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  #441  
Old 05-01-2011, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Sounds like a plan Natalie. Hoping they can find some answers!
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  #442  
Old 05-01-2011, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Natalie,
Has any of your vets considered a possibilitiy of immune mediated arthritis? My Amy came down with a sudden lameness and pain in her right carpus 4 years ago. Initially it started out as an infection when she was 7 (she tested positive for ehrlichia equii and joint tap showed staph), but it became worse despite doxy and Baytril, and the ortho and internist thought it progressed to immune mediated arthritis. She became much much better with prednisone and Imuran.
We thought that it was caused by staph (our old LA vet cultured staph), but our vets in SF thought that staph could have been from contamination. It could have been some bacterial infection that caused it (ticks???), but her immune system started attacking her joints for some reason.
BTW, SNAP test is not the most reliable test for tick born illness - Idexx PCR Tick Analysis is a much more accurate test, but expensive. In our dogs cases, SNAP did not uncover anything, but PCR did.
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  #443  
Old 05-01-2011, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

I think some form of arthritis is a possibility. But we are in trouble if it's something that requires prednisone as Jack just can't tolerate it. Even on a small dose he was peeing gallons every hour and a half.

I can definitely have them run the more expensive tick disease test - I want to cover all of the bases thoroughly.

Pretty much the general feeling, as I understand it, is that his symptoms do not fit well with disc disease and absolutely do not fit with disc disease at the site where we know he has bad disc spaces.

The possibility remains that he's got either a bad disc further back in the lumbrosacral area or some other pinch to a nerve, perhaps to a root nerve coming off the spine in the region of his back right leg that's causing pain rather than neurological impairment. That's the neurologoical side.

But it's also quite possible that he has some kind of hard or soft tissue injury or arthritis back there that developed in the past two years. Lyme disease is one potential cause - it can generate arthritis in the area of the tick bite. Hence our starting with radiographs first.

He had x-rays of all of his rear joints back in 2009 and nothing showed then. His exercise tolerance, though better than it is now, wasn't all that great for a young dog then so something has been going on with him for as long as we have had him. The question is whether this more acute problem is an extension of the prior issue or something else layered over the top.

Without the NSAID, he limps when walking and bunny hops when running so there is something that's causing him pain. Any significant running or jumping and he's in quite a bit of pain. And the pain returns almost as soon as the NSAID is removed - within 48 hours - so I tend to think he's getting mostly pain control from it and that it's not so much an inflammatory process.

We know very little about his first year - could be he was hit by a car, mobbed by ticks... I'd guess more likely the hit by a car scenario given his missing front tooth and the fact that they seemed to have rarely taken him anywhere. He's had plenty of tick exposure. They seem to be everywhere around here, including our suburban neighborhood. He's been on Advantix, but I read last year on a list that some vets were complaining about failures of Advantix from clients who they felt very sure knew precisely how to use and apply it.

So this is really a fact-finding mission - I don't know what we will find.

Natalie
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  #444  
Old 05-01-2011, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Thanks Yunhee. I learned something new about the tick analysis. They were awful in NY as well and so tiny to try to find.
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  #445  
Old 05-01-2011, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Natalie and Patty,
Back when we lived in Chicago, we used to take our dogs to the woods in Wisconsin for trail running, and every Feb-March and October-November, our dogs came back with 30-40 deertick crawling on them. We had them on Frontline, but we also had to use Preventic. After each outing, I used to spend literally hours picking the ticks off my dogs.
We had them tested for Lyme repeatedly, but at the time, we did not know about the extensive PCR test that picks up many other TBDs.
Only after moving to SF, our vets suggested this PCR test - which showed both our dogs testing positive for ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - apparently both diseases can cause joint problems and liver / kidney damage similar to Lyme. Their titer levels were low - apparently this indicated some past exposure, but not an active infection. Unfortunately, as you know, TBDs are insidous, and nobody really knows the aftermath of such an exposure. For Amy, after being diagnosed with a joint infection, arthritis and possible synovial cell sarcoma, immune mediated diagnosis was something totally unexpected (and only an internist was able to get to this conclusion - after numerous joint tapping showed no bacteria, but plenty of white inflammatory cells). She had to be in prednisone ST, but LT, the internist used Imuran to calm down Amy's immune system. The treatment came too late to completely fix her leg, but after 18 months of pain and immobility (and us faced with the possibility of euthanizing her because her quality of life was miserable), Amy is now able to run and jump around (even though she does have some residual pain).
Around Northern California, Lyme is still common apparently - esp around Sonoma and Napa counties, but elsewhere, ehrlichia is apparently a more of a problem with similar devastating effects as Lyme.
I really hope you get to the bottom of Jack's problems. It is so hard to see a young dog suffer (for that matter, see an old dog suffer - like Harry).
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  #446  
Old 05-02-2011, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Natalie
Good luck with Jack sounds like a great plan, can't wait to hear results of x-rays and MRI
If the equipment used is digital as opposed to analog do you request a copy of all x-rays- MRI too on Cd or DVD for you records?
Jj
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  #447  
Old 05-02-2011, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Good luck Natalie!

Yunhee - thanks for the great information!
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  #448  
Old 05-04-2011, 08:12 PM
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Any known results from today, Natalie?

EDITING - oops; I got the date wrong; that will be tomorrow you're checking for tick-stuff and the like! Do report back!

Hugs,
Wed, 4 May 2011 20:12:18 (PDT)
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Last edited by CarolW; 05-04-2011 at 08:13 PM. Reason: correct date!
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  #449  
Old 05-05-2011, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Jack had the blood drawn today, should have test results tomorrow. They are doing PCR for Lyme, Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever, and Erhlichiosis (plus I think a
Anaplasma is standard too).

If you want to scare yourself silly about tick disease, I recommend this site:

http://sites.google.com/site/blackgsd/home

Natalie
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  #450  
Old 05-05-2011, 05:17 PM
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I'll probably go have a look at that site, though not immediately. We have lots of deer around here, but I've only seen one tick in 37 years! Gotta watch Camellia, though, with a thick, curly coat! There MUST be some ticks around in my area; I just never saw them.

HOPE Jack doesn't have one of those nasty tick diseases; they are tough to cope with!

So will look forward to your report, after you hear back.

Waving more magic wands in Jack's and your favor!
Thu, 5 May 2011 17:17:32 (PDT)
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