Ehrlichia in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

While most people are most concerned about the tick transmitted Lyme disease, there is another disease transmitted by certain species of ticks known as Ehrlichia. Signs of Ehrlichia can occur 1-3 weeks after the bite of an infected tick, and in the acute phase of the disease, symptoms may last up to a few weeks. The organism likes to live inside blood cells and can destroy the platelets involved with blood clotting. Organisms can also be found inside lymph nodes, the bone marrow, liver and spleen.

Ehrlichia is another common tick-borne disease for dogs in addition to Lyme disease

Symptoms of Ehrlichia in dogs during the acute phase can vary from joint pain and stiffness, fever, lethargy, bruising and anemia. Many dogs can overcome the infection on their own, but others may enter a subclinical or chronic phase of infection, which can be much more difficult to clear and/or treat. In some cases, chronic neurological symptoms can occur as well as inflammation of the eyes. Some dogs can have repeated bouts of illness, especially during periods of stress.

Diagnosis of Ehrlichia is typically based on blood tests often run at the veterinary office, in conjunction with clinical signs being present of illness. It is important to recognize that many dogs with Ehrlichia can test positive but have no clinical signs, and in those cases treatment is not always needed. Treatment is typically instituted with a 3 to 4 week course of either tetracycline or Doxycycline, and most animals improve within several days of instituting therapy.

The best advice that can be given to prevent this disease is to practice good tick prevention including use of products such as Frontline Plus, Flea4X Plus, or Advantix II. Tick collars such as the Preventic Tick Collar also may be used. Although humans can also occasionally come down with Ehrlichiosis, it is only through tick bites, and not from dogs.


  1. Geraldine
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I took my dog to vet in Miami because was vomiting…it was pancreatitis. They also test her positive for ehrchilia .
    They told me to treat pancreatitist first.. It’s been 4days she has not vomited and is drinking water, but
    I see her lethargic, very sleepy and doenst want to eat.
    I’m not sure if start with antibiotic for ehrtilichia , or if it could affect her more bc the pancreatitis. please what do you suggest?

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes I would treat for pancreatitis, but you can also treat at same time for Ehrlichia with antibiotic doxycycline. Also may be a good case for homeopathic treatment. To learn more see Also see my website Many offer phone consultations, as do I from the great state of Florida.

  3. Geraldine
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Thank u so much I bought medicine so I’m going to start right away…I ll look online to try to schedule a phone consultation with you and how to do it, so I can explain better and get a second opinion…will I be able to find details and pricing there? Thanku again , I really appreciate it

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi Geraldine. I would be happy to offer my opinion on your pet and/or holistic treatment options. See websites to learn more as well as Hope to speak with you soon.

  5. Ann Cornwell
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    My dog tested positive on routine check up for Ehrlichia, but has never shown symptoms.
    We decided not to treat. What is your opinion about this.

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I agree. I usually dont treat unless a pet is symptomatic for the disease.

  7. Ann Cornwell
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much.
    Many scare tactics were used to convince us to treat (possible serious blood reactions from platelets to pancytopenia). They offered a “baseline” blood screening for about $250.00 in case he showed symptoms later. They really put the guilt trip on us. I also consulted another vet and got the same response.
    We were reluctant because we knew 2 other people with dogs that had some side effects to the antibiotics. Not horribly serious but concerning and not great for the pet. . Of course if he had been sick we would have agreed, but this was his “well check”.

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    You are very welcome.

  9. Posted February 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    do not know if my dog ​​has this disease I just noticed that it’s not like it is very thin and weak recently had ticks but not anymore,
    So if you have not this, these are some symptoms that I see
    – This limp
    – The eye will boot fluids
    – Teeth and tongue, white (opaque)
    do not know if she will have anemia or that. any way thank you for your cooperation.
    please this is my email.

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Anemia can only be diagnosed by blood test.

  11. Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Our organization got donated tetracycline – I was wondering if we can use it for treatment of ehrlichiosis and what dosage. Everybody down here (Costa Rica) is using Doxicicline now, no help from local vets.
    Thank you.

  12. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Tetracycline is ok to use as substitute. Just must be administered 2 to preferably 3 times daily, while doxycycline is once to twice daily.

  13. Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much. I found in Plumb’s the dosage of 22 mg per kilo – 3 times a day x 2 months – is that right? I remember giving Tetracycline treatment years ago, but I am sure it wasn’t for 2 months. What dosage you recommend and for how long?
    Thank you for your time.
    Warm regards from Costa Rica

  14. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    22 mg per kg 3 times daily for 1 month should be adequate.

  15. Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    thanks a lot for your time and help.
    Best regards

  16. Chris
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink


    I have been feeding a wild dog in the neighborhood for several months now. Since I met him, he appears to be very old and to have something like arthritis or joint pains and walks very stiffly. Due to this, he pants rather heavily, particularly after walking a short distance. Lately, I notice his panting (heavy breathing) is excessive, and occurs very quickly, even after getting up or walking a very short distance. Is there any information you can share that would be helpful? What are your thoughts about this?
    Thank you,

  17. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I am concerned about heartworms. Dog needs vet check and heartworm blood test and stool check for other parasites.

  18. Chris
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you but the dog is wild, doubt if ever been in a car. Given the symptoms would you recommend any oral medecine I could give him (via food) that would be safe enough to cover or target a number of these diseases, safely?
    Thank you,

  19. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Try doxycycline at dose of 2.5 mg to 5 mg per pound once to twice daily. but you need script from your vet.

  20. mai tomioka
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    hello,i have a shihtzu(7months) and he has a anemia and ehrlichia how can i treat it so it will be fine he dont want to eat or drink as long as i will put it inside his mouth,its been 3 days that he hasnt eat…please help me,how long will it take to be cure??

  21. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Usually resolves within a week or two of starting treatment. Treatment of choice is doxycycline. If not helping within several days, see vet as may need injections or further workup for other problems.

  22. linda antoniucci
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    My 13 yr old lab was diagnosed with anaplasmosis. Vet and I did not treat with doxycycline because of sensitive stomach and bleeding…he now has anemia….27% red blood platelets…also stiff…was put on prednisone to try to help clotting…any suggestions…should I start doxyclcline treatment and take a chance or is it too late?
    Very worried….

  23. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Probably best to start doxycycline under the care of your veterinarian.

  24. Mrs reb
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi. my 8 mos old pup is being treated for ehrlichia disease under doxycyline & vitamin B’s for two weeks now.She has one more week to finish her treatment. Shes improving, eats a lot and started walking after !0 days of treatment. But my problem is she keeps on walking in circular path only. Accdng to her vet it was due to neorological damage caused by delayed treatment of doxycyline.Please advise me what to do. Does she need therapy as cure for this walking in circular pattern? I think she cant control herself to stop also.

  25. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Could be neurological effect. May want to see a vet trained in chiropractic and/or acupuncture, which can sometimes help with this condition

  26. DUKE
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink


  27. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I would stop doxycycline for a few days to see if antibiotic related. Not much else I can recommend for at home care, as if appetite loss persists, may need IV fluids in hospital for a few days.

  28. linda antoniucci
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    My 16 yr old lab is on doxycycline and prednisone..His stomache could not handle both at the same time. had to fool around with dosage..Stopped the doxy for 2 days and put him on probiotics for his stomach to recover (he had vlood in his stools) doxy is very roufh on dog’s stomaches. Now he is on prednisone every other day and I had to cut the doxy dosage in half and give every other day. He can tolerate this…keep your dog drinking water, If you have to use a syringe, do it…Try baby food, cold cuts , anything to get him eating again….

  29. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Or you can try bland hamburger or chicken and rice home made diets. The probiotics fast balance and naturevet enzymes are two excellent products that you can consider as well.

  30. Crystal
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I have a golden lab, she is about 4 years old, she has been exposed to ticks, lots of them. She was infested. now she has nose bleeds now and then, what can I do without paying those outrageous vet fees? We do not have any extra money, but we care deeply for this dog, someone gave her to us because they did not want her. Please help!

  31. dorselyn
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    hi! i have a 5 month old pug who was diagnosed to have ehrlichia,,doxicyline was started together with iron syrup..after a week of treatent..blood test shows no improvement in hemoglobin levels as well as with the neutrophil count..doxicycline was continued for another week.. no clinical signs such as lethergy, bruises, body malaise were the diagnosis and management orrect?

  32. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Diagnosis is correct but there may be something else causing treatment resistance. I would return to vet for re evaluatoin or ask for referral to vet internist. Also a great case for veterinary homeopathy. To learn more see or my website

  33. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  34. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Try the topical medicine certifect or you can try a preventic collar from 1800petmeds. Advantix is another option. See vet if nose bleeds persist.

  35. Kim
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Our dog has been diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis. He had seizures about 2 months ago. 2 weeks back he had another single seizure. Now today he suddenly had another two (one morning, one afternoon).

    We were able to give him one tablet of a sedative the vet had prescribed called GARDENAL.

    Can you please let us know what we can expect? What lies ahead? Is there a chance of recovery and also what can be done to make him feel more comfortable?

  36. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I am not familiar with this drug, but I would ask your vet about script for doxycycline antibiotic often needed for Ehrlichia

  37. Agnello
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I have a 8 year old female lab. it has been skipping its meals regularly, a few weeks back it had a lot of ticks because of which its health deteriorated tremendously, for the past couple of days its having blood motion and vomiting. the vet has started her on drip twice a day along with metrogen, taxim, rantidine, dexa & becomplex. the symptoms indicate GIT and tick bite fever though the motions have stopped it also vomited blood today. the creatine level is 1.7 and hemoglobin is 6. What should we do to prevent vomiting and bring the infection under control. Pls HELP

  38. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Something else going on in digestive tract. Perhaps an ultrasound or scoping would be helpful. That is my recommendation. Also consider the homeopathic remedy phosphorus in 30c potency twice daily for 3 days which can sometimes help with vomiting blood.

  39. Andrew
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m so grateful to find this blog and see Dr Dym answering so quickly!

    My 7 yr old dog woke up today with a nose bleed and Ehrlichia is now confirmed. Her Hb is 6.2 and Htc is 16.8. her nose continues to bleed but is much less than this morning. The vet has recommended a blood transfusion.

    What’s the best way to proceed?
    - Start on doxycycline or go straight to transfusion?
    - Is there potential complications with a transfusion I should know before choosing this direction?
    - Steroids?
    - Other options?

    I’m worried for her life and confused if an emergency procedure is needed immediately or if a day or two can go by before we get this sorted.

    My vet is in Costa Rica and our language barrier is getting in the way of my confidence. Ah!

    Thanks in advance Dr. Dym!

  40. Linda in Springfield
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    My 16 yr old finidhed doxy and prednisone. is off both. Had him on Bioprep 3 and he was doing find. But liver count is off the charts because of prednisone…..he is not as peppy now….not eating as much and all his old-age moles are bleeding….He has a real aversion to bioprep3 now….should I just let him be..he’s 16 yrs old. Am also giving milk thistle to help liver.

  41. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I would have vet exam to see if any complications from treatment or disease. Milk thistle is fine. Also consider feeding home made diet as described in book Dr PItcairns guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, dvm, phd. Consider denamarin supplement from 1800petmeds.

  42. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    You are very welcome. I would start on Doxycycline AND go with transfusion as count is getting dangerously low. Complications with transfusion include rare reactions from different blood types. Blood cross matching can help prevent this but it usually is not a problem if this is pet’s first transfusion. Steroids may be indicated as well. I would make sure she is on good natural low grain diet such as wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds or Evo. I would supplement her with glandulars as well from company standard process. The supplements I would use are canine immune support and canine whole body support.

  43. hemanth
    Posted October 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    MY 3 and half female rottweiler….is conceived and at 37 days..!!is affected with this disease.!!what would i do..??

  44. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I would wait until after puppies are weaned at 3-4 weeks and then you can treat mom for this disease with a 3-4 week course of doxycycline.

  45. hemanth
    Posted October 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Dr.She aint taking any food and her nose is bleeding..!!

  46. max
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I have a German Shepherd that has been having seizures for around a year. She just tested possitive for ehrlichia during a regular heartworm test. Is there any chance that these seizures could be due to the ehrlichia even without the other symptoms such as bleeding and inflamed eyes.

  47. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Ehrlihicia can rarely cause seizures but not common Worth treating with doxycycline and see if seizures resolve, however this breed prone to epilepsy which may need to be managed.

  48. hemanth
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    MY 3 and half female rottweiler….is conceived and at 37 days..!!is affected with this disease.!!what would i do..??Dr.She aint taking any food and her nose is bleeding..!!

  49. Posted October 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    My 8yr.old 8lb,Yorkie mix has come up lethargic and now he seems to be unable to jump up stairs or furniture…We previously had a smaller Yorkie that was diagnosed with ehrlichia.I forget what the treatment was but it was successful.
    I see that an antibiotic is needed,but right now money is so short,cannot afford a vet.We do have oxytetracycline HCI in 250mg tablets.I have started to give him 1/8th of a tablet 2xper day.This is day 4,after which I will cut down to 1/8 tab 1x each day—Am I doing any harm?He has started eating good and his ability to jump has just about returned to normal—if OK how long should I keep this up?

  50. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you are on right track as tetracycline has been used in past to treat this. Treat for 3-4 weeks total time. Treatment of choice is doxycycline which you would need written script for.

  51. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Need blood test to rule Ehrlichia in or out. If diagnosis accurate, treatment is doxycycline at dose of 2.5 to 5 mg per pound once to twice daily for 3-4 weeks. Your vet will have to give script. If not eating may need hospitilization and IV fluids initially.

  52. linda antoniucci
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Need help again doctor….My 16 yr old lab is now having usual “seasonal allergies”. Itchy small bumps. He chews into quarter size sores. Usual treatment was cyclosporine and also zenequin….but now has erlichia, and anaplasmosis, IMHA….so….is the lameness due to erlichia? anyone’s guess….should I restart on doxycline and prednisone treatment????don’t know at this point….

  53. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Lameness could be due to ehrlichia or it could be due to degenerative joint disease. Doxycycline and pred could be worthwhile starting. Check with your local vet.

  54. linda antoniucci
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your quick reply…so afraid to do this old boy more harm than good by over medicating. Every time I use prednisone his liver count sky rockets to over 3423…(last time)

  55. Krystal
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    We adopted our dog, Molly in January of 2012. All we know about her history is that she was pregnant and at animal control when a rescue group took her in during the fall of 2011. She gave birth to 5 puppies in September 2011 and lived in a foster home until we adopted her. In October we took her to the vet for a dental cleaning and they decided to go ahead and give her any yearly shots she needed as well as perform any tests they recommend yearly, such as a heartworm test.

    When I picked her up the vet tech went over everything, her teeth looked great, her heartworm test was negative, she got all her shots, the bloodwork performed before putting her under showed her kidneys and liver were functioning fine and her platlet count was normal, etc. As I was leaving, I noticed on her forms she tested positive for ehrlichiosis. I questioned the vet tech about it and since she had no idea she got the vet. I was told by the vet that she could test positive because she has at some point come in contact with ehrlichia, it doesn’t mean that she has a current infection and he wouldn’t worry about it. He then told me if I should notice any symptoms, such as uni-lateral nose bleeds, to call the office and he would start her on an antibiotic such as doxycycline. I then went home and did my research or erlichiosis so I could better understand what he explained in the office.

    My question is how do I know the test was positive because of previous exposure and that she is not currently infected since many dogs are asymptomatic in the subclinical stage? Furthermore, if the vet is just guessing that it was previous exposure because it isn’t very common in our area (GA/SC border) wouldn’t it be better to treat her for ehrlichiosis than to not treat her, risking potential problems in the future if she is currently infected?

  56. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    THis is controversial topic in veterinary medicine as some vets would treat and others would only treat if symptoms. I tend to only treat if symptoms develop, but you could discuss this with your vet as putting dog on 3 to 4 week course of doxycycline would not hurt anyway.

  57. manuel axiaq
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    my 8 year old pit bull had just finished the treatment the vat gave him .doxycline and seems that got back in strenght but both his back legs are stiff and paraliesed. can i do somthing for the functioning of his legs (nerves) thank you

  58. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Tr supplements like super joint enhancer from 1800petmeds as well as yucca intensive and proanthozone. Iwould also seea holistic vet in your area trained in acupuncture or chirorpractic which can often help these cases dramatically.

  59. Andrew
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Dym,
    I followed your recommendations and the transfusion and Doxycycline helped however my dog contracted a skin fungus and likely because her immune system is weak it has spread.

    Sshe is now only eating once a day (rather than twice) and we think it’s because the fungus is leaving her with a fever and effecting her appetite. So, there is a worry that her plates will now stay low because of all this.

    The vet is considering another blood transfusion as a solution… and would proceed with this in a couple days. As per your comment above, if she does another transfusion is it necessary to find a dog with matching blood? It doesn’t sound like the vets in costa rica keep a database of blood types… so finding a dog with the exact match might be an issue. Is this a concern?

    All in all, I would really appreciate your insight on all of this.

    Thanks so so much Dr. Dym!

  60. Andrew
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Here are her levels / platelets? (which did improve since the transfusion):
    HGB = 12.4 g/dl
    HCT = 33.9 %
    MCHC = 36.6 g/dl
    WBC = 4.8
    GRANS = 4.2
    L/M = .6
    LT = 40

  61. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Yes it is sometimes important to consider a cross match future blood donors due to potential reactions in the patient. If this is not possible, then you may have to take your chances. Based on the blood levels you sent over, I would not consider a transfusion if her HCT is 33.9 percent. That is adequate. Platelet tranfusions are usually not that effective in dogs to raise the count very much.

  62. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    See response below.

  63. rdurham
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Dr….my 14yr Boston terrier presented with neurologic symptoms similar to cab…weakness right front and back right leg, ataxia, and limited vision on right, treated with IV Decadron on 2nd visit, doxy and

    valium started… If this fails …stroke vs brain tumor… What do you suggest.

  64. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you have everything covered, except perhaps corticosteroids from your vet. Only other option would be consulting homeopathic vet for alternative approach.

  65. Andrew
    Posted December 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Dym,
    The bacteria infection is now under control and she was given a second blood transfusion as well as a new treatment of Doxycycline. She is reported to be happy, with good energy and eating all her meals :) I’ll have a report on her blood platelet’s Dec 19th.

    Until then, I’m confused if this situation is life threatening or if I’m over-reacting. I was thinking on making an emergency trip back to costa rica to be with her… but am unsure if this is totally unnecessary. It she passed it would be really hard on me.

    She doesn’t seem to have anxiety now… but I wonder if it will create anxiety to have me come to see her for a few days and then leave again for a few weeks.

    Would really appreciate your input!

    Thank you thank you!!

  66. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I think visiting her would be great idea. I think our canine companions appreciate our support when we visit them in the hospital.

  67. linda antoniucci
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Dog having trouble eating..went 2 weeks on just fluids. Has erlichia and anaplasmosis. Cannot take doxy or prednisone anymore. Meds caused pancreatitis. He is 16 yrs old. Is now eating every 2nd or 3rd day. Any suggestions? He has gone from 85 to 70 lbs…weakness in right rear leg, but always had that because of age.

  68. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Try feeding grain free low carb diet such as Wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds. Also consider home diet as described in book Dr PItcairns guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, ,phd, which has great supplement suggestions as well. Also may want to work with a holistic vet. To learn more see

  69. Karine
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    My dog was recently diagnosed with chronic stage erlichia. Her blood levels and counts were very low- so that we did a blood transfusion. We are also in Costa Rica. So far so good, but I am confused about the dosage of doxycyline. We were told by one vet to give her 3 pills at 100 mg twice a day, and our own vet to only 3 pills once a day. We have been giving her the lower dosage, but wonder what you recommend. I know that the medication is hard on her liver, but we also want her to fight this.

  70. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Dose of doxycycline varies widely but range would be 300 mg once to twice daily. GIven severity of problem, I would go with twice daily. Support liver with supplements like denamarin

  71. linda antonicci
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Can erlichia cause pancreatitis..and if so, how do you give doxycline to a dog that has diahhrea and will not eat?
    Doxy on an empty stomach causes hime to vomit badly..

    what to do????

  72. Karine
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank-you. We will consult with our vet again about dosage. It has been four days after blood transfusion,
    She has an appetite but now can´t see and it looks like inflammation in both eyes. This is initially how we got the blood test, because of diminished sight. Is this a side effect of erlichia? Is it permanent? How can we treat this problem now?

  73. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I would see a vet opthomologist for proper diagnosis of eye condition and best treatment. It is possible for Central nervous system effects from Ehrlichia, but best to consult with vet eye specialist on this.l

  74. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    As far as I know, Ehrlichia does not cause pancreatitis. I would treat the pancreatitis first with fluids if needed, and meds for diarrhea and/or vomiting, and then you can address the Ehrlichia with doxycycline.

  75. Marjolein
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    My dog has chronic Ehrlichiosis.
    Today she will get a shot of Steroids.
    She is not sick yet,but the Doxy is not working.
    Do you know of any other treatment if the steroids also fail?Something alternative,maybe?
    Thank you.

  76. Marjolein
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Treat them!I I’ve had several dogs with Ehrlichidia.Some of them have died of this terrible disease.What a lot of people don’ know is that it manifests itself differently every time.Some dogs get sick gradually and then you are in time to treat them.Some dogs get sick suddenly and then there is no time to treat them and they die!Don’t be foolish!I may not be a vet,but I’ve had experience with this disease!

  77. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. Symptomatic dogs who are positive for Ehrlichia should be treated, however if diarrhea and pancreatitis are diagnosed first, then that should be treated initially, as doxycycline can be irritating on digestive tract and pancreas.

  78. Marjolein
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    As much as I respect you as a vet,that is not what Ann Cornwell wrote to you.Or am I missing something?
    Always,always get your pets treated for this disease!
    They will die for sure if you don’t get them the meds they need!!!

  79. Marjolein
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Well…That is just not true!Dogs that test positive,even though they have no symptoms yet,should also be treated!!
    This disease is deadly if you don’t treat it!
    What are you talking about?You may be a vet but you are very wrong!!!
    This really is bad advice!
    I hope you won’t get rid of my comment so other people can read it and get a second opinion!!!

  80. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I would consult with vet homeopath who may be able to help. Not quick fix but homeopathy, nutritional and diet supplements may help. To learn more see as well as Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations if none in your area.

  81. Karine
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Our dog was treated with a blood transfusion last week and is on medication now. We upped the dose to 500 mg per day after discussing with our vet again. She had previously been treated a few years ago with erlichia and we thought she was in the clear. But she wasn’t and it came back . Speaking from experience I would recommend to ALL owners who have had a positive erlichia test once, to do regular blood tests if your dog has had it once!! We DID not and wish we had as it entered the chronic stage undetected, and now she may be blind. We noticed her vision was impaired and took her the next day to the vet, who did a blood test – thank god as we rushed her for a blood transfusion. After taking her to the eye specialist yesterday, we were told it was a blood clot behind her eye from bleeding all caused from erlichia.
    Question- do you have recommendations to help this blood clot to dissipate? It may be too late, but we want to do anything possible to save her life and her eyes.

  82. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Karine. It may be worthwhile to consult with a holistic or homeopathic vet. Supplements I would consider would be Iplex, oculotrophin PMG and immunoplex from company called STandard process. I would also work with holistic vet on diet and possibly homeopathy. To learn more see as well as Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  83. Tony
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Hi Dr. Dym…reading your blog has been helping me so far. I have an almost 5 yr old lhasa-jap spitz cross and has been ill for the past couple of mos. It all started after she got her annual anti-rabies shot 2 mos ago. A few days later she got really sick, high fever, refused to eat/drink, lethargic, actually could not even move..she was on IV fluids for about 4 days, recovered after a week. After a month she started showing signs again..feverish, lethargic, refused food but would recover after some meds and cold compress. Though this time it would repeat almost every week. Last week, we visited a new vet…blood tests show low WBC, hemoglobin, platelet count and was diagnosed w/ anemia. She is under doxy now for 7 days and was advised to continue for another week. Dr. also suggest we test her with Ehrlichia, w/c could be causing her anemia. In the course of her 7 days under doxy she still once had a fever overnight, now eats/drinks a little, walks around a little but is still not her usual self. Do you suspect ehlrichia here? though she has not experienced nose bleed before…just the following: fever on and off, lethargic, weak legs, would not eat/drink on her own (had to force-feed her), during her first (and worst episode) was very weak and could not get up..seems to hurt her when trying to move, and now is anemic. I am from the Philippines by the way…love her dearly, your thoughts on this will be of very great help.

  84. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    HI Tony: Sorry to hear about your canine companion with severe chronic disease brought on by rabies vaccination. Ehrlichia is possible but usually rapidly responsive to doxycycline in most cases. She also could have autoimmune disease, which is sadly a chronic complication of vaccinosis. In conventional medicine, most cases of autoimmune disease where red blood cells or platelets are destroyed, traditional treatment is with corticosteroids and/or other immune suppressive medication. You could also consider working with a veterinary homeopath over a long period of time to try and treat the chronic disease brought on by rabies vaccination, and resulting in these chronic relapsing symptoms. This process would take time but may be worth it in long run. To learn more about homeopathy see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations like myself. Hope this helps.

  85. Karine
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I have asked a few questions about Shanee already. She is a 26 kg Goldendoodle who has chronic erlichia and anaplasma.

    The first blood transfusion was given two weeks ago but her latest result showed low low counts again. Platelets are 0, HCT is 11.9, HCB is 5.1. Her test before her first transfusion was WBC 1.55, RBC 2.11, HCT 14.95, HGB 4.8, PLT 0. (two weeks ago)

    She is getting her second transfusion now, but they fear she has no bone marrow cells.
    Please how do we stimulate her blood cells, especially bone marrow?? I know the numbers are awful- the vet gave us 20-30% chance of recovery. What can we do to help?? What medicines, injections anything can we do for her? She is still eating and drinking and is not in pain, Her liver is in normal range.
    We are in Costa Rica.


  86. Marjolein Vermeulen.
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    My dog got a steroid shot,because nothing seemed to work.Her blood count got lower everytime we tested her.She is on Doxy and Prednison.To my surprise,when we tested her again,her blood count was up considerably.A steroid shot is used to stimulate the bone marrow.So,Karine,if your dog hasn’t gotten a steroid shot yet,ask your vet.

  87. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Due to the immune mediated nature of ehrlichia infection in dogs, corticosteroids are indeed sometimes indicated along with doxycycline antibiotic therapy.

  88. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I dont think corticosteroids will help in this advanced case. Not sure what else you can do, except to consider consulting with a homeopathic vet, although the case is very advanced and prognosis is unfortunately very guarded. To learn more about homeopathy see as well as If she is eating, I would make sure she is on a nonprocessed home made meat based diet. Whole food supplements may help as well to a certain degree and can be prescribed by an integrative or holistic vet.

  89. Marjolein Vermeulen.
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Well..If everything else fails.At least you can try!

  90. Marjolein Vermeulen.
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    If the steroids work,they will work much faster than homeopathic medicines.Try it!It worked with my dog!

  91. Jerry Arntson
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I have a 9 yr old golden retriever. He was having issues standing up and I could hear his joints cracking as he walked up the stairs so we took him to the vet. They tested for tick illness. negative. They put him on doxycycline 60 pills. I also started with synov4 glucosimine an msm . Two weeks later I had to take him to emergency room because he was having trouble opening his jaw, they took head xray and did blood work and all looked normal.I stopped the synovi4 . He has been on prednisone for 10 days now and his jaw and legs seem better. I am now weaning him off the prednizone. I am worried there is something really wrong with him. I am also going to try milk thistle to counteract the prednizone…Any thoughts ?

  92. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like some sort of immune disorder of the muscles of the face called a myositis, which can affect the joints and bones of the jaw. Prednisone should be helpful, but symptoms may return on tapering dose. Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory medications may be another alternative like rimadyl or metacam. You could also supplement with super joint enhancer as well as proanthozone from 180petmeds for joints. If problem recurs or persists, may want to consider holistic or homeopathic consultation. To learn more see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  93. Karine
    Posted February 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    My dog Shanee passed away Dec 31 from erlichia and low blood platelets. I had asked several questions to save her, but it was too late. Now I have two other dogs exhibiting low blood platelets and am VERY concerned! They too were tested for erlichia. We have had them on Doxy 7 weeks now, and are trying Prednisone for 5 days, Platelet counts are 75 and 96. They remained steady for a month and crashed lower within 10 days of the last blood test. Can you tell me if Melatonin has been known to work? I will try anything as I can’t go through the same loss again. Please help! We live in Costa Rica, so getting some drugs can be difficult.

  94. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about your dogs. Melatonin not shown to work in my experience. Perhaps the prednisone will help as there is often immune mediated disease associated with this condition. You could also try working with a veterinary homeopath. To learn more see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  95. Bethzaida
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    . hello my dog ​​a miniature snauzer a week ago started with little loss of apetite, weakness. The situatin was worsened yesterday and we took him to the vet today .The dog has not been bleeding at the time. the vet performed a cbc with results
    Hgb 8.5 WBC 43, PLT 189 RBC 2.24 HCT 15.29. The vet dx. erlichia tx with doxycycline , and vitamin. At ofice vet inyect antibiotic and prednisone.I’m worried about those results .. could be another disease than that. My dog ​​is in danger of death. Thank you very much for your help and excuse my English.

  96. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 6, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Otherer diagnoses are possible, including autoimmune hemolytic anemia which is very common in this breed. Usually these other diseases treated with long term prednisone. Ehrlichia may not be whole story, although you should continue the doxycycline.

  97. Riza
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Hi dr, our 5 y/o lab retriever had alopecic patches and weight loss last year, misdiagnosed as demodex. He was diagnosed with ehrlichia by another vet in oct. 2012 and treated with doxycycline for a month, but he had crea of 2.8mg/DL by the time the ehrlichia was seen. 6 days ago he had weakness, fever, no appetite and drinking a lot, diarrhea once or twice a a day. Was confined to a vet with ehrlichia and uti as diagnosis, started on doxycycline 4 caps daily (36 kg weight). Crea 2.1 now but with anemia and decreased platelets. He was sent home 2 days ago and still no appetite and not as active. We’ve decided to have her admitted by another vet. It’s been 4 days since doxycycline has been started with no improvements. Any thoughts? It would be much appreciated.

  98. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Could be autoimmune component to your pet’s disease. I would ask vet about possibly using prednisone in case like this, with close monitoring of the kidney function.

  99. Riza
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Dr. Dym for the prompt reply. Will discuss this with our vet tomorrow. We live in the philippines, and its often difficult to find a good vet with the facilities to take care of our pets. Thank you again.

  100. Bethzaida
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    My dog the minature snawzer died. OnThursday to take another vet that did not improve. This made the test erhlichia and came out negative. WBCs were at 73. The dx was pyometra. Unfortunately too late for my dog.

  101. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about your dog and that the diagnosis of pyometra was not made sooner. That is usually diagnosed by x rays and blood work, and should have been part of initial workup.

  102. Bethzaida
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your help and your prompt reply. God continue to bless you to continue helping as many people with doubts. Thanks

  103. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    You are welcome. I am indeed sorry for your loss.

  104. Posted February 18, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    vit k is supposed to be good for stopping bleeding. but if still have organisms causing the nose bleed, still best to get meds that will effectively get rid of it all.

    we used red beans (boil with water till very soft, blend to paste and syringe feed if dog does not eat it on its own) to increase iron. we added a little brown sugar and black seseme seeds for taste and both are also good natural source od iron. seaweed is another great nautral source of iron.

    can try using good natural apple cidar vinegar (i use braggs brand) dilute with water in ration of 1 to 30 to wipe dog every 2 to 3 days to keep ticks away. great for skin and coat too and non-toxic even at higher concentrations.

  105. Posted February 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    we rescued 3 strays abt 5 mths diagnosed with tick fever, distemper and mange. one of them has a severely protruding eye (eyeball was totally white) and he is also suffering from jaundice.

    i understand doxycycline and pred is very effective for tick fever but as pups also have distemper, i am unsure if these are the best course of action to take as i was told that doxy and pred are immuno suppressive and that is the last thg we want to do for dogs with distemper.

    pups hav been to the vet who has given 2 injections and they do not reveal what they are, calling it only tick fever 1 and tick fever 2. these injections they say are to be given once weekly over 4 weeks with no other oral medications.

    it has been 6 days since the first set of tick fever injections by vet. temperature climbed from 39 degrees to almost 42 degrees within 3 days of visiting vet. we admistered sub Q penG and gentamycin for distemper on 12 to 24 hourly basis. temp has finally come down somewhat today to around 39 but unsure if we should continue with tick fever injections tmw.

    appreciate your inputs. thx.

  106. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea what the tick fever injections are so I cant comment on them unless you can find out what drugs they are.

  107. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing excellent ideas.

  108. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing excellent ideas

  109. cathie
    Posted February 24, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    My new rescue dog and I went for a long walk (about 1+mile) and when we returned, his back legs came out from under him and he could not walk. I took him to the vet and he tested positive for Erlichosis and was treated with antibiotics, finished treatment last week and tried the same walk. The very same thing happened on our return except this time he vomited as well. An hour later he was up walking but kind of groggy. Is the walk somehow bringing on these symptons?

  110. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I dont think the walk involved with symptoms, but it could trigger an unhealed weakness. go to vet for recheck and possibly CBC/chemistry blood work.

  111. Jill
    Posted April 7, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    My 7 year old Australian Shepard had his yearly check up with vaccines and heart worm ,fecal test etc….
    Vet said he looked great. His heat worm test included tick born. He came back positive for erlichia. He has absolutely no signs or symptoms of it. I’ve had a dog with erlichia before so I am aware…he had symptoms.. She gave him doxycycline 100mg 2x a day. You think he may have a good prognosis? Also, I have had him about 2 1/2 years…could he have had this before I got him? He has been tested each year I have had him and all negative.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

  112. Claudia
    Posted April 7, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Hi! I would like to know if the blindnes is reversible in a female dog afected by erlichiosis.
    thanks in advance

  113. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    HI Claudia. If your dog is truly blind, then likely wont be cured even with ehrlichia treatment. However if some vison remains, we can save the remaining vision by treating the ehrlichia.

  114. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    A positive ehrlichia test in the office means only that your pet was exposed to ehrlichia and had an antibody response but not necessarily currently infected. A rising titer is needed to show active infection or the clinical signs should be present of this disease. If your dog has no signs and no changes on CBC blood test, then I would not worry about this.

  115. Karen
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi, My 5 year old female lab tested positive for ehrlichia today with her heart worm test ( that was negative). We have not noticed any symptoms but vet prescribed 2 week treatment of doxycycline (100mg twice a day). Is 2 weeks adequate or even necessary?
    Because our female lab tested positive is it likely that her puppies (11 weeks old today) could have been infected in utero? We still have one living with us and our daughter has one of the puppies. If our puppy tests positive is it likely all 9 puppies would be infected too?
    Thank you.

  116. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    A positive test means only exposure and antibody response and not necessarily infection. If no clinical signs present, then I dont think treatment is needed. A few weeks of doxy wont hurt. I would not treat puppies based on a positive test alone without clinical signs.

  117. Kathy
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Hi – my 6-year old miniature schnauzer tested positive for ehrlichia yesterday on his routine annual check-up. He has no clinical symptoms, and our vet says we could put him on doxycycline, or could not treat it since so signs are present, which looks like you would agree with based on prior posts. My question is what are the disadvantages of treating it with doxy, and could this have been prevented if he was receiving lyme disease vaccinations? I realize the diseases are different, but because they are both tick-borne diseases, I wonder if that could have prevented this. They are on monthly tick preventative medicine, and I’m wondering if he will ever get rid of this if we treat it with antibiotics, or if he will always test positive.

    Thank you,

  118. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I dont treat lab test results, but only if patients have symptoms of disease. Giving lyme vaccination would not have done anything for preventing ehrlichia exposure. I have not found antibiotics that effective in even treating animals with clinical disease associated with Ehrlichia. Doxycycline is a suppressive medication and can have effects on digestive tract flora, as well as sometimes leading to other deeper health issues. Consider working with a holistic vet on improving your pet’s health overall to help with any susceptibilities. To learn more see

  119. Posted April 15, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    can u pls advise what steriod was used? have a 4mth old pup now that does not seem to be responding to doxy alone. thx.

  120. Posted April 15, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    hi dr dym, what cortisteriods would u recommend and at what dosage. have a 4mth old pup that has been on 100mg doxy once a day for 7 days already but not improving and seem to be getting more lethargic and less interested in food. still very anemic and don’t seem to be responding to the doxy. temp range from 39 to 39.8 degrees celcius.

    concerned abt using cortisteriods (cos cortisteriods are immuno suppressive) as pup has been infected with distemper. eyes had pussy discharge, nose very dry and a little hard as u would expect in distemper cases. we have treated the distemper with antibiotics and supplemented with vits A, C, E & colostrum to boost his immune system to fight the distemper and so far that seems to be under control.

    would it be adviseable to use cortisteriods and risk lowering the immune system. more terrified of distemper then ehrlichia but a liitle frustrated that not responding to doxy alone. appreciate your inputs thx.

  121. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately traditional medicine hast not much to offer for these infections, other than antibiotics/corticosteroids. I have found that when these patients dont respond to doxycycline that pred may help then feel better, but rarely raise the blood counts. Dose of prednisone would be approximately one half mg per pound daily. You also may want to consider working with a vet homeopath on a different approach to this condition. To learn more see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  122. Posted April 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I just rescued a 9 yr old female boxer and took her straight to the vet – vet notes: appearance looks thin but is emaciated; mm-pink; crt<2 sec; pln–wnl; eyes–lenticular changes bilateral but cornea is clear; skin-ticks/fleas; m/s-bowed legs but weight bearing. Felt stiffness in hind legs on extension of joints – arthritis suspected others open – she tested positive for e. canis. Blood work – albumin 2(low); total protein 8.5 (high); Globulin 6.5(h); A/G ratio0.3 (L); neutrophil seg 77.7(H); eosinophil 1.4(L); HCT 35.6(L). Everything else wasin normal range. Her appetite is good. She drinks lots of water and urinates frequently. She wasput on 200 mg doxycycline once a day for 30 days. I feed my dogs Taste of the Wild (Lamg), boiled chicken(or baby jars of chicken) and Salmon oil w/probiotics. She is very sweet and I want to do everything to help her. Any suggestions?

  123. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 20, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I would work with a homeopathic vet on improving her health and lessening her susceptibility to chronic disease via diet, supplements and constitutional classical homeopathy. To learn more see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  124. louise bugeja
    Posted April 21, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    My dog has recently been diagnosed with Ehrlichia – symptoms, Lethargy, fever and nose bleed. He was started on Doxycyline 350mg bd x 5 days and then dly x 25 days., and on Rimadyl 150mg x 3 days, for his fever. Furthermore, he has had surgery for removal of a tumour on his foot and had just stopped having antibiotics x 1month. Wound now healing well, although not yet healed.He has been on doxy x 5 days, now starting dly but still rather lethargic, does not want to go out for walks, etc He also seems to have put on weight – could it be because of lack of exercise this last month or so? Could the ehrilichia be related to his operation and wound? Do I continue to give remadyl?

  125. Lisa Porter
    Posted April 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Hello, so glad I found this discussion list! 4 y.o. Spaniel mix (’bird dog’) rescue, very sensitive type, ehrlichia diagnosis Saturday 2 a.m., his weakness/anemia today Sunday 9 p.m. has gotten terrible, he’s having lots of muscular weakness, i have to carry him now. waiting for evening PVC retest results right now. Was 35% this a.m. which was okay. Dr Dym I’m writing at this moment re: Standard Process, have several formulas in the house (for me), and jar of canine Hepatic support, wondering if any could help! Trying to think of sources of iron, and/but I do have a bottle of veterinary liquid iron in the fridge, gave a dot or two, should/could I give more? He’s 36ish lbs normally, 30 right now. Thank you! Lisa

  126. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    HI Lisa. I think best approach for these dogs to give them good chance is to consult with a homeopathic vet like myself who can sometimes help these cases with classical homeopathic prescribing over long period of time. I would learn more at as well as my website Canine hepatic support and canine immune support may be helpful, however the standard process supplement sesame seed oil perles may be especially helpful as well for bone marrow from their human line.

  127. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I have not found rimadyl that helpful for dogs with chronic ehrlichia. I would make sure that there are no other diseases present contributing to some of symptoms including low thyroid, which can affect blood cell counts, as well contribute to weight gain. May also be helpful to work with a holistic veterinarian on improving his overall health. I dont think ehrlichia related to his operation and wound.

  128. Lisa Porter
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi – thank you so much for your prompt reply. I lost him so quickly that nutrition wasn’t even an issue. He was on doxy, pred, and then another antibiotic. he was having a heavy autoimmune reaponse going on, and/or he was pre- weak in the heart or lungs. There were so many possibilities, and so little time, I’m going to do some back-investigating. He was of unknown provenance, a rescue from a rural shelter. And he was as sweet and funny as the day is long. I am going to reread through what’s here.

    Also, Dr, I brought two of my other three dogs in today and tested for erlichia and it’s present (light Lymes in one dog, too) and vet recommends not treating until/unless any signs show up. Both dogs are young 4 and 2.5 – sound okay to you, to stave off? I will reread the blog like I said, you may’ve answered that for others. Best wishes to you & everyone out there, Lisa

  129. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    HI Lisa….Sounds like good plan. I would try and improve health of other dogs holistically through excellent natural diets, such as low carb, low grain diets like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds, or ideally home made diet if possible. Sorry to hear about your other dog. This is a very difficult disease to deal with.

  130. Susan Haigwood
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Dr. Dym, I’m glad that I’ve discovered your site – maybe now I can get a clue as to what “secondary” infection that killed my 3 yr. old dog. Barney was half pitt bull & half bird dog. I had to have him put to sleep this past Tues. May 7th. He was being treated for pancreatitis & chronic ehrlichiosis for approx. 5 wks. I gave him the doxycycline & penicillin on time & he never missed a dose. I also hand fed him 3 – 4 times a day, a diet of cooked rice with chicken & vegetables, or, just chicken patties without any batter on them. Sometimes all that I could get him to eat was apple-butter sandwiches with chopped boiled eggs in between the bread. He had a consistently elevated WBC and subsequent temperatures of 103.8 – 104.6. I would give him tepid baths, take him outdoors to lay on the cool grass, and place two ice packs under his abdomen and armpits when I brought him indoors. I’d also keep the ceiling fans on high. After approx. two weeks of penicillin & almost five weeks of doxycycline (given at the same time) his high temp. was broken for three days, but then he got to the point where he could not keep his food/water down. He also lost from 75 lbs. down to 60 – 62 lbs. During the last two days, he developed a solid, subcutaneous “mass” at his left jaw bone and a nodular lump about the size of a golf ball in his upper chest area( that I could hold in my palm). Barney started eating on his own during the three days without a temp. so I thought that he was going to recover, but on Monday, May 6th he couldn’t keep food/water down so I took him back to the vet on Tues. morn. & had him put down. It broke my heart to have to do this because he was only 3 yrs. old & I had rescued him out of the creek that borders our small farm. Someone had thrown him away like a piece of discarded trash when he was just weaned. I had him for almost 3 yrs. before he got sick. I applied the Front Line in the first week of April, but I guess I should have given it to him all winter. We live in N.E. Arkansas & quite a few cases of ehrlichiosis are being diagnosed this season -early. Do you have any idea what secondary infection could have given him the symptoms that I described? It would help me to know because I could relate the info. to our small town vet & perhaps she could help someone else if they came up again. Thank you.

  131. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 12, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    HI Susan. I am sorry to hear the sad story of your beloved animal companion Barney. Hard to tell what/if any secondary bacterial infection may have played a role in Barney’s death. Down here in Florida I have not been impressed with the clinical response rate of Ehrlichia to doxycycline and/or even immune suppressive doses of prednisone used in many cases. Based on what you report above, it sounds like there was persistant inflammation/and/or infection, other than Ehrlichia that weakened Barney’s immune system. Even the chronic use of antibiotics like this can weaken the immune system; cause overgrowth of toxic bacteria in the digestive tract(especially with prolonged use of doxycycline) which can lead to a “leaky gut”, and all sorts of systemic problems outside of the digestive tract. I would have incorporated a high quality probiotic in a case like this and supplemental digestive enzymes if on prolonged antibiotics, as well as in pets with pancreatitis. Perhaps an ultrasound would have also given useful information. Not sure what the mass was, although when immune system is chronically suppressed, tumors are more likely. Cases like this are why, after 22 plus years of small animal traditional veterinary practice, triggered me to learn more about holistic therapies in helping our animal companions.

  132. Susan Haigwood
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Dr. Dym for your response. You are very correct in your given answer because I have experienced much turmoil in giving my pet doxycycline & prednisone due to doxycycline upsetting the animals stomach so much and both affecting the immune system – especially so with the prednisone & the immune system. The first test given to my dog to diagnose for ehrlichiosis came back negative so even that needs to be improved upon. I’ll be much interested to learn of any new and improved methods of treating ehrlichiosis in the future. In the meantime I’ll be applying Front Line the whole twelve months in hopes to prevent & not have to ever treat any of my dogs for ehrlichiosis – again. In retrospect, I very strongly encourage other dog owners to do the same and to be on the alert for red conjunctiva, diminished appetite, and lameness in any of their legs/paws. My dog presented with a front lame paw (I thought it was from digging) along with these other obvious signs but I wasn’t aware of them. Thank you.

  133. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    You are very welcome Susan. Let me know if I can help you in the future.

  134. Justin Hyde
    Posted May 17, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    We live in Singapore and have a 4yo Golden Retriever. As we are planning on moving back to Australia soon, we are required to have blood tests for Ehrlichia ( amongst others ) in order to qualify for an import licence into Australia. We have never had to remove a tick from the dog, and we check him regularly. We have also been very diligent with frontline on a regular basis. He has never shown any symptoms of illness in the 4 years of any sort. The initial test results came back positive, which floored us ! We are now looking to re-test in the hope that the first test may have been incorrect. Our local vet has put him on course of anti-biotics but has warned us this may have limited impact on future test results. If we cannot get back a negative test, we will have to find him another home in Singapore. Any recommendations as to how we might overcome this issue with treatment…it would seem once the dog is a carrier, they always will be …just a question of whether the disease moves from dormant to active ( chronic)?

  135. christine
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    My 8 month old puppy was diagnosed with ehrilichia about a month ago. He started showing signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, limping in his hind legs, not wanting to bend down and inflammation in his spine. We started him on doxycycline and a week later he was feeling better. Two weeks after being on meds he had a relapse and the vet started him on a second antibiotic and prednisone. He was great on the prednisone and was back to his normal self. One week after being taken off the prednisone he is not feeling well again. Can this happen in puppies with this disease and should he be put back on the steroids??

  136. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Putting him back on the steroids is certainly an option. Some pets with chronic ehrlichia are difficult to cure and do need long term treatment and followup.

  137. joan
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    my 2 year old shih tzu is 30 days pregnant and is diagnosed with ehrlichiosis. the doctor said she will be treated with doxycycline and will most likely undergo it possible to still continue the pregnancy ?

  138. Chris
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Hello: I live in the Mediterranean and recently brought in a German Shephard mix dog, that previously lived on the streets, and appeared old. His legs have stiffness, he drinks water all day long, and he pants heavily even while walking short distances. I took him to a vet who said he is about 11 yrs old and tested him positive for erlichichiosis. He gave him a shot and prescribed Vibramycin (my guess is it is similar to Doxycyline) for 28 days, 4 100 mg tabs per day, either together or 2 in a.m. and 2 in pm. Can u please confirm whether the prescribed medication and doses is sound, and if the symptoms I mentioned are related to erlichiosis? Also, what symptoms should i be looking for in event the disease is not fully cured? Many thanks, Chris

  139. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    This medicine is fine for ehrlichiosis. Symptoms you describe are possibly due to ehrlichia, but could be due to lots of diseases as well so make sure thorough blood work done to check organ function, etc. Must monitor CBC blood counts periodically with Ehrichia, as these dogs are prone to low blood counts as well as bleeding.

  140. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Could be difficult pregnancy. Difficult to predict.

  141. Brenda
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    My beautiful 12 year old Keeshond was lifting her rear foot and wouldn’t put weight on it. The vet thought it was her hip xrayed her and gave us Rimidel. Then same leg swelled up, back to the vet who prescribed doxycycline. She was on this for 1-2 weeks no change. Back for blood work, needle aspiration of lumpin groin. All her organ functions and blood counts were normal, but she tested positive for ehrlichia with a snap test. Blood was sent to an outside lab for more tick diseases. She was on Frontline(obviously didn’t work). Then the vet gave her an injection of Imidocarb, took her off the doxycycline. Still no change – she gets another injection in a week. Will this help her? She won’t eat her food and has lost muscle mass.I have been feeding her whatever she will eat. She is a picky eater – anything I should try? This is a horrible disease!!!!

  142. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I would recommend consulting with vet homeopath. I have not found drugs effective for ehrlichia…..Learn more about homeopathy at as well as my website

  143. king
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    My 5 yr old shih tsu tested positive phase 4 with Ehrlichia and i dont know what stage his in the vet prescribed him doxy for 2 weeks….(he doesnt eat at all) still quite active but sleeps a lot specially in the afternoon . i think my 9 yr old akita died with the same disease 2 months ago but my vet told me it was a liver/kidney problem.please help

  144. king
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    he never undergo bleeding yet and has no fever.i wonder what phase 4 i wonder what positive 4 stage is.i just cant understand why hes very picky with food.i have to feed him with force so that i can give him doxy.please help me.thanks

  145. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I would follow your vet’s recommendations for doxycycline and see how things go. If not eating, may need hospitilization and IV fluids until feeling better.

  146. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Hard to say stage of disease. I would make sure your vet does full medical workup to make sure no other health issues causing loss of appetite, including blood work, x rays and possibly ultrasound.

  147. April
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    My 5yr old doberman tested positive for Ehrilicha about three months ago when we took him for his routine yearly exam. He had some other issues of blood in urine to find out it was an abscess on his prostate. He has been on antibiotics and we had him nuetured like 3 weeks ago.

    Just within the past week he has been having issues jumping up on our bed, into the truck and up stairs…weakness. We called the vet and she ordered the doxycycline for us. In your opinion can this one thing be related to the tick disease? Nothing else is standing out with him. He eats great, drinks.

  148. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    In some cases of tick born disease, problems with the gait and stiffness/weakness may be seen.

  149. April
    Posted July 11, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I just picked up the medicine Doxycycline for my doberman today. He took his first dose this morning. When I was speaking to the vet she said she doesnt think the weakness is from Erchilosis but possibly a disc problem. I am very upset now. She suggested that in a week if he doesnt improve to have an xray done. Does this seem like it woudl be on the right track?

    Also he was on antibiotics for almost 45days for an abcess on his prostate and now he will stop that and start the doxycycline. I know in people with antibiotics it can clean your body of good bacteria. Can this happen to dogs? should I be giving him something while on the doxy?

  150. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Yes all of these antibiotics used like this can have negative effects on the gut digestive tract, as well as the immune system. Consider probiotics like fast balance and naturevet enzymes from 1800petmeds. Also consider working with holistic vet to improve his overall health. To learn more see

  151. liz miller
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    My dog, a husky/sheltie/wolf? mix has E. Hrlichia. She is not able to tolerate any antibiotic because her digestive system is bad. I adopted her 2 months ago, and she has had an upset stomach and really runny poops off and on since then. I’m doing probiotics. Feeding her ground chicken and lamb with white rice and a little organic, wheat-free kibbles soaked until soft. She took the antibiotics for almost 3 weeks. Threw it up half the time. Are there any other more recent ways to administer the antibiotics. My vet talked about surgically implanting a needle so she could get intravenously antibiotics. Isn’t there a shot she have? Help

    Posted July 14, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr.Michael,
    My 9 yr old golden retriever tested positive 2 yrs ago for Ehrlicia….no symptoms, 2 weeks of doxy. Now, 2 yrs later noticed symptoms of joint pain and lamness in left back leg….thought she pulled a muscle…now she is walking no symptoms, eating well, but lethargic (but she is old and this is not that uncommon for her) my question: Is this probably a re-infection of Ehrlichia? What suggestions…please don’t misunderstand me, but my finances tight, can a treatment of doxy be recommended without doing all of the blood tests?
    thank you

  153. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I would not assume current symptoms are due to ehrlichia. I would have vet recheck and diagnostic evaluation. There would likely be no harm in putting back on Doxy but may not help if not correct current diagnosis.

  154. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    No other ways I know of. Doxycycline is oral antibiotic in dogs that best administered with food.

  155. Cindy
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    My 11 year old lab got Ehrlichia in Costa Rica. He never showed signs of active disease based on a single tick bite, but a year later became very ill. We know it was chronic because all blood factors were bad, he had swollen lymph nodes, uvetis, lameness, excessive panting and hemorraging gums. And as far as we know, there was just that one bite (he was yellow, so easy to see ticks).

    He received doxy, home cooked meals, nutritional and herbal support, probiotics and seemed pretty well for a year. Then all the intense symptoms returned. Only this time though he could not handle the doxy, we tried pulsing for a month and finally his kidneys failed. His breath for about a month smelled like a dead animal. He stopped peeing, drinking, eating and was really panting heavy, so I put him down.

    Does this sound like a new infection, or a reoccurrence?

    Also I am suffering deeply. He was more than a child to me. And so I guess I am wondering if he would have recovered from the kidney problem. He seemed to be suffering, and keeping him felt selfish.

  156. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Cindy. I am so sorry to hear of your dog’s battle with Ehrlichiosis. It appears you did everything possible for him. To me it sounds like a recurrence of his chronic illness. I personally think dogs sick with this so called Tick born infection are suffering from a severe autoimmune condition that is independent of the organism and leads to chronic complications like your dog experienced. I think you made a very brave decision in easing your pet’s suffering. I personally have not found doxycycline and/or prednisone that helpful in treating long term disease like this. The best chances at survival in my opinion are classical homeopathy without alot of drugs, etc

  157. Prithi
    Posted August 10, 2013 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr.michael
    My 6 year old dobberman was diagnosed cyst on right ovary on march told to spay the dog immediately.but I asked can medicine be used instead of surgery .she had a large vaginal swelling and frequent urination while sleeping.after giving two hormone shots chorulon human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) on april and may her vaginal swelling reduce a little and discharge also stopped .but her vagina was not fully after two months some white like discharge coming from her vaginal vet advised to go for a surgery .on my way to hospital a 2 year old pomeranian bit my dogs vaccine out of date so vet told to follow the post vaccine shots and postponed the surgery.she is having white like discharge Told to give taxim for her.can it be given now .is there any way to cure her.she is active and eating properly
    Doctor help

  158. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I dont have much experience using hormones for these type of issues. I would typically recommend spaying her when you can.

  159. Faye
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Dr. Michael!
    My pomeranian had a seizure yesterday. the day before, we have removed a lot of ticks from his body. today, i took him to the vet and he conducted an ehlichia test and he said that he was positive of ehrlichia. however, i dont see any other symptoms from my dog. he doesnt vomit, no fever, not lethargic or anything. he just had a seizure. although, his test showed he’s anemic—low rbc, low hct, etc..his 5in1 vaccine is up to date.

  160. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Might be worth it to try your pet on a course of prescription antibiotic called doxycycline for 3 to 4 weeks to see if any improvement, as well as monitor for further seizures, as some tick born illnesses can cause seizures. Also I would strongly recommend the wonderful antioxidant called Canine Health by Life Vantage. I have had great results with this product in practice in recent months as it wonderfully reduces inflammation in the body. To order Canine Health, go to

  161. Faye
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Hi again Dr. Michael!
    Thanks for the immediate response. Actually, what the vet prescribed him was 21days of doxycline, 30 days of Bcomplex and a syrup supplemet for the liver called ‘liverolin.’ So I guess, it’s really because of ehrlichiosis that’s why he had a seizure although he didnt show most of the symptoms. Thanks for your help!

  162. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Faye. You are very welcome. I would also strongly recommend the wonderful antioxidant called Canine Health by the company Life Vantage. I have found this product outstanding in reducing oxidative stress with chronic diseases in pets like this. To order this great product, go to They also make a great product for people called Protandim.

  163. happygurl
    Posted August 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me what it means when a dog has a bruise on there lower stomach that appears swollen along with a rash that looks like red dots? Is there anything I can buy that could help that or any home remedy I could use? Thank you for your time!

  164. happygurl
    Posted August 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    the bruise looks like a dark blue color.

  165. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 18, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    I would have vet exam and CBC blood count to check if platelet count low which is sometimes seen in Ehrlichia and can cause bruising and bleeding tendency. Usually treated with corticosteroids if platelets low.

  166. jsunyak
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Our dog tested postive for Ehrlichiosis last year and he was treated with meds. During his regular exam last week, blood results show it is still in his system. Is this normal? How should we treat it?

  167. Paul Runyan
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    We are moving back to Australia shortly and may be in the same situation. Could you tell me whether you have had any success with treatment?

  168. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Many dogs test positive for these tick born diseases yet have no clinical disease that needs to be treated. I only treat animals with symptoms of lameness, fever, etc. EVen if a dog tests positive, then can test positive for months to years. A PCR test is a more accurate test sent out to lab to see if dog actually has infection.

  169. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Some cases respond to doxycycline and/or sometimes prednisone treatment to address immune component of disease. In other cases, response is more difficult; In those cases I have found homeopathy and other alternative therapies other options

  170. Leslie
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    My dog was diagnosed with erlicia when I adopted her. We think she was about one yr old-she is about 7 now. We have battled this disease since her adoption. About two months ago she hemorrhaged-ears, stomach and chest. She is now showing neurological symptoms (head tilt and delayed eye lid function). My vet is wonderful and we have worked very closely over the years. Are there any types of holistic treatments that would be beneficial? She is a bichon mix. Thank you.

  171. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    HI Leslie. As BOTH a traditional veterinarian of 23 plus years experience and a homeopathic veterinarian of also over 15 years experience, I can honestly say that traditional meds i.e doxycycline, prednisone, etc rarely effective cure this disease. I would work with a homeopathic veterinarian on constitutional homeopathy long term as well as nutritional supplements. I would learn more about homeopathy at as well as my website Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations nationwide.

  172. Leslie
    Posted November 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Dr. Dym. I am reviewing your website and consultation/contact information now. This is a horrible disease.

    best regards,

  173. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 5, 2013 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Hi Leslie. I have helped several of these patients, but it is not quick fix. Certainly feel free to call us to schedule an initial homeopathic intake consultation if you would like me to try and help. Again I have not found pred and doxy the answer in severe chronic cases.

  174. chris
    Posted November 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    hello. our sweet 9-10 yr old lab/beagle “dixie” is losing her battle with ehrilchiosis. she has been on doxy for about 6 weeks and initially responded well. we have about 2-3 weeks left of pills. she is still eating and drinking a little bit and we take her on ‘productive’ potty walks twice a day but she is so weak and lethargic, her walks have become very slow. she has always been a healthy dog and very active. i think this issue is being compounded by the fact that our son moved away this past summer, and she was very attached to him. we are showering her with love and attention. it’s heartbreaking to see her going downhill. the vet is saying she needs a blood transfusion and bone marrow aspiration, but the cost is just too much and there are no guarantees. short of euthanization, is there anything else you can recommend? thank you.

  175. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 10, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    HI Chris. I would strongly recommend consulting with a homeopathic vet for alternative approach to this disease. To learn more about homeopathy, go to as well as my website Many homeopathic vets like myself offer phone consultations.

  176. Tony
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Hello again Dr. Dym. December of last year I have talked to you about my beloved pet (lhasa-jap spitz mix breed) whom you suggest may have suffered from vaccinosis. I am happy to share with you that she has recovered fully now. I’m just worried though ’cause it’s time to get her annual vaccines: anti-rabies, 6-in-1. Her ordeal a year back made me wary of going back to the vet for her shots. I don’t think I can bear another episode, I so value her extended life right now and wishes to extend it more more years. Do you think I she can skip these vaccines to avoid similar complications? thank you so much for your help.

  177. Lindsay
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I just brought two rescue dogs home from Costa Rica and the one has ehlrichia and is on doxy and has been for almost two weeks now. I notice she is sleeping a lot , literally only awake for a few hours a day, she feels a little warm as well. Is it possible there is something else going on? When I rescued her she was severely emaciated and anemic but is improved in that regard. I’m just worried about the lack of energy and lethargy.

  178. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Hi Lindsay. I would recommend a vet check and at least a CBC blood count. Ehrlichia can cause severe bone marrow problems, so best to have that checked. Sometimes prednisone is needed as well. I would also consider consulting with a good homeopath on this one. To learn more about homeopathy, go to as well as my website Many homeopathic vets like myself offer phone consultations.

  179. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Hi Tony. Glad to hear she has recovered. Probably the last thing she needs is more vaccinations now. Most of the time the 6 in one parvo/distemper viral combination is NOT needed in adult dogs, as immunity persists for years to life of pet. Perhaps check with vet licensed in your state to see if medical exemption for rabies can be provided for you due to health risks in your dog. You can also consider consulting with a homeopathic vet. To learn more go to as well as my website and the links on it at Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations. Good luck with it Tony

  180. Gina
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Our almost 8 year old GSD-mix developed a limp about a month ago,…the vet had a hard time examining her as she’s part Timberwolf and hard to hold onto. She did a SNAP test and she tested positive for Ehrlichia and was given a course of Doxycycline and a few Rimadyl. After about a week, we had to put her back on Rimadyl in a smaller dosage. Other than the limping, she is showing very little symptoms. No bleeding, lost of appetite, only the limping. The limping seems to be more arthritis related as it’s worse when she lays on her left side. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you~

  181. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Make sure vet has ruled out other causes of limping. X rays may need to be done. Consider good joint supplements to support healing as well such as super joint enhancer from 1800petmeds, yucca intensive and the antioxidant proanthozone.

  182. Gina
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Dr. Dym,,,she’s been on Joint Max Triple for several years as a preventive, but I’m thinking she’s needs something stronger. I appreciate your recommendation of the Super Joint Enhancer. Have a great evening :) ~

  183. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    You are very welcome Gina

  184. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Also consider homeopathic and holistic support. Ehrlichia is not an easy disease to treat or cure with conventional meds alone in my opinion. In addition to supplements, I find that homeopathy can often help as well. To learn more go to as well as my website

  185. Posted November 30, 2013 at 2:02 am | Permalink


  186. Gina
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I missed the lower post the other evening,…..thank you so very much. The link to Beyond Flat Earth is priceless,…very informative. I wish I was closer to you, I am impressed with your stance on animal care. I have found a holistic veterinarian a few hours from me who I is as knowledgeable. Have a wonderfully blessed weekend. :) ~

  187. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Hi Gina Thanks for your kind compliments. I would make sure your holistic vet is one who has advanced training and is skilled in classical homeopathy. Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations nationwide. Good luck and let me know if I can help any further. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  188. Dawn
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    My 14 yr. old adopted pug mix was adopted with Erlichia. We treated three times when we adopted him at 6. The titers never changed. He is now 14. He has had two episodes of staggering and losing his balance and lack of coordination. He has been treated with prednisone to make sure that his brain is not inflammed (4 month ago he had a fall and I thought that is what the problem was). However, for some reason, my vet keep suggesting all kinds of other problem that it could be. I tested him for Valley Fever and it was negative. She wants me to go to a pet neurologist, which I cannot afford at this time of year. I don’t understand why we aren’t assuming these symptoms are caused by the erlichia and treating for that. Also, he had 3 seizures (\bubble gum seizures) while during the last episode. I think our protocol should be to put him on doxy for a longer duration of time. I feel it in my heart but she wants to play the rule out game with everything else under the sun. I don’t know if I should demand the doxy and tell her I want to treat the erlichia, switch vets and get a second opinion, or go to the pet neurologist. I’m so stumped. Please, I would appreciate any advice you have for me. This dog is \the one\ if you know what I mean.

  189. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    I dont see a problem with a 1-2 month trial with doxycycline and low dose prednisone to see if can help symptoms. At this age, other differentials for brain lesions include tumor and GME, both which have a poor prognosis, so in my opinion not worth it to spend thousands on MRI and neurologist.

  190. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    I would go for 1-2 month trial with doxy and low dose pred, given age of dog. MRI may show tumor or GME disease, both which have poor prognosis, and not really worth it to put you through expense and dog through procedure at neurologist.

  191. Dawn
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you , thank you , thank you. That is exactly what my gut is telling me.

  192. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Also consider working with a holistic vet on improving immune system function. To learn more go to

  193. Nancy Mahony
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    One month ago our 9 yr old lab woke up with 104 fever, dehydrated, low platelet count, he could hardly move. The vet put him on doxycycline and kept him on IV for 2 days. Tests for erlichia came back negative but the vet said that was no uncommon. He came home but was not any better after a week sothey started him on prednisone and Tremadol because he was in much jt and muscle pain and his spine was humped. He was eating and drinking fine but not getting any better. Finally I read that doxy and any supplement with ossified shellfish bind in the stomach and are not absorbed. Two weeks ago we stopped the supplements and in 72hours he was better. The only problem he now has is his spine. It is still humped up and very tender. Is this a long term effect of the erlichia? He was also tested for rocky spotted tick fever. We live in SE. New Mexico but had been to the north part of the state in October. He has always been on tick and flea control.

  194. Eric Sugi
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Doctor, my 2 dogs were given the Elisa test and both were positive to Erlichia. I was advised to give doxycyclene for 28 days, 2x a day, 150mg to my 18kg GR mix and 100mg to my Cocker Spaniel Mix, along with 10mg Menadione 2x a day. Both my dogs appear healthy and energetic. They show none of the common symptoms, despite showing a low platelet count in a CBC done 3 months ago. I’m concerned about possible adverse reactions to the antibiotics. Should I go ahead with the treatment? Thank you.

  195. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I dont think antibiotic treatment is a problem. I would just support them with good probiotic like fast balance from 1800petmeds.

  196. Eric Sugi
    Posted February 5, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Doctor, for your advice. I’ll check out fast balance at 1800petmeds.

  197. Susan
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Hi, my friend would is rescuing a podenco from Spain, she has had it blood tested and these are the results:-

    Leishmania infanfum inferior 1/40

    Dirofilaria inmitis Negativo

    Ehrlichia Canis 1/100

    The dog was treated with Doxycycline for 21 Days, and was told by the rescue people, she will be cured after the treatment, and will be fine, apparently it showed no symptoms, and it just showed up on the routine blood tests before adoption. I am not sure about this as don’t know what these levels mean, I’m frightened that if my friend does adopt this dog, it will be plagued with I’ll health, I would be very grateful if you would give an opinion on this?

  198. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Not sure about the leishmania results but the ehrlichia results only indicate exposure to this disease and not necessary current active infection. I would periodically monitor CBC blood counts in dog like this to make sure no platelet or other bone marrow issues but usually these dogs are fine.

  199. Richie
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I need some advise . My puppy almost 5 months old now a male (corgi x maltese mix) has low platelet count. My vet gave me 3 medicines doxyvet(antibioic), Polynerve (vitamin b complex) and liverolin (for the liver). But after more than a month of taking the medicines the vet told me that my pup still has low platelet count I want to ask for a second opinion already with another vet. What should i do? i want to give her anti rabies shots and 5 in 1 but my vet refuses to. He likes to play bite a lot and sometimes we get wounded.

  200. susan
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your reply, so in your honest opinion, do you think this dog will be OK?

  201. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Hard to say. Every case is different.

  202. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Your vet is right NO VACCINATIONS while a pet is suffering from low platelet counts and infectious diseases. SIde effects could be severe. May be worth second opinion from vet specialist in internal medicine, however main thing they typically do is add prednisone to the treatment regimen, as many of these dogs have overactive immune systems destroying platelet numbers, etc

  203. Richie
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for replying Dr. Michael Dym.

  204. Kathryn
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    My 6 year old lab/ Shepard mix just went for her yearly checkup and was diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis. We live in New England so it had to have happened while vacationing in August in the Outer Banks. She has had no symptoms and is going back to the vet for a blood draw today and to begin treatment. What is to be expected? Could there be long-term effects for not being diagnosed for over 6 months? Thanks a bunch!

  205. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    HI Kathryn. This is VERY poorly understood disease. The positive test only means your dog has been exposed at some point; not necessarily having active infection. Many vets will treat with 3 to 4 weeks of doxycycline anyway. I would also consider working with a homeopathic vet to raise your pet’s health over long period of time. To learn more about homeopathy go to as well as my website Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations.

  206. Darrell Johnson
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    It is hard to feed my dog with this disease. Do you have any tips on what would be easiest for my dog to digest?

  207. Darrell Johnson
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    It can be hard for me to feed my dog. What would be an easy food for him to digest.

  208. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    HI Darrell. I prefer low carb, high protein diets like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds. I also LOVE proper home made diets. see the recipes at my friend Chef Loreen Playford’s website at Use my name as a referral

  209. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Answered above.

  210. Linz
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Dr. Dym,
    I have a 3 year old lab that I obtained from another state (Missouri) which is warmer in climate than my state (Indiana) and typically has worse tick and mosquito problems. I got her when she was 1.5 years old. When I picked her up, I proceeded to my vet and did an overall checkup. Well, she came back positive for heartworm which has now been treated, and she is clear of. This past weekend, I took her back into the vet, because we have been trying to breed her for the last 2 heat cycles (both of which she was in good health and clear of heartworm), with no puppies. So, my vet suggested another round of bloodwork and she came back with a slightly lowered platelet count from when she had it tested over 1.5 years ago for the heartworm treatment, her thyroid is 1 (which is low to normal), everything else is in a normal range, but she tested positive for Ehrlichia. Vet immediately had me start a 4 week run of doxy. Here are my questions – based on the research that I am doing, the blood test just checks for the antibodies to Ehrlichia, not the organism itself, correct? Also, is it possible that she is positive without actually having it? I have decided to go ahead with the medication, better to be safe than sorry. I find it very interesting that she shows no major physical symptoms. She is a working dog, and regularly is a couple pounds under ideal weight, because she works 3-6 hours a day. But, no other physical symptoms of this horrible disease. Should I retest her after the meds are done? If so, how long after? Because, I am worried that I won’t see any symptoms since there haven’t been any so far. Another question is will she potentially be able to conceive if she tests negative for the Ehrlichia after this round of meds? Or is the fertility loss, a long term thing? I really appreciate the help! Thanks!

  211. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Blood tests for these only measures exposure. to Ehrlichia at some point in past, and if CBC/platelet blood counts are normal, no limping, fevers or joint issues, I would leave the situation alone and only monitor. May be worthwhile to work with a holistic veterinarian on building his immune system up. I am not fan of treating positive exposure tests. Only if pet has clinical symptoms

  212. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    To learn more about holistic treatment support of pets like this see my website at Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  213. Shelly T
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I have a foster dog that tested positive for Ehrlichia on the SNAP4 test so she had thirty days of doxycyline. After thirty days my vet did a retest (another SNAP4) and it came back positive so he prescribed another 30 days of doxy. I feel like he is over medicating my dog and she has no symptoms. Is the second round of antibiotics necessary? I need to be able to adopt her out and have something to tell adopters about her condition. Thanks!

  214. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why your vet is basing his prescription of more antibiotics based on a positive Snap test. This test will remain positive for months. I only use 30 days of antibiotics in my practice.

  215. Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink 3month old shih tzu has ehrlichia and it possible that my puppy can survive???

  216. Posted May 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    2-3 month old puppies get sick after eating ivory soap, vomit a couple of times and milk was given…. one seemed fine in a day but the other became lethargic after three days now it seems puppy is suddenly blind bumping into things. Ticks are present on mother. Could the above disease and treatment be possible? I haven’t seen them yet I was told this by the person who is keeping them for me while I transition housing. When I do get to them tomorrow am not sure what to do because I’m on a very low budget.

  217. Posted May 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I once saved a puppy with parvo….. he was very lethargic and began pooping blood so I ran him to a vet I couldn’t afford and ended up injectinformation him with about 2cc of ivomet a cattle shot….. took him to a vet that was affordable. That gave him a steroid shot antibiotics and fluids…..took him home and gave him water with a syringe and administered antibiotics and fed him water from boiled ground beef and water out of tuna….. once he got strong enough to stand on his own he was only fed ground beef boiled and I would not throw away all the water as I knew the fat was helping him…. he survived and I’m appointment thankful for it

  218. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. With intense dedicated nursing care, parvo puppies may often survive.

  219. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Puppy illness likely nothing to do with tick born illness but probable ingesting these things.

  220. Isabel
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Will the blindness be reversible? I just got to her and the whole white part of both eyes is blood red… Im taking her to the vet in a few minutes waiting on a friend to drop off a few dollars… what could I be dealing with?

  221. Valerie Consoer
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I took my little chihuahua/dachshund in because she was dragging her bottom and she seemed to be in pain. The vet cleaned her anal glands and found a little bit of infection. She wanted to get a blood draw to check her CBC. When I got the call with results of Erlichia and Anaplasmosis, I naturally got worried. Three days later, her platelet count doubled- good news right? Well this morning (2 weeks later), they said her platelet count was even lower than her first blood draw. The vet tech pretty much told us to enjoy our little dog, Annie, while we have her. Can this be fatal? I’m panicking. Annie is my everything! I hate to think that her health will get worse.

  222. Darren
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink


    I have a 5yr old shih tzu and is positive in EHRLICHIA with infection in his kidney and liver. He is in Jaundice (yellowish skin). He is now being treated in vet clinic, do you think he can survive? I hope sooo. pls give me some advice. Thanks!

  223. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    HI Darren. I would follow your vet’s advice regarding meds like doxycycline and prednisone if needed. You may want to consult with a holistic or homeopathic vet as well. To learn more and to locate a vet in your area go to and look up referring vets trained in homeopathy across country.

  224. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    HI Valerie. A positive test does not necessarily mean active infection but means exposure at some point in life. Ask for more confirmatory tests to see if truly an infection, such as a PCR test. Also consider consulting with a homeopathic vet to boost her immune system. To learn more about homeopathy go to Many homeopathic vets like myself offer phone consultations.

  225. Darren
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Hi Dr Michael,

    Is Doxycycline (medicine for ehrlichia) affects dog’s liver? in that case his liver is getting worst? what can you say or what are your inputs regarding the medication he will be needing.

  226. Darren
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Follow up question, do you ever knew a case that a dog survive in this condition? i”m very worried about his case now :(

  227. Isabel
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Two of my kids were born woth jaundice and the hospital put them under artificial sun rays.Is he getting any sun? If not he needs it really bad………the machine the nursery in the hospital uses is called Billy Ruben(I think)

  228. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    This is done in newborn infants but not dogs.

  229. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi DArren. Doxycycline won’t cause liver problems but in dogs with pre existing liver problems it can sometimes be tough. Other options include working with a veterinary homeopath. To locate one in your area go to referral list on

  230. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I have treated pets with constitutional homeopathy successfully using homeopathic remedies. To learn more go to and

  231. Anna
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Hi! My dog’s platelet count is 39 and is positive for ehrlichia. The vet prescribed 1/2 tab of 100mg doxycycline. The puppy’s weight is 2.5kg. Is the mg too low?

  232. Ashley
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    My 7 year old Shih Tzu was diagnosed with a tick borne disease and given 80 mg of doxycycline once per day and a steroid shot at the vet office. His blood work was low in white blood cells and anemia. I brought him to the vet for his fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Although he acting a little better (more active prior to the medicine, but his old self), his temperature is 101.7 and he is still refusing food he normally would gobble up. Since he doesn’t seem to have much appetite, I have been feeding him pedialyte and homemade baby food which consist of apples, bananas, cooked beef, and rice by syringe. Luckily, he is still drinking water. Is there anything else I can do???

  233. Ashley
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I would like to add my fur baby is 15.67 lbs and started his treatment June 11th, 3 pm for his steroid shot and 5pm for his doxy.

  234. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I would ask vet about ongoing pred or steroid therapy, which is sometimes necessary when there is immune mediated disease with the tick born illnesses. ALso you could explore homeopathy as an option as well. To learn more, go to as well as my website MAny homeopaths offer long distance phone consultations, but process does take time, patience and committment

  235. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    HI Anna. If anything the dose of doxy is TOO high for a 2.5 kg dog. I would also ask vet about possible steroid use for immune mediated component of tick born diseases.

  236. Natasha
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    My Lhasa apso is two years old. He started breathing heavily two days ago. He vomited frothy fluid too. I took him to the vet. He had 104 degrees Fahrenheit fever. The vet did a ehrlichia canis immunoglobin test. It was negative. He suspected ehrlichiosis and started tetracycline IV once a day. My dog has received two doses. He still has 103 degrees fever. He is breathing heavily. Respiratory rate is super high.he is panting. Please help. Do u think diagnosis is correct? What else could it be? Please reply quickly thank you

  237. Joyce
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I have a question. My dog is a rescue from the Caribbean, we brought her home last July since she was blind we were concerned about her care. Recently she hasn’t been eating and had lost weight, did a blood panel which indicated leukemia. We did a another test and had it sent to the University of Colorado. I chatted with the woman from the shelter where we got the dog, she said to check for Ehrlichia so we did a titer for that also. She tested positive for Elrlichia so we have been treating her with doxycycline. Now the test has come back and the T Cells indicate either Lymphoma or Leukemia. My vet is suggesting to see an oncologist about an ultrasound and a bone marrow aspirate. The fees I’m getting are over $1000+. Should I wait to see if Stormy recovers from the chronic phase. She is approx. 8 + yrs old and about 14 lbs. Thank you for you time.

  238. Joyce
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I have also read that one cell type, lymphocyte can be confused with certain types of leukemia

  239. plum
    Posted June 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    My 14yr old American Staffordshire Bull Terrier was just diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis and is on Minocycline 100mg 3 caps twice a day for 21 days. My vet didnt tell me much about this. Everything I’m reading still says she may not make it throw this. Any information or guidance is appreciated

  240. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    True Ehrlichia does have guarded prognosis, as sometimes this parasite can cause bleeding problems, low white counts, platelet counts, etc Many dogs become carriers and never get sick the rest of their lives.

  241. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Tough questions. Sorry to hear about your dog. Consulting with oncologist probably best conventional vet move. Also consider exploring homeopathy. To learn more see the information and referral list on website

  242. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Does not sound like correct diagnosis to me esp if test negative. Ask for complete Blood work, x rays and ultrasound.

  243. Joyce
    Posted June 25, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your response. After seeing the oncologist it is not all gloomy news. I have hope of having Stormy for a few more years. Thanks again!

  244. Posted June 26, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Do some research on “booster shots” and rabies vaccine. It is not surprising that your dog had severe health problems after she had her “annual rabies vaccination.” I have 14 rescued dogs. I live in Panama where we have no rabies and fortunately, no type of vaccines are legally required. Only one of my dogs has had the rabies vaccine (before I knew better). She has health problems including head tilt and I’m sure that and her other health problems were caused by the rabies vaccine. Other than the one rabies vaccine for one dog, all of my dogs were vaccinated for everything AFTER they were six months of age, and they will never get a “booster” shot. Many informed vets, who care to do research, now believe that a vaccine given after 6 months of age is good for life.

  245. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    HI Claire. THANKS for sharing. All excellent points. There are growing number of holistic minded vets who support your positions. To learn more, see my website

  246. Tori
    Posted June 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    My 55 lb dog tested positive for Lyme disease and shows no symptoms. She’s chasing ducks in the water and running around the park 5-6 hours at a time and hasn’t lost her appetite at all. The vet suggested 200mg of doxycycline every 12 hrs. Is this right because I see you suggested 2.5mg to 5mg per lb and I don’t want to overdose her. Thanks!

  247. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tori. Your vet’s dose is fine as mine is range from 2.5 to 5 mg per pound once to twice daily. Whether to treat an asymptomatic dog who tests positive is controversial. Many dogs exposed to lyme disease, can test positive but most never show any signs of disease or infection.

  248. Debbie
    Posted June 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    My 4 month old boxer was diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis a week ago. He was just released from the vets office and we brought him home yesterday. He is on doxicyline, amoxicillin, tramadol, and lasix. He is still rather swollen and has no function of either leg on his right side. He can sit up with a lot of effort bit he cannot stand or walk. Will this come back? Is there anything we can do to help rehab him back to walking?
    Thank you.

  249. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like another diagnosis has been missed here as Ehrlichia does not cause paralysis like this typically. Sometimes oral cortisone like prednisone can help, so I would have recheck exam with your vet.

  250. Maya
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi, my dog Jasper recently tested positive for Ehrlichia, so I brought him to a vet who put him on Amoxicilin. He vomitted while being on two pills a day, so I gave him a break and re-started him at one pill a day. But after a few days of that, he peed about a 1/4 of a tablespoon of blood (that I know of) in his pee. Could this be the Ehrlichia, Amoxicilin or something else? Thank you so much!

  251. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Could be related to Ehrlichia which affects bone marrow and blood clotting in some dogs due to affect on platelet numbers. I also prefer a prescription antibiotic different than amoxi. Doxycycline is first choice in most cases and I would ask your vet about this.

  252. Tammy
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    My 11 year old Black Lab has been diagnosed with Ehrlichia He has not shown any symptoms The vet prescribed Minocycline 100 mg.because he said that the Doxycycline has gone through the roof in costs. Although when I tried to fill the prescription for the minocycline it is $200-375.00 for 224 capsules. Is this accurate, and will the minocycline work as well?

  253. Irene
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    What is the LONG TERM prognosis for a 12 month old Toy Manchester infected and treated for Ehrlichiosis at 12 weeks? He developed slight bowing of his stifle joints, but runs, jumps and currently shows no ill effects. His vet says he’s in excellent health. He is out of 2 champions and even won points at a recent AKC dog show! I was worried about arthritis as I am thinking of buying him for a pet. I have videos of him running and jumping the same as his sister. I would appreciate a professional response if possible.

  254. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Many dogs dont have any problems with chronic relapsing arthritic symptoms from Ehrlichia , however occasionally in other dogs a chronic relapsing infection is possible. I would make sure on good natural low carb, low grain diet like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds, as well as use supplements like proanthozone from 1800petmeds, as well as yucca intensive glycoflex.

  255. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Minocycline should work as well, but not sure of price.

  256. Irene
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your response. I also know not to allow these dogs to get overly stressed. The terrier has had 3 x-rays looking for joint issues, but none were found in spine, hips or legs. Breeder says the muscles running along the stifle joint were compromised and the legs have compensated by developing larger thighs. He looks like he works out! LOL I’m not as worried about this, as I would be joint problems and would definitely keep him on a specific diet.

  257. Tammy
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Also, after calling around – I was able to find the Doxycycline – which is what he wanted to prescribe in the first place. But the Vet Clinic where I found it, said that to give my 11 year old, 91 lb. Lab 400 mg. in the AM and then 400 mg. in the PM was way too much. She recommended only giving him 200 mg. in the AM and 200 mg. in the PM. What is correct?

  258. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Dose of doxy has wide range from 2.5 to 5 mg per pound once to twice daily. 200 mg twice daily is a bit low…. I would go with minimum dose of 250 mg twice daily to a maximum dose of 500 mg twice daily.

  259. Wendy
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    My asymptomatic dog is at the end of her doxycycline treatment for Lyme disease and I’ve noticed that she has 1.5 pills left when she shouldn’t have any. Since she missed one of her AM/PM dosages, do I have to restart her the treatment? THANKS!

  260. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    No need to restart the doxy…Should be fine.

  261. Alex
    Posted July 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    i have a 10 year old mutt mix her name is misty. I love my dog with all my heart she has gotten me through some rough times and i refuse to let this crap hurt her she was just diagnosed with Ehrlichia but she has no signs of the test just came up positive my worst fear is that it will eventually hurt her or get worse. We always use her monthly tick medicine and i just cant believe this has happened to her. Do you think if we give her the doxy treatment that it will eradicate this crap before it gets bad or before it activates in her body. After reading these stories i am so disheartened and feel like no dog gets better from this. Please advise should we do the antibiotics now while she is still strong and normal. I feel like waiting for symptoms to occur is a terrible idea.

  262. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I think a one month course of doxycycline is fine to use now, but there are no guarantees that this will eradicate the disease, as some dogs still have chronic ehrlichia that can resurface later. I find working with holistic vets the best way at helping build the immune system, given the limitations of simply antibiotics alone in curing this.

  263. Jeremy
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    My 3 1/2 year old pitbull Ray has been diagnosed with ehrlichia. About a month ago he wasnt eating and sick so we took him to the Vet and they tested for ehrlichia and was negative. A few days later he looked better and was playing more. I was like ok bad food or something. Fast forward a to July 23-24 he started having seizures. Then late on the 24th had major seizure I thought he was going to die. Called emergency Vet (different vet)at 3 in morning they gave him valium and IV and retested him where he tested postive plus high liver values and blood cell count bad. He stayed there for 5 days and put on Doxy and liver herbs,it was not until the 4th day he looked a little better with less salivation but still off from seizure. We took him home this Wenesday and he had two more small seizures but has not had any since. At times it seems like he is getting better but now he is limping alot more even thou he has been limping a little for a year (wonder if this caused it). Right now he is much better than he was but I am still worried about my best buddy. Here is a few questions if you could please answer.

    How long on average does it take before antibiotic take affect and you see a difference in liver and blood cell count?

    Will the limping subside when the disease is under control and is there any supplement I can give him?

    Even thou it is different for every dog in your experience what is the normal time frame that a dog responds to treatment and returns to his oldself?

    Thank You for your time and support. It is harder here in Mexico to get answers from Vets than in the US.

  264. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Usually antibiotics work within 2 to 3 weeks to see effects on liver and count. Limping should subside. Try supplements like proanthozone and yucca intensive from 1800petmeds. Usually dogs respond within a few weeks. I find this disease difficult to predict in response to traditional drugs. You may want to consult with homeopathic vet To learn more about homeopathy go to as well as my website Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  265. Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    my dog has been diagnosed with tick disease, here in Guanacaste costa rica. her eyes are very cloudy with a lot of discharge.this has persisted for over two weeks of antibiotic therapy, two pills twice a day. it looks like she is going blind. for two days there has been a spot of blood in the middle of her eye. is there hope for saving her vision? is this a symptom of the tick disease or something else? she is also on antibiotic eyedrops twice a day but i don’t see much improvement. Help!

  266. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    The bleeding in the eye can occur as a result of bleeding tendency from the tick born disease. I would make sure she has been on antibiotic like doxycycline for several weeks orally. Also ask vet for referral to specialist in your area if possible.

  267. Jeremy
    Posted August 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Her liver enzymes are probably real high make sure she gets something for the liver. I live in mexico and know its had to get some stuff but if you can get Country Life Liver Support Factors did my dog wonders. Believe me my dod was in bad shape coundnt see for days was on some other liver supplement here once I changed to Country Life it was incredible. Good luck with her she can come back.

  268. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing.

  269. Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    muchas grracias for your input and support. the eyes have cleared up considerably and she seems to be much better now.
    i will try to find the liver booster here.
    thanks again!
    Perla thanks you too!

  270. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Perla the dog’s name?….You and her are very welcome!!!

  271. Likk Mii
    Posted October 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    What ever you do stay away from anything with high levels of iron or you’re wasting your time with doxy.

  272. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 6, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing that useful information

  273. Eric Sugi
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Hello Dr, Dym,

    My 2 dogs were prescribed with Doxy for 30 days but platelet count was still low 2 weeks after. They were then given 2 shots of Imizol, 2 weeks apart, then a test “confirmed” they were cured of Ehrlichia. Should I have then retested and this time with ELISA? Thanks a million.

  274. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I would retest in 3 months. So happy for you and your pet

  275. Grace
    Posted November 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I have a dog that needs to travel overseas but has failed the tick fever test due to it’s history and will not be permitted to travel. Is there a possibility of it ever testing negative eventually? Thanks!

  276. Freddy Fagundes
    Posted December 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I adopted a street dog just three months ago. She is about two years old and similar in appearance to a small labrador. She needed to be treated for tick infestation. She was symptomless but overnight developed blue eye and two days later she became completelyblind even though the blue appeared to be improving. She is aneamic also but eating well, full of energy and has no symptoms other than the blindness. She is being treated with Doxy. Could someone let me know the probability of her recovering her eyesight. Thanks.

  277. Natalie Kay
    Posted December 4, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dr Dym
    Our dog tested positive for E canis using IFA test her titer is 1:100. Could I ask is that high? what is the point at which the test will come back negative? also how long do you think it would take for the antibodies to reduce to show a negative result. She has not been symptomatic, we never found a tick, no hikes (we live in manhattan) and are now doing a re-test. We are due to export her back to australia and are beside ourselves with worry. Any advice is so greatly appreciated.

  278. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Great questions. Noone knows how long titers will last on exposure to Ehrlichia, as well as no one really knows if positive titers mean a dog ever had symptoms or will ever get sick. It just means exposure. Not sure about what levels would be for test to come out negative. Given how the only traditional options we have are multiple courses of doxycycline and/or prednisone if your dog becomes clinical, I would try improving her overall level of health through a more holistic life style, etc

  279. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Hard to say answer to this. I would make appointment to see veterinary opthomologist to evaluate eyesight and long term prognosis.

  280. Freddy Fagundes
    Posted December 6, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dr Dun, thank you for answering so many questions on this site. I am from Brazil and each vet here gives a different diagnosis/prognosis etc. for which they charge a lot. Three days after 150 mg 2X day Doxy her eyes are clearing nicely from zombie white to brown again. She appears to be regaining a little of her sight and there is still some cloudiness so hopefully that will clear and her sight return.

  281. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 6, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Many pets will test negative with time and if they are not re exposed. That could be months or even years in some cases. Every pet is different.

  282. Jackie
    Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I am with rescue in Florida. Many dogs come out and test positive for Ehrlichia . The vet is using the following dosage. 6/100mg doxi a day for 30 days.. Please advise if this is too much. It seems a bit extreme and it is very costly due to the outrageous prices the pharmas have hike the doxi up to . Does tetracycline do the same thing, have the same results and with no side effects? If so, what is the dosage. Please give in layman terms as I am not a vet :-) Thanks so much

  283. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Dose of doxycycline is 2.5 to 5 mg per pound once to twice daily in a dog fro 3 to 4 weeks. Tablets or capsules come in 50 or 100 mg strength. As for tetracycline, i dont like using it because it causes more digestive upset and must be given three times daily.

  284. ding
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Hi Dr Dym,
    I was in the process of exporting my dog to Australia unfortunately he was tested mild positive by the local vet e-canis test but his blood count was normal. The vet advised to give him 6 months doxy treatment before proceed with the lab test and further exporting procedures. I’m confused when Ehrlichia should affect the blood counts but his blood counts is fine but yet tested positive. I’m staying back in Singapore just for his relocation thingy. I’m so worry if he would failed the test after 6 months. Does the lab test concern on both the blood count and antibodies or just the antibodies itself?

  285. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I would look at both the blood count AND the antibody test, but the antibody test can remain positive for years. I personally dont treat lab values, but the patient and only if clinical. I at most put dogs on 1-2 months of doxycycline, and then stop

  286. Sarah
    Posted January 29, 2015 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Very curious on what you did find out from the oncologists we have a very similar situation only kinda reversed. First told infection (none specified) and had been treating for that then was told t-cell lymphoma so started treating with prednisone and stopped the doxy after only 2weeks.

  287. Ody
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


    I’m from the Philippines. I have three male shih tzus (6 yrs, 5 yrs and 1 yr old). Last December, they were all diagnosed and treated for Ehrlichia infection, with the oldest one showing the worst symptoms (severe bruising). They are okay now. However, after about two weeks that they stopped their meds, the oldest one started showing signs of dominance and aggression. He would snap and bite my 5 yr old, even drawing blood. The 5 yr old now fights back and our home is becoming a big fighting arena. The 6 yr old does not attack the 1 yr old. Before all of this, the 6 yr old and the 5 yr old have been co-existing exeptionally well and we WERE in a state of perfect peace. Is there any clinical or even anecdotal reports of behavioral changes following treatment of Ehrlichiosis? If there is none, what could be causing their “sudden” behavioral changes. Thanks a lot.

  288. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Because Ehrlichia can cause neurological pathology in some pets, it is possible to see behavioral changes theoretically.

  289. bernie
    Posted April 6, 2015 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    My dog has a ehrlichiosis .. but she is pregnant.. what should i do.. and she is not eating..

  290. Sally
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I have adopted a 12 week old Sri Lankan stray pup. The initial blood test was neg for tick fever however he had low platelets (140) and his PCV was 21 so also anaemic. I was worried about false neg test result so got him tested again and tested positive for e.canis via blood taken from the ear. Platelets stayed the same (140) and PCV had risen slightly to 23. Have been advised by vet to treat with Doxy for 3 weeks. My question is ‘is treating with doxy is warranted?’ He has no clinical symptoms (apart from pale pink gums) however I’m concerned about the anaemia and low platelets if left untreated. If treated can this be cured with doxy or is there a chance he can still test positive after treatment? What test do you recommend as the most accurate? I live in Sri lanka but plan to take this dog with me to Australia in 2 years. Thank you

  291. Ron
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Hello. My pitbull was diagnosed with Ehrlichia, and is currently being treated with meds and is on IV. The redness in her eyes is disappearing, but she still does not eat any of her food for the past 3 days. It’s already been two days since she was admitted to the hospital. My question is how can we restore her appetite? Her vet has already given supplements to enhance her appetite, but she still refuses the food that we give her. Thank you very much in advance for your advice.

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  293. Deni
    Posted June 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi I have a 9 year old Great Dane. Recently she hadn’t been getting around good and we thought if was just arthritis because that does become an issue in bigger dogs as they age. But it got worse and then she stopped eating, began having trouble breathing, etc… On Monday night of last week she seemed dramatically worse and we decided to take her to the vet the next morning. Around 4am Tuesday morning my husband got up to go to the bathroom and I immediately set up in bed. When he got to her she was cold and lifeless, barely breathing. I jumped up and grabbed her head and started talking to her, she opened her eyes and took a huge gulp of air. If we hadn’t got up when we did I done think she would have made it I think she would have just given up. She struggled all morning, had two seizures, it was awful! We carried her out of the house and loaded her in the back of the truck thinking we were taking her to have her put down. Once we got her in the truck she stood up, very wobbly but did. She set up the whole way to the vet, walked in but she just looked awful, but at this point we were feeling optimistic. Sh tested positive for Erhlichia. They gave her a shot and sent us home with pain meds for the joint pain and antibiotics. She did good for a couple of days and then went down hill again. So on Wednesday the 17th I took her back to the Vet. Only this time to find out her immune system is now attacking her red blood cells. He says they are going to add steroids and we go over stuff and he leaves the room only to come back a few minutes later and tell me change of plans. We can’t give her the steroids with the pain meds and she needs those more right now and that the original prescriptions were wrong. The first vet had the dosage wrong for her weight. We went from 2 100mg Doxy a day to six a day and 1 Vetprofen a day to 2 a day, big difference!!!
    We are concerned that because of the wrong dosage amount prescribed by the first vet that this could have caused the Immune issues and worsened her situation even more. She is still off food, refusing to eat and if she does it is very very small amounts. Very lethargic, difficulty breathing and has now developed a cough.
    What would be your recommendations at this time time?

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