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Babeseosis... What Am I Dealing With?


Guest Lovey_Hounds

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Guest Lovey_Hounds

Our 5 year old boy has been tested and he is positive for B Canis (babesia) at a titer of 1:160. :(

i have no clue what we are in for... they are treating him with Imizol.

does anyone have any info on this and what i should expect????

Edited by Lovey_Hounds
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Clark's titers tested positive for Babesia Canis...1:640. Our group tests right from the track.

 

He was treated and is to be tested in another year. You'd never know he had anything wrong with him. They can test positive before they actually get sick. I'm sure it's a lot like treating Lyme's - if you treat in early stages no problems. If you wait too long and they are symptomatic then you have a different issue to deal with.

 

I guess these things can lie dormant in the system so testing every year is what I plan on.

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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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I treated my greyhound a little over 2 years ago. He suffered no serious side effects. The injections are very painful but the vet can alleviate some of the pain by drawing up the Imizol and then changing to a new, clean needle for the actual injection. Side effects were one episode of diarrhea about 30 minutes after each shot and being wiped out for the rest of the day. My greyhound was not as wiped out after the 2nd shot.

 

Very soon after the shots, within days, I saw a dramatic increase in energy & general well being. It's hard to tell with a new greyhound what is lethargy & what is normal greyhound behavior. My greyhound started doing things he normally had not done like getting out of bed whenever anyone came to the door, running laps in the backyard, and naughty things like jumping up on his favorite people and sneaking naps on forbidden furniture. No more vague, isolated lameness. No more urine drips, which I previously thought were behavioral after he checked clear of UTI.

 

does anyone know about the side effects of Imizol????

It is my understanding that there can be serious side effects, but that they are rare.

 

I didn't fret much about whether or not to treat. Babesia is very serious, a killer, maybe a slow killer, but a killer nonetheless.

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We treated Shanti last December for it. She stayed at the vets for several hours for observation after the injection. I know they drew the medicine, then changed the needle, then injected it to limit some of the discomfort. She also got a shot of another medicine (atropine I believe) to counter some of the side effects of the Imizol. She did fine with the treatment. We just retested her titer and it is now 1:40. :)

 

I know you are probably looking at a ton of info and are scared to death. I was! Your boy will be fine. Is he showing symptoms of it?

The Girls

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Guest Lovey_Hounds

we have been trying to figure out what is wrong with him for months now.....

he gets stressed out and throws up, he has runny poop 90% of the time, he goes through spells where he is really lethargic and depressed, he has times where he rufeses to eat for a few days and he has issues getting and keeping weight on.

when he is feeling ok he is happy and VERY social and loves to play catch the stuffie with me :wub: . when he is having a flare up he is pretty sick... right now he is doing pretty good.

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Stoney was diagnosed and treated for it before we got him (he was at the kennel for a while) so I don't know what the side effects were.

 

I can tell you that he doesn't really act any different than any other greyhound I've ever met! He's goofy, gets into trouble, loves ear rubbies, has diarreah occassionally (usually coinsides with his counter surfing exploits...) and has not - in general - ever shown any signs of being sick.

 

We will probably re titer him with in the next year or two just to monitor his levels.

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we have been trying to figure out what is wrong with him for months now.....

he gets stressed out and throws up, he has runny poop 90% of the time, he goes through spells where he is really lethargic and depressed, he has times where he rufeses to eat for a few days and he has issues getting and keeping weight on.

when he is feeling ok he is happy and VERY social and loves to play catch the stuffie with me :wub: . when he is having a flare up he is pretty sick... right now he is doing pretty good.

 

 

You might be surprised by the improvements after treatment then. If he is symptomatic, you treat. I have lots of articles on it if you would like me to send them to you. I think I have the links, but I know I have hard copies.

 

Shanti perked up after treatment. Now she has a number of other issues that we are dealing with too. But she did stop having "accidents" in the house since she was treated. Her tummy issues improved too. Not sure if that was due to the Babesia treatment or some of the other treatments she has been getting.

The Girls

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Guest Lovey_Hounds

if we could just stop the accidents on the rug i would be impressed he also has A VERY touchy belly and gets sick/runnys easily.

he is till pretty goofy and active most of the time so i wonder what he will be like after??? he is going to be crazy! lol.

he can be crazy with the new puppy.

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if we could just stop the accidents on the rug i would be impressed

 

Are his indoor accidents poop or pee? Before he was treated, my 3 YO Babesia hound would dribble small amounts of urine, usually in his bed, where he spent most of his time. He checked clear of UTI, so I figured the problem was behavioral. He was spoiled, still is, and proud of it, and wasn't much interested in the fenced-in backyard. I figured he was holding out for a walk, and always obliged him. After the Imizol treatments, no more leaks. He still holds out for walks, but never dribbles.

 

he also has A VERY touchy belly and gets sick/runnys easily.

 

My greyhound also had a horribly sensitive stomach. I don't know if it is related to tick disease, but it sure seems that Babesia greyhounds often have really bad guts too. Although sensitive stomach are pretty common in many greyhounds, w/ or w/o TBD. All I know is that IBD is an immune problem and TBDs attack the immune system, so maybe there is a link. I'd like to report that my greyhound's GI problems magically disappeared after Imizol treatment, like his other problems. But his stomach problems continued and were not really solved until I made a radical diet change eliminating all carbs. My greyhound also had some pretty stubborn intestinal parasites, so that may have contributed to the problem. Anyway, it was either the TBD or parasites that left his stomach very sensitive. I got rid of the TBD & the parasites, but his stomach never did get back to healthy. He is fine, absolutely fine, as long as he stays on his special diet. No kibble ever.

 

he is till pretty goofy and active most of the time so i wonder what he will be like after???

 

My greyhound went from acting like a grandpa to acting like, well not a puppy, but a young healthy male greyhound. I was delighted to retrain him in certain rules that he previously did not have the energy to break.

 

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With that titre I was going to say you shouldn't treat, or at least confirm a positive diagnosis with a PCR test from NC State, but given his symptoms, it's probably wise to go ahead and treat him. You might want to get the test from NC state anyway, just in case this isn't actually the cause of his symptoms. Another think to look at is his blood work. Many (but of course not all) dogs with Babesia are anemic, which you can tell from his RBC count.

 

As far as the Imizol goes, it can have some unpleasant side effects. There are plenty of dogs who get treated and do just fine, but there are some that have problems so be aware of what the side effects are. In general, I would say there's good enough reason not to treat unless you think your dog truly is infected, but if you know he is, the risks of the meds certainly don't outweigh the dangers of not treating. Babesia can be life-threatening if left untreated.

 

I would recommend doing the treatment when he's feeling good, not in one of his bad periods. That may make the treatment easier on him.

 

 

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest Lovey_Hounds
With that titre I was going to say you shouldn't treat, or at least confirm a positive diagnosis with a PCR test from NC State, but given his symptoms, it's probably wise to go ahead and treat him. You might want to get the test from NC state anyway, just in case this isn't actually the cause of his symptoms. Another think to look at is his blood work. Many (but of course not all) dogs with Babesia are anemic, which you can tell from his RBC count.

 

As far as the Imizol goes, it can have some unpleasant side effects. There are plenty of dogs who get treated and do just fine, but there are some that have problems so be aware of what the side effects are. In general, I would say there's good enough reason not to treat unless you think your dog truly is infected, but if you know he is, the risks of the meds certainly don't outweigh the dangers of not treating. Babesia can be life-threatening if left untreated.

 

I would recommend doing the treatment when he's feeling good, not in one of his bad periods. That may make the treatment easier on him.

he came out of kansas and there was a few dogs from his haul that ended up with babesia... we had everything confermed by prototeck lab in arizona we send the sample from canada to them. we had a good idea what he had before the test, a friend of ours has has 2 dogs with the same issue and she pointed it out to us beore we had him tested.

 

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Babesia can stay dorment for years. ReRun responded to a general antibodic that he used to get for his broken nails which kept the disease under control even before we knew about it. We had him tested in Dec 04 when we lost Lambie Pie to Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever. http://www.geocities.com/bo_freddy/tick_fever.htm

I can get you plenty of links..... or check here: http://www.freewebs.com/3nofleas/lambiessmilefund.htm

 

The existence of babesiosis was discovered on Florida greyhound farms in the 1930's. (this information is a few years old now) Recent testing done by the University of Florida on 400 Florida racing greyhounds from all over the state disclosed that over 50% were seropositive with the disease. Studies done by the University of Illinois in the early 1980's established the existence of babesia on greyhound farms in Mississippi, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia.

 

Sending paws in prayer that all turns out well.

Tina dogmom to Rocket and Angels Cofax (my girl) 5/9/01-7/1/10(OS), ReRun (my boy)(4/18/95-4/19/07 Heart tumor)) Dedicating my life as much as I could - to keeping the smile alive of my Lambie Pie - lost 12/04 to Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever.... & then there's the hubby - Bob

.... http://www.freewebs.com/3nofleas/ .

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With that titre I was going to say you shouldn't treat, or at least confirm a positive diagnosis with a PCR test from NC State, but given his symptoms, it's probably wise to go ahead and treat him. You might want to get the test from NC state anyway, just in case this isn't actually the cause of his symptoms. Another think to look at is his blood work. Many (but of course not all) dogs with Babesia are anemic, which you can tell from his RBC count.

 

As far as the Imizol goes, it can have some unpleasant side effects. There are plenty of dogs who get treated and do just fine, but there are some that have problems so be aware of what the side effects are. In general, I would say there's good enough reason not to treat unless you think your dog truly is infected, but if you know he is, the risks of the meds certainly don't outweigh the dangers of not treating. Babesia can be life-threatening if left untreated.

 

I would recommend doing the treatment when he's feeling good, not in one of his bad periods. That may make the treatment easier on him.

he came out of kansas and there was a few dogs from his haul that ended up with babesia... we had everything confermed by prototeck lab in arizona we send the sample from canada to them. we had a good idea what he had before the test, a friend of ours has has 2 dogs with the same issue and she pointed it out to us beore we had him tested.

 

I assumed that you used Protatek. Unfortunately there are some problems inherent with titer testing in general, and with Protatek in particular. Protatek is rumored to have unreliable results (ie. false positives) with their titer testing. One of the vets that is heavily involved in the GH community advocates against using them at this point. Protatek also doesn't even recommend treatment when the titre is 1:160 because a titer at that level or lower only indicates the presence of antibodies (in other words, the dog was exposed to it at some point and developed antibodies in response but does not have an active infection). Straight from Protatek's document on treatment of Babesia: Positive result 1:80- 1:160 - A positive result means that the specimen was found positive for antibodies to Babesia canis at a titer of 1:80 or 1:160. Treatment is not recommended for a titer of this level. It is recommended that the specimen be rechecked in 6 months. You also don't have a way, with a titre that low, of rechecking to see if you've cleared it out after treatment by redoing the titer.

 

Like I said, if my dog had that titer, but were symptomatic (especially if he also had a low RBC count indicating anemia; you haven't told us if you've run blood work and if so, what the results were), I would treat. But I would also consider getting the PCR test from NC state to confirm the diagnosis just for peace of mind. Of course, it's an added expense and PCR can reportedly give a false negative so there are no guarantees.

 

I'm just telling you my thoughts, I thought you were looking to have all of the information as you proceed. I wasn't in any way suggesting your dog doesn't have it or that you shouldn't treat, I think I said quite the opposite.

 

Good luck. I hope your dog is feeling better soon.

 

 

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Diesel had a lower babesia titer, but was very symptomatic. When we treated him, that afternoon you could tell he felt better. 2 weeks later you treat them again with a second shot.

 

I've had 2 fosters treated with Imizol also, and the worst part is the shot. It has to be done in the muscle which is painful, but I had one foster who didn't even squeak either time. I lived 3 minutes from my vet, so they would let me take the dogs home and usually there is some nausea, drooling, then vomiting and then it seems to get better shortly. Diesel was "off" for about 4 hours but then had the zoomies around the yard for the first time.

 

The only incident I have heard of that went wrong, was when the Imizol was done subceutaniously vs in the muscle. The poor dog got a lesion at the injection site and it took forever to heal. :(

 

 

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