Friday, April 13, 2012

Ticks and lyme and the chemicals needed

OK, so we live in a hot spot for lyme disease. Every year I hold my breath that Spur is not lyme positive on his snap test. YAY for that again this year!!!! However, the old Pin Heads are. Damn it! Roscoe is "symptomatic". He is still sore on his neck and shoulders or back somewhere. Vet tried some acupuncture with no real results. She was hoping to find an increase in a rear pulse, but that didn't happen, so her test was inconclusive for where he is actually sore. I say neck and shoulders.

I decided to put him on another round of doxy. And Colby. She is not symptomatic, but she dealt with lyme for two years when she was younger. Is it the right thing to do to treat them? I don't know, but it's what I am doing. Studies show we really know very little about lyme. It can encapsulate and go "into hiding" when it knows the host is being treated with antibiotics. And they wonder if the antibiotics weaken the dog's immune system. It is such a difficult thing, but I am opting to treat.

We had our neighbor the tree farmer over for a beer last night. He said one tick bite and he takes the antibiotics. Huh. I get bit quite a few times/year and don't do the antibiotics. I just get tested every year. He said he would not trust the test. I have heard that from people before, but all the studies that I have read say the test are pretty good. False positives are more likely than false negatives, but really? If the organism can go "into hiding", wouldn't that mean the test would not "see" it?

I don't know, but the thought of taking antibiotics prophylactically or after every tick bite just seems unreasonable and perhaps harmful to me.

I switched the dogs to Advantix last fall. Since then we never see ticks on them. I am pretty pleased by that!!!! Frontline was simply not working. Although, it is the best product to use on the cats and far fewer ticks on them since using it. But, still some ticks, so it isn't working THAT well. The Advantix on the dogs seems to be working REALLY well.

It is a curious thing. Why is Spur negative? My vet says it is extremely rare in Cape Elizabeth for a dog to be negative, that is how epidemic it is in this area. My thoughts? Perhaps his body has not been bombarded with TONS of vaccines!!! Colby, being a puppymill dog and pet store pup, had SO many vaccines by the time she was 5 months old. YIKES. Roscoe, I don't know when he was younger what he had. Do you suppose Spur's strong immune system has something to do with his limited vaccines? Colby is by far my weakest and most expensive dog. She has had all kinds of issues in her life. Her file is HUGE. Skin, knee, mast cell tumor, poor eyes, lyme for years, the list goes on.

Spur did have a positive anaplasmosis snap test one year and we started the doxy and he got very sick with pancreatitis symptoms. Stopped the doxy. It seemed to correlate. Subsequent snap tests were negative. Go figure. He is sensitive to medications, I can be very sure about that. Aussies can be that way and we know some in his kennel have the gene mutation that causes severe sensitivity. I need to get that test and check his situation. For now I have just been keeping the list of drugs to avoid and will avoid them. Even if the test is negative I would avoid those drugs, just cuz, which is why I haven't tested him, yet.

OI!!! It is just so complicated and lyme is the craziest disease. One very smart organism. I read a book about it once when Jewel was having such a hard time. It can change it's DNA depending on what host's blood it ingests. That's NUTTY smart!!!!
I'm not that smart, so I just give my lyme positive dogs some drugs.

1 comment:

  1. Advantix works for us too, I agree that frontline doesn't cut it. I took the doxycline prophalactically after a tick bite, and the drug made me sun reactive! Every time sun hit me, it felt like acid was burning my skin! NOT fun. Since then we do tick checks 2x per day in the hope that no tick will ever be on me long enough to make me sick. Ticks suck man! I ahte those nasty critters! I'm ordering some guinea fowl today. I agree about the drugs, I will do that too if I have to but I will also keep my drugged dogs out of the sun! That sun sensitivity thing with doxycycline is not fun! I ahve no idea if that can happen to dogs too, I suppose it would be hard for them to tell us...