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Always Grateful
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These were taken at the Canine Freestyle Federation training retreat in April of this year. Bella was not well at that time with vague symptoms that had been cropping up off and on for months. We had spent almost $2000 on tests (thank goodness for pet insurance) but nothing definitive ever showed up. Then, a week ago, she became very ill with high fever and severe crippling inflammation in numerous joints - it was clinically obvious that she had a tick-borne disease! She would not even move to come eat. This acute phase hit her like a sudden fierce storm. Thankfully she is better on a course of antibiotics and metacam for the pain + holistic support. We had tested for tick-borne diseases twice but they can "hide out" from detection. We're now waiting on the results of the latest blood draw to look for DNA signature - hoping to determine which disease it is. Vet thinks Lyme because of the progression of symptoms.

Anyway, she was a good sport at the retreat. Although she may not have seemed sick to anyone who doesn't know her, on the second day I knew she was not feeling good and did not ask her to do much. I can see her sad expression in the first photo.

The great news is that yesterday she played hard with Zen and had a bright happy expression on her face for the first time in months!



 

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Bad Wolf
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Great to hear she's doing better! And what a purdy collar she has too :)
 

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What beautiful pictures of the lovely Bella! Glad she's on the mend!

Jan
 

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These were taken at the Canine Freestyle Federation training retreat in April of this year. Bella was not well at that time with vague symptoms that had been cropping up off and on for months. We had spent almost $2000 on tests (thank goodness for pet insurance) but nothing definitive ever showed up. Then, a week ago, she became very ill with high fever and severe crippling inflammation in numerous joints - it was clinically obvious that she had a tick-borne disease! She would not even move to come eat. This acute phase hit her like a sudden fierce storm. Thankfully she is better on a course of antibiotics and metacam for the pain + holistic support. We had tested for tick-borne diseases twice but they can "hide out" from detection. We're now waiting on the results of the latest blood draw to look for DNA signature - hoping to determine which disease it is. Vet thinks Lyme because of the progression of symptoms.

Anyway, she was a good sport at the retreat. Although she may not have seemed sick to anyone who doesn't know her, on the second day I knew she was not feeling good and did not ask her to do much. I can see her sad expression in the first photo.

The great news is that yesterday she played hard with Zen and had a bright happy expression on her face for the first time in months!



Bella is lovely. Beautiful shots of her. I am SO glad she is improving. Please keep us posted often.

RMSF hit Joe like a ton of bricks as well. I remember pulling a couple of ticks off him the previous year before he was started on Frontline Plus. The next year, after he was started on Frontline Plus, I found a dead tick 7/2 and by 7/7 he was showing signs of unsteadiness and vomiting. No health insurance so I spent over $7,000 in emergency visits, second,third and fourth opinions at different vets plus the university.

Either he had the RMSF in his system for a year and the symptoms didn't show until much later or it only took 5 days for the symptoms to show. When they did show, it was sudden and severe.

I almost think if a dog shows any symptoms of a tick borne disease I would ask the vet about starting Doxy while checking for other issues. I don't think I would wait on a titer test. Just my thoughts.

Hugs to you and Bella.
 
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joie de vivre
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Wow. Those are striking photos. She's beautiful.

Deep, soulful eyes. Gorgeous.

Glad to hear you finally pinpointed what was wrong and she's starting to feel better.
 

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Always Grateful
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, in hindsight, both the vet and I wish we had started Doxy back in late Feb. when she was feeling punky and had the intermittent very slight lameness (that never showed up at the vet's office, of course). However, I do support the idea of not using antibiotics for vague symptoms because of all the valid points and hindsight is definitely 20/20. I'm just glad she is getting better and hoping there are no permanent problems we will have to face. The titers are definitely unreliable and I knew that going in but was pretty desperate to find out what was wrong with my dog at that point, having done many other tests.

Looking back, the waxing and waning of the symptoms was actually one of the strongest clues, especially the vague lameness, which could often only be seen by me when she was heeling beside me. The fact that I could never tell which leg was the problem was also a clue I missed - it was affecting different joints at different times I know now. I am adding this info in hopes that it might help someone in the future. I should have made a bigger case about the lameness as it caused me to stop training when I noticed it. Her lack of normal enthusiasm for training was another biggie. When you know your dog, you also recognize the look of, "I don't feel good, Mom."

Tried coming off the metacam today but she is not ready to be on zero dose. Dobermans suffer with so much courage that you have to observe carefully and know your dog.

Anyone with any further experience treating tick-borne diseases feel free to chime in here - I'm open to any info. Thanks for the good wishes from everyone and thanks KCF for your info!

Bella is lovely. Beautiful shots of her. I am SO glad she is improving. Please keep us posted often.

RMSF hit Joe like a ton of bricks as well. I remember pulling a couple of ticks off him the previous year before he was started on Frontline Plus. The next year, after he was started on Frontline Plus, I found a dead tick 7/2 and by 7/7 he was showing signs of unsteadiness and vomiting. No health insurance so I spent over $7,000 in emergency visits, second,third and fourth opinions at different vets plus the university.

Either he had the RMSF in his system for a year and the symptoms didn't show until much later or it only took 5 days for the symptoms to show. When they did show, it was sudden and severe.

I almost think if a dog shows any symptoms of a tick borne disease I would ask the vet about starting Doxy while checking for other issues. I don't think I would wait on a titer test. Just my thoughts.

Hugs to you and Bella.
 

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Always Grateful
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What a gorgeous pup, awesome collar, and great photos! I love it all.
Thanks! I love the collar and have one for Zen too. Have to put in a plug for the designer, Braidaroo, who can be found on Etsy. She is awesome and so talented. it is a martingale collar. The photo is Zen's collar but Bella's has a black center ring which I like better. I covered Zen's with electrical tape, then had Braidaroo change it out for a black ring. Of course, I have to include a photo of silly Zen wearing his collar too!



 

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Supersized Warlock Alpha
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Happy to hear she's feeling better, poor girl. Tick borne diseases can be so scary.

I love these portraits - I prefer the black background to the white that you often see - it just looks beautiful.
 

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Wow, beautiful pictures and so happy to hear she is finally starting to feel better!!

And I love her collar, stunning!!
 

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Always Grateful
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Bella is doing better day by day. Hard to tell how her energy is with the weather we're having (over 100 degrees) because no one wants to go outside, including me. She goes back for tests next week and hopefully platelets are improved. Thanks so much for all the good thoughts and compliments.
 
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