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SPOON! The Tick

Posted By: DancingCavy

SPOON! The Tick - 12/10/11 07:10 PM

UGH.

Today, for the first time in five and a half years, I found an engorged tick on Risa. frown I am proud of me for not being squeamish about removing it (vet's office was closed by the time I found it). I also did it perfectly as the little bugger was still moving when I plucked it using tweezers. Risa was also incredibly good about it.

I put him into a plastic sandwich bag and then put him in another one on top of that. He's in the garage until Monday when I'll drop him off at the vet's office to be tested for tick-borne diseases. Doesn't hurt to play it safe.

I'm pretty sure I know where she picked it up and when. We were out at our training facility Monday and it is a known tick area (and there are deer around). The weather was nice but, since we had had freezing temperatures, I thought we were safe. Guess not!

I had used Bug-Off Garlic granules before as a tick preventative but had to stop because the garlic made Risa somewhat incontinent. Is there any other non-pesticide thing I can use to prevent this from happening again? I know several people have had successes with some oils in a spray that they spritzed on their dogs before entering ticky areas but I can't remember what.

Thanks in advance.
Posted By: GSDElsa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/10/11 07:35 PM

Bummer! I wouldn't rule out your yard, either though. Even though east is more tick prevelant, the dogs have picked up quite a few ticks in our yard and you guys aren't much farther west than our house.

I'm too freaked out about ticks, so I go for the nasty pesticides. I didn't think the Bug Off worked when I did try it. I can't remember a couple other things people suggested that were natural remedies.

I've found ticks as early as March....it takes quite a bit of cold weather to kill them. Considering how mild this "winter" has been, I'm not surprised. Although I"ve lucked out so far.
Posted By: Zisso

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/10/11 08:42 PM

Can't remember for certain but seems like Ruth said Neem works for it?

Sounds like I might have gotten that right!
http://www.discoverneem.com/
Posted By: Kayla's Dad

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/10/11 09:26 PM

Eucalyptus Oil is another natural product that worked well for us this season. Repel has a repellent made with Lemon eucalyptus oils that I started using this year on our hikes after finding ticks on the dogs. Before that we were just using the Bug Off garlic without finding any for the past few years. Seems this year the tick population just erupted in the parks and hiking trails
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 01:06 AM

I'm pretty sure she didn't get it from our yard. The lawn is kept quite short and, on top of that, Risa hasn't spent much time in it at all lately.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Ticks are so gross. frown
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 01:39 AM

There are some "recipies" in the Health
Stickies, in the ticks and tick disease sticky. I use the drops from Mad about Organics, with extra catnip oil, though we haven't been in a high tick area. Repel from REI seems to work (lemon eucalyptus I believe, no deet).

Ticks, hate 'em frown
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 03:47 AM

I always forget about the Stickies! Shame on me!

I probably won't need any tick stuff until next year. I think our days of warm weather are behind us! But it's something I am going to have to keep in mind for next year since I'm apparently bad at missing ticks before they've had plenty of time to feed. frown

I *think* (by looking at photos online. . .why do I torment myself?) that it is a dog tick at least. So I'm less concerned about Lyme disease but I'll probably still have it tested just to put my mind at ease.
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 03:03 PM

I hate to bust your happiness bubble, but dog ticks carry disease too - even scarier than Lyme.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/ticks.htm
Posted By: LifeAsMe

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 03:21 PM

PA tick diseases
http://www.hgic.umd.edu/content/documents/ticks.pdf

NY
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/health/20tick.html
http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/lyme/

Jamie - I wouldn't be to sure about the warm weather being behind us. We are supposed to be in the high 40's at the end of the week. I'm going to continue putting preventatives on mine until it's consistently cold.
Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 03:36 PM

Sorry to go OT, but what does "SPOON" mean in the title of this post? I am lost. thinking
Posted By: Zisso

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: PositiveDog
Sorry to go OT, but what does "SPOON" mean in the title of this post? I am lost. thinking

Wondered that too! Thanks for asking.....inquiring minds want to know!!
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 08:40 PM

Originally Posted By: LJsMom
I hate to bust your happiness bubble, but dog ticks carry disease too - even scarier than Lyme.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/ticks.htm


I wish there were only Lyme to worry about frown we have an abundance of dog ticks here...
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/11/11 08:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Kayla's Dad
Eucalyptus Oil is another natural product that worked well for us this season. Repel has a repellent made with Lemon eucalyptus oils that I started using this year on our hikes after finding ticks on the dogs. Before that we were just using the Bug Off garlic without finding any for the past few years. Seems this year the tick population just erupted in the parks and hiking trails


greet Hi Samuel, didn't see this earlier when I posted! Hope all is well on the other side of the Valley smile
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/12/11 12:04 AM

I know we aren't out of the woods, so to speak, with it being a dog tick. Which is why I'm still getting it tested.

And "SPOON!" is the battlecry of the superhero The Tick.

Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/12/11 12:09 AM

I guess I'm like the sidekick - "I don't get it." rofl
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/12/11 01:00 AM

LOL. Yeah, "The Tick" was a weird cartoon. smile
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/12/11 05:07 PM

CRAP!

Just found out that our vet no longer does tick submissions. It seems Cornell no longer tests ticks for the diseases they carry. Our other vet's tick submission test will only determine how long the tick has been on your dog, not what it carries. Looks like my only option is to wait 6 weeks and run a tick panel.

Not happy. But what other choice do I have?
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/12/11 05:39 PM

The other choice is not optimal either - propjylactic doxy.

Be sure to mark your calendar - today's date, and again in 6 weeks frown
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/12/11 11:49 PM

I already made a note on the white board. Will be making one on my calendar later tonight.

Doubt I could convince my vet to do prophylactic doxy. Besides, if I have to do doxy at all, it would probably be better to do it in January. Hopefully she'll be off her herbs by then and I won't have to worry about possible interaction.
Posted By: middleofnowhere

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/13/11 02:12 AM

I have pulled so many ticks off The Barker Sisters down here. The first one freaked me out but the vet didn't want to see it. Since then, I've gotten less squeemish about them. There's one spray for horses that is effective in detering ticks but I don't know about dogs. Didn't have much luck with them on the BSs. No detected tick borne diseases & I hope it stays that way. May you have the same luck.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/13/11 02:55 PM

Thanks, middle. I hope she's fine too but you can't be too cautious with ticks. Times like this, I really miss Montana. Didn't have to worry about this sort of thing out there!
Posted By: middleofnowhere

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/13/11 10:33 PM

Jamie,
Before I spent some time in SW Oregon, the only place I ever got a dog tick on a dog was in Billings, MT!
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/14/11 12:07 AM

Really!? Wow. I lived in Billings and it wasn't until I moved to CT and NY that I had to worry about bugs at all!
Posted By: Barb E

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 12/14/11 02:43 AM

I lived in NE Oregon for my youth - never even knew what a flea looked like.

Ticks? Yeah, was always pulling them off me and my horses
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/23/12 05:21 PM

Today I took Risa in to get her tick test blood draw. I even still had the tick so I brought it with me. (I hadn't meant to keep it. I had placed it in the garage on a table and it got knocked to the floor during the last 6 weeks. I found it a week ago and decided I might as well bring it along.) Unfortunately, it was not a dog tick as I thought (can't trust the Internet for everything). It actually was a deer tick. But, it was not fully engorged so that's a good sign.

Hopefully her test will come back clear. If not, then a round of doxy's in our future.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/23/12 06:07 PM

Wow. That was quick. Got results already.

They called me back because they weren't sure why I'd had the heartworm/tick test run again so soon (she had it done in July at her annual). When I mentioned it was because I found a tick on Risa, the person I spoke with was a bit more concerned about the test results which, she had initially stated, were negative. Apparently, there was a very very faint amount of dye on the Lyme portion of the test. frown

She spoke with our vet and then called me back. Our vet doesn't want to do doxy jic (I asked) because she really doesn't like to prescribe it unless it's absolutely needed. She also does not want to have to give doxy to Risa at all if it can be avoided given Risa's history of gastrointestinal problems (and I know doxy is hard on the gut). So she recommended we do a more sensitive test for tick-borne diseases in 4 weeks. I expressed some concern in waiting longer still but the vet does not feel 4 weeks will make much of a difference.

I did mention my concern over the possibility that Risa may be experiencing some joint discomfort as well. I have seen her licking her elbows/knees a bit more frequently and she seems to fall into a walk rather than a trot when we're out on walks more often. I initially attributed it to colder weather but I cannot be certain. Especially with the mild winter we have had. Knowing I found a tick on her, I want to be sure it's not something more than 'old age' and 'the cold' bothering her.

So, if nothing else, we wait for another 4 weeks to do another test and go from there.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/23/12 07:45 PM

Nothing like an ambiguous test result to keep the anxiety level up. Hope it's not Lyme. frown Keeping my fingers crossed for Risa.
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/23/12 08:41 PM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
When I mentioned it was because I found a tick on Risa, the person I spoke with was a bit more concerned about the test results which, she had initially stated, were negative. Apparently, there was a very very faint amount of dye on the Lyme portion of the test.


http://www.idexx.com/view/xhtml/en_us/smallanimal/inhouse/snap/4dx.jsf?SSOTOKEN=0

From the Idexx 4DX FAQ:
Question: I ran the SNAP 4Dx Test and received a light positive on the (heartworm, E. canis, or Lyme) spot. Does the color intensity of the spot mean anything?

Answer: Any color development in any of the sample spots indicates a positive result. The amount of antigen or antibody produced by individual dogs differs. So itís not possible to correlate the color intensity of the sample spot and the level of infection. Keep in mind that every dog is different.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/23/12 11:29 PM

Well, the person I talked too wasn't sure if perhaps someone accidentally dropped some dye into the Lyme spot resulting in a false positive. Personally, I'm with you. If it comes up even a little bit. . .it's a positive.

Now to consider calling back and 'disputing' it or just waiting the four weeks and doing a re-test to be sure. I really don't want to put Ris on antibiotics if I don't have to either. Especially since I've finally gotten her gut somewhat balanced.

No matter what, if I start her on doxy, I need to talk to her holistic vet first to make sure I don't have to make any alterations to her current treatment plan.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/23/12 11:35 PM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
Wow. That was quick. Got results already.

They called me back because they weren't sure why I'd had the heartworm/tick test run again so soon (she had it done in July at her annual). When I mentioned it was because I found a tick on Risa, the person I spoke with was a bit more concerned about the test results which, she had initially stated, were negative. Apparently, there was a very very faint amount of dye on the Lyme portion of the test. frown

She spoke with our vet and then called me back. Our vet doesn't want to do doxy jic (I asked) because she really doesn't like to prescribe it unless it's absolutely needed. She also does not want to have to give doxy to Risa at all if it can be avoided given Risa's history of gastrointestinal problems (and I know doxy is hard on the gut). So she recommended we do a more sensitive test for tick-borne diseases in 4 weeks. I expressed some concern in waiting longer still but the vet does not feel 4 weeks will make much of a difference.

I did mention my concern over the possibility that Risa may be experiencing some joint discomfort as well. I have seen her licking her elbows/knees a bit more frequently and she seems to fall into a walk rather than a trot when we're out on walks more often. I initially attributed it to colder weather but I cannot be certain. Especially with the mild winter we have had. Knowing I found a tick on her, I want to be sure it's not something more than 'old age' and 'the cold' bothering her.

So, if nothing else, we wait for another 4 weeks to do another test and go from there.


I am going to be blunt here.

Your vet is putting your dog in danger.

Risa's GI problems could very well be from Lyme, and often doxy helps with gut problems. Max is the perfect example of this (though he does have a harder time with tablets than capsules).

A faint amount of dye means that Risa tested POSITIVE FOR LYME. Further testing is warranted, and considering Risa's symptoms, I would treat regardless.

Please do not wait another 4 weeks and allow this to go even more chronic. It can further suppress the immune system, still be infected, but then no longer get a postive on the test while the infection drives deeper. Then you have a dog that is slowly getting sicker and sicker, and then the vet will say that they don't know why.

I do not know why vets suspend logic when they don't know how to read the instructions for the test, and put their clients in further danger. This is one of those WTF moments that just drives me absolutely bonkers. I have no patience for this because it not only affects quality of life, but, if it goes to the kidneys, can also be fatal.

You are Risa's advocate.....so advocate.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/23/12 11:55 PM

I'll call tomorrow and ask to speak with her vet. I'll bring up the stuff off the Idexx site (thanks Joanne) and see if I can't just get some doxy.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/24/12 12:11 AM

As someone who used to do lab testing (not medical, environmental) if we had test results that weren't clear, we asked for a re-sample and we re-tested at our cost. There is no sorta positive, especially in cultures. And if I as the analyst thought there was even a remote possibility that something got contaminated, we asked the client for a re-sample (at our cost). It does seem like the vet dropped the ball on this one.

In a sidenote, I also used Idexx products which were color indicative. We had a comparator for color which showed the minimum depth of color for a positive result. Every sample was compared to this control. Not that it's relevant to this discussion. I just thought that was neat.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/24/12 03:54 AM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy

She spoke with our vet and then called me back. Our vet doesn't want to do doxy jic (I asked) because she really doesn't like to prescribe it unless it's absolutely needed. She also does not want to have to give doxy to Risa at all if it can be avoided given Risa's history of gastrointestinal problems (and I know doxy is hard on the gut). So she recommended we do a more sensitive test for tick-borne diseases in 4 weeks. I expressed some concern in waiting longer still but the vet does not feel 4 weeks will make much of a difference.


Regarding the GI stuff, the links here are interesting:
http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbt...gesti#Post95274


Jamie, it really makes me very angry when these vets screw up in situations that are clear cut.

Leah has a great point, if they think some "some dye" got in there (never heard of that!), it's their responsibility to redo the test because they screwed it up.

But more likely, there's a positive response to the test. The vet can just read the insert instead of Joanne doing her job for her. Idexx has a protocol for this. You don't tell a sick dog to wait a month for treatment. You either treat, or run a C6. (Idexx recommends a C6, though I'm a bit jaded and am more curious about Cornell's multiplex.)

Regardless of which tests and how the details should be approached, it makes me angry that vets put clients in this situation, and worse yet, it's negligent. You shouldn't be put in this situation.

But. You are in this situation. Your vet will likely under dose and not treat for long enough too. It's very very frustrating. It shouldn't be this way.

Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/24/12 03:05 PM

Well, I believe the vet said she didn't want to retest it because she thought some of the techs would interpret it one way and others would interpret it the other way. I didn't speak to our vet directly; only through the receptionist/assistant/tech on the phone.

I'm going to make my case to her today. Personally, I'm willing to put up with a potential month of diarrhea to cover my butt in regards to Lyme. Risa already has one chronic condition. She does not need another.

And, honestly, if the vet gives me a hard time and/or refuses to do as I request then I'll walk. I know I worked there and she was a great vet for both of my guinea pigs and Risa. But she was no help in regards to Risa's gut issues (those have been better handled, if not close to being solved, by her TCVM vet) and now this. I'm just not happy with their level of care. Wouldn't be the first time I fired a vet.

I also feel like I should be doing something. That I found out there was a 'weak positive' for a reason. I mean, had this been her annual test, they probably wouldn't have contacted me AT ALL. It's only because she had a heartworm test in July that they called me to report their findings and ask why I'd had it run. That scares me too.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/25/12 05:48 AM

If she is in doubt, she can send out for the Snap and have Idexx read it, or have the C6 run, so there are options. Of course, she may be trying to save you money, but then those are your choices after she lays out the options!

Your vet is not alone in how she is handling this. The telling sign will be how she handles it when you approach her. Finding the right vet can be so hard...I'm still having trouble replacing my semi-retired one. Max has about 4 different ones, but not one real one, if that makes sense.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/25/12 06:40 AM

Well she doesn't work on Tuesdays so I left her a voicemail this morning. (Actually, it was yesterday since it's now Wednesday.) I probably sounded like a moron too.

Unfortunately, saving money is something I need to do at the moment. If the answer is doxy anyway, I'd rather just do that right now. But, if it would be better/smarter to run a C6 NOW, then I'll do that too. The Mutt will not go without.

I did at least get to speak to Risa's TCVM vet (through a receptionist) and found out that, if Risa does need to be on doxy, it will not interfere with her current GI protocol.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/25/12 10:59 AM

I'm glad that you were able to get through and check in with the holistic vet's office - that news is encouraging.

Yes, the answer is doxy anyway. The c6 is helpful in monitoring, but, as mentioned, I don't have as much faith in it at the moment, so am really not sure what to advise - it is nice to have a "number". Curious if Joanne reads this if she has an opinion, Steel has a long standing battle with this dreaded beast.

Doxy, aggressive dose is 5 mg/lb, twice a day; conservative dose is half that. I think capsules are stronger and more gut friendly, so always dosed somewhere in between (nearly all vets use the tablets). Treat for 6-8 weeks. If there are symptoms that are still resolving, treat till symptoms are gone, and then a little bit longer.

Lyme can go into a cyst-like form when hit with antibiotics. A short course of flagyl at the end of the abx *might* help deter relapse. Indy could never tolerate flagyl well, so I used panacur in the hope it also worked (thinking of giardia cysts).

Amoxicillin also works for lyme - risa was on that before or after the tick? Doxy is usually used because it can kill more coinfections, so it's a bit of a catch all.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/25/12 02:54 PM

Risa was on Clavamox once as an infection preventative (or was it for a cyst?) and she was on Amoxicillin in April last year for her GI issues. She was on Metronidozole/Flagyl early on in her gut issues history but it didn't so anything for her (of course, her GI upset had been going on for a while by then). I'm not a big fan of the Metra but will use it if I have to.

I will call the vet this afternoon if I don't hear from her before then. I don't want to start a war over this but I do want Risa treated. Lyme is not something I feel comfortable sitting back and waiting on. It can do so much damage when left alone. And Ris is still young! (Okay, she's 8 but that's not really old.)
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/25/12 06:26 PM

If you do look for another vet, we liked Stack Vet in Syracuse. We used Dr. Congel.
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/25/12 09:39 PM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
The c6 is helpful in monitoring, but, as mentioned, I don't have as much faith in it at the moment, so am really not sure what to advise - it is nice to have a "number". Curious if Joanne reads this if she has an opinion, Steel has a long standing battle with this dreaded beast.


If I were just starting this adventure, I'd do the Idexx Quant C6 before treatment and again after treatment. At this point though, I have a dog that tests positive on the Snap for Lyme, but less then 10 on the Quant C6 and he has some symptoms - intestinal ones. The Cornell Multiplex is very inexpensive. That is next for Steel.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/26/12 12:08 AM

Things are much more clear and less panic-inducing when you actually get to talk to the vet. smile

She called me today and I was actually able to get clarification about what is going on. Apparently, one of the techs thought there might be a bit of 'dye' on the Lyme portion of the test. Three others looked at it, including our doctor, and didn't see anything. Our vet mentioned that, without having a number to start with in regards to a Lyme level, she doesn't really want to put Risa on doxy because she has nothing to compare to once the course is over. I totally understood but asked if there was anything we could do without waiting--like running a C6. Running a C6 alone is pricey (like $100). But we could send another blood sample to Idexx, have them run the Snap test there, and they would run the C6 (for an additional $30) if they thought there was a positive result on the Snap test.

So I scheduled another blood draw for Risa tomorrow and we'll see where that leads us. If it's negative, GREAT! But, if not, at least we've caught it in early.

And, if it's not Lyme, then I guess I may need to look into a joint supplement for the Muttski.
Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/26/12 01:51 AM

crossedfingers Hoping the tests come back negative for lyme.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/26/12 09:06 AM

That sounds like a good plan.

She's on a joint supplement, isn't she?
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/26/12 01:54 PM

Nope. Ris doesn't take any joint supplements. She should but she's not. It's something I keep meaning to do but never get around to. And I've always worried that something in them will set her off. I'm looking at some of them now, though.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/27/12 09:55 PM

Yeah, you'll have to be careful with her, but, particularly with her activity level, I bet you'll see a difference with them.

I used to use Osteobiflex, but most versions have MSM now, so that's out for Max and Risa. I use Cosequin (Cosamin and Costco) and am experimenting between Trixsyn and Jarrow's hyaluronic acid in capsules for sensitive boy Max. I'm looking at different glucosamine products too, just for fun, but haven't tried any yet.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/27/12 11:08 PM

Got a call from our vet today. When they ran the test at Idexx, Risa tested positive for Lyme. They ran the C6 to determine the level and I think it was like 60-something (I can check to be sure). So her doctor set up doxy for her and I'll pick it up and start her on it tomorrow.

I am glad I went with my gut feeling (and everyone else's gut feeling too!) and had her retested. Though I didn't exactly need more bad news in my day in regards to my dog!

Joint supplements will have to wait for now. frown
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/27/12 11:15 PM

I'm sorry Jamie! Some of Risa's gut issues my even be from Lyme. I hope she tolerates the Doxy well. The anti-inflammatory properties of Doxy helped LJ's gut issues.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/27/12 11:38 PM

I don't think her gut issues are Lyme-related. I've been battling them for about 5 years now and, when they started, we lived in Montana which is not exactly tick-central. (From what I quickly researched, Lyme isn't prevalent in Montana and may be non-existent there.)

I was surprised we got out of Connecticut without any tick issues. Figures the ONE time I find a tick on Risa, it's a Lyme-transmitting one. Ergh!
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/27/12 11:53 PM

...is quietly freaking out right now since I live in Lyme disease central...

Fingers crossed that the treatment works and doesn't upset the applecart (or Risa's tummy!).
Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/28/12 01:47 AM

Shift! Not what you (or any of us) wanted to hear. But, yes! Thank goodness you did not wait and insisted on a new test now.

Risa is fortunate to have you as her advocate. I hope she feels better soon.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/28/12 03:13 AM

I was hoping maybe. . .just maybe, we'd dodged a bullet. Our vet really didn't think there was anything to worry about and she had valid reasons to think so. After talking to her, I felt more confident that it was nothing but I needed to know for sure. I still don't want to think about what would have happened had the test been her annual test and I didn't find out that one of the techs thought it might have been a positive Lyme result. I am so so so happy that I found out about it and questioned it. I just hope I caught it early enough and that we can get rid of it completely.

And that I can figure out when to give her all her supplements and drugs!! Probiotics can't be given at the same time as antibiotics after all.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/28/12 05:55 AM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
She called me today and I was actually able to get clarification about what is going on. Apparently, one of the techs thought there might be a bit of 'dye' on the Lyme portion of the test. Three others looked at it, including our doctor, and didn't see anything. Our vet mentioned that, without having a number to start with in regards to a Lyme level, she doesn't really want to put Risa on doxy because she has nothing to compare to once the course is over. I totally understood but asked if there was anything we could do without waiting--like running a C6. Running a C6 alone is pricey (like $100). But we could send another blood sample to Idexx, have them run the Snap test there, and they would run the C6 (for an additional $30) if they thought there was a positive result on the Snap test.

I hope that your vet and the clinic (techs!) Have learned from this!
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/28/12 03:05 PM

I was thinking the same thing.

Though, sometimes, it's better to be wrong. I would have rather been wrong in this case.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/29/12 12:39 AM

Starting doxy tonight. When I picked up the meds, the receipt said to schedule a recheck of the bloodwork in 6 months. Does that seem right or really long??
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/29/12 01:18 AM

That's the protocol, 6 months, though I don't agree with it....seems stupid to have to wait 6 months to find out that she still has active infection, dosn't it?

What dosage where you given, and for how long?

Btw, I would have rather the test be wrong too frown

Awhile back, didn't Risa have some clumped platelets at the low end? Am I remmbering wrong?
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/29/12 01:34 PM

Okay. I thought it seemed really long, too. Like treating someone with chemo and then checking to make sure they're cancer-free a year later. I only waited 6 weeks after removing the tick to find out she had Lyme in the first place.

She's on 100 mg twice a day for 28 days. Standard protocol. From what little research I've done, most dogs respond to that no problem and it kicks the disease to the curb. I know there are always exceptions but I hope, this one time, that Risa isn't one of them.

Yes. Her bloodwork showed a slightly low, clumped platelet count when I had it run in July. But I also had a heartworm/tick test run at the same time and it was clear. I would bet money that she picked up Lyme recently from that tick on her. I will probably run bloodwork on her again at her annual appointment. But, honestly, looking at her values over time; I'm pretty sure she's always had those anomalies. Every dog's normal is different. And Risa is definitely different. wink

At least, so far, she seems to be tolerating the doxy fine. She only just had her second dose a half hour ago, though.
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/29/12 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
She's on 100 mg twice a day for 28 days. Standard protocol. From what little research I've done, most dogs respond to that no problem and it kicks the disease to the curb.


So the conservative dose? *sigh* Jamie you sound so much like me 4 years ago. I wish I had better educated myself back then. Now I have a chronically ill dog.
Posted By: DancingCavy

The Tick-Risa has Lyme - 01/29/12 03:16 PM

I thought it was supposed to be 2x their body weight twice a day. Risa is 40 lbs.

Really not sure what recourse I have at this point. I'm pretty sure my vet's not going to be too keen if I call up and say "Hey, I read on the Internet that Risa should be getting twice this amount of drugs for twice as long. . ." There's no doubt I worry about her. . .more than I should even when nothing is really going on with her. I'm just not exactly in the best spot to be telling a vet what to do, even if we do have a decent relationship.
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/29/12 03:33 PM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Doxy, aggressive dose is 5 mg/lb, twice a day; conservative dose is half that.


and

https://sites.google.com/site/blackgsd/treatment

"The dosage we recommend on Tick List is an aggressive one: 5 mg. of doxy per pound of body weight given every 12 hours for 8 weeks."
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/29/12 03:58 PM

I print information out for my vet. She reads it; we have a discussion and go from there.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/29/12 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
Okay. I thought it seemed really long, too. Like treating someone with chemo and then checking to make sure they're cancer-free a year later. I only waited 6 weeks after removing the tick to find out she had Lyme in the first place.

Yes, it makes monitoring treatment difficult. Titers do go down slowly, and the SNAP may be positive for awhile. This is one reason I like the multiplex in a dog right now, I think the test, combined with their discounted shipping @ cornell is under $100, and gives more info than the c6. I'm not sure when I would run the c6, wonder if 6 weeks after is too soon.

Quote:
She's on 100 mg twice a day for 28 days. Standard protocol. From what little research I've done, most dogs respond to that no problem and it kicks the disease to the curb. I know there are always exceptions but I hope, this one time, that Risa isn't one of them.


Once a lyme dog, always a lyme dog. Lyme is chronic, and at best you hope to knock it into remission and you hope that Risa's immune system is strong enough to keep it there. Lyme takes different forms in the body and antibiotics cannot kill all of them.

If not treated properly, you run the risk of relapse (highly likely), or down the road maybe you start seeing incontinence or kidney issues that you start blaming on other things, or early debiliting arthritis, or pancreatitis, and the list goes on.

If you treat conservatively and only for 4 weeks, hope, but do not expect that this is the last you see of her Lyme. If you ever revaccinate for anything, I would run bloodwork and C6 a couple of months after the vaccination rather than at the same appt. Having a test like the C6 or the mulltiplex is handy. Can't tell you how many cases of lyme "flares" we see on the tick list.

Quote:
Yes. Her bloodwork showed a slightly low, clumped platelet count when I had it run in July. But I also had a heartworm/tick test run at the same time and it was clear. I would bet money that she picked up Lyme recently from that tick on her. I will probably run bloodwork on her again at her annual appointment. But, honestly, looking at her values over time; I'm pretty sure she's always had those anomalies. Every dog's normal is different.

Well, unless you have years of bloodtests on a spreadsheet, you have no idea what her "normal" is. For this reason, I'm glad that she is getting doxy, just in case, as amoxicillin wouldn't touch the stuff that interferes with platelets.

Too much confidence in the snap test is also dangerous. Not only can it be wrong (we have seen this frequently), but there are more tick diseases that cause platelet issues that it doesn't test for than those it does test test for.

Quote:
At least, so far, she seems to be tolerating the doxy fine. She only just had her second dose a half hour ago, though.

This is good news smile

Be sure to take note of any positive changes you see, be sure to write them down somewhere, so you will learn to recognize her subtle signs if she flares later.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/30/12 12:04 AM

I actually did put her years of bloodwork into a spreadsheet so I could compare. Her counts aren't always outside the normal range, but they're usually low. Since I have 4-6 different blood work results to compare to, I can see that this seems to be her normal. Whether she's having gut issues at the time or not.



I'll call the vet tomorrow and see if we can't have a discussion about increasing the dosage. Beyond that, I guess I'll just hope beyond hope we can kick this thing in the butt and never have to worry about it again. The way things are going these days. . .it seems like that's asking for a miracle. frown

Poop was a bit loose and mucusy today. But that could be due to the pork ribs she had for dinner rather than the doxy. (Dog food store can't get the food I've been feeding Risa. The distributor is out. frown )
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/30/12 12:48 AM

Doxy usually does not cause loose stools, so I would first suspect the food. It usually causes nausea. However, we know that those things can be very individual!

I was looking for C6 values, thought I found a good comparison here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2223868/
BUT, they vaccinated the dogs in that study, which alters immune system response, so is hard to apply. What was interesting in Table 2, is that the vast majority of these dogs were treated with the aggressive dose of doxy (called HD there).


Ah, forgot you do have a spreadsheet!!
Originally Posted By: DancingCavy

And it took me a minute, but I forgot that I have to being VERY careful looking at the numbers, since the normal ranges are often different from year to year.

While she probably has some sitehound in her that will run higher RBC and lower WBC, I am concerned with the last July numbers, generally showing more immune suppression. In some sense, it is even surprising that she showed a positive lyme test, since sometimes a compromised immune system won't, and that C6 only starts to elevated shortly after treatment starts.

Frankly, I do worry about your vet, but hope that she pays more attention to this. We have all sorts on the tick list, and this is one reason some owners end up supplementing conservative treatment with Bird Biotic.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/30/12 01:19 AM

Well, Risa did go through some pretty serious gut stuff last year. From around September 2010 to May-ish 2011, she was having pretty much non-stop loose stool/diarrhea. And nausea. It was the longest she's ever gone with that sort of gut stuff. It's usually 6 months at most. That could certainly have affected her immune system. I almost ran a CBC along with the Snap test when I took her in on Monday to see where she stood since I never got around to re-doing it in the fall.

I don't know how easy it will be to judge whether or not Risa has Lyme flares. It was hard enough to really notice any differences from mid-December til now. Her pace on walks went from her usual trot to a walk. But she does that when she's afraid or worried about something too. And it's not always clear which it is. She was also a bit hesitant to hop up onto things and slow going up stairs or into the car on occasion (but not consistently). Since she has back problems as well, this makes it hard to determine which is causing it since she acts like that when her back is sore too. She was also being a bit more spooky than is usual but, again, she has had moments like that before too.

We are expecting a call from Risa's TCVM vet next month to check and see how her gut is holding up. (Aside from occasional loose poo after eating pork, things have been really good!) I will discuss the Lyme issue with her as well and see if she has any herbs or acupuncture ideas that might help supplement Risa's immune system and help kick Lyme's butt.

*HUGE SIGH OF SADNESS*
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/30/12 01:50 AM

Hopefully you will see some noticeable changes. With Indy, she just had a harder time moving, and would become afraid of the dark wub

Samento and Teasel Root is often used for Lyme, but I really don't know how effective it is.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/31/12 12:08 AM

Left a message for my vet to call me about the doxy dosage. Didn't get a call back. Will print out the information, drop it off tomorrow (her day off), and request a call back ASAP on Wednesday so we can discuss it.

May start looking for a new vet too. Especially if things don't go well. I'm already pretty displeased at how the initial Snap test was handled. And the knowledge that I might not have been informed of the 'weak positive' had this been her annual bloodwork. . .

*Sigh*
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/31/12 09:38 AM

hugging
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 01/31/12 11:26 PM

Dropped off the info. Thought about it some more today. With her low WBC numbers, even if that is normal for her, could that play a part in her not being able to tackle the disease on her own? I also worry that her long-standing history of gut issues has either caused a weakened immune system and/or is caused BY a weakened immune system. Maybe she doesn't have the capacity to battle Lyme on her own and needs the stronger dosage and longer treatment time.

While she seems to be less achy in the joints since starting doxy, she's still not 100%. And her increased spookiness hasn't dissipated either. Just today, she got really freaked out by a noise on her walk. While this isn't entirely abnormal for her, I wonder if it's significant because of the positive Lyme test. Perhaps the dosage isn't high enough.

Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws. I don't know. I know you only get one chance to treat it the first time. I would definitely feel better hitting it hard. I just don't know if I can convince my vet that it would be a good idea. I am going to try, though.

At least her gut is fine. She finally pooped again today and it was picture-perfect like usual. Usual as of late anyway. smile No problems with doxy at least.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/01/12 03:42 AM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
Dropped off the info. Thought about it some more today. With her low WBC numbers, even if that is normal for her, could that play a part in her not being able to tackle the disease on her own? I also worry that her long-standing history of gut issues has either caused a weakened immune system and/or is caused BY a weakened immune system. Maybe she doesn't have the capacity to battle Lyme on her own and needs the stronger dosage and longer treatment time.

I think that this is a concern. I had this concern with Max - all his blood counts went low, and he was IgA, IgM, and IgG deficient - figured he just can't mount a proper response. Risa tends to run on the lower end, so I don't know exactly what it means when that goes low.


Quote:
While she seems to be less achy in the joints since starting doxy, she's still not 100%. And her increased spookiness hasn't dissipated either. Just today, she got really freaked out by a noise on her walk. While this isn't entirely abnormal for her, I wonder if it's significant because of the positive Lyme test. Perhaps the dosage isn't high enough.

Typically you see a quick response to doxy, but all symptoms are slow to resolve.


Quote:
Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws. I don't know. I know you only get one chance to treat it the first time. I would definitely feel better hitting it hard. I just don't know if I can convince my vet that it would be a good idea. I am going to try, though.

To be honest, I don't know what the optimal treatment for Lyme is. I don't know if it's more important to treat for 6-8 weeks initially (rather than 28 days) or to treat at the higher dose, or if they are equally important. I just am not sure with Lyme. I always finished off each round of abx with Indy with a round of panacur since she didn't tolerate flagyl, as a hope that it helped. I used a fair amount of over the counter abx. You have a few weeks to think about what you are seeing and what you want to do.

Quote:
At least her gut is fine. She finally pooped again today and it was picture-perfect like usual. Usual as of late anyway. smile No problems with doxy at least.

This is great news!
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/01/12 11:29 AM

Picture perfect poop. Interesting concept. I think only a person who has a dog with digestive issues can fully understand this. smile

Glad to hear she is doing okay. Continued good thoughts for a successful treatment.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/01/12 11:32 PM

Talked to our vet today. She thanked me for dropping off the printout and asked how Risa was doing. (She's doing well. Joints seem less achy; she is jumping over my legs into bed at night instead of on top of them. Still not 100% and still a little more spooky than usual.) Then we got into the meat of the conversation.

The protocol she follows is the one recommended by Dr. Goldstein at Cornell University (5mg/lb per day for 30 days). She has done this with many dogs and, when they are re-checked at 6 months, they are perfectly fine. She doesn't feel that Risa's low WBC numbers would affect her ability to fight off the Lyme infection and she's never seen any correlation between the two.

While she is perfectly willing to prescribe a double dose and/or an extended dose for Risa, she doesn't feel it is necessary. She is also concerned that, by doing a longer treatment, it could hurt the efficacy of the drug in the long run should Risa need it again. She also mentioned that no internal medicine doctors can agree on what is a proper treatment for Lyme. I agreed as I have certainly found that to be the case in my minimal research. I also mentioned that I understood no matter what I do, the potential for a relapse is always there.

Fortunately, she seems to be willing to increase the dosage or the duration if that's what I want even if she doesn't think it's necessary. But I'm unsure what I'm going to do. I basically told her I am going to wait and see. As Risa approaches the end of her doxy treatment, I am going to evaluate how she's doing and go from there. (I will also continue to do some research and educate myself.) If I feel it's warranted, I may ask for an additional month of doxy. But, for now, I'm sticking with what has been prescribed.

No matter what I do, I cannot know the outcome. I don't know if Risa will ever experience chronic issues related to Lyme. I don't know if changing the dose or giving it longer will make any difference. And that's the thing that is the most frustrating. No one knows. Lyme is just so tricky. It seems the only things people can agree on are: it comes from ticks, it's treated with doxycycline, it can create chronic problems, and it never goes away. frown I wish Risa had easier to treat illnesses. Not these things that have no standard, agreed-upon treatments.

So I wait and hope. I will discuss with her TCVM vet the positive Lyme test and see if she has any recommendations from the holistic side as well (she's been such a great help with Risa's gut!) At least Risa seems to be feeling better. Though she's not happy that dinner got pushed back 3 hours! (So that I can give her the doxy every 12 hours without waking up before dawn.)

(Random thought: should this be moved to the Health Section since it's really more about Lyme disease now than finding a tick?)
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/02/12 08:25 AM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
While she is perfectly willing to prescribe a double dose and/or an extended dose for Risa....

I would take her up on this. As you said, you only get one chance to treat the first time.


Quote:
I basically told her I am going to wait and see. As Risa approaches the end of her doxy treatment, I am going to evaluate how she's doing and go from there.

You have no way of determining how effective the treatment was until 6 months after you are done.


Quote:
No matter what I do, I cannot know the outcome. I don't know if Risa will ever experience chronic issues related to Lyme. I don't know if changing the dose or giving it longer will make any difference.

No, but, you decrease the odds that she will develop more or earlier arthritis. You decrease the odds that it silently goes into the nervous system. You decrease the odds that it creates a subclinical kidney issue. This isn't as much about now, but trying to avoid the things later that will no longer be associated with lyme because they will be down the road where the tests may not show up positive then.


Quote:
(Random thought: should this be moved to the Health Section since it's really more about Lyme disease now than finding a tick?)

done smile
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/02/12 03:32 PM

I know. I know all this. And I'm leaning towards extending the dose when we hit the end of February. Just in case.

Still, there is no way of knowing whether that will change things or not. This sucks.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 12:34 AM

I am feeling paranoid about my dog. Which is never a good thing. I think I may make an appointment for her with our TCVM vet early next week to talk to her about what's going on, have her evaluate Risa, and maybe do some acupuncture/aquapuncture.

I'm also planning on sending a letter to our veterinary hospital because I feel this issue needs to be addressed so that it's less likely another owner might find themselves in this position. This is my letter so far. . .thoughts?? (Should I mention my vet by name in it? I mean, it's not like they can't find out who I spoke with by looking in my chart anyway.)

Quote:
Dear Doctors and Staff:

On December 10, 2011, I found a tick on my dog. That Monday, I brought the tick in to the hospital to have it analyzed but I was told that you no longer sent ticks out to identify if they're carrying any tick-borne diseases. The receptionist informed me that we could test Risa in 6 weeks to see if she had contracted anything from the tick.

I brought Risa in on January 23rd to have the blood draw done for the tick test. I spoke to the technician about the tick I found on her and I even brought the tick along with me. She identified it as a deer tick though one that was not fully engorged. Risa had her blood drawn and we returned home. Shortly thereafter, I received a call from your hospital telling me the test was negative but also inquiring as to why I had a heartworm/tick test run on Risa since she just had one done in July. I was a bit shocked that the reason for our visit had not been recorded in our chart and informed the person I was speaking to about the tick I found on Risa 6 weeks earlier. It was then that she mentioned one of the technicians who looked at Risa's Snap test thought they saw a small amount of dye on the Lyme portion of the test. After further inquiry, I learned that 3 technicians and our doctor had looked at the test. Only one thought they saw a possible positive test result for Lyme. I had recently noticed some joint discomfort in Risa, which I knew to be a sign of Lyme disease, and expressed my concern over the test results. I was told we could do a more sensitive retest in 4 weeks. But this didn't sit well with me.

I spoke to some friends and did some research online where I discovered on Idexx's website that even a slight hint of dye in one of the test regions indicates a positive result. I was very concerned and left a message to speak with our doctor. When I did get a chance to talk to her, I ultimately decided to redo the Snap test and have it sent to Idexx so that they could run the C6 if Risa was indeed Lyme positive.

When I brought Risa in for the second blood draw on January 26, there was some confusion as to what I wanted done. I explained what I was there for when the technician arrived and, when I was handed the receipt, I was being charged for the C6 only. Not the Snap test being sent to Idexx which I had discussed with our doctor. I mentioned it to the receptionist and the technician and we got things straightened out. I assumed, having spoken to our doctor the day before, that it would have been written in the file where it could have been easily referenced.

Late Friday, January 27, I received a phone call stating that Risa had tested positive for Lyme disease on the test sent away to Idexx. Doxycycline was set up for her and she started taking it Saturday evening, January 28.

This experience has left me very disappointed in the quality of care we've received. I am left wondering, if the first Snap test had been Risa's annual one, if we would have been informed of the slight dye indication at all. After all, I know it's hospital policy that only positive results get phone calls. So it's entirely possible that this issue could have gone completely undiagnosed. I hate to think of what may have happened had I not insisted on a retest. Lyme can be a tricky disease and can even be fatal.

I wrote this letter to inform you of my displeasure and in the hopes that you might all learn from this. Since I used to work alongside many of you, I know you are a dedicated group of people who truly care about the patients you see.


I think the conclusion needs some work but I'm unsure what to say. I don't want to be too accusatory but I think it's clear they need to be more careful!
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 02:04 AM

it's not like they can't find out who I spoke with by looking in my chart anyway.)
-- well if they didnt bother to write that down either then they wouldnt be ale to research it. this sounds like my vet- are you sure you are not in Napa?
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 02:08 AM

Ha, no. Not in Napa. Even with the un-winter-like weather we've had. wink

I used to work there so I know that everyone initials what they write in the file so that it can be traced. Besides, I use the same vet all the time anyway. I'm simply wondering if I should be pointing fingers or leaving it to them to figure it out.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 02:19 AM

As a first thought, it's not just the care that you are disappointed in, but the record keeping and communication, and knowledge level wrt the Snap. That might work in the conclusion somewhere, but not sure how you might write it without sounding the wrong way.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 01:08 PM

I think the letter is very well written. You clearly point out all the small but significant ways in which the vet office failed Risa. And I don't think it takes a genius to know that a vast majority of pet owners would not have gone to the lengths you did to research the test and advocate for your dog. If it were not for your persistence, Risa would be a Lyme positive dog receiving no treatment. Beyond stating your disappointment and concern for other pet owners who may experience a similar lack in care, I'm not sure where else you can go with your letter. I don't know if vet offices use an SOP (standard operating procedure) but I would assume since they are a lab, that they do. Perhaps you can suggest to them a revision in the SOP which states that in the future, any test which has an inconclusive result must be resubmitted and retested. I think the receptionists also need to do a better job, although it does seem like it is hard to staff a vet office with competent receptionists, at least based on my experience. frown
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 01:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Good_Karma
I think the receptionists also need to do a better job, although it does seem like it is hard to staff a vet office with competent receptionists, at least based on my experience. frown


Hey! I was a receptionist when I worked there! teary wink You're right, though, it is not an easy position. I made my share of mistakes too. But that's why they set up a system where things like this aren't supposed to be missed. Everyone who touches the file should be looking at it and double-checking things. I am very surprised some of this stuff was missed. It makes me seriously consider finding a new vet to use as Risa's primary. This isn't the first time I've been disappointed with the level of care. Just the most serious time. frown

I rewrote the final few paragraphs with your suggestions and some of what I came up with overnight. Sometimes it's good to sleep on it.

Quote:
This experience has left me very disappointed in the quality of care we received, the lack of proper record keeping, and how the Snap test is read. I am left wondering, if the first Snap test had been Risa's annual one, if we would have been informed of the slight dye indication at all. After all, I know it's hospital policy that only positive results get phone calls. So it's entirely possible that this issue could have gone completely undiagnosed. I hate to think of what may have happened had I not insisted on a retest. Lyme disease can lead to serious medical complications and can even be fatal when left untreated.

I wrote this letter to inform you of my displeasure and in the hopes that you might all learn from this. Since I used to work alongside many of you, I know you are a dedicated group of people who truly care about the patients you see. I am certain that, with this new found knowledge, you will make adjustments to how things are run and that no other patient will have to go through this.

Thank you.
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 02:54 PM

excellent
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 08:24 PM

thumbup
Posted By: LJsMom

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/05/12 09:01 PM

Good job Jamie!
Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/06/12 12:38 AM

Jamie, I think it's great, but would maybe hit the whole "what if this was another dog without an owner-advocate" angle harder, maybe even from the POV of the person who would never be able to understand all this through no fault of their own. Are you going to take it in and talk it out with them or mail it?

I now know to ask about the small bit of dye. Thank you.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/06/12 03:19 AM

Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN
...I now know to ask about the small bit of dye. Thank you.


Makes a person wonder how many of these get misread. We often hear on the tick list, a "low" or "light" positive, and there is no such thing. Risa's C6 of 60, with a *smudge* of dye is the perfect example of this.

Makes me sad.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/06/12 03:18 PM

Jean, I'm probably going to mail it. I'm so non-confrontational. This is easier for me. wink

I like the idea of addressing the idea of owners that might not have a clue about what could be going on, but I'm unsure how to bring it up.

I, too, have been wondering how many tests are getting misread. I hate to come off like I'm "anti-vets" or constantly questioning their practices. But I also seem to find myself in situations where that is the ONLY thing I can do. I'm not one of those people that just accepts things as fact. I like to do my own research as well. Which, I know, can find me in conflict with veterinarians. I'm not trying to be a know-it-all. I simply want to know what I'm dealing with and do the best I can for my dog. And if that alienates me. . .well then I will simply find another vet more open to working with me.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/06/12 11:31 PM

Jamie, do lab techs in vet clinics have to do proficiency testing? When I did bacteria testing, I had to pass a twice yearly set of proficiency samples in each of the bacterial analyses my company was certified for. Most of the test results were mid-range, but for drinking water samples we were expected to detect coliforms at a low level. It seems like a vet lab would have to adhere to the same level of quality with state testing to ensure that they are giving accurate test results. If I had failed a proficiency test, my boss would have had to submit a corrective action stating what we had determined caused the incorrect answer and how we would prevent it from happening in the future. It seems to me that your vet needs to do this as well.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/06/12 11:59 PM

I'm not sure, Leah. It's a good question, though. I just hope that they take this to heart and do something to remedy it. I know, when I worked there, there were times when things came up and we changed the way we did things to eliminate having those issues again.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/12/12 01:17 AM

Update:

Risa is doing fine on the doxy. I mailed the letter to the vet on Tuesday. Haven't heard anything from them but I don't actually expect to.

I will probably be calling the vet this week to request an additional month of doxycycline to put my mind at ease. Also, Risa has been having yucky poos for almost 2 weeks and I worry that it might put her immune system at a disadvantage so I definitely want to continue with the doxy. I am so angry her gut is off again (loose, very mucusy stools). We weren't able to get the food she usually eats because the distributor was out. I got something else instead which should have been fine but something in it is bothering her (and I have no idea what). ARGH! Fortunately, I should be able to get the Answers again on Monday and get her gut back on track.

I also ordered some Cosequin for her joints to help her from having long-term issues. Plus, due to her active lifestyle, it's long overdue. I just hope it doesn't bother her either.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/12/12 02:06 AM

I am glad that she is doing well, and also about the joint supplements. Hopefully once you get the food straightened out, her "mushy issues" will be okay too.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/12/12 12:58 PM

Hope that you can find Risa a healthy equilibrium soon. hugging
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/12/12 01:46 PM

Risa and healthy equilibrium don't seem to go hand in hand when it comes to her gut. frown It really doesn't seem to take much to throw her GI tract out of balance again. Just now is really not a good time to add additional stress. *Sigh*

I'm sure, once I get her other food again, she'll get back to normal in a few days.
Posted By: GSDElsa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/15/12 11:49 AM

Woah, Jamie! I've been totally out of the loop in internet stuff and have only been very briefly scanning the forums. I"m so sorry to hear about Risa's Lyme disease! I swear, I can't believe the luck. My dogs are swarming with ticks all the time, and we've never had an issue. That's what--the first tick you've found on Risa? I'm so sorry frown
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/15/12 01:41 PM

Yep. First tick I found. frown Though I do know it's possible I could have missed one before. A friend of mine who lives in CT thinks Risa could have gotten it while we lived there and it only was caught now. Which, unfortunately, is also possible. Connecticut is the tick capital of the world, I think. (The name for Lyme disease came from the town of Lyme, CT.) Either way, I found a tick, I had my dog tested, and she has Lyme now. Awesome. frown

I just hope there are no long term issues from this.
Posted By: GSDElsa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/16/12 12:37 AM

That is a good point from your friend. But, either way....sending you lots of zooming thoughts of goodness!!
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/16/12 02:28 AM

Thanks!! laugh
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/17/12 10:34 PM

Well Risa's poops are finally back to stable. It didn't take long which means it was the food and not some underlying gut issue. (Also known as "Jamie caught it before it became a huge problem.") Though she did end up with about 2 weeks of horrible, mucus poop and lost probably 1-2 lbs. frown

The Cosequin arrived today so I will start her on that this Monday. I also got another 28 days of Doxy to treat her with. With the gut issues, I definitely felt I needed to extend the treatment. Even better, no issues getting the refill. I just called up, asked for it, and it was filled. laugh
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 02/18/12 06:45 AM

I am glad that her digestive stuff is better, and that you have the extended doxy. Good smile
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 03/17/12 12:19 PM

So back to this again.

Risa will be finishing up her doxy next weekend (I am so looking forward to sleeping in again!). To prevent potential parasites in the future, I want to find something I can use as a tick preventative without resorting to using pesticides. No Frontline, K9 Advantix or the like. I'm not comfortable using them on Risa nor do I want such chemicals in my house.

I know neem oil is supposed to be effective but I'm not sure where to get it, how to administer it, etc. Do I just spray it on Ri when we're out in a ticky area? (I also read it degrades in UV light so how long is it going to be effective if we're outside in the summer?) Are there any other alternatives? Do I have to cover her entire body with whatever I use?

I really wish she could still tolerate the Bug Off Garlic. That seemed to work great!

Thanks in advance.
Posted By: Woodreb

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 03/17/12 12:31 PM

Jaime,

How about this product?

I've never used it, myself, but have been thinking about it because the Frontline and such doesn't seem all that effective. I found a tick on caleb not too long after applying Frontline. It was dead, but the thing I never have liked about these things, is the tick has to bite to be killed. So it seems you still are at risk for getting a tick borne disease.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 03/17/12 05:41 PM

I don't know how effective it is, but I was using a spray I made from the flea and tick drops at Mad About Organics, with added catnip oil drops (both bought from companies in oregon, have to be careful buying essential oils!).

On trips though, I used a preventic collar (pesticide) and I think it's called Repel (w/o DEET), an REI product.

Neither Indy nor Max were out in high tick areas in their last years, and the spray seemed to work (bonus, it kept the mosquitos off too). I don't know about frequency of application. I'm going to have to address this again with my nmext dog, I hate these stupid ticks.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 03/25/12 02:58 PM

Risa finished up her last dose of doxy yesterday. So now it's up to her immune system to take care of everything. Fingers crossed. I won't know anything for sure til October when we redo her C6.

I also recently ordered Tick Flick'r from Earthly Remedies by Erin to try. It hasn't arrived yet but a friend of mine recommended it. Figure it's worth a shot. I only plan on using preventative when I am knowingly taking her into ticky areas.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 03/25/12 06:41 PM

crossedfingers

Remember, october is the endpoint, when the C6 should be stable. If you see symptoms, you can test again, say in 3 months. If the C6 isn't lower, or has increased, that still tells you something.

This is one area where the cornell multiplex has an advantage.

With luck, she will be okay!
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 03/25/12 11:19 PM

I hope she's okay. I have enough stuff to worry about with her already.

Good to know that I can still test if something feels off even if it's 'early.'
Posted By: starrchar

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 03/27/12 01:26 PM

Jamie, I am so sorry to hear about what you've been going through with Risa. I had a GSD years ago that had Lyme disease. He came from Ohio and picked up the disease there. He recovered well, but never seemed quite 100%. Back then they didn't know as much as they do today though. I now have a tick problem, but started my on thread so I don't take over on this one. I wish you the very best with your precious Risa.
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 10/17/12 12:45 AM

Risa had blood drawn for her C6 on Saturday and I got the results back today. Her C6 level was 65 in January. It is now less than 10 (I guess they don't measure specifically under 10). Her Lyme is effectively in remission! HOORAY!!!

I just hope it never comes back.
Posted By: Barb E

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 10/17/12 04:30 AM

happyboogie
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 10/17/12 06:12 AM

Originally Posted By: DancingCavy
Risa had blood drawn for her C6 on Saturday and I got the results back today. Her C6 level was 65 in January. It is now less than 10 (I guess they don't measure specifically under 10). Her Lyme is effectively in remission! HOORAY!!!

I just hope it never comes back.


This is REALLY good news!

Just to play debbie downer here a bit, the C6 is but one measurement, so do be on the lookout for signs and symptoms, but great that that number is low!
Posted By: GSDElsa

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 10/17/12 06:18 PM

Super! That is great news jamie!
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: SPOON! The Tick - 10/18/12 12:41 AM

Ris' signs were very minor before so it'll be tough to catch them again. Especially with so many of the Lyme symptoms to look for (fearful behaviors for one) are part of Ris' daily life. I will be certain to keep an eye on her, though. That will never change!
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