, you had a positive AND you had bloodwork abnormalities. Tests like Snap may only show positive if the immune system is competent enough to mount an antibody reponse. So the negative nap does not mean not infected. We have also seen a number of dogs test negative on the snap, but positive when titers are run. Maybe though, it does mean acute infection that is getting under control, which would be good!

Did you recheck blood counts and platelet, or is that later?

Jealous about your vet prices - everything here is getting very expensive!
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Old November 1st, 2012, 08:36 AM
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The Snap test is for my dog Anna!! We had an infestation of ticks this past June!! All over Anna, and the house--luckily I was back in Canada when it took place,lol, not so lucky for my wife and Anna!! Prob just do blood work first and see how that goes! But like I said, vet care is so cheap, why not do all 9 yards!!

Mel who is + for Ehrl will just have her blood-work redone and hopefully see an improvement! We are just fostering her and may have already found her a new home. She is a super dog, plays a lot, doesn't chew on stuff, no accidents in the house and walks great on a leash!! Just not certain we need 2 dogs! As every few years we have the possibility of moving to another country.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Good luck with Anna! I hope she's negative. If she starts showing any symptoms, though, start treatment. Even titers aren't 100% in diagnosing.

Do you get fall ticks as well? We get wood ticks in spring, but it's the fall deer ticks that carry most of the really icky stuff. Bah!
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Old November 1st, 2012, 01:09 PM
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Sort of only two seasons here in Managua Nicaragua--The rainy season (which is just coming to an end) and the dry season!! Ticks are always around, but according to the vet, more so in the dry season. And of course depends where you live. I know some that are not to far away fro us, always seem to be battling the ticks!

Anna doesnt show any of the signs, but doesnt hurt to draw some blood!!

Lot of Canucks Vacation in Nicaragua!! Lot of beaches with nice resorts and pretty inexpensive!!
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Update

Friday Nov 2 2012!!!

ANNA: Her blood-work was normal and the SNAP test was negative!!

MEL: Good and bad!! Her RBC is going up towards normal, was as low as 23%, now up to 26.4% (from last Saturday)

Her platelets were 41 (normal is 175-500) she is now 255

But her WBC has continued to rise, as well as the eosinophil! So he did an ultra-sound which confirmed his suspicion--An infected Uterus (Pyometra)

So she is going to be spayed first thing on Monday and be given a wide spectrum antibiotic to go along with the doxycline!!

At the end of 3 weeks of being on Doxy--he will do more blood-work. H said normally it takes 4 weeks of doxy for Ehrlichiosis.

So the little girl has a lot going on!! Luckily the vet visits are not too $$$ Today for BOTH dogs visit, both had bloodwork, Anna had the SNAP test, U/S for Mel and some cream for Annas tail, was $151!! I think thats pretty cheap!! To get Annas teeth cleaned is $40. Might be the next big medical tourist destination--pet care in Nica!! lol

Forgot to add---included in that $151--6 months of heartguard fort anna---2 months of frontline for cat and 1 month for Mel!! lol

Last edited by flames9; November 2nd, 2012 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Just because
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 05:20 PM
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Excellent news about Anna!

Poor Mel, though! Whew! Glad she's doing so well on the doxy--surgery in a platelet-compromised dog can be dicey, which might have delayed the surgery! So all in all, a blessing that the Ehrlichiosis was found and treated when it was!

Al that for just $151? And a dental for only 40? I think we may have to move to Nicaragua!
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 05:23 PM
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Excellent news about Anna!

Poor Mel, though! Whew! Glad she's doing so well on the doxy--surgery in a platelet-compromised dog can be dicey, which might have delayed the surgery! So all in all, a blessing that the Ehrlichiosis was found and treated when it was!

Al that for just $151? And a dental for only 40? I think we may have to move to Nicaragua!
Super Rum here too--Flor De Cana--top notch!! Found it in Saskatoon, calgray and Kamloops!! 7 yr is very good and not much more than Bacarardi. 18 yr is a nice sipping rum!! Beer is good too! Cheaper than water!! lol And I have been told very good cigars!! Nica has a lot to offer--just mnay people do not know about as Nica does not market itself very well!!
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 05:27 PM
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18-yr rum.... Mmmmmmmmmmm... Think I could go for some of that!
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 01:41 AM
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On the tick list, we recommend treatment for 8 weeks at the aggressive dose of 10 mg/kg twice a day, to help enure it doesn't come back, particularly if the dog had symptom (like very low platelets). It's GREAT news that the platelets rebounded, and, yes, could not have done surgery as safely with the low platelets. Best of luck with the surgery!

Great news on Anna
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Old November 5th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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UPDATE Monday Nov 5th

Today was Spay Day!!! And all went well. And More meds!!!

Stomorgyl 10 for the Uterus Infection (well no more Uterus) 1 pill a day for 8 days

Carprobay 20 for pain, 1 pill every 12 hrs for 5 days

Predisone 5mg for all the extreme scratching she has been doing, 1 pill a day for a week.

Plus her Doxy

Back to the vet next week to get her stitches out and will prob do more blood-work.

Vet did a very nice job on her stitches. Cheers
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Old November 6th, 2012, 10:16 AM
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Oh, that little sweetie!! Glad it went so well! She'll be feeling heaps better soon!!
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