Monday, April 16, 2012

Lyme Diesase

With all these random issues Copley has been having lately I decided to run a tick panel.  It was just a feeling me and Ben had- and the vet agreed to do it- although we all assumed it would come back negative.  After all we don't even have ticks in Vegas.  I use topical preventative whenever we travel and this side of the country does not have huge numbers of infections anyway.  Well guess what?  It came back positive for Lyme!

So what does this mean?  It may mean he has Lyme disease or it may not.
  1. He could have been vaccinated for Lyme before we got him and the titer they see in the test is his reaction to the vaccine.
  2. He could have contracted the disease before we got him, been treated for it, and now it is gone.
  3. He could have been exposed but does not have an active infection (as in this is not the cause of his joint pain).
  4. He could have Lyme disease.
What are we doing from here? Well we are running another test.  If this test comes back positive it will mean he IS actively infected with the disease.  If it comes back negative it is still possible that he has the disease but it didn't show up on the test.  Lyme is tricky like that.  Our plan is to treat with antibiotics regardless of the outcome of the second test.  We could wait and re-test in a few months but I feel that because he has the most common symptom (unexplained joint pain) I am going to treat now regardless.  It is tough because I am not a fan of antibiotics unless you absolutely need them and going on a month of antibiotics just because of a "hunch" makes me a little bit uncomfortable.  In this case though, with his unknown history and a positive titer I am going to go for it.

Instead of being down about this we are taking it as a good thing.  If he does have Lyme then all of his problems can finally be explained and I don't have to keep going to the vet saying "I know he LOOKS fine, but something is not quite right!"*  If his knee pain, hip pain, random eye discharge, sudden onset car sickness and (for the last week) inability to sleep through the night can be taken care of with antibiotics then I am calling it a miracle.

The woods where Copley got bit by a tick.
Just Kidding
Except maybe not, if he got bit by a tick in my care it was probably in these woods.
It was a tough sly tick too- to make it through the topical tick repellent and jump off before I found it.

*I haven't blogged about it because I was a little worried I was a dog hypochondriac, but we are at the vet a lot these days.  Every time we are told that he is fine, or given some OTC idea for taking care of the symptom that I imagine the vet thinks I made up in my head.  Most recent he is on an antacid for stomach upset but in the past he has also been in for eye discharge and of course the knee/hip pain.  And for the record I still think the chiropractor has helped with his posture because Lyme or not- he is not winning any awards for "best hips" or "great genetics."


  1. I hope all goes well! A lot of topical flea/tick drops say they repel or kill ticks but that's not always the case
    Dachshund Nola

  2. So true! We use advantix when we travel and it seems to stop fleas and I have never pulled a tick off of him (I do check) unfortunately it only takes one tick getting past the barrier to infect. It is just so random because we literally do not have any ticks or fleas in the valley where we live. Most people don't even treat for heartoworm- they just do a test once a year. We really live in a place void of bugs. All the more reason to suspect it was a bug getting to him on one of our vacations because unless his previous owners were from out of town they would never have been offered the lyme vaccine. Most vets around here don't even carry it. Goes to show no matter how careful you are stuff still happens. Also a good time to weigh the pro/con of topical chemicals, they don't guarantee anything.