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  #121  
Old December 4th, 2010, 04:42 PM
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Thank you so much Rainbow and to everyone for their support!

I am in shock because I have just found out today that Timber has tested positive for anaplasmosis!

A huge Thank you to MaxaLisa for getting me back into thinking about the anaplasmosis again. If it wasn't for you Timber would be dead right now.

We continue to wean her off the steroids and obviously keep her on the doxycycline. She has lost so much muscle from the steroids and I have just made an apt with a vet here that does acupuncture/ rehab/ chiropractic and massage / Chinese medicine. They are booked until January so for now we continue to keep her eating well and going for very small walks to try and get her strength up.

I would also like to send blood to North Carolina to see if she tests positive for Batonella or Babesia because, as MaxaLisa has said, possibility of co-infections.

I just can't believe we got a positive result after months on steroids and antibiotics.
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  #122  
Old December 4th, 2010, 06:46 PM
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SW, I'm so glad that you finally got a diagnosis.

Hazelrunpack's dogs get anasplasmosis every year and I'm sure she will give you lots of info when she sees your post. The vets in Canada as well as our doctors need to get their heads out of the sand as tick disease is becoming more frequent here over the last few years.

Hopefully Timber will now be on the road to recovery.
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  #123  
Old December 4th, 2010, 07:15 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Wow. After all that. A positive. Thank goodness. It actually brought tears to my eyes, how weird is that? I am so happy we got her through this crisis, and now you have a legitimate test to help you with the vets and continued treatment.

Will post more later when I get to my laptop - the server for this site was too busy to log on last night.

Wondering where the metro now fits in...also wondering if the steroids didn't ramp up a latent giardia problem.

You've done a great job getting her to this point SW, please give her some extra hugs from me!
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  #124  
Old December 4th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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Thank you rainbow, MaxaLisa,

Like I said, I would have given up if it wasn't for everyone's support here.

... and again, a huge Thank you to MaxaLisa! Timber is alive because of you!

I'm sure this news will spread to all the vets here and I hope her case will spark some changes in diagnosing these things and what to watch for.

I agree, rainbow, we need to be more aware of this -- doctors and vets.
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  #125  
Old December 4th, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
...also wondering if the steroids didn't ramp up a latent giardia problem.
I agree and since that is very possible I would pursue it as well and also have your other dog tested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
I'm sure this news will spread to all the vets here and I hope her case will spark some changes in diagnosing these things and what to watch for.

I agree, rainbow, we need to be more aware of this -- doctors and vets.
Ask your vet if he/she would help to make other vets in Canada aware of this. There have been previous cases in BC that did make the news but obviously that hasn't helped much.
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  #126  
Old December 5th, 2010, 12:33 AM
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Oh wow!!! This the such a breakthrough for Timber! Now, having this diagnosis, what does her future hold? How treatable is the infection?
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  #127  
Old December 5th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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Yes -- I will look into the Giardia. I am just wondering though if it is even possible since she basically took metronidazole for at least a month. I wouldn't think the Giardia would have survived.

I am going to start adding more probiotics now that the steroid is low (down to 1mg of dexamethasone) and see if that helps. I know that the metronidazole can be hard on the liver and with all the steroids she's had, I can't imagine that is helping.

Side effects of the doxy can be diarrhea as well. She is on about 7mg/kg body weight which is between the 5-10 they recommend.

Interestingly, I was also just given this information. In May she had heartworm and Lyme test (this is usual for us and we test every second year). My vet didn't realize that that also included testing for Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis so she was negative just this past May! So, was she exposed between May and October -- that would mean a more recent infection or was the organism eluding her immune system and she tested negative anyways. I am hoping that it is a more recent infection and she can make a full recovery. It obviously didn't help to have her on all the steroids, azathioprine and other medications like the vincristine treatment when her poor body was trying to fight this infection.

This has certainly been a crazy past two months! I'm surprised I haven't had a heart attack!
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  #128  
Old December 5th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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I am so glad you finally have a diagnosis and it does seem to fit with her symptoms, including the nosebleeds.

I know with humans, they sometimes have to be on doxy for quite a while to clear up lymes disease, at least a month for suspected cases. Doxy in many people can cause severe tummy upset, so could be causing her to not eat. It should only be given on a full tummy. I know, very difficult to do when she won't eat .

Sending lots and lots of Timber's way and hoping that the Doxy will do the trick and get her healthy again
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  #129  
Old December 5th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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About the probiotics and steroids - I don't really understand that. I know that many protocols use them together, say for Crohn's disease? I wonder if they just put that there to cover themselves for liability purposes?

The giardia. I know some have said that it never cleared with metro, and they had to switch to panacur. Luckily, that is one thing that I haven't had experience with.

So curious, what type of tick test was it that showed positive. Was it a PCR test?

I don't know if I posted it before, but this is the liver support product that folks on the tick list have had very good response to, including mine. It seems to help the kidneys a slight bit too.

I am told that the SNAP test is not very sensitive for anaplasmosa and/or ehrlichlia - a number of folks on the tick list will have dogs with negative SNAPs and positive titers. It is supposed to be much more sensitive for lyme.

I would hope that this is an acute infection, but that anemia a couple of years ago has me questioning that. It is thought that it takes a long time for the disease to start causing platelet and blood cell problems, but I also think that there is a lot that we don't know. It would be really nice if this were dealt with and there weren't ongoing issues. With Max, he will probably be on doxy for most of the rest of his life, unless I can figure out something creative.

Still, all in all, a very happy turn of events, and a HUGE relief!
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  #130  
Old December 5th, 2010, 06:48 PM
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Congratulations, SW, your perseverance paid off. Big hugs for the patient, Timber, who I hope will feel a whole lot better now that you know what it is. MaxaLisa is owed a big licking by Timber right about now. I will have to do some Googling, some of your problems there may not be found in Oz. We have a paralysis tick but doubt if you have that particular nasty, and we sure wouldn't want the ticks you have.
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  #131  
Old December 5th, 2010, 07:11 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Originally Posted by Goldfields View Post
MaxaLisa is owed a big licking by Timber right about now.
I will happily accept those, happy Timber is here to give them!!

I hate to say that Timber is not out of the woods yet. Hopefully she will continue to respond to doxy only, and there aren't any other weird things that will complicate that. Treatment will have to be extended, and hopefully she will tolerate that. I have a cyber friend that treats no less than 3 months. Then, the next step will be if she will be able to handle life with no doxy at all. Lots of unknowns, but I think Timber and SW make such a great team, they will find their way through this!
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  #132  
Old December 5th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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Thank dawg you finally got a diagnosis, SW!!!

Doxy can be very hard on the intestines so if you can work in probiotics, so much the better. Giving the antibiotic with food helps, too, but avoid giving it with dairy.

We've found in the past with stubborn cases that treatment with doxy followed by 2 wks of amoxicillin can turn things around. If she was exposed after May, she may not be chronic--this might still be the acute phase of the disease. It may be, however, that she was exposed earlier and the anaplasmosis was still 'under the radar' at the time of the first test. As I understand it, false negatives are more common than false positives.

I hope Timber has turned the corner and makes a full recovery now!
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  #133  
Old December 5th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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...We've found in the past with stubborn cases that treatment with doxy followed by 2 wks of amoxicillin can turn things around. ....
That's really interesting, since both antibiotics seemed to help both of my dogs. In theory, amoxi is not effective against ehrlichia/anaplasmosa. I've been curious about this, and now more curious with the experience that you have!
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  #134  
Old December 6th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Love4himis -- Thank you -- yes, I initially gave the doxy on an empty tummy but am now giving it with food so her appetite has improved. In fact, she actually seems to be very hungry lately which is a good sign. I think she has a lot to re-build!

MaxaLisa -- As for probiotics and steroids -- not sure why Bio-K has that on their website either because, like you, I have been reading about giving them together as well.

So, I guess that SNAP test is the one vet's have "in house". I will find out if that is the test she had in May??? or did they send it away???

I know it wasn't PCR she had just recently -- they sent to Toronto and it was antibody testing but I would think it would be different than the SNAP??? I was hoping that the Toronto testing was more accurate? I will get the details.

Thank you Goldfields! We are heading in the right direction now at least! I actually use to find ticks interesting but now I feel a little tick-phobic!

Hazelrunpack -- what is the reason for giving the amoxicillin at the end of the doxy? Because I was told she was negative in May -- I am also wondering if that is very accurate. I guess we'll never know. I just hope that when treatment is finished that she remains healthy -- I still want to look into the US testing at NCSU. They cover more diseases and I would feel better sending another sample there.

There are still many questions to ask and I will also look into the panacur. I have been giving probiotics regularly now two hours after her antibiotics (twice daily). I thought maybe this morning her stool was a little more formed Still soft but formed so hopefully this will help but I will ask about the panacur if the metronidazole isn't the best to clear an infection.
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  #135  
Old December 6th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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Superwanda, it is my understanding that there are different phases of this disease as HRP mentioned. Normally there it can start as a severe form (acute as she mentioned) and can come back cyclically which may not be as severe.

http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com....jsp?id=506867

Clinical and laboratory findings

Clinical disease in dogs is most often associated with the acute, bacteremic phase of infection. The duration and severity of the clinical findings during the acute phase of the disease can vary greatly and can last from one to several days.5

Chronic, subclinical, persistent infections have been documented for more than five-and-a-half months in dogs experimentally inoculated with a Swedish isolate of A. phagocytophilum and for almost one year in dogs inoculated with a human isolate from New York (NY18).6,7 However, no confirmed reports of clinical disease occurring in animals known to be chronic carriers exist. It is unknown whether a chronic carrier state can later result in chronic disease.
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  #136  
Old December 6th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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Thanks Love4himies -- yes, I'm not sure if she has the initial acute form or if we are seeing the later chronic form here.

She did test negative in May so if that is accurate, most likely she was exposed this fall season. I'm hoping this is the case because the acute form responds to antibiotics quite well.

If the test in May was not accurate (which is very possible), she may have the chronic form. Not sure how long it may have been eluding her immune system and can be more difficult to cure.

PCR testing will tell you if the animal has a current infection but I'm not sure if that would tell us if it is recent or not???

With Timber, she has a history of mobility issues so if she had the acute form years ago, I may have not even noticed. We are also just starting to learn more about Lyme -- if you mention anaplasmosis here, most people haven't even heard of it.

Very frustrating!
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  #137  
Old December 6th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Poor Timber -- I was just thinking about all she's been through. Many of you might remember that it was Timber who was diagnosed with a cancerous sarcoma on her leg. The tumor was removed with plenty of tissue and it was a long recovery because it was right by her knee so she hardly has any muscle there. After it was removed it was sent for testing and it ended up being a benign fibroma. Pathologists can be wrong.

Our other dog is the one that had the mast cell tumor removed from her nose but no sign of any regrowth -- it has now been 1.5 years! We were told there was a 50% chance that it might come back after 3 years so we are half way there.

Just reflecting on their lives to date. Make me a little teary

They are such great dogs and are essentially my kids as we have no human children. When your pets are ill you just really reflect on the time you have with them and how much joy they have brought to your lives
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  #138  
Old December 6th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
That's really interesting, since both antibiotics seemed to help both of my dogs. In theory, amoxi is not effective against ehrlichia/anaplasmosa. I've been curious about this, and now more curious with the experience that you have!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
Hazelrunpack -- what is the reason for giving the amoxicillin at the end of the doxy? Because I was told she was negative in May -- I am also wondering if that is very accurate. I guess we'll never know. I just hope that when treatment is finished that she remains healthy -- I still want to look into the US testing at NCSU. They cover more diseases and I would feel better sending another sample there.
Interestingly, we discovered the doxy/amoxi trick by accident. Lepto seems endemic here and every fall at least a few of the dogs come down with it. Sometimes the anaplas masks the lepto, in that once we get the anaplas positive result, we don't bother to test for the lepto. So if we have a dog that doesn't seem to bounce back completely on the doxy, we then switch to a 2-wk course of amoxi to finish off treatment (which is the protocol for lepto), assuming that the reason for the continued symptoms is an undetected case of lepto. HOWEVER, we've had dogs test positive for anaplas that turned around on the doxy/amoxi combo without the lepto titers converting during treatment--which indicates that if lepto was present, it wasn't one of the strains that they test for. Our suspicion is that in those cases, lepto was not involved but there was still something in that antibiotic combination that worked against the anaplas better than doxy alone. But we haven't a clue as to why it works.

Sending more for Timber's continued improvement!!!
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  #139  
Old December 6th, 2010, 11:51 PM
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I tried calling in to Dr Shawn the Natural Vet on the Sirius Radio lastnight, but he was so busy I couldn't get through. I bet I tried 180 times in an hour! I wanted to see if he had any ideas to help Timber out with the Anaplasmosis, but also ideas to combat the affects of the previous drugs she has taken. It's a bit heartbreaking to know she didn't need those powerful drugs, but hindsight is usually 20/20 right? There is a bright side to every cloud though, and at least she is on a more promising road this week.

How is she eating now? Is she still on hotdogs and spinach? Have you tried feeding canned green tripe? I use Tripett brand, the dogs go ravenous for it, and I would think it would be nice of Timber's stomach provided you don't give very much as it's quite rich. Green tripe has lots of digestive benefits, could help her out.
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  #140  
Old December 7th, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Thanks for that info Hazelrunpack and thank you Myka! That's so nice of you to give up your time like that to try and get her some help

I've really been concerned about her liver because of all these medications so I want that to be part of the next blood test. I am seeing an alternative healing vet here on Jan 4. She does things like Chinese medicine/acupuncture/rehab so I'm hoping that will help. Rgeurts has seem good results with Nanook if you have been following her post so I thought i would give it a try.

Timber is eating very well. She is always hungry now and I think that is a good sign. I have always given Orijen and she is also getting some canned dog food as well as the foods I add to their diet like liver, eggs, veggies, meats, fish etc.

I'm also doing what MaxaLisa suggested and giving the whey protein powder.

I am taking her for small walks now but she can't go too far. She hasn't had any exercise for two months so that, in combination with the meds has really weakened her. But, she does want to go out for walks now so it might just take awhile to get her endurance up. She still sleeps a lot but she has a lot of healing to do.

Her skull has been so apparent under her fur because of the muscle loss The bone around her eyes is really apparent and on top of her head. My parents came over and thought that she was looking better so maybe it is coming back a little
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  #141  
Old December 7th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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Oh, it wasn't a big deal. I was just driving on my way home and hitting the redial button. Personally, I would be just as careful with an alternative therapy vet as with a regular vet. There are bad apples in every bunch, and there are some very powerful "alternatives"!

I'm glad to hear Timber is back to her normal diet. I thought she still had a depressed appetite.
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  #142  
Old December 7th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Sounds like Timber is coming around . Sending lots of that the Doxy will clear up Timber's illness.
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  #143  
Old December 7th, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Glad to hear that Timber is continuing to do well and back to eating normally again.

I also agree that green tripe would be excellent to feed. There are a few brands but Tripett is the only canned one I would feed.

Milk thistle is a good supplement to support the liver. From http://www.liversupport.com/wordpres...help-your-pet/

Quote:
Although the conditions milk thistle is used for varies widely in pets, ailments requiring liver support seem to benefit the most. Since the liver is an important component of digestion and detoxification, any illness involving these two are likely to benefit from milk thistle (especially silybin phytosome) supplementation. Whether you or your pet need hepatic support, milk thistle is a time-honored, well-researched and widely praised therapeutic option for increasing the resiliency, re-growth and recovery of this vital organ.

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  #144  
Old December 7th, 2010, 10:38 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
I don't know if I posted it before, but this is the liver support product that folks on the tick list have had very good response to, including mine. It seems to help the kidneys a slight bit too......
Did I forget to post the link, or are they not allowed here?
http://www.iherb.com/country-life-bi...lets/1670?at=0

SW, I saw that on 11/2 Timber's liver enzymes were elevated. Have they been tested since? Are they changing in either direction?

I am so glad that she is wanting to go for walks, that's huge progress
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  #145  
Old December 7th, 2010, 10:40 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
Interestingly, we discovered the doxy/amoxi trick by accident. Lepto seems endemic here and every fall at least a few of the dogs come down with it. Sometimes the anaplas masks the lepto, in that once we get the anaplas positive result, we don't bother to test for the lepto. So if we have a dog that doesn't seem to bounce back completely on the doxy, we then switch to a 2-wk course of amoxi to finish off treatment (which is the protocol for lepto), assuming that the reason for the continued symptoms is an undetected case of lepto. HOWEVER, we've had dogs test positive for anaplas that turned around on the doxy/amoxi combo without the lepto titers converting during treatment--which indicates that if lepto was present, it wasn't one of the strains that they test for. Our suspicion is that in those cases, lepto was not involved but there was still something in that antibiotic combination that worked against the anaplas better than doxy alone. But we haven't a clue as to why it works.
I guess it doesn't matter why, in the long run, as long as you have a protocol that works! I will remember this, thank you
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  #146  
Old December 8th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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Thanks again everyone for the thoughts and advice -- why do I even need a vet???

I've added all of you as contacts so if you click on "SuperWanda" you should be able to view my albums if you are interested in seeing pictures of our 's.
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  #147  
Old December 8th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
I've really been concerned about her liver because of all these medications so I want that to be part of the next blood test. I am seeing an alternative healing vet here on Jan 4. She does things like Chinese medicine/acupuncture/rehab so I'm hoping that will help. Rgeurts has seem good results with Nanook if you have been following her post so I thought i would give it a try.

Yes... Nanooks liver was completely healed and back in the normal range

Our vet and specialist told us there was nothing we could do and at the rate of damage he may live to about 4 yrs. He started the herbal combo on a Monday and the following Friday his liver was normal

Timber is eating very well. She is always hungry now and I think that is a good sign. I have always given Orijen and she is also getting some canned dog food as well as the foods I add to their diet like liver, eggs, veggies, meats, fish etc.

I'm SO glad she is eating again!!

Her skull has been so apparent under her fur because of the muscle loss The bone around her eyes is really apparent and on top of her head. My parents came over and thought that she was looking better so maybe it is coming back a little
Nanook looked like a walking skeleton. It was heartbreaking
His little eyes were so sunken and he had atrophy. His cheeks were hollowed out, his head was pointy due to the loss of muscle around his skull(he looked like a little conehead )... he just looked like death. After just reducing the pred for the last 3 weeks, his head is already filling out. He's looking great
I'm sure Timber will start to fill out again too
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"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012
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  #148  
Old December 9th, 2010, 12:06 AM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Hi Superwanda, I got through on the line to Dr Shawn lastnight. Sorry I forgot to post about it! He didn't say anything too exciting seeing as I guess he doesn't deal with Anaplasmosis where he is. He did suggest using any of the liver support and antioxidant supplements on his website. He also suggested that you could set up a phone consultation with him. I believe it is your vet that would talk to him, not you, but I am not totally sure. He said to email if you want to set that up.

http://www.petcarenaturally.com/

http://www.petcarenaturally.com/supplements.php
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
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Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #149  
Old December 9th, 2010, 10:02 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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omd, SW, your albums are so beautiful!!! Timber and Shiloh are absolutely gorgeous!

Is Timber still improving?
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  #150  
Old December 9th, 2010, 05:17 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Rgeurts -- Timber has that same pointy head, sunken eyes and no cheeks Terrible! Did your Nanook's nose ever change color on the meds? Timber use to have pink in the middle of her nose but now it is all black. Not sure if it will change back once she is off the meds or not?

Thank you Myka! I haven't heard of Dr. Shawn -- is that the Martha Stewart vet? I will certainly look into that. I wonder if they ship to Canada? Or maybe the alternative vet here will have a similar product for liver support?

Thanks Hazelrunpack -- now you can see why they may have some problems with Giardia -- all that stinky green water They have had fun despite the risks although this experience has scared me now. I may be investing in a tick collar and excluding the swimming
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