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Prancer's Tick Titers Are In


Guest SillyDog
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Guest SillyDog

Prancer is between 9-11 years old and has lately just been off....sometimes in pain, lethargic and sometimes not eating all his food. He's been just in general not his peppy self. My regular vet attributed his symptoms to old age. I felt as if I needed a second opinion from someone who wouldn't see him as primarily and old dog.

 

I'm so glad I got the second opinion. I've known for 2 years that he's got chronic Ehrlichia. It was treated once and the doxy didn't make a dent in the titers.

 

Well, it turns out he's also got Anaplasma Phagocytophilum and Babesia in addition to the Ehrlichia Canis. I'm just kind of blown away by this news. No wonder he's been feeling poorly! He got all three sometime before 2004 because that's when he came back to GPA-CT a second time and I know he was on Frontline with his fosters and with me.

 

I started him on doxy this evening. We'll see the vet again on next Friday for another accupuncture treatment for his pain & cervical disc problem. I'll get more info then.

 

In the meantime, I'm wondering how common it is for one dog to have 3 different ones? And what are the usual treatments for the two new ones?

 

Thanks for any input.

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Poor guy, I hope he feels better very soon! From what I read when Mia was diagnosed, it is VERY common for hounds to have more than one TBD, all it takes is a bit from a tick that is infected to get any one of them, if he was bitten by multiple ticks, he would have multiple TBDs.

 

 

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I think the treatment for Anaplasma Phagocytophilum is Doxycycline, the same as is used to treat Ehrlichia. The treatment for Babesia is 2 injections of Imizol two weeks apart. It's no wonder this poor guy has been "off", he is carrying quite a load. Thank goodness you got a second opinion from a vet who was paying attention to his symptoms. Sending prayers for Prancer. :hope

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My Dad's GSD had Erlichosis, Babesia, Lyme, and one other all at the same time, so it's not unheard of. Hope he's feeling better soon!

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Guest KennelMom

It can be pretty common to have multiple TBDs. Poor guy. I'm so glad you listened to your gut and got to the bottom of what's ailing him. Sending prayers :hope

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Guest taylorsmom

It is actually not uncommon to have those others as co-infections along with Lyme and/or erlichia. It doesn't even have to be from multiple tick bites, it can all come from one lousy tick!!

I hate ticks.

I hope Prancer feels better really really soon.

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What are the titers and where did you have them done?

 

And yeah, not uncommon to have multiple infections :(

 

ETA: Treatment for anaplasmosis, according to the IDEXX site:

 

 

 

Which antibiotics are available for A. phagocytophilum treatment?

<LI type=disc>Doxycycline—5 mg/kg, PO 2x per day for one month Tetracycline—22 mg/kg, PO 3x per day for one month (not recommended for young animals)

 

 

Edited by turbotaina


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In titer testing, some of the anaplasmas and ehrlichias cross-react. So, he might have only one of those and since the treatment is the same, you're in good shape.

 

I would not give imidocarb injections without a PCR test first. JMO, though; the specialists at OSU/NCSU might have other thoughts.

 

Hugs and scritchies to you and your boy.

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Guest SillyDog
What are the titers and where did you have them done?

 

And yeah, not uncommon to have multiple infections :(

 

ETA: Treatment for anaplasmosis, according to the IDEXX site:

 

 

 

<a href="http://" target="_blank"></a>

Which antibiotics are available for A. phagocytophilum treatment?<LI type=disc>Doxycycline—5 mg/kg, PO 2x per day for one month Tetracycline—22 mg/kg, PO 3x per day for one month (not recommended for young animals)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you all for your well-wishes!

 

I had the titers done by Protatek. I don't know the exact numbers and I won't be able to get them until Tuesday since the office is closed Fri-Mon for the holiday. When I get the actual numbers I'll post an update.

 

I do know that previously his Ehrlichia titer was 1:1281, but that was not done by Protatek.

 

As far as treatment so far, he's on 150 mg of doxy twice a day for at least a month which meets the formula you've posted above. I wouldn't be surprised if Imizol was added at the vet visit a week from today. He'll get more accupuncture then, too.

 

I plan to do some reading about these new (to me) TBDs, but in the meantime, thank you all for your ideas!

 

I just keep thinking, "No wonder the P-Man has been not-quite-right, poor guy!"

Edited by SillyDog
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Thank you all for your well-wishes!

 

I had the titers done by Protatek. I don't know the exact numbers and I won't be able to get them until Tuesday since the office is closed Fri-Mon for the holiday. When I get the actual numbers I'll post an update.

 

I do know that previously his Ehrlichia titer was 1:1281, but that was not done by Protatek.

 

As far as treatment so far, he's on 150 mg of doxy twice a day for at least a month which meets the formula you've posted above. I wouldn't be surprised if Imizol was added at the vet visit a week from today. He'll get more accupuncture then, too.

 

I plan to do some reading about these new (to me) TBDs, but in the meantime, thank you all for your ideas!

 

I just keep thinking, "No wonder the P-Man has been not-quite-right, poor guy!"

 

I second Batmom's suggestion to get the PCR test for Babesia done before you start any treatment. Imizol can have some very unpleasant side effects and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're certain your dog actually has it. A titre can be misleading.

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Remember a positive titer is NOT diagnostic for infection... it only diagnoses exposure. Certain levels can be highly suggestive of infection but only PCR testing is considered diagnostic b/c you are not looking for the dog's response to the organism but for the organism itself.

 

Most dogs that are exposed to Lyme disease never will get sick a day in their life... with or without treatment.

 

Treatment for B. canis is 2 injections fo Imidocarb 2 weeks apart but I would want to confirm diagnosis first. Imidocarb is NOT effective for B. gibsoni.

 

I would sent a follow-up titer to North Carolina State (http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/docs/ticklab.html). OSU has found several false positive titers at Protatek and so I no longer recommend or use them. Was basic bloodwork done as well?

 

 

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Guest LadyChester

First of all, I am SO sorry to hear that Prancer is not feeling well. I'm glad you are being proactive in trying to get to the bottom of his problems!

 

I'm curious as to this guy's racing name - perhaps you can PM me if you don't want that public for any reason. I was president and adoption corrdinator for CGA until I moved to PA last summer, so I likely know your boy :) I'm betting he was one of the Plainfield closing dogs. At that point in time, the CGA dogs would have all had the 3DX heatworm, lyme and erlichia testing done -- I don't know if that is useful info for you. Anaplasmosis screening, at least with vets in CT, was not being routinely done in 2004. If there was any problem with his test results you would have been given the info. I'd definitely follow Dr. Feeman and Batmom's advice as a positive titer may not be conclusive. But I also gotta say the ticks are just unbelievable in CT! One of my own dogs got lyme while faithfully given Frontline Plus and a number of trainers/owners in New England and Florida have reported that the fleas and ticks have become resistant to Frontline. We finally had to go to the Preventic collar.

 

Please keep us posted!!!

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Guest SillyDog
Remember a positive titer is NOT diagnostic for infection... it only diagnoses exposure. Certain levels can be highly suggestive of infection but only PCR testing is considered diagnostic b/c you are not looking for the dog's response to the organism but for the organism itself.

 

Most dogs that are exposed to Lyme disease never will get sick a day in their life... with or without treatment.

 

Treatment for B. canis is 2 injections fo Imidocarb 2 weeks apart but I would want to confirm diagnosis first. Imidocarb is NOT effective for B. gibsoni.

 

I would sent a follow-up titer to North Carolina State (http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/docs/ticklab.html). OSU has found several false positive titers at Protatek and so I no longer recommend or use them. Was basic bloodwork done as well?

 

 

I know the vet was going to talk to Protatek about the Babesia because 1) she's aware of the false positives or cross-reactions and 2) it showed up positive but in a low range. I'm certainly willing to wait to treat the Babesia until we know which strain it is and if a PCR test comes back positive. It sounded like the anaplasmosis antibodies were at a fairly high count in the titer test, but again, I don't have the actual numbers. They weren't as high as the E. canis, though.

 

She also said we'd talk about basic bloodwork at this upcoming appointment. He just had bloodwork done 5 weeks ago, but she had some questions from that set of results. Specifically, she was concerned about how the (I think this is right) cell packing volume test was done because by hand/eye is much more reliable than by machine.

 

Thanks for the recommendation about NCSU rather than Protatek. I'll let her know about this, too.

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Guest SillyDog
First of all, I am SO sorry to hear that Prancer is not feeling well. I'm glad you are being proactive in trying to get to the bottom of his problems!

 

I'm curious as to this guy's racing name - perhaps you can PM me if you don't want that public for any reason. I was president and adoption corrdinator for CGA until I moved to PA last summer, so I likely know your boy :) I'm betting he was one of the Plainfield closing dogs. At that point in time, the CGA dogs would have all had the 3DX heatworm, lyme and erlichia testing done -- I don't know if that is useful info for you. Anaplasmosis screening, at least with vets in CT, was not being routinely done in 2004. If there was any problem with his test results you would have been given the info. I'd definitely follow Dr. Feeman and Batmom's advice as a positive titer may not be conclusive. But I also gotta say the ticks are just unbelievable in CT! One of my own dogs got lyme while faithfully given Frontline Plus and a number of trainers/owners in New England and Florida have reported that the fleas and ticks have become resistant to Frontline. We finally had to go to the Preventic collar.

 

Please keep us posted!!!

 

 

I wish I could tell you, but Prancer doesn't have a racing name. He's not tatooed. If he raced at all is was as a coyote dog or a rabbit runner in the TX, maybe OK, too, area. I don't think he was, I think he was petted out early because he's tiny (under 55 pounds on a good day), he's got a prancing/highstepping sort of Tennessee Walker type of gait and his feet are flat.

 

So, he's a total mystery man until the first time he came to GPA-Central TX. I got him on his second time through, so up until 5 or 6-ish there's no way to know where he was and what he was exposed to prior to that. GPA-CT doesn't do routine TBD screening because of what Dr. Freeman said, that sometimes they test positive in the titer tests but show no signs. The only reason this is a problem now is because he's showing symptoms. So, he wasn't diagnosed with chronic ehrlichia until a year after I had him.

 

(As an aside, I seriously cannot believe this guy was a double-bounce! He's the sweetest little dude ever!!!)

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Guest SillyDog
I don't know the answer, but you have one brave, strong boy! And he is lucky to have a loving owner. Thinking of you both...

 

 

Thanks, but really the credit should go all to him. He's the one who puts up with the physical effects at the moment. I'm just hoping to get him to a phase where he can be his usual self again. It'd be nice to give him a few more years of being able to play like a puppy when he wants to!

 

It's funny you call him brave because I do too. He's the sort of grey who barks at the thunder to make it go away. He's an anxious guy, but he is always confronting what he's concerned about. He's my watch dog grey, too.

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Guest LadyChester

Ah ha ... mystery solved! GPA-CT is GPA Central Texas! I thought you were talking about GPA Connecticut (CT-GPA). I thought you had adopted him in Connecticut and then moved to TX. Is he doing any better???

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Guest SillyDog

He's about the same now. He's a bit more lethargic than he usually is, he's eating only 1/2 to 3/4 of his food for the day and he seems to be hesitant about jumping up on his chair or the bed and that makes me think he's a little sore or dizzy. All of this is only things I'd notice, in other words, subtle but definitely there.

 

I've started giving him sulcrafate for his stomach so maybe that will help his appetite. It could be he just doesn't tolerate antibiotics well. I'm going out today also to get more probiotics, too. I also got a few cans of tuna so the next time he doesn't eat I'll add that in. He loves fish & seafood. His favorites are shrimp & salmon, but he only gets them when I cook them for me, too, because I can't afford them all the time. I think he's part cat!

 

This is him right now on his favorite chair:

 

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He is adorable. Sending gentle scritchies and calm hungry tummy thoughts.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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