Jump to content

Would You Test For Babesia If ...


Guest eaglflyt
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest eaglflyt

We very recently adopted our new boy, Oscar. He's adorable, lovable & goofy ... and tall. He was one of the 6 hounds our group got from the OK greyhound farm that was in foreclosure. He was one of a group of 4 siblings that had been raised on the farm and had always been together. I found out today that one of his siblings that had been severely injured in a dog attack on the farm has now tested positive for babesia. I know that babesia is a tick borne disease, but it can also be transmitted though the placenta of the mother to her pups in utero, and also can be transmitted by bloody, dog bites.

 

Our boy has had the SNAP4 done and passed two general health exams, but has not had a blood test done specifically to test for babesia ... as far as I know. I'm putting in a call to our vet.

 

Would you go ahead and test for babesia now? I'd rather know now, for sure, than be surprised later with a very sick boy. I'm going to post this to the Tick-L list, too. Any input is appreciated.

 

Shelly in OK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on the number of foster dogs that have come through here with it I certainly would. I had one dog from Oklahoma that hit a grand slam -- she had All 4 -- eherlycia, babesia, RMSF and lyme. You can probably send it to Protek yourself for about half what your vet charges.

 

The tick problem in Oklahoma is unbelievable. I quit counting at 200 on one greyhound that came out of the Altus pound. I'd probably babesia test any dog that came from a farm Oklahoma -- especially from a farm that went into forclosure. Tick prevention is hard to do in rural OK under the best circumstances and if you are facing forclosure flea and tick control probably isn't too high on your list.

 

 

gallery_8149_3261_283.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How accurate is the test? (Ask about the sensitivity and specificity--false neg and false pos on the tests.) What is the treatment for Babesia, and how much does the test cost?

 

Personally, I'd do the test, but I tend to be the kind of owner that makes my vets' car payments :blush

 

I'd check with the folks who have more experience with TBDs--which is what you're doing.

Donna
Molly the Border Collie & Poquita the American-born Podenga

Bridge Babies: Daisy (Positive Delta) 8/7/2000 - 4/6/2115, Agnes--angel Sage's baby (Regall Rosario) 11/12/01 - 12/18/13, Lucky the mix (Found, w 10 puppies 8/96-Bridge 7/28/11, app. age 16) & CoCo (Cosmo Comet) 12/28/89-5/4/04

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are worried and willing to spend the money I don't see why not. But if you spend the money and time make sure you send the blood for a serology (sp?) at NCSU and no where else. They are the best when it comes to babesia.

Colleen with Covey (Admirals Cove) and Rally (greyhound puppy)
Missing my beloved boy INU (CJ Whistlindixie) my sweetest princess SALEM (CJ Little Dixie) and my baby girl ZOE (LR's Tara)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he has great bloodwork, I personally wouldn't bother. If anything's borderline (RBC, HCT, platelets), I'd send to NCSU and have them follow with PCR if the titer is positive.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest mcsheltie

If I remember correctly the Snap4 test does not include Babesia. I don't know that I would if he wasn't symptomatic. But if it gives you peace of mind it is worth it, do it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest eaglflyt

No, he isn't symptomatic at all. But, I tend to be a worry wart.

 

The farm he came from ... and the 6 hounds we took ... none had a single tick. Yes, fleas, but no ticks. And, living in OK, we are all too familiar with those blasted ticks. None of our pups have had any ticks this year. That's incredibly unusual. Our harsh winter really reduced the numbers in our area and I've been on a mowing and brush hogging vendetta against the creatures! I'm hoping our blazing hot summer might help do something to reduce numbers, too, but probably unlikely.

 

Oscar is hubby's baby hound, and I think he and I both will worry until we know Oscar is either OK, or treated if he's positive (if PCR shows treatment is indicated).

 

I really wish I could turn off my worry center in my brain for a bit. Our group, Fasthound Greyhound Adoption, has had some real challenges in the past couple of weeks ... a very special little female that has challenged everything in us, a return that just had a toe amputation that we're waiting on the pathology report because the vet feels it may be cancer, and another little, stray girl that has the worst hookworm infestation the vet had seen in his 43 years of practice. We've been battling the hooks in this girl for literally months. :riphair I know this isn't anywhere near what the TX & LA groups have been battling, but we're small and it really weighs on my mind.

 

We're going to talk with our vet in the morning (he's out just now) and we've scheduled Oscar for blood draw next Tues. at 11:45 AM. Is it weird when you want your pups tested to make sure they're healthy, rather than taking them when they're sick? :blush

 

Thanks to everyone for your input. Our vet generally uses IDEXX labs, but I'm going to talk with him about sending the blood for a panel to NCSU. Hopefully they keep enough of the sample so that if a PCR is needed (if the result is positive) that it won't require another blood sample shipment. Anybody know?

 

I know it's not really recommended to treat titers, but to rather treat symptomatic dogs. That's why we'd have a PCR done if the initial test comes back Pos. Then we'd discuss how to proceed with our vet.

 

I'm also going to email Teddy Palmer (she has Oscar's sister/littermate that is babesia positive) to see if she was exhibiting symptoms.

 

*I also have to say that the farm that was in foreclosure had the dearest owners and all the dogs were sweet, well socialized, and in amazingly good condition for that situation. Kudos to them and I hope they're doing well now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For NCSU, they may want you to send two tubes if you're going to follow with PCR. Somewhere on the NCSU tick lab website is the submission form; that would tell you. ..... You might ask your vet, tho, if IDEXX has a single Babesia PCR. In his talk this past weekend, Dr. C seemed quite high on PCRs as the appropriate test for Babesia.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest greytbookert

^^ What she said :)

 

If it were me, I'd test! Tests don't hurt but the disease can be deadly! Our Sahra's littermate died from it and Sahra was positive for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest KennelMom

If he has great bloodwork, I personally wouldn't bother. If anything's borderline (RBC, HCT, platelets), I'd send to NCSU and have them follow with PCR if the titer is positive.

 

If you have the money to spare, I'd do it. Can't hurt...Batmom, as usual, has really good advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the NCSU request form -- titers page 1, PCRs page 2 so 2 tubes of blood per their specs: http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/vth/documents/REQUESTFORM-2009.pdf

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ThunderPaws

Yes, considering your dog's history, I would do the test. Better safe than sorry.

And yes, NCSU is excellent in regards to tick borne diseases.

Keep us posted!

 

ETA: Congratulations on our new hound!!

Edited by ThunderPaws
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest eaglflyt

For those who haven't met Oscar:

 

Oscar2.jpg

 

Oscar4.jpg

 

He's shed out almost all of his puppy/farm coat since these pictures. Ady Bea is learning to like him. :lol

 

Thanks for all the info. and advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, my! He's a hunk! I'm sure Ady Bea is going to be smitten! Just look at those eyes! Swoon! And yes, I would go with NCSU for the blood test.

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

:candle ....for all those hounds that are sick, hurt, lost or waiting for their forever homes. SENIORS ROCK :rivethead

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How accurate is the test? (Ask about the sensitivity and specificity--false neg and false pos on the tests.) What is the treatment for Babesia, and how much does the test cost?

 

Personally, I'd do the test, but I tend to be the kind of owner that makes my vets' car payments :blush

 

I'd check with the folks who have more experience with TBDs--which is what you're doing.

 

I think we have supported the new wing at our vet. :P

 

The treatment is 2 injections 2 weeks apart. Imizol is the drug IIRC. All the meds are blending in my head these days. Shanti had it and was treated. It costs $60 each round as she had to have the other shot with it, can't think of that one either but starts with a "A". Helpful aren't I?!?!?

The Girls

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If money, stress, etc. are not an obstacle I think I would do it the next time we were drawing blood for annual blood work. We did TBD panels on both my hounds & intentionally left out babesia because we were not going to treat anyway. If my girl was tested as a "just in case" & showed up with babesia I would not choose to treat right now. Still, I think if I needed to run a TBD panel on her at this point I *would* throw in babesia as FYI for possible future use.

 

After initial TBD panel & treating for Lyme, we later tested my then 10 yo for babesia when he was asymptomatic. His bloodwork however was a little quirky & we were trying to narrow down any possibility. Eventually we treated with imizol but after a lot of discussion & research. He was, I beleive, 11 yo at the time. Vet was super careful but he still gave a GSOD for the first shot. However, the cheater did that when he had blood drawn the visit before & he didn't do it at the next imizol shot so we do not think it really hurt him that much. Again, he was asymptomatic for babesia at the time we choose to treat but there were other issues re: disease & immune system that caused us to choose this for him. It was not an easy choice. Thankfully he never missed a beat.

 

Is it weird when you want your pups tested to make sure they're healthy, rather than taking them when they're sick?

Absolutely not! It's called being proactive. I am a huge propotent of wellness tests. Not sure I'd make an extra trip. The thing is, would you feel compelled to treat just because of a positive? Would you worry more if you had a positive? If not, then do it.

 

Your new boy is gorgeous!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest eaglflyt

Thanks for all the input everyone.

 

We are going to go ahead and test. If the test is positive, we'll have a PCR done to check for DNA of the actual babesia organism that would prove an infection is present. Then, yes, we'd treat.

 

Kudzu, would you mind me asking why you wouldn't treat? Do you just treat if they are symptomatic?

 

I think I've been reading too much. :lol Even the experts are having some difficulty coming to a consensus about when to treat.

 

The more I learn about and investigate TBDs, the more the whole issue just creeps me out. Well, parasites in general gross me out ... and watching *Monsters Inside Me* on Animal Planet does nothing to help! :gmark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are going to go ahead and test. If the test is positive, we'll have a PCR done to check for DNA of the actual babesia organism that would prove an infection is present. Then, yes, we'd treat.

 

Kudzu, would you mind me asking why you wouldn't treat? Do you just treat if they are symptomatic?

 

I think I've been reading too much. Even the experts are having some difficulty coming to a consensus about when to treat.

 

Yes, my thinking was to monitor & only treat if symptomatic. That doesn't make me right, of course. ;) Imizol treatment worries & though it may clear b. canis it also may not. Though a positive PCR is certainly more reason to choose it than positive antibody, I think I would need some more convincing. That's just me though. Then again, as my vet pointed out, a negative PCR doesn't guaranty anything either. So we each have to choose what we feel is right for our dogs based on our own situation.

 

... *Monsters Inside Me* on Animal Planet does nothing to help!

 

OMG, I always watch this show. It's fascinating, disgusting & enthralling for some awful reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Guest savvytwh

I have a friend who adopted a grey who's was positive to Babesia at 1 to 320, now 1 to 80, asymptomatic. His vet recommends treatment with Doxycycline. My friend is confused and would appreciate any input  Here' what the Adoption Group says:

The Adoption Group took a conservative approach, after vet consultations, to not treat if the titer was 320 or less but to retest in 6 months.  It is thought that otherwise healthy dogs’ immune systems would naturally fight this infection.  In early August, 2010, she was tested again and her titer had dropped to 1 to 80.  The Group continued to take the conservative approach and not treat at that low a titer but recommends retesting in a year.  It is also recommended that dogs with tick borne diseases be tested every year or two.  Both Protatek results are in the grey's file.

 

The treatment recommended to The Group for Babesia is 2 shots of Imizol (imidiocarb) no less than 2 weeks apart and no more than a month apart.  Many vets do not keep this in stock or do not know about it.  I understand the shots can burn and there is another solution that is given before the Imizol shot.  It is also recommended that the dogs stay at the vet for at least 4 hours to observe them for a reaction.  It is The Groups understanding that other treatments have not proven to be as effective.

 

Thank you for any and all information, contacts and links. Hank

 

Thanks savvytwh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doxycycline isn't effective against Babesia. Since the dog doesn't have symptoms, I would probably continue to monitor but would do that by sending to North Carolina State University's tick lab for PCR rather than titer.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...