My dog tested positive for Lyme disease

Lyme disease is transmitted by tick bite, most commonly the deer tick.

May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease transmitted by tick bite, most commonly the deer tick. Particularly during the warm months many pets can be bitten by ticks carrying this disease. Lyme disease is most commonly seen in the northeast and mid-sections of the United States, but has been documented in many other states as well. Lyme disease is most commonly seen in dogs, as cats seem to be more resistant to the organism. Most pets that are naturally exposed to Lyme disease never develop any symptoms or get sick. Therefore if a pet “tests positive” for Lyme disease, it does not necessarily mean that a pet is sick or infected, or needs treatment.

For instance, many pets will get over the disease on their own but can remain positive on a blood test for months or years. Many veterinarians have a simple blood test that can tell you within minutes if your pet has been exposed to Lyme disease. Other laboratory tests such as a western blot or C6 blood test can be done; however, in my experience they are rarely needed in clinical practice.

In the event a Lyme disease positive pet is symptomatic then antibiotic therapy should be instituted. Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Swollen glands
  • Fever
  • Limping (which can be a shifting lameness in different legs)
  • And occasionally kidney and heart/nervous system complications

In some situations involving Labradors and Golden Retrievers, dog breeds such as these appear to have a higher genetic predisposition to the kidney form of Lyme disease when compared to other breeds. Treatment usually consists of 3 to 6 weeks of antibiotic therapy, most commonly Doxycycline, which can also treat other hidden tick-borne diseases. There are vaccinations available for Lyme disease; however, in my opinion and experience the vaccinations may not be effective and I am concerned about long term autoimmune problems. It is for this reason the best prevention against Lyme disease is using year-round flea and tick control.


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  1. My dog was not eating for a couple of days so I brought him, (Sam) to our vet. She did a urine analysis which detected protein in his urine. They then did a blood test that showed he was positive for Lyme disease and prescribed the antibiotic doxycycline 100mg. Out of twelve doeses he threw up 5x so they said to discontinue the med. At first he was still being finicky about what he would eat, (he liked cooked turkey bacon) but now he seems fine. They wanted me to bring in another urine sample to look for protein in his urine. He does not have any symptoms, so it does not appear necessary. Also should I fine an antibiotic he can tolerate such as amoxicilline 2x for 30 days and continue the treatment?

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Monitoring the urine for protein loss is more important than the antibiotic. Amoxicillin would be an acceptable alternative.

  3. Hello,

    My 4 month old Great Pyrenees just tested positive for lyme disease (we believe he came from the breeder with it, but we can not dispositively prove it).

    It appears as if the standard course of treatment is to give him a tetracycline such as doxycycline or amoxicillin, however according to the information on the Cornell Baker Institute, such medications should not be given to young dogs. Do you know why?

    Besides stained teeth, what other concerns should we have about giving him a tetracycline medication? Are there any effective alternatives which may be safer?

    Also, what long term effects will the disease have on our dog? Will it effect his growth rate, or leave him with permanent joint problems? Will his auto-immune system and/or life expectancy be compromised?

    Any help you can offer is appreciated!!!!!


  4. My dog , a toy poodle, was just diagnosed with being infected. I could not believe it since we barely took him outside. We do have many many deers around this area. She got sick all of a sudden, she did not want to use both front paws and was in total pain. She looked so sick and in a lot of pain but after commencing medication immediately started feeling better and its back to herself. today is her 4th day. She barely slept when the symptoms started. It was terrible. Im reading about the possibility of the treatment not being 100 percent effective and im a little worried. I read about giving them probiotics and other alternative natural remedies. I will do that as well. If anybody knows further please advise

  5. By the way the vet told me to make sure she drank the antibiotic with food and im doing just that to prevent upset stomach and other issues. By the way the pill is so big (too big for a small dog). My dog was limping both front legs and i was told this was very unusual or at least the vet never saw any puppy doing that.

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    The homeopathic remedy ledum in 30c potency twice daily for 2-3 days may be worth using in cases of lyme disease. Probiotics are helpful to offset some of negative side effects of antibiotics such as naturevet enzymes from 1800petmeds.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Limping on both front legs is not typical presentation.

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Andrew. Great questions. I have not found using doxycyline in young animals a problem in clinical practice, in terms of side effects or long term complications. It is also interesting to see how your pet tested positive at such as young age. Usually a positive test only means exposure. Unless your dog has clinical signs of lyme disease i.e stiffness, limping, lymph node enlargement, fever, lethargy, etc I sometimes wont even treat. Most pets do not have long term complications.

  9. I just got home from the vet and after having the “snap” blood test my 11 month old pugalier tested positive for lyme disease. She has no clinical signs or symptoms of lyme but my vet recommended the c6 blood test to give a value or titer and if the value came back over 30 then she will be treated with doxycycline for 30 days…The vet said she will always test positive for lyme now and will have to have a titer every 6 months….What do you think about that information?

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I dont treat lab values. As long as your dog has NO symptoms of lyme disease then I dont worry about it. Even with a C6 test greater than 30, if there are no signs I dont personally treat as no evidence shows any benefit.

  11. Pingback: Symptoms of Lyme Disease

  12. My 7 year old Pomeranian just tested positive for Lyme Disease. We did find a tick on him about 1 and a half months ago and immediately removed it with Tweezers. He doesn’t have any of the usual symptoms indicated above but has had what seems to be an eye infection since Sunday. Have you ever seen symptoms such as this before?

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    The eye infection has nothing to do with lyme exposure. If your dog has no symptoms of lyme disease, then I personally dont treat. The eye infection should be treated by your local veterinarian with appropriate prescription topical medication.

  14. after 2 weeks of intermittent loss of appetite/vommiting, my vet finally figured out that my dog has lyme when he started presenting symptoms in his hind legs. he has not been able to hold down the doxycycline and/or the rimadyl and hasn’t eaten anything in 2 days. what can i do to ensure that he gets the antibiotic? very worried.

  15. 6 y/o lab mix – after 2 weeks of intermittent loss of appetite/vommiting, my vet finally figured out that my dog has lyme when he started presenting symptoms in his hind legs. he has not been able to hold down the doxycycline and/or the rimadyl and hasn’t eaten anything in 2 days. what can i do to ensure that he gets the antibiotic? very worried.

  16. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    If vomiting and not eating, may need injectable antibiotics at vet initially.

  17. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Answered above.

  18. I have a 1 1/2 year old mixed Border Collie/Husky that just got his check up today and the doctor tested him for heartworm and lyme disease and he came up positive for lyme disease. I noticed you recommendations not to treat if there are no symptoms. Which we are leaning towards because our dog has a ton of energy and eats what ever he can get his hands on. However the vet stated new studies have shown treatment early even if there are no symptoms is the new thought. Curious your thoughts on that?

  19. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I am not familiar with any research documenting the efficacy of treating lyme positive dogs who have no symptoms. So I dont usually recommend treatment in asymptomatic animals.

  20. I asked my vet if he could run a tick tichter test on my sick dog, as some of her symptoms were the same as lymes disease, and I had found ticks on her in May. When I went to check out, I was SHOCKED to learn the cost was $203.00 for this test!! Is this right??( My vet had to send it to a lab, and it took 48 hours for the results to come back. ) I had no idea this would cost so much…..does this seem right to you or should I question my vet?

  21. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    the lyme or tick tests can cost this much when sent out to outside lab. Many vets carry an Idex in house lyme/ehrlichia/heartworm test which is usually alot cheaper. Call around in your area for a vet who has this test.

  22. My 8 year old Golden/husky/Collie mix was diagnosed a year ago with lyme disease. She was treated with antibiotics. In this year’s exam we were told that she still has the disease and she only has 2 years until she will lose her muscles and have severe arthritis. The vet said she was a stage/level 2 of 5 and offered no follow up treatment.

    Is there anything we can do to fend off the disease? Does this sound like a typical situation? Most of the website I have found suggest that lyme disease is treatable and make no mention of what I was told. I would love to give our dog as many healthy years as I can.

    Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

  23. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    So sorry to hear that your vet overscared you with a diagnosis of lyme disease. This diagnosis is often made by results of a positive test which often means a dog was exposed to lyme disease and not necessarily infected. Many vets give clients a doomsday prognosis when in fact many pets dont have lyme disease at all, especially if no symptoms are present. I would consider consulting a homeopathic vet to buildup your pet’s health. To learn more see or my website Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations.

  24. Thank you, I appreciate your speedy reply. I will certainly look into this information.

  25. My dog has lyme and was on doxycycline for over a month and is not eatting anything and loosing significant weight. She has nephritiis and I am giving her pepcid ac once a day and blood pressure meds. What do I do to get her to eat, I have offered her everything. She is a lab and used to love to eat.

  26. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I would consider giving subq fluids at home or perhaps have kidney values rechecked as disease may be worsening and may need IV fluids, etc. Lyme based kidney disease has poor prognosis unfortunately.

  27. \hi i have a dog SPRINGER she was bite my a tick the doctor gave me the pills ehrlichia antibaotics and shes positive .past 2 days from the first pill we gave her but she not eatingg NOTHING (IN NORMAL Life she lovess veryy veryy foodd )\

  28. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 19, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I would stop the antibiotic and call your vet if she has stopped eating to reconsider antibiotic choice and/or have her rechecked.

  29. My 9 year old dog has recurring symptoms from Lyme disease. In June 2012 he was put on a 3 wk course of doxycycline 100mg and the symptoms subsided. October 2012 they reoccured and again was given a 3wk course of doxcycline but this time he could not take the med without throwing up. So he was switched to 30 days course of amoxicillin 500mg. The symptoms returned again on Sat. Since there was no vet available and I had some left over doxcycline from when he was vomiting I tried it again. This time he could take the med. Went back to the vet today and was given a script for doxcycline 100mg again but I can not located this med. No one has it in stock, except a local pharmacy for $270. Should I got back to the vet and get amoxicillin instead? Can that be used after a few days of doxycycline?

  30. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 7, 2013 at 3:33 am

    I would check with your vet on going back on Amoxicillin which should be fine after the doxy

  31. Hi, My 3 year old goldendoodle was limping for 3 days starting monday. He maintained the right hind leg off the floor for the three days. He had no signs of pain or discomfort when I thoroughly manipulated the leg and paw. His appetite was never affected. He may have been a little depressed.
    I have an appointment with the vet but, he is better now and back to his extremely playfulself and running fine, even running after cats and playing with other dogs. I’d rather not pay the $200 or more that the visit will cost me to get inconclusive feedback.

    I am concerned that he may have cotracted Lyme disease as I found 3 blood filled ticks on him at least 2 days after a hiking excursion.

    Could he have had a symptom of Lyme disease? Should he be treated?

  32. The ticks were found on him early this past fall.

  33. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 10, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Lyme disease is possible, as is a partial tear of the cruciate ligament in the stifle. Best to have vet check and assessment for best treatment plan. I wouldnot simply treat him for lyme disease without a blood test.

  34. My 8 month old puppy went for his pre neutering blood work. Everything tested fine except for Lyme. Since we did not look this up first we put him right on the meds that the vet prescribed. Two days later he was lethargic and very sad looking,he peed the bed and we rushed him back to the vet where they found him with a fever of 105.7. They hooked him up to an IV and gave him fluids and kept him over night. Today we get him back the fever is gone the meds have been changed but he still isn’t our fun and excited puppy. We are taking him back tomorrow but I just want better incite. They say the meds may have caused the first reaction but he’s still not better should we take him off the meds. We want our baby back.

  35. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 8, 2013 at 1:41 am

    HI Dawn. I NEVER treat a dog for lyme disease based on an in office positive lyme test which only means past exposure and not necessarily current infection. I would suggest working with a holistic vet to restore your pet’s health through homeopathy and dietary therapy. To learn more see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  36. My 7-year-old Doberman tested positive for Lymes disease several months ago. He has been on Doxycycline (4 100mg capsules 2 times a day) and Famotodine (generic for pepcid) to protect his stomach from being irritated (2 100mg pills 2 times a day). After each 30 day period, I take him back for recheck just to be informed that he is still testing positive (a high positive) and he has to remain on the meds. During our most recent re-check, the vet changed the antibiotic to Menocycline and indicated he might respond better. This is costing me a small fortune. Since he is not showing any symptoms at all, his weight is good, he is happy, and strong, and simply doesn’t act sick at all. Should I continue with the regiment of medication indefinitely as the vet suggested it could take months or even a year before he’s rid of the disease?

  37. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I NEVER treat lab values but only if the patient is symptomatic of lyme disease. I would not spend or waste money or jeopardize your pet’s immune health with overuse of antibiotics, as many pets remain positive for lyme disease for years.

  38. My dog got fixed at the end of January. Apparently their system is to do a Lyme/Worm test. It came back positive and she was given doxycycline for 30 days to treat her. From what I’ve read online it doesn’t mean she’s got a high level of it where she could have been exposed. I usually bring her for her shots to Petco, so I didn’t really want to bring her to the vet unless I needed to which I was going to do. But it looks like you are saying that unless she has symptoms not to treat her. The place I brought her is not our veterinarian, so not a place I trust!! I was supposed to walk out spending $90.00 from the certificate and $250.00 later, so needless to say I’m not happy with that place. I was told to get her retested and to get her on more medication. She is not lethargic or throwing up which seems to be the symptoms that they have with Lyme. Am I correct? Any further symptoms that I should look for if so? Should I be concerned? She is 1 1/2 yrs. old. If you recommend doing nothing is there any concern to that. Thanks for your time!!

  39. hi,
    I would appreciate your reply regarding my query on Ehrlichia and rimadyl please.

  40. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 23, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Rimadyl can also worsen tendency to nose bleeds, which is why I would hesitate using it in chronic ehrlichia patients.

  41. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

    HI Kelley. Many dogs who test positive for lyme disease never need any treatment because they never develop symptoms and overcome any exposure on their own, and therefore I dont treat asymptomatic dogs. It may be helpful to work with a holistic or homeopathic vet to improve your pet’s overall health. To learn more see

  42. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 23, 2013 at 9:01 am

    other symptoms of lyme include fevers, joint swellings, and shifting lameness/stiffness, etc

  43. Thank-you!!

  44. I took my dog for his yearly appt. and he tested positive for lyme and anaplasma I was surprised because my other dog was fine. I took him to another vet after being told to put him on Doxycicline which would cost me 489.00 dollars . When this vet did the test everything came back negative. What should I believe.Thank you for your time

  45. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 18, 2013 at 11:22 am

    If second test was negative, it sounds like first test was false positive.

  46. Hi we took our 8 year old dog (OES) to a vet yesterday Doctor prescribed Glucosamine, Chondrotin along wihith pain killer Remadyl
    Symptoms started ABOUT 4 Days ago – rear right leg limp; 1 swollen gland by his right armpit, and another by left upper armpit area, heavy breathing, discharge of eyes and has been very lathargic
    Bear would not let the doctor examine him, therefore the little that she did she assumed it could be a leg injury or a hip problem or bone cancer. No xray or blood work was done due to his bad scared behavior. We started the meds right away however we were told by a friend that it sounds like Lyme disease so we started him on 500 x2 amoxicillian. He seems as of today to be much better, is this possible? What is your opinion?

  47. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 16, 2013 at 12:50 am

    HArd to say without examining him. REsponse may be from any of the drugs either rimadyl or amoxicillin. Most cases of lyme disease respond rapidly to antibiotic therapy. IF just an injury, rimadyl can help quickly as well. See how goes in coming several days. If relapse. then should have blood work and x rays.

  48. My 8 year old Beagle has had 2 positives for Lyme Disease. 4 & 3 years ago and took the medication. I am afraid he has it again. If he does, can he take a 3rd round of the meds.?

  49. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 27, 2013 at 12:09 am

    I would have vet recheck to see if your dog truly has current lyme infection. There is good blood test like Western blot or PCR that can accurately diagnose. If truly positive then no problem taking antibiotic again.

  50. We took our dog for a routine blood test to be tested for heartworm and got a call from the vet that he had lyme disease, which was shocking to us because he acted perfectly fine. They put him on Doxycycline for 30 days. He acted okay while on it but a couple weeks after he finished that medication, they gave him the immunization against lyme disease and then shortly after that he started throwing up 2-3 times a week. Could the vomiting be caused by the lyme disease or the Doxycycline or the immunization? I asked my vet about this and he said usually if a dog has vomiting due to this medication, they will have it while on the Doxycycline. We’ve now had him back to the vet 3 times for the vomiting and he’s on a bland diet and Pepcid AC but his appetite isn’t good now and he’s losing weight. They’ve done blood work & x-rays and don’t know what’s wrong. Any suggestions?

  51. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Hi Shelly. I have seen chronic disease begin in pets after overmedication, as well as vaccination, etc. Consider trying all natural low carb, low grain diet like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds. Add naturevet enzymes to meals as well as probiotics like fast balance. BEst to work with homeopathic vet on helping restore health over time. To learn more about homeopathy, see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  52. My best canine friend, Willie, has been diagnosed with Lymes disease. He started with this constant crying out if you even came near him let alone touch him. his pain was obvious. He began vomiting, wouldn’t eat, was lethargic, etc. Took him to the vet and she couldn’t find anything wrong. As a nurse, I told her I wanted xray and lab work. Turned out Willie had kidney problems with a BUN of 44 and a Creat of 2.7. Life expectancy?

  53. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Every situation different with kidney disease. With proper supportive therapy some pets can live years. I would put him on preferably home made kidney diet like one described in book Dr PItcairns guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, dvm, phd. Also try supplements like renavast which you can find on line, as well as omega 3 like nordic naturals pet omega 3 fatty acid from 1800petmeds.

  54. Hello,
    We adopted a 1 yr old pit bull from the local SPCA and were told he had tested positive for Lyme and was given the usual antibiotics. He seems very healthy, full of energy, spunky, etc. But we’re wondering if we need to give him a flea and tick preventative if he already tests positive for lyme. And if so, is there a natural one you know of that actually works? The chemical ones have such bad side effects. Thank you for your advice.


  55. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 3, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    hi Cara. You could try Bio Tic clip which you can find on line as well as

  56. Hello, my 5 year old dog was diagnosed with Lyme back in July. She was put on the doxy,and was completely fine up until 3 weeks ago on a Friday.We went for a walk,then after that she ran around the yard like crazy,like she usually enjoys doing. The next day she began limping in her back leg. I can’t afford to take her to the vet again, I been giving her joint supplements,I’m wondering if it’s lyme acting up again?
    Is there anything homeopathic I can give her, I can’t afford to spend $230 at the vet like last time.

  57. Marie dont wait trust me. I lost my 4 year old lab to lyme bc it progressed.

  58. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 13, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I would not assume it is lyme disease. Could be torn ACL ligament of back leg which is common…. Try dog gone pain which you can get on line as well as yucca intensive from 1800petmeds. See vet if signs persist or worsen.

  59. My 7 year old New Foundland was diagnosed with Lyme’s about 3 week’s ago. She has been taking 5 100 mg capsules a day of Doxycycline and Previcox and doesn’t seem to be improving. She seemed better for a little while but her leg is still swollen and she is losing her appetite again.

  60. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    HI Angel. There is likely another diagnosis of lameness and swollen leg than lyme exposure. Many vets over treat dogs for lyme disease based on exposure tests. The previcox also may be upsetting her stomach. I would strongly recommend a vet recheck and possibly blood work and/or x rays to see if any other diseases or underlying causes.

  61. I have a mixed shepard i rescued and she is about 6 1/2 years old. Three weeks ago she tested positive for lyme disease. They put her on her antibiotics, she responded for about 3 days then her symptoms returned with more issues. I initially took her in because she was limping and now all her joints are swollen. I took her back to the vet and he says based on the way she looks its definitely lyme disease. So the vet gave her stronger antibiotics, i think the name starts with chim (not sure i have it at home). Again she responded ok for a few days but all her symptoms are returning. She doesn’t want to move and it takes alot of effort to get her to go outside to to her business. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  62. I have a mixed shepard i rescued and she is about 6 1/2 years old. Three weeks ago she tested positive for lyme disease. They put her on her antibiotics, she responded for about 3 days then her symptoms returned with more issues. I initially took her in because she was limping and now all her joints are swollen. I took her back to the vet and he says based on the way she looks its definitely lyme disease. So the vet gave her stronger antibiotics, i think the name starts with chim (not sure i have it at home). Again she responded ok for a few days but all her symptoms are returning. She has been on this antibiotics a full weeks now. She doesn’t want to move and it takes alot of effort to get her to go outside to to her business. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, they did blood work on her and her kidneys are fine but she has a slight higher levels of protein. Is it possible that she has something else that’s why she is not responding?

  63. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I doubt symptoms are due to lyme disease, which typically rapidly responds to antibiotics in veterinary medicine. Most likely an autoimmune disease of joints, which is best diagnosed by a joint tap to evaluate cells in joint fluid. Most likely your pet need prednisone or related drugs to address this issue.

  64. Thanks for your response. I have an appointment with the vet tomorrow and i will mention it to him. I will keep you posted. This seems like a long term condition that my dog will have to live with.

  65. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Good luck. Please know that vets WAY over treat and over diagnose chronic lyme disease as a cause of problems. Tests can remain positive for years, even if clear of active infection.

  66. My 8 year old, 13 pound maltese/poodle mix recently had the lyme vaccine for the 2nd year in a row. Approximately 1 week later she developed a limp in her rear left leg. I have taken her to the vet twice for the limp. Diagnosis is unknown. X-rays provided no signs of injury but early signs of arthritis and some inflamation. After doing some research about the lyme vaccine, I’m wondering if the limping is a symptom of exposure to lyme. My vet is not helping much. Do I demand a round of antibiotic for lyme? Any information would be appreciated as the limping is not getting any better after 3-4 weeks now.

  67. After reading my response and getting great feedback I took my dog to a specialist. Initially took her back to the vet but he didn’t seem sure so we decided to go. We saw a specialist who conferred with my vet and decided to do a joint tap. The joint tap determined that she has immune mediated poly arthritis (meaning arthritis in all joints. They put her on prednisone (steroid) and within 1 day she was feeling better and swelling went down. We are slowly weening her off the steroids and starting another medicine. This other medicine will eventually replace the steroid and be on the meds for up to 1 year. With the medicine we always give her pecsid so the meds won’t upset her stomach.
    So when you feel the vet is not helping and your pet is stil not better you have to go to a specialist internist. It is costly but I believe she is worth it. I went to Blue Pearl Vet Hospital. They treated her great and she was comfortable immediately which is surprising.

  68. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 27, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Always best to see a specialist if in doubt, but for those clients who can’t afford such tests, I find the combination of doxycycline antibiotic(to cover infections and also as anti inflammatory for bones), as well as prednisone my combination drugs of choice in treating chronic arthritis/swollen joints in pets, as most of these dogs have immune mediated disease. Shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars if one can’t afford it.

  69. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

    This is classic vaccinosis in a pet, and is best treated with homeopathy in my opinion. To learn more about chronic homeopathy see the booklet on as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations as do I. I would not simply go on doxy as I dont think it will help here. Likely immune mediated issue which may need steroids conventionally or possibly patella or ACL issue, but in my opinion homeopathy the best route here.

  70. My 5 yr old Yorkie tested positive for lymes. Bun was 180 and cre was 6.8. After iv flush bun is 96 and cre is 2.8. Her quant lymes test came back as 1,170. Started subq fluids and dioxy. Can she be helped? Is this signs of nephritis?

  71. My vet did a heart worm test and said my dog was fine. I later received a phone call stating that my dog had lyme disease, we live in South Florida, so the only exposure could have been at the grooming facility with some northern dog. I later took my other dog in to test just in case and the vet tech seemed confused that my dog was fine then diagnosed later with the disease. The other dog is fine. I’ve started doxycycline for a week now and he just started vomitting again. He had been vomitting and diarrhea which is why I took him to the vet to begin with. Should I be concerned. He’s not quite 10.

  72. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I dont think the positive lyme test result is a reason for your dog’s current symptoms, as a positive test only means that your dog was exposed to lyme disease at one point in his life, but NOT necessarily infection. Also doxycycline antibiotic can aggravate vomiting and upset stomach. I am located in South Florida and would be happy to provide second opinion for you.

  73. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Sounds like tough situation. I think best chance at helping her is also incorporating a more holistic veterinarian as rarely do drugs alone help such cases. To learn more about homeopathy, go to as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations. Advanced situation of kidney failure/nephritis, but hoping you can still help her

  74. I have had my dog for 4 almost 5 months now. she tested positive for lyme back in June of 2013 and was treated with amox for a month, in December of 2013 she was vaccinated for Lyme and also had her 2nd booster for lyme as well. So in May of this year, when I took her for a check up, she again tested positive for lyme , they gave her a weeks worth of minocycline and due to mis communication she never did a follow up for 3 more weeks of the abx. She does not have any symptoms that sound like lyme only occasional stomach upset. should she re do the abx?

  75. I took my 11 year old great dane for his yearly checkup. The vet called after reviewing his blood work and said he tested positive for lime exposure. The vet wants him back for a new blood test to see what strain he has and then will follow up with antibiotics. He is showing no signs of lyme. He eats like a horse, literally, and runs and plays and chases anything on four legs. The only symptom I see is when he is laying down, when he tries to get up it takes him a few minutes. I attributed that too his age and having arthritis is his back legs. the vet did confirm that during his physical. He is now on dasuquin for this. I am afraid to put him on antibiotics, it seems to make a lot of dogs throw up and sick. I do not want his quality of life to be sick from unnecessary medication. what should I do? He is 180 pounds and everything I can give is in the form of double dosages due to his size. I have no idea what the antibiotics would cost for him. Please advise.

  76. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Excellent questions Kim. My approach of 23 plus years experience is to NOT treat lab results, especially when positive tests only mean exposure to the bacteria and not necessary active current infection. If dog is asymptomatic, I would personally not treat, but that is individual vet perspective.

  77. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    HI Bobbie. I think veterinarians WAY OVERTREAT this disease, as a positive test only means exposure at some point, and NOT necessarily active clinical infection. I personally dont treat lab values, but only if pets have clinical symptoms of disease.

  78. Hi, I have a 10 months old Bullmastiff that has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. She has been showing a lot of symptoms since she was diagnosed (at 4 months old). She has been on a course of doxy for 4 weeks. After that she still has some very bad simptoms: limping, very bad pain when moving her neck, also has a lump on her head which sometimes got very swollen, she was dizzy and sometimes couldnt keep balance and basically fell over with her back legs. After this she got CEFTRIAXONUM injectable for 30 days. She has now completed this treatment as well and she seems to have a lot of problems with her hind legs. They just give out when she runs and starts to drag them. She also started to squat very low when pooping, almost hitting the ground. Aside from these, the other symptoms seem to be gone since her treatment ended one week ago. We will be back at the vets tomorrow, but I was wondering if there is anything I can do for her? Anything I can give her to help?
    We had her xrayed for hip dysplasia when she was 6 months old, but she’s clear..

  79. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Sounds like a great case for homeopathy. Learn more about homeopathy by seeing booklet on as well as my website below. Many homeopaths work with clients over phone as do I across the country. Also get book Dr Pitcairn’s book Dr Pitcairn’s guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, phd which has great natural suggestions, recipes, etc my website is

  80. My dog is almost 3 years old, she has been vaccinated for Lyme s disease since she was a pup. She is a Border collie mix and we have a cabin in Central Wisconsin with high tick count. We currently use Frontline plus along with the vaccination.

    She tested positive for Lyme s and another tick born illness treatment is doxacycline for a month. Symptoms were limping and stiff joints, for an active dog this was unusual so we took her to the ER vet for treatment and tick panel.
    After one dose she was fine, active, running jumping and normal Border collie behavior.
    Is it possible to have a false high reading for the Lyme’s disease with the vaccination?
    Could her symptoms be from the other tick born illness?

    Now that she has been diagnosed, what is the long term treatment or prognosis for dogs diagnosed?

    Since we go to a place with high ticks, what else can we do?

    Thank you!!

  81. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    HI Sheryl. I doubt the test was a false positive from vaccination, but if necessary you can retest to be sure. As BOTH a holistic and traditional veterinarian of 23 plus years experience, in my experience and opinion, as well as from talking to well respected veterinary immunologists like Jean Dodds and Ron Schultz(whom you can look up on line), lyme vaccination is both not effective, as well as not safe in my opinion. I see more dogs with chronic symptoms of joint issues, etc who have been lyme vaccinated than those who haven’t been vaccinated. I would consult with a holistic vet on getting her healthier so she is less likely to be susceptible to fleas and ticks. Long term prognosis of most tick born diseases is good, unless dog develops immune complications of bone marrow or kidneys. Periodic lab work can help monitor for that. To learn more about holistic medicine, see my website and links

  82. I have an 11 year old lab that has had a mild exposer to Lyme disease he was first put on Doxy. However he became worse due to the med. Is now on his 5 day of amoxicillin is very picky will only eat chicken no rice just chicken. All he wants to due is lay around his breathing is labored on and of at times. When can I expect to see improvement. also vet believes his spleen is I larger he has lost 7 pounds in a three week period.

  83. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Brian. I have seen many pets with this type of history have an underlying tumor in the abdomen. I would ask your vets for an x ray and possibly ultrasound to get to real underlying cause here. I dont think Lyme exposure is the reason as well as I dont think either antibiotic is answer.

  84. I had xrays done the vet said he couldny tell much from it othere then it appears to be his spleen that is enlarge he did stick a needle with it and with drew a blood sample and said he didnt see any uniform pattern of cells that threw a glag at him. i unsure what the right level of care is for him. He is still excited to see people and barks when he heard a straigh noise and greets people but is very slow leading me to beleive he is in pain

  85. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Given the enlarged spleen, I would strongly recommend an abdominal ultrasound or a consultation with an internal medicine specialist in your area. I am concerned about underlying cancer here, which I think must be ruled out

  86. I took my 16-month-old Foxhound (perhaps mixed with Greyhound or Great Dane) out to Long Island – serious tick country – for a week and during the course of our time there must have removed 20 or more ticks from him – despite using a topical anti-tick medication (Vectra).

    Toward the tail end of our trip he also began to show some slight stiffness in one of his back legs, which I attributed at the time to running around in the woods and jumping off a particularly steep hill.

    The leg didn’t concern me at the time but the number of ticks was a bit frightening so I took him to the vet immediately upon our return (July 10) and, at my insistence, we began a prophylactic course of treatment of doxycycline. The vet also ran a blood test – I’m not sure which one – that came back negative for Lyme and all other tick-borne illnesses a few days later.


    It’s now July 29, 19 days later, and he still seems stiff. After the first week-and-a-half of stiffness I took him back to the vet, who confirmed that he had a slight, barely perceptible stiffness in his back right leg, probably due to inflammation. She prescribed a one-week course of treatment with a very low dose of Rimadyl – 100mg per day, I think – to relieve any discomfort.

    Interestingly, I had thought it was his left leg that was stiff; the vet saw it in his right. After she pointed it out to me, I saw it in his right as well, but he recently seemed to be stiff in the left again, and a day or two ago seemed to have stiffness in both hind legs, all of which makes me wonder whether Lyme isn’t the culprit, despite the negative blood test, which was probably done too soon to register exposure or an infection in any event.

    He’s being retested in about two weeks – two weeks after the first test, and four or so since I found the ticks on him, which seems like ample time – and hopefully will again show up negative, but I just can’t shake the thought that, between the number of ticks I found and the leg issues, that he will.

    The good news is that, until the other day when both his legs appeared stiff, the stiffness was barely noticeable, and it only shows when he’s walking slowly. If he’s trotting – I haven’t been allowing him to run until this is all sorted out – he looks perfectly fine. He puts weight on all of his legs, allows me to touch and flex them and isn’t in any obvious pain, including when going up or down stairs (I live in a walk-up building).

    Besides his legs, he’s perfectly healthy. He’s eating like a horse, has a tremendous amount of energy and no fever or any other of the common symptoms of Lyme.

    Conclusion: He’s back on Rimadyl for another two weeks even though the first course didn’t seem to do much and we’re going in for an X-ray on Thursday to try to determine what might be causing his stiffness. I hope it’s just a strain or maybe growing pains, but, like I said, I can’t help but think that it’s going to be Lyme (not that the X-ray will tell us). My biggest fear is that he’ll have permanent joint damage or chronic or recurrent joint issues.

    Does this sound like Lyme? As noted, his stiffness is very slight, but I’m still concerned. Thoughts?

    Thanks, and sorry for such a long post!

  87. My dog had a sudden onset stiffness/limp. After a round of antibiotic for potential vaccine-induced Lyme disease the limp did not go away. My dog has had two rounds of x-rays and was put on rimadyl for pain management. And still limped. After a specialist determined it was not a 100% certain cruciaye ligament tear; and therefore, not eligible for surgery I was left with the diagnosis ‘inflammation’. AND THEN I enrolled my dog in therapeutic swim and she has done wonderful!! She is still stiff when she gets up from the floor, but overall she is doing much better. She is happy again.

    You may want to explore swim therapy to help break up any inflammation. Also, look into your dog’s diet because many foods found in dog food (e.g. Potato) contribute to inflammation.

    Just thought I’d share my experience. I had a very difficult and hopeless few months trying to help my dog. Swim therapy and a change to her diet has helped.

    Good luck to you and your dog!

  88. Thanks!

    How bad was the stiffness? His is very minor, but it’s been several weeks, which is why I’m concerned.

  89. The stiffness ranged from barely noticeable to three legged. She still favors her left hind leg some days, but some days are really good and she shows no signs of a problem.

    Her limp lasted probably two months before I enrolled her in swim. During those two months she never really showed signs of improvement even though we confined her to a small area to let the leg rest.

    The only time I saw improvement was after swimming.

    I think the most telling sign is when she first got the stiffness/limp her personality changed drastically. After swim and a change to her diet, she is her happy self again. Wants to walk and play again.

    I hope you have better luck getting answers from vets. I had an extremely frustrating few months with no answers and more prescriptions to mask symptoms. The underlying issue was never addressed. Please provide any updates!

  90. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Hi Rory. Thanks for sharing. Health always starts in the gut, so a healthy diet is key to long term health, given the link of a diseased chronic leaky gut with other systemic issues in the body like joint issues, etc. Also try and not vaccinate your dog further, except for rabies as needed by law, because of the risk of vaccinosis down road.

  91. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 30, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Lyme is still possible as initial tests may have been too soon before an immune response that would be picked up on tests. Regardless, after practicing in Lyme country for many years, I have found the combination of doxycycline and prednisone probably most effective in these type of cases, as even if lyme or other tick born disease positive, most of the lameness is due to immune inflammation rather than the bacteria itself i.e an autoimmune response by the patient, and thus the pred helps with that. Also put on good supplements like proanthozone, super joint enhancer, as well as yucca intensive. DONT use pred at same time as rimadyl

  92. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 30, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Swimming/hydrotherapy very useful adjunct in cases like this as is veterinary acupuncture, etc

  93. Hi,
    My 4 year old toy manchester terrior bella was diagnosed with lyme disease on july 7th (my birthday) now because she is already a small dog i have noticed she is looking very thin and i can see her ribs, she gets her pill every morning with peanut butter. The first few days she couldnt walk, then when she did it was with a limp, which i knew that was going to happen because of the lyme, but now it seems like her back legs have been a little stiff and its hard for her to jump up or even get up on her back legs, this is the first time she has done this in 3 weeks, its like one day she is fine and is the bright, happy, bubbly, playful dog that she always was before she got sick, and then the next day she is walking stiff and i dont understand i acpected that the medicine would prevent this from happening. Why is she still getting stiff? And why is she looking soooo thin?

  94. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I would see vet again, as could be other complications of lyme like kidney disease, etc Blood and/or urine analysis recommended here. Also could be other disease here besides lyme causing symptoms.

  95. I have a 14 year old German Shorthaired Pointer in good health. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with lyme disease and given medication he had a reaction to, it made his ears swell up and become thick and heavy. a few weeks ago he was given Cephalexin 500MG and has the same reaction to it.
    Two day ago he had surgery to remove a lump on his hind foot and he has four stitches on an incision on his foot. The Vet gave me Ampicillin 500MG for after surgery. Im scared to give him this Ampicillin since he has been very sensitive to antibiotics in the past. How important is it that I give him this to help his foot heal?

  96. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I would follow your vet’s instructions regarding the ampicillin, and see your vet if any reactions occur and/or any concerns come up.

  97. my pekinese which is about 6 years old got lyme disease last year. the vet gave her a 30 day supply of antibiotics ..
    this summer the vet gave her another test and she has it again or still?
    should i give her another 30 day supply of antibiotics or should i do something else, she has not eaten today.. and her appetite is usually no problem…

  98. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    ANimals will test positive for lyme disease for years after natural exposure but that does NOT mean they remain infected or symptomatic for the disease. In fact most dogs who are exposed to lyme disease, test positive, but NEVER show any symptoms. I would recommend vet recheck if signs persist to see if any other medical issues going on here.

  99. Hi,
    This morning my 9 year old chocolate lab/husky (shelter dog, so thats our vets best guess) seemed to wake up in pain and limping. At first i thought it was one of his back legs then the other. I checked gently to see if he was upset with me bending them slowly and he let me but he yelped a little when i pushed pretty softly on his back hip. Also, i live in Shenandoah VA, tick country, he get them sometimes. I think its lyme, my first question is do you agree? Its not an injury where he hurt himself, its seems something just appeared in him, internally. Second question is do I need to take him to the vet and put him on oxywhatever. I’d rather treat him with ledum, if thats gonna work? From what i’m reading at least putting him on that would help long term. I don’t have the money to take him to the vet. I hate seeing him like this too. i’ve been giving him half and asprin, he’s about 90 lbs, I’d guess. Oh, and can i use the ledum 30c while i wait for the ledum 1m to come in the mail (3-5 days shipped fast), looking around tonight I don’t think i’ll be able to find the 1m locally, I even have a two hour trip for the other kind. Thanks!

  100. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I would not assume lyme disease without test at vet. Ledum is ok to use short term, but I would not use it long term to treat lameness issue, as long term homeopathy best done under supervision of trained homeopathic vet.

  101. My 7 year old basset became lethargic and unable to walk with no appetite. We took her to emergency vet on Labor Day and they ran tests for 3 days but never diagnosed her with Lyme disease. The vet did place her on a week of doxycycline along with some other antibiotics and pain meds. He released her and I took her home and spoke with my regular vet. She said it sounds like she had Lyme disease but no one mentioned an extended dose of antibiotics. Tonight (2 1/2 weeks later) she died after I rushed her to emergency vet. My question is if I had extended her doxycycline dosage, would it had prevented her death. She was breathing heavily and had blood tinged drool when she died. I’m beside myself if I could have prevented this.

  102. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I highly doubt she had lyme disease, as dogs with lyme dont typically die like this so quickly. More likely she had some sort of tumor, given her breed, most likely in chest or abdomen, like the spleen. Hemangiosarcoma is a malignancy in dogs that an present this way. Only a necropsy can give you exact cause but Ihighly doubt she had lyme disease.

  103. Jersey is our Medium shorthair Dauschund, about 6 years old. About 1.5months ago she woke up and was limping on front leg. It got better on it’s own after about a day or so. About a week later she was limping again on the opposite front leg. It too went away on it’s own. About 3-4 weeks ago she seemed to not be feeling well, was running a temp of about 105. We took her to the emergency vet and $1700 later they said she may have an enlarged spleen and could have lymphoma. We did send off slides of an asprid of the spleen but it was negative for anything bad (not sure what they looked for specifically). We followed up with our regular vet and he said the spleen was enlarged but it was uniform, so unlikely a tumor or anything like that. We have had her on antibiotics for about two weeks and she has seemed 100% normal. He said continue these antibiotics for about 30 days. Well this morning she woke up and is suddenly holding her back leg up. (Went to bed 100% fine last night). We figured maybe it will get better on it’s own again like the last two times with the front legs. I checked on her a couple hours later and she was obviously in pain so I rushed her into the vet. She felt all around and nothing made the dog yelp, she said everything “felt” fine but did prescribe some meloxidyl liquid. I gave it about half hour ago but poor dog is still moaning and won’t lay still. I don’t know if the different leg pains and the fever are associated, or associated with today’s new symptom. She is otherwise a good healthy fun dog so I don’t know what has been going on. Hopefully someone can help. We are quickly going broke after spending upwards of $3000 now with no real answers or resolution. 🙁

  104. Oh also a tick test was done and sent off that took two days. They said it was negative. We live in Colorado and I’m told ticks aren’t really a problem here. (I’ve never even seen one myself). We did go camping a few months ago and afterwards checked the dog. She does have a small bump in her armpit. But it hasn’t grown or changed since then. It’s underneath the skin.

  105. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 22, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Given the breed, sounds like a back problem or disc issue which often does not even show up on routine x rays, although certainly your local vet can look for these on x rays. I would ask your vet for trial with pain meds like metacam, gabapentin and tramadol for a few weeks and see if limping goes away. If not, may need MRI of spine

  106. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 22, 2014 at 12:42 am

    See my last response

  107. Hello, my 5 year old Golden Retriever has tested positive for Lyme disease each of the last three years, including today. He has never showed symptoms and we were told by many that it was normal. This is the first year that he tested positive for Ehrlichiosis (or at least having the antibody). Should we be concerned, or is it a similar situation to the Lyme disease positive test? He has no symptoms and is in great overall health. I’ve been told by a former vet (now virologist) that we shouldn’t worry or do the additional tests unless he shows some signs on illness. Is that a solid plan? Thanks!

  108. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Excellent questions. Answer would depend on which veterinary internal medicine specialist you speak to. Most vets DONT treat positive lyme tests, unless symptomatic. As for Ehrlichiosis, most vets will treat with 3 to 4 weeks of doxycycline, even if asymptomatic, due to the potential severity of this disease.

  109. Ive been enjoying reading this post its been quite informative. A few month ago my beagle 5-7y/o) tested positive for lyme and they talked me into doing another test for it as well. I was supposed to get a script for doxycycline but this was right at the time of the price spike and I couldnt afford $250 on top of the $400 from the appappointment. I felt very pressured and deceived by my vet, my dogs only sypmtom is lethargy but thats even hardly noticeable because hes never been super active. the only other concern I had was hes gotten very white this year but the vet didnt care. Do you think I need to treat it? Also have minocycline from my other dog would I be able to give him that? thanks

  110. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Minocycline is fine to use as a substitute. Check with your local vet…. Actually many other cheap antibiotics kill the bacteria that causes lyme disease just as well i.e amoxicillin, cephalexin, etc. Doxy covers other tick born diseases but these other two antibiotics work for lyme just as well!!!

  111. hi,my 35lbs shelti was just diagnosed with lyme disease.the vet told me to put my dog on a diet and he gave me a script for minocycline 100mlx2 a dog did well but on the third day he started throwing up.i called my vet and they told me to give the dog pepcid ac ,feed the dog and wait 20 min before giving him the minocycline,i tried that and he still threw everything up.oh my dog was tested twice for lyme in 1 week and his quantitive c6 antibody test result was 51-u/ml. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  112. Hi my parents 5 yr old neapolitan mastiff was tested positive for lyme about 2 months ago. She had no real symptoms and it was just found during her routine check up. My parents put her on doxycycline for a normal cycle and she took it relatively fine.

    Recently for about 5-6 days or so she has been on and off limping on her front right leg. She doesn’t whimper at all on her own and doesn’t whimper when I try touching her to see if something is sore (maybe because shes such a large dog).

    Not sure if I should be worried or not. The limping isn’t consistent. Sometimes I can’t tell if she is limping or not, sometimes its obvious. She has had a decent amount of changes though. The week before she started limping I started walking her fairly regularly on the sidewalk. My parents also got a new couch and now the couch is off limits for her. So she typically lays on her doggy bed on her side now.

  113. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    The limping should be checked out by a vet. Could be soft tissue injury from over exertion. I doubt secondary to lyme issue.

  114. Hey, I have a 4 yearold american bully…..she had been yeping and flea biting around her body leaving me to think she may have got bit my a tick maybe 3-5 days ago…., she is indoor dog 90% of the time, still eating and drinking normally but been acting lazy the last day or two…….what do you think? any home remedies? also do you think its a tick? or if it is will it cure herself without meds?

  115. Update: shes eating fine and drining fine….wont get up on stuff…yelping/whining at different times randomly…stool is normal…..being lazy and the whining getting more often or whatever hurting her more…..has a little bit of a fever and runny nose.

  116. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I would see vet for recheck and possibly additional prescription pain medications.

  117. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Best to have vet check and evaluation before I can make any specific recommendations. I would not assume tick born disease unless evaluated by vet. Hard to say if from tick bite or something else which is why a vet exam is recommended.

  118. I have an 8 month old boxer/beagle and recently discovered what looks to be 2 deer ticks on her neck. I removed them with tweezers and used rubbing alcohol and antibacterial soap. Both areas are read and scabby. My kids said they seen the 1st one over a week ago and thought it was a mole. Although she has no symptoms of Lyme disease, looking at the time line, I am fearful of her being infected. Please advise.

  119. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Most dogs who are exposed to lyme disease have NO symptoms of lyme and get over it find on their own. I would just monitor her, and see your vet if signs of lethargy or limping develop. I would recommend good tick prevention such as the pill Nexguard from 1800petmeds.

  120. I have a four month old German shepherd who started limping with one leg and now both for the past three days. He also seems very lethargic , I have noticed he finds it very hard to get off his hind legs.
    We are in India in a small town and there isn’t many vets around. Plz help and advise
    Many thanks

  121. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Many possibilities from an injury to hip dysplasia. Unfortunately not much I can tell you to do over the internet, as this is one that needs a vet exam. You could try a natural remedy called Traumeel from 1800petmeds to see if it can help.

  122. Hi Dr. Dym!

    My 5 yr old basset began limping on his left rear leg Saturday. Monday I took him in to the vet & the blood test came back for Lyme disease and he also has a yeast infection in between his toes on the same side as his lame leg. My vet believes limping is from L.D., & gave us antibiotics as well as ointment for the yeast infection. It’s now Thursday & he still has a limp and definitely isn’t himself–seems depressed & doesn’t have much of an appetite. Have you had experience with dogs not improving to the treatment from Lyme disease? Is it possible his limp is just from the yeast infection & will take more time to heal? The vet did an extensive exam of his hind legs & felt no other abnormalities. Thanks in advance!

  123. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    HI Hailey. In my experience and opinion, lyme disease is WAY overidiagnosed as a cause of lameness in dogs. In many areas of the country MANY dogs are naturally exposed to lyme disease, and may test positive, but most NEVER develop any symptoms or get sick. The yeast infection is a possibility as a cause, as well as soft tissue injury, etc. The antibiotic most commonly used for lyme disease i.e doxycycline may cause loss of appetite in some pets. I would have a vet recheck and evaluation to tweak the meds and explore another cause or diagnosis of the lameness.

  124. Our 6 year old, 29 lb Beagle, Ellie was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, is in incredible pain and has been on antibiotics as well as Rimadyl for one week. The vet said she should be greatly better in 48-72 hours but after a week she isn’t showing any improvement, is still in great pain, unable to move much at all and doesn’t have much of an appetite. Does this sound like Lyme? Is it normal for a dog not to improve in this timeframe or should we be concerned?
    Thank you!

  125. I took my 3y.o. Basset hound to the vet today after I noticed a decrease in appetite, lethargic behavior, and quivering. She tested positive in the snap test for Lyme, so she was given 30 day dose of doxy. My only concern is the quivering, I’ve researched and haven’t seen any mention of quivering being an associated side effect. Please advise me as to this being normal, or should I get a second opinion? I don’t feel like the quivering was addressed by the vet as it should have been because it was a major contributing factor to me noticing something wasn’t right with my dog.

  126. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Nonspecific quivering and/or trembling is not a specific sign of lyme disease.. Just that your dog is not in balance. A second opinion never a bad idea, but you may want to see if symptoms abate with the antibiotics after a few weeks. Sometimes lyme over blamed as a cause of symptoms in dogs, so a full workup including other blood work, x rays and/or ultrasound is sometimes needed.

  127. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Most cases that are sick from symptomatic lyme usually respond within a few days. I suspect there is another complicating disease or condition here. I would return to vet for full workup, including blood work and possibly x rays. Some dogs will need other pain meds like tramadol, gabapentin and/or even prednisone instead of the rimadyl. This breed also VERY prone to spinal DISC disease, which is my leading thought here, and in that case pred much better choice over rimadyl. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  128. They did x-rays at her first visit as well as a complete blood workup and found nothing but Lyme. We have taken her back in and we were told that she is having a die off reaction and they added Gabapentin to her Rimadyl and Doxycycline. Unfortunately she’s still in a lot of pain, not able to move around and still doesn’t have much of an appetite. We called the Vet again today due to her pain not improving and were told that because we live in Maine the cold is effecting her joint pain. I was wondering if we could possibly give her an over the counter or natural joint relief medication?
    Thank You!

  129. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 19, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Gabapentin a good choice, as well as a more novel pain medicine like Amantadine which you can look up also on this website. As for other pain meds, try yucca intensive by azmira from 1800petmeds, as well as Tumeric, which is GREAT anti inflammatory at dose of 10-20 mg per pound once to twice daily which you can get from health food store. I personally like to approach these more holistically, so may be worthwhile looking into some of suggestions I made in my last answer. I dont buy the die off phenomenon.

  130. Our dog was diagnosed in July/August with Lyme after becoming increasingly lethargic and lame on one of her back legs (the diagnosis came several months after the first onset of limping, for which she was seen the prior April).
    She was placed on an antibiotic for about a month in addition to a steroid (I can’t recall the names of either) and after finishing the meds, seemed to have a great improvement in energy, although she still had a slight limp.
    She’s been getting more lethargic again lately, and barely puts any weight on her back leg. Her vet has run a battery of tests and xrays, but the entire office is stumped as to what is causing the limp. She’s just been placed back on another antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory. Their recommendation is to treat with an orthopedic specialist to see what’s going on with her leg.
    We can’t really afford the cost of a specialist, since I believe this could go into the $1000’s. Do you have any other recommendations on what we could do or where we could go? Are there any homeopathic options? Could the fact that she went so long undiagnosed mean that she now has permanent damage in her leg joints?

  131. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I would not worry about permanent damage to her joints. From my experience as BOTH a 23 year experience traditionally trained vet and a holistic/homeopathic veterinarian, most of these nebulous diagnoses of “lyme disease” in dogs is WAY over diagnosed, as most dogs exposed and testing positive for lyme disease never develop symptoms or get sick, so that leaves us with what does a positive test mean? Which many still dont know. Most of these chronic lamenesses, if not due to a structural problem like torn ACL or patella luxation, are due to immune mediated inflammation of the joints and are usually managed with cortisone and/or other immune suppressive meds like atopica or cyclosporine. You would need to have joint taps for definitive diagnosis. I would encourage exploring a more holistic or homeopathic option, which is a chronic process of restoring health and balance, rather than a quick fix I can suggest here. To learn more about homeopathy, see the booklet on the website as well as the information on my website. Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations..

  132. I just wanted to give an update on our Beagle, Ellie… For almost a month our girl was in terrible pain and my husband and I deciding we’d try one last medication before we very regretfully said our final goodbye to our little floppy eared beagle. We spoke with her amazing vet and she was thinking that on top of the Lyme Disease Ellie was having a spinal disc issue which is very common in her breed and that we should try a course of steroids. After just one dose Ellie’s pain began getting better, she wasn’t crying with her every move, she wasn’t shaking anymore, she was eating some again, and after a few days she was very close to being herself again. We are so beyond happy to have our girl back again!!
    ~Heather ~

  133. My 13 lb cockapoo tested positive for Lyme. Additional testing with Lyme C6, gave a number of 169 along with the suggestion of anything over 30 to be treated. I have not noticed symptons, but am concerned with her long term well-being. I read everything you say above about not treating without symptons, but since the titer showed active Lyme, I am a little uneasy not doing anything and leaving untreated. Might ledum be a solution? Or since it is active, would you suggest I treat with an antibiotic?

    Also..I have never been a fan of the spot tic treatments, but have used them reluctantly given the problems of tics in my area– rural PA where Lyme is rampant. We do spray the yard with Pyrethrin. Brevecto (Merck’s new oral tic preventative) was just suggested. Given its newness to the market and my reservations about overtreatment/over-vaccinating/over-medicating, etc, I am not 100% comfortable. What are your thoughts? Thank you 🙂

  134. Additional info: My cockapoo is 3.5 years.

  135. Hi! I have an almost 15 year old female dalmatian/pointer mix. 2 years ago she suffered from two incidents ‘old dog vestibular disease’ a few months apart from eachother. She recovered to maybe 85% with loving care.
    Otherwise, she has had no physical problems that I know of.
    For the last year she has become increasingly stiff, walking with an arched back, and having difficulty standing without falling back slowly in to a sit position. Even in the sit position her front legs will begin to slide out from under her. She has also become fecally incontinent.
    One vet I saw simply said she is old and that “the pack would have killed her and eaten her by now” in the wild ! His diagnosis w/o x-rays was arthritis. He has her on Deramaxx.
    I finally went for a second opinion to another more hositically minded vet. She took x-rays and said suprisingly there was little arthritis noticeable in either her hips or back. The vet also said her reflexes & range of motion are good. She prescribed Adequin shots and laser therapy. My dog also tested low for thyroid, so vet put my dog on Soloxine.
    My dog doesn’t seem to be improving with the Adequin and laser therapy. And all I notice from Soloxine is a possible decrease in appetite, which is alarming as she is already very thin.
    It suddenly occurred to me that my dog could have Lyme disease. I live in No. California where we have lots of deer ticks. My dog is wobbly & unbalanced, lethargic, and depressed, with low appetite. Sometimes she limps noticeably, othertimes she is just very stiff looking.
    I’d love any advice you can give– I don’t want to just write off my dog as being old, if there is an actual disease process going on that I could help her with.

  136. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 25, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Sorry to hear of her issues. Even though no obvious findings on x rays, that does not rule out underlying joint or in this situation more likely neurological spinal disease, based on your constitutional history of her symptoms of vestibular issues, etc MRI’s of spine would be needed, which are very expensive and not going to change how we manage her situation at this age. . The second vet does not sound too holistic to me, as I doubt this dog has a thyroid issue if she is thin to begin with. I would work with a constitutional homeopath, such as myself on a more individualized approach to the issue, using single constitutional homeopathic remedies, along with nutritional supplements over time to hopefully help with quality of life. I DONT think you will ever get a specific diagnosis of her issues, and I think the approach I outline here gives you the best option. To learn more about constitutional homeopathy, see the booklet on the website as well as the info on my website. Many constitutional homeopaths, like myself do offer phone consultations.

  137. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 25, 2014 at 10:19 am

    HI Holly. Thanks for your well thought out question. I would consider consulting with a classical, constitutional veterinary homeopath, as I dont think ledum would be helpful in this situation, based on your description. To learn more about constitutional classical homeopathy, see the booklet on the website as well as my website Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations. Homeopathy is not quick fix and requires, time, patience and commitment, but may be worth while exploring in this situation.

  138. My dog has since been diagnosed with Addison’s disease, she had dormant Lyme disease. She had her initial Addison’s crash, and is now on a monthly injection and daily pill to treat her.

  139. My 11.2 pound, 6 year old poodle just tested positive for Lyme via the Tick Serology test done with his Heartworm test.

    The vet (my regular practice but a new vet there) wants me to bring in a urine sample before starting treatment. I’m confused as to why since his blood work already shows that he’s positive for Lyme, although Asymptomatic. My understanding is that she wants to check for proteins in the urine to check kidney function. If that urine test comes back normal, she recommends no Lyme treatment at this time but another Lyme test in the future. I’m definitely missing something…I still don’t understand how protein in the urine will change the fact that he tested positive for Lyme disease. Can someone explain? Thanks!

  140. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Excellent questions. While there are no uniform standard treatments of lyme positive dogs, if your dog has no symptoms of lyme disease, than treatment is probably not indicated as most dogs who are exposed to lyme disease get over it on their own with no treatment, and a positive test simply means exposure at some point in the past, but NOT necessarily mean active infection, especially if no signs. Purpose of urine protein test is to check if your dog may have very rare form of lyme kidney disease known as lyme nephropathy, which is not likely given the breed, but if excessive protein in urine, should be treated.

  141. Hi I just got a free puppy that is 12 weeks old he’s a Chihuahua mix he was dirty and had one big tick on him I can feel the bones on his back like he needs more meat there but his belly is round he has a lot of energy and he eats good and pops fine but he farts a lot and it stinks so bad lol do u think he can be really sick I’m going to take him to the vet tomorrow to get his fist shots what do u think I should ask the vet to check on him do u think its going to cost alot ?

  142. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2015 at 1:02 am

    At this age most likely has intestinal parasites so a stool check for that, as well as preventative worming likely indicated with pyrantel, nemex or panacure C, along with his vaccinations.

  143. I need a REAL opinion. Our vet just graduated in 2014 and I’m lacking faith in her abilities. We took our dogs in to get them checked after a bout of diarrhea with Sophie and their normal checkups. Both are Lhasapoo’s. Since one was 7 it was recommended to get senior blood work done. Upon receipt of the results we found that Sophie has kidney disease. Her BUN/UREA is 131 and her CREA is 1.9 and her ALB is 2.6. The VET asked if we wanted to do a Lyme disease test and her number came back positive at 89. We had the other dog tested and all her numbers were fine except for the fact she came back positive as well for Lyme at 84. Both were put on Minocycline by the VET although they NEVER had any symptoms of Lyme.
    Now I have a serious problem. Neither one of them will eat now. We tried starting Sophie, on the kidney food for her KD but she won’t eat it. Sadie, our other dog is acting the exact same way. The only thing I can get either of them to eat is Oscar Mayer Chicken/Pork bologna or Chicken Nuggets which neither of them are a good alternative to dog food however I need to get something into them as they are losing weight. I have about two weeks left on Sophie for her medicine and 3 weeks for Sadie. I can’t keep feeding them this stuff, especially Sophie who has Kidney Disease but doesn’t act like it and doesn’t show any symptoms.

    What recommendations can you give me because I hate to see them suffer like this without eating. They would always eat ANYTHING I would give them. I had them on the best dog food that money could buy that was totally natural but they don’t want it.The VET just keeps saying that it’s all about the quality of life for Sophie, like she doesn’t have much time left. Any suggestions would be IMMENSLEY appreciated by my girls.

  144. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Continue all medications unless instructed by your local vet. Consider home diets for kidney disease in book Dr Pitcairn’s guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, phd which are much better than commercial diets.

  145. Dear Doctor,

    1. About 10 days ago my 2 yr old Lab was diagnosed with Lyme disease after showing symptoms: ran 103.6 F fever, was very lethargic, stopped eating.

    2. Since then he is on
    a. Doxycycline 100 mg twice a day
    b. B complex
    c. Iron
    d. Liv 52

    3. He is not having fever since last three days for which I had given him Paracetamol 500 + Nimesulide 100 mg twice a day. I stopped it three days ago.

    4. But he has started limping since yesterday.

    5. Is it normal with Lyme?

    6. Will the limping go away on its own?

    Please help!

    thanks and regards

  146. I have 2 lhasa apso/poodle mix female dogs who both tested positive for lyme disease. Sophie is 7 and Sadie is 6. Sophie had the Senior blood work done which showed that she had kidney disease. The vet then tested her for Lyme and it was positive. So then we took in Sadie for the Lyme test she tested positive. I had the second test done ( titer) I believe and Sophies number was 89 and Sadies 84. The vet put them both on minocycline 50 mg. Both of my dogs WILL NOT eat. We have tried everything. I called my vet and was told that they have to have the treatment for Lyme Disease. But I don’t know how long they can go with out eating. If I stop their medication what harm can i do to them.?Sophie has 8 days left and Sadie has 14 days left. Thank you!

  147. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 9, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    In my opinion if they are getting sick i.e loss of appetite from meds I would stop giving the antibiotics, but see your vet about this. Most of time lyme disease is due to autoimmune response, and not due to the bacteria. Therefore antibiotics themselves are not as important in my opinion

  148. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 9, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Most dogs who develop symptoms from lyme exposure suffer from an autoimmune component. See your vet about possible cortisone trial, as well as put on good supplements like super joint enhancer from 1800petmeds.

  149. My 8 year old dog went untreated for lyme for about a month. When we took her in to vet, she went on 30 days of doxy then a week later she went on 10 more days because she still wasn’t doing well. At this point it has been 6 months later and she still shows symptoms. I have seen 3 vets and I swear that they know nothing but how to empty my wallet. She gets a fever time to time, non stop depression, stiff joints, arched back, can walk slowly but can not get off the bed herself. She eats as she always has but went from healthy 55lbs to bony 30. She still has control of her bladder and her mind is all there. Not sure what to do with this poor loved one at this point. I don’t want her to suffer, but it has been 6 months with no improvements…

  150. My 11 year old beagle just this Sunday woke up not being able to walk. He had a limp and was in a lot of pain. He was dignoised with arthritis before this so that’s what we thought it was. We took him to the vet and they gave us pain meds. Next day we was worse he could not walk at all not even go to the bathroom without help. Went to the get again this time different doctor. Said it was Lyme tested him and the next day blood work came back positive. Started him on antibiotics. Said he should be fine. But i am worried if he might not. Even tho he tested positive for Lyme, what if him not being able to walk wasn’t the Lyme disease and he does not get better? Is there other diseases that can cause this?

  151. I have an 11 year old Beagle as well and she has had intermittant limping in her front leg for years now accompanied by pain in her spine when she goes through her dog door. Some days she will not use her leg at all and I know that can not be good for the rest of her body compensating. X-rays show nothing except good bone structure. We thought it was arthritis but there hasn’t been any pain or muscle medication that helps for more than a couple of days. We have recently started her on Gabapentin along with her muscle relaxers and pain meds. We have a secondary Vet that has just started treating her with accupunture, red light therapy and manipulation. She recommended we start her on a bone broth and grain free diet and we started that about a week and a half ago. She recommended we have her tested for Lyme. We are taking her friday to have her tested. She told us that she has a lot of inflammation present and suggested we start her on Zeel 2xday which we have done. Is there any advice you can give on top of what we are doing or meds we should take her off of?

  152. I believe my dog had Lyme disease took many many ticks out of her in the past, is it safe to treat her without a costly vet bill, the doxycycline should be safe to give her without a diagnoses correct? I saw you state there have been no known short or long term side effects from the antibiotic she just out of nowhere got lazy with limping in the hind legs, We have stairs to the outside so very worried.

  153. I have a Bichon and in 2013 he was tested a low positive and I gave him a round of antibiotics. Just had him in the vets office for a check up and regular shots and he has tested for a low positive again. We are in New York and our warmest day in about 3 or more months was 45 degrees a few days ago. No ticks seen. Since he has shown no symptoms, should I start the antibiotics again or not?

  154. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Given he has no symptoms, I would NOT treat routinely for this condition. A positive test only indicates that he has prior exposure to lyme disease, not current infection with clinical symptoms.

  155. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Doxycycline should not be a problem, although we dont like to use antibiotics for noninfectious conditions, this antibiotic has known anti inflammatory effects.

  156. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Sounds like good approach, although I think lyme disease testing a waste of time and money, as even if positive for exposure, that likely has nothing to do with chronic symptoms. Zeel is fine to try short term, but dont use more than a few weeks if it does not help. Other options include Tumeric at dose of 10 mg per pound twice daily added to your regimen, as well as great joint supplement like glycoflex III from 1800petmeds. You could also consider totally new and alternative approach like classical homeopathy. To find a homeopath trained in your area, see list of vets at

  157. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Sorry to be so late in getting back to you on this, but in this breed I most commonly think of intervertebral disc disease and inflammation as causing these issues, even if lyme test is positive, that only means animal has been exposed to lyme, not necessarily causing current symptoms. Even the antibiotic doxycycline has anti inflammatory properties, so even using it in pets WITHOUT lyme infection can help. I hope your dog is feeling better.

  158. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    HI Matt. Sorry to be so late in getting back to you, but most of these cases of chronic lyme like symptoms are NOT due to the organism but due to an overactive or autoimmune response. In most cases immunosuppressive meds like prednisone and/or atopica/cyclosporine are needed. I would recommend you consult with a veterinary internal medicine specialist

  159. Barbara M CrawfordJuly 31, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Our Labs were once again diagnosed with Lyme. The vet cost for Amoxicillin was $92.00 for the two of them. I called Walmart and was told it would be around $15.00. The vet was fine with calling in a prescription to Walmart, saving us a ton of money. Just an FYI.

  160. I have a 1 year old Labrador/Hound mix. We brought her to the vet because she usually would go to her food, and eat it all in seconds. But she wouldn’t even bother to go near it. The vet diagnosed her with lime and she’s been on the antibiotic for about 2 weeks now. But she still isn’t eating her food without us hand feeding it to her little by little..any advice?

  161. hi i have a 1 year old shih tzu female,spayed,i noticed 5 weeks ago that she was limping on right leg,she limped for 2 days and it went away,so i thought nothing of it..a few days later she starts trying to pee and couldnt so i took her to the vet and sure enough a UTI, given meds, cleared up,he did say she had crystals in her urine. a few days later i noticed she had healed from the UTI but she started being lethargic,took her back to the vet and he did an xray and confirmed there was no stones,so put her on pain med blood work was great as well…a week later she is getting worse, fever has set in now so i changed vets..this vet told me she had upper repitory infection and treated her for that..a few days later shes really not good,she barks for me to help her on and off the furniture,appitite has been great through all of this, no diaria or vomiting,whimpers when picked up, shys away from petting her and then i noticed she started shedding, and trust me my shih tzu has never shed before, so back to the vet i go, this time they put her in the hospital and treat her for hospital 3 days fever wont break,took blood and sent off to test for tick titer…still havent gotten results yet.. they told me yesterday she needed a specialist so i rushed her to an emergency animal hospital and they did an ultra sound, everything was great on that, did a joint tap and that came back positive so they sent it off i think it will come back as some form of tick disease, they gave her some predisone in her iv and im waiting now for vet to call me to see how she is ..i havent heard anything and i am worried.they did call yesterday and told me it was immune-mediated polyarthritis..she was dumping protein in her urine but not now and her lymph nodes around and under neck was swollen,i pulled a few ticks off her we live in a wooded area and the last one before all this started happening to her i pulled off the inside of her ear and then she starts getting sick, they said her immune system is weak,,is this right? do you think she will test positive for tick disease? and will she live with this immune-mediated polyarthritis?? i worry so much i wish the hospital would call me…i cant believe she was in one hospital and treated for panchritis when it wasnt that the ultra sound showed all organ were fine..thank you sorry this was so long.

  162. On Labor Day, my slightly overweight, 26# mixed breed 5 y.o. baby girl started acting like she was in pain. Out of the blue, no previous health problems. She stands there with her head down, shivering, back arched, slow shuffling walk, cries when you try and touch her, normally she’s a snuggling lap dog. Her glands in her throat swell intermittently, her appetite is on and off, depending on how she’s feeling. At first I thought she had pulled a muscle as she has short legs and a long back, so I treated with 2 baby aspirin every 4 hrs and it helped tremendously but then her episodes started getting worse and longer in duration. I’ve taken her to the vet twice, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, she did have ticks previously removed though I use Frontline plus on my dogs. She had been on doxycycline and tramadol for 2 days but she got worse, I took her back to the vet and they gave me an nsaid and a pill for upset stomach, I believe it’s called carfarane, well the last 2 days she seems halfway normal, but at night her glands in her throat swell and she stands there with her head down, arched back, shivering and crying. Last night her throat swelled so much, I had to remove her collar because it was too tight, her tongue was hanging out, she looked like she was having trouble breathing and she just cries. I called the vet again today and they were quite rude and said they told me it will take awhile for the antibiotics to start working. Meanwhile she has to suffer? If it was a human baby, something would be done. I truly believed she was going to die last night, my heart is breaking. Her elimination is normal, I have to carry her down the 2steps to the yard cause she can make it to the door, just not down the steps. I am on chemotherapy myself and disability so my resources are very little. I’ve already spent$500 on our 2 office visits and medication. They want me to bring her back again but I don’t want to waste the precious little money I have for them not to help her. Her symptoms always are worse at night, though I consistently give her the medicine every 12 hrs as prescribed. Will her glands swelling that bad cut off her airway? Most of her symptoms sounds like Lyme disease from what I’ve read but I’m not sure cause it says the antibiotics should have shown some improvement by now. Please help asap, I don’t want her to die. Btw it was 2 different vets I went to. The specialist is over 70 miles away and nextOn Labor Day, my slightly overweight, 26# mixed breed 5 y.o. baby girl started acting like she was in pain. Out of the blue, no previous health problems. She stands there with her head down, shivering, back arched, slow shuffling walk, cries when you try and touch her, normally she’s a snuggling lap dog. Her glands in her throat swell intermittently, her appetite is on and off, depending on how she’s feeling. At first I thought she had pulled a muscle as she has short legs and a long back, so I treated with 2 baby aspirin every 4 hrs and it helped tremendously but then her episodes started getting worse and longer in duration. I’ve taken her to the vet twice, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, she did have ticks previously removed though I use Frontline plus on my dogs. She had been on doxycycline and tramadol for 2 days but she got worse, I took her back to the vet and they gave me an nsaid and a pill for upset stomach, I believe it’s called carfarane, well the last 2 days she seems halfway normal, but at night her glands in her throat swell and she stands there with her head down, arched back, shivering and crying. Last night her throat swelled so much, I had to remove her collar because it was too tight, her tongue was hanging out, she looked like she was having trouble breathing and she just cries. I called the vet again today and they were quite rude and said they told me it will take awhile for the antibiotics to start working. Meanwhile she has to suffer? If it was a human baby, something would be done. I truly believed she was going to die last night, my heart is breaking. Her elimination is normal, I have to carry her down the 2steps to the yard cause she can make it to the door, just not down the steps. I am on chemotherapy myself and disability so my resources are very little. I’ve already spent$500 on our 2 office visits and medication. They want me to bring her back again but I don’t want to waste the precious little money I have for them not to help her. Her symptoms always are worse at night, though I consistently give her the medicine every 12 hrs as prescribed. Will her glands swelling that bad cut off her airway? Most of her symptoms sounds like Lyme disease from what I’ve read but I’m not sure cause it says the antibiotics should have shown some improvement by now. Please help asap, I don’t want her to die. Btw it was 2 different vets I went to. The specialist is over 70 miles away and next available appointment is not for several weeks. Thank you for any assistance you can give. available appointment is not for several weeks. Thank you for any assistance you can give.

  163. Hello. I have a 6 yr old golden retriever mix, we brought him for his wellness checkup last week. I received a call from our vet on Friday informing us his test came back positive for Lymes(he has no sympotms at all, acting very much his normal self). Our dog since we have owned him has been vaccinated yearly for Lymes Disease. What is alarming is the fact that he has been both vaccinated as well as treated with K9 Advantix annually/monthly as prescribed and he still received a positive result. Also, when telling me his numbers in the second test, his numbers are claimed to be off the chart (over700). the vet informed me that she wanted to prescribe 600mg of antibiotic a day for 30 days. I am all for treating my dog if he has a positive result….I am confused how a vaccination and monthly treatment of K9 would lead to this result and I am concerned at the level of mg (he weighs 69 lbs) he will be taking for a duration of 30 days. I don’t want to have new health issues stemming from the dosage. What would you recommend? We considered having a second test done, but we were informed this 4 level test is very effective (and something new at the office). Thank you in advance for your feedback.

  164. Hello, our dog loo is a jack russell /cocker spaniel who was diagnosed with lymes 2 years ago. The vet put her on an antibiotic and a pain reliever and she was back to her old self in a few days. When she was done with the pills a month later she continued to do fine. A little over a month ago she began to show the same symptoms again, the limping, shivering, lack of appetite etc…so I took her back to the same vet and expressed concern about lymes again because I wasn’t sure if it could simply flare up or she could “re catch it”. The vet wasn’t entirely clear about that but ran the test and said her levels were very high and he gave her an antibiotic. She did get better after a few days but she was done with the pills a few days ago and is now beginning to act sick again. I’m starting to wonder if it really is the lymes or not and questioning if I need to find another vet. He said when she was done with the pills to come in and have a vaccine, which didn’t sound right at all to me since she’s had the virus for 2 years now.

  165. Hello, I have a 5 year old miniature schnauzer. He is about 24 lbs. In late July he exhibited lameness in his rear leg solved by loss of appetite a couple of days later. I took him to our regular vet who did X-rays and saw nothing wrong but prescribed Tramadol and Rimadyl. After i started the treatment his situation worsened to the point where he couldn’t get up or eat. I really thought I would lose him. I rushed into Animal Medical Center emergency room here in NYC and after a completed exam and blood work he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Started Doxycycline 100 mg once a day for 30 daysand he got better within 48 hours and completely recovered.

    a week ago i noticed him lifting his front leg and i immediately though Lyme is back. Started him on Doxycycline and while he seems better and is eating normally and doesn’t show many pain, he still lifts his leg when he gets up from lying down for a while. a minute or so later he puts his leg down and works and runs as normal.
    My question is how long should it take before the lameness is completely gone? it’s been a week now and i am concerned…

    Also, we spend weekends upstate NY where there are a lot of deer – is this a new infection or is this the original virus awakening again? Any way to know this?
    He is on Vectra 3D year around. Don’t know what else to do to prevent this from happening again. He loved roaming our property and i know we have deer so I’m really struggling as far as whether to let him outside or not. Is there anything you can recommend as far as spraying the property or something like that that would prevent the tricks form surviving there?

    thank you

  166. After having my dog die from kidney failure due to Lyme back when they assumed (wrongly) he was protected via vaccines I would always err on precaution and give full dosages of doxycycline if symptomatic.

  167. I have a 2 yr. old male Golden who started limping recently. He shows no pain when manipulated. I took him to the vet 9 days ago where he was examined, tested negative for Lyme but did have a temp of 103.5. For precaution the vet is treating him for Lyme. Have 3 week supply of Doxy. My question is how long does it take for the limp to subside. Some days he seems a little better then goes back to limp. He did have a week’s worth of pain med but it has run out. He also has a 3 yr. old sister and they play really hard and rough. Our initial thought was a pulled muscle or sprain until the temp showed up. I try to keep him as quiet as possible but not easy as he always wants to be outside. He has a heavy coat and LOVES the snow! Any ideas or suggestions? Wondering if I should have it x-rayed after all the med is gone and if he still has a limp. He is my ig baby .

  168. Hello Dr.
    I have a 5yr. old collie who was diagnosed with lyme back in July. Her C6 antibody number was 103. She was on doxy for a month. Took her back 6 months later for a retest and her C6 numbers went up to 196. She has never had any symptoms. Did the first round of antibiotics not work, or possible reinfected? Should I treat again for a month as suggested by the vet?Thank you in advance,

  169. I have a 12 week old puppy n she is coughing I don’t have money to take her to the vet, I have 100 mg minocycline for dogs and I was wondering if I could give that to her?

  170. Hi my German Shepard tested positive for lymes disease last yr. It was caught in the winter were not sure how long he might have had it but he showed no symptoms. We had found a lump that was developing on his back. We took him to the vet and they checked and it was nothing dangerous they thought it was a bit of some sort. They gave him meds and it went away immediately then when the meds finished the lump returned right away. So we went back to the vet and they drained the lump. Luckily he had his annual check up where they run all blood work and a physical. They ended up finding he had lymes disease and within that week I noticed he seemed off wasn’t himself. He started his first cycle of the moxyciline (I believe that’s what it’s called) once that cycle was finished he started getting Lil joint pains in his back legs. So the vet wanted to run a full body x-ray to make sure it’s not anything genetic (as my dogs breed have hip dysplasia and spinal issues) they still couldn’t retest him for lymes disease since it’s only been a month since he first tested . (he’s 6yrs old) the vet was amazed how good his joints all looked so she knew the achs he was getting was probably muscle pain bc he still had the lymes disease so she put him on another cycle of the meds. It’s been about 9 months and I notice sometimes he gets these Lil achs. He’s a very active dog he swims alot, runs alot, plays w alot of dogs. But sometimes if he’s had a very active day his back thigh muscle achs. If this happens my vet gave me some inflammation meds/pain killer for him to take so I give it to him for about day/2 till he seems better. But will he always have these achs should I be concerned as he gets older? Should I retest him for lymes disease?

  171. I have a 9 week old Goldendoodle (Mix) puppy where we found a tick on him last week. He is being tested for Lyme in a few weeks but my concern is his quality of life having his disease if he tests positive and am looking for an idea or examples of others who have experienced this, prognosis.

  172. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 24, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I would NOT over react to finding a tick on him. Even if the test is positive, that only indicates exposure to lyme disease. Most dogs who are exposed to lyme disease DONT get sick with any symptoms at all, and actually are able to get over it on their own. There are more accurate tests then the screening tests at the local vet office, including a C6 antibody blood test, PCR testing, etc that can be done at outside lab, and will likely be negative.

  173. Hi,
    My nearly 3yr old rescue pug just tested positive for Lyme on his Heartworm test. The vet stated that the level was so low that he was probably very recently exposed (in last 3-5 weeks). He gave me the option of performing a titre test to see how high or low his levels are or to just put him on a course of doxycycline . My dog has ZERO symptoms. I hate to just give him meds for no reason as I have read that docycyline can be very toxic to dogs–but I also don’t want to withhold treatment if it can keep him from possibly developing Lyme disease in the future. Should I perform a kidney function test to rule out kidney problems? Give him the docycline? Try another less toxic antibiotic? I’m so confused as he seems absolutely fine.
    Please advise! Thank you!!!

  174. Studies show that over 90% of dogs who live in Lyme endemic areas can test positive with NO clinical signs. Most of these dogs dont need treatment. Lab tests are used to back up how the patient is clinically, and NOT to decide on treatment. If your pet is asymptomatic for Lyme disease, there is good chance that the positive test simply means exposure and an immune response and NOT necessarily infection. While further testing can be helpful, I personally DONT treat asymptomatic dogs.

  175. My dog Odin has been diognosed with Lyme disease , we are treating him with the anti biotics . My consern is his joint discomfort and appetite . Is there a anti inflamory that I use like aspirin and is there a appetite stimulant that I can give him

  176. Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs of the aspirin class such as the prescription drugs metacam, rimadyl, etc are sometimes used for pain, etc but if a dog is not eating can be risky. The use of over the counter aspirin or any of these are to be discussed with your local veterinarian, and the decision to use them will be based on symptom history, etc There are also appetite stimulants that are occasionally used like prescription mirtazipine, which your vet would need to prescribe, however from the little bit of information given here, I question that there is something else; ‘OTHER than a diagnosis of “lyme disease” that could be causing the symptom here. I recommend a recheck exam with your local vet

  177. My 7 year old standard poodle has tested positive for lyme. He has no symptoms. My vet was not going to prescribe antibiotics at this time as he mentioned that they are not typically effective at removing the lyme entirely from the body. However, I suspect, due to all of my questioning he then said that we could run a course of antibiotics for 30 days.
    Am I putting my dog at risk of other complications by giving the antibiotic? Health issues down the road, etc.? Dosage is 100mg twice a day.

  178. Forgot to say it is doxycycline.

  179. And, once I start, must I finish the antibiotic the full 30 days or does it increase the risk that it would make a superbug.

  180. All excellent questions. You could ask your vet for a more accurate confirmatory test sent out to lab such as a PCR lyme test or C6 antibody test, which is believed to be more clinically relevant to actual infection, rather than simply prior exposure on a simple heartworm combination 4Dx test done by many vets in their offices. Most experts in our field dont advise blanketly treating asymptomatic patients for 30 days with antibiotics, although opinions will vary across the country. As for superbug and/or other risks of 30 day doxy course, that is always a rare possibility, which is why I personally take using antibiotics for any length of time very seriously. Good luck with your decision on this

  181. I have a 2 1/2 yr old boxer that tested positive for lyme a yr ago and has been on several antibiotics, the vet says he has never seen a case like this before. He doesn’t limp or yelp, but my vet says boxers aren’t cryers. He is actually thinking about doing a case study on him. I feel so bad for the poor guy. He just lays around, once in a while he gets a burst of energy and plays for a bit. We don’t want to keep him on antibiotics and ruin his insides, he’s only been off of them for maybe 3 months out of the year.
    Have you ever heard of such a case?

  182. Hello! We have a 3 year old golden male. He routinely hikes with us and, despite being on nexgard, we usually pull 10 ticks off him over the 24 hrs after our hikes. Usually they are just crawling on his fur, but rarely they have beet attached. Roughly one month ago developed right front leg pain, we rested him for a couple weeks but when it persisted intermittently we saw vet. Accuplex 4 was done for Lyme and was negative. We started a trial of more rest and NSAIDs. The right front paw limp resolved but five days later he couldn’t rise from lying down due to right hind leg limp. His hind leg symptoms were much more dramatic (and scary!) than the front leg limp which was quite subtle and only lasted a few steps after rising. We noticed the hind leg limp even when we walked a bit and he really didn’t want to walk much and he’d reduced appetite and lethargy. We rushed to vet who wasn’t sure the cause. Discussed injury but doubt as he was resting. Discussed dysplasias (how likely would this present relatively acutely in 2 separate joints). Discussed autoimmune causes. My husband and I were very worried about Lyme or other tick borne cause despite the initial negative serologies. We agreed to send a tick panel that included the c6 for Lyme (snap4 Dx plus) as well as a tick PCR panel. Still awaiting the results. We started a trial of doxy 10mg/kg/day and his symptoms completely resolved by the end of the 2nd day. Our question is, given his response should we assume Lyme or tick borne disease was culprit? Could a dysplasia or injury resolve this quickly? What about autoimmune? I realize it’s compounded by the fact that doxy has anti inflammatory properties but I don’t know how quickly you would see a response. We plan to complete a 4-6 week course of doxy and will gradually reintroduce activity in a few days (has been restricted for almost 1 week now). I suppose resuming activity (this dog hikes and runs regularly) and seeing if the limp returns will be very telling. Any thoughts on the cause or other advice would be so very appreciated, especially given rapidity of response to doxy. Thank you!

  183. I would NOT assume your dog has lyme disease, especially if there are NO clinical symptoms of the disease. We should NOT be treating lab results, but only if patient has symptoms. Many dogs test positive for lyme for years, yet are NOT infected and DONT need treatment. Further testing such as PCR, C6antibody test, etc can all be done, but most important indications of treating dog is if he has clinical symptoms. More importantly, you should be monitoring his urine for excessive protein loss at the vet, and if that starts to occur, then treatment with medications and supplements to help with protein losing urine problems can be started, however repetitive antibiotics are typically NOT needed and should not be used. Consider asking for referral to vet internist in your area who is expert on this, and will likely back up what I am saying here.

  184. HI JAckie. Thank you for your post. I am sorry about the chronic mess with your dog. To summarize, most cases of tick born diseases respond RAPIDLY to antibiotics like doxycycline within a few days, HOWEVER, this particular antibiotic ALSO has a strong anti inflammatory and immuno suppressive effect, which many clients, as well as ignorant veterinarians are not aware of. THus patients who are negative for all tick born diseases, often respond to doxy, due to this anti inflammatory effect; In my opinion and experience the more common scenario is a CHRONIC relapsing AUTOIMMUNE condition in the vast majority of cases, that if the lamenesses tend to recur, usually need immunosuppressive medications like prednisone, atopica, etc In spite of mega testing on cases like this, this is what is typically found. Rarely is infectious disease the cause of chronic and relapsing lameness but usually immune mediated i.e like a lupus or rheumatoid arthritis patient. Referral to specialists in your area, who can do extensive x rays, blood work and even joint taps can be done looking for rare infectious causes. I would also try and approach this holistically as well. Stay away from over vaccination INCLUDING ANY lyme vaccination, as well as learn more about holistic approaches to disease

  185. I have a seven year old Papillion who recently tested positive for Lyme and Ehrlichiosis but did not have symptoms. After his vet visit, she put him on doxycycline. My dog went from a happy, healthy, energetic dog to a limping, sad dog. I stopped the medicine to see if that was the cause, and after a day and a half, he was not limping and happy again. I am told I need to put him back on this medicine. Can this medicine cause limping when there wasn’t any prior?

  186. HI Julie. Very odd sequence of events. Very often many veterinarians in error OVERDIAGNOSE a positive lyme exposure blood test as a cause of a patient’s symptoms, and in many cases many veterinarians mistakingly use doxycycline and/or other antibiotics in NONsymptomatic dogs, based only on a blood test, which is not what the experts on this condition advise. You could consider asking your vet to run an PCR lyme blood test and/or C6 antibody test, which often more collorates with the pet’s clinical condition and in house lyme test results done at vet offices. I would NOT expect, however for your pet to GET WORSE on the doxycycline. If he is, I would ask your vet about an alternative cause of the symptoms and/or additional testing as I suggest here

  187. My dog is 11 years old. He is a 18 lb Chihuahua mix….he tested positive for Lyme on Monday of this week. He was up until then very active, ran around….now he
    Can’t even walk, he hasn’t taken a single step. I have to hold him up to pee or to drink. I took him to the ER and he was given Doxy, I gave him a dose that day and Tuesday….he wasn’t eating or drinking much so I took him to my regular vet. They gave him SC fluids, Pepcid, some nausea Med and a bland diet food. They said his kidney results showed mild elevation and to recheck it in a week…so they said Lyme Nephritis…..he’s had 3 doses of doxy total but what’s scaring me is that he isn’t walking at all! He can barely near any weight… this normal for Lyme?

  188. The only true rare health threat to an OCCASIONAL animal on lyme exposure is a rare Lyme nephritis, which is more of an autoimmune response, rather than due to the bacteria itself, which is why doxycycline antibiotic not adequate if your pet TRULY has lyme nephritis. Your pet needs full urine analysis to check urine protein levels, especially a urine protein/creatinine ratio to make this diagnosis, in addition to blood work. NOT very common in toy breed like this but more in retriever and larger breeds. IF that is what your pet truly has, then additional treatment is likely needed rather than just doxycycline. I am still doubtful that this is what your pet actually has. You may want to ask your vet for referral to vet specialist or internist in your area who can make sure diagnosis is correct and best treatment

  189. Also Kara, consulting with a holistic veterinarian on this also might be helpful, if lyme nephritis is present, as traditional medical care prognosis on this is bleak if that is actual diagnosis To learn more see Many holistic vets offer phone consultations

  190. Our 3-year-old long-haired chihuahua recently tested positive for Lyme Disease in a routine exam/work-up. Our vet gave us the option of treating her though she had no symptons whatsoever. She has been taking 50 mg twice a day (for 30 days) and she is currently half-way through her prescription…her stomach is rumbling, she is eating little, and she clearly doesn’t like this medication…she knows it makes her stomach upset. I called the vet and he said it’s normal for the doxycycline to give and upset stomach. I am seriously considering discontinuing this treatment after everything I’ve read here and what I see…basically a dog that is not sick at all being subjected to a medication she doesn’t seem to require. My question is will I do her harm by stopping the medication altogether? Thank you so much!

  191. I was diagnose of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 2 years ago, my family doctor told me there is no cure but it can only be controled. Ever since then i have been running heather scepter looking for a solution to my problem because i was going to lose my Job if i dont get better, until i ran into this online testimony of Mrs Stacey who have been cured of COPD by this herbal clinic in Johannesburg (Ejiro Herbal Clinic), i immediately contacted them via their email, to God be thy glory i bought this COPD herbal remedy and was cured within 3 weeks of usage, at last this is a break through for all COPD patients contact this herbal clinic via their email ejiroherbalclinic(at)gmail(dot)com or call +27617403481 (Please write email in right format)

  192. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story

  193. My sisters 7 year old 6 pound Yorkie has lime disease for a few years now .I’ve noticed the last few two or three days he’s having difficulty walking .is there anything I can do to help him ? we gave him doggie aspirins for the pain.

  194. I would NOT give doggie aspirin on your own here without proper exam and evaluation by your local vet, as could be other causes of lameness or relapse of lyme disease

  195. My 14 year old chihuahua has been on medication for kidney disease for over a year. He recently tested positive for Lyme and is on doxycycline. When tested, he had no symptoms. Lethargy and trouble walking began after two weeks on the antibiotic. What do you think about this?

  196. Hi Jennifer. A POSITIVE test for Lyme disease does NOT mean that a pet has active clinical lyme disease or infection. It just means your pet was exposed at one point in his life. MOST pets exposed to lyme disease and testing positive NEVER get sick and many veterinarians erroneously diagnose lyme disease and place pets on antibiotics. I would strongly recommend a veterinary exam and recheck, and workup for other disorders, as there is likely something else going on here, including kidney and/or other geriatric diseases

  197. My 2 year old Blue Heeler/Corgi mix was just diagnosed with Lyme Disease and he is having trouble walking or even getting off the couch, is there anything i can do to make him more comfortable and maybe help with this? I feel so bad for him.

  198. HI Kayla. I would follow your veterinarian’s directions in taking any prescribed medications and/or antibiotics such as doxycycline. If lyme disease TRULY the cause here, there should be rapid improvement within a few days of starting the antibiotic. Unfortunately, many veterinarians OVERdiagnose Lyme disease as a cause of symptoms in pets, as many pets may test positive but arent actually infected. IF your pet is not feeling better, I would return to vet for recheck and workup for other possible diagnoses here as a cause of the symptoms

  199. My Chuahuaha/Doxi was diagnosed with Lyme disease. She currently on a treatment of Doxicyclene can I still give her her Vectra-D for heartwaorm.

  200. My 10-year old Border Collie, Dokken, was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure in mid-May, 2016. Her kidney values on a blood test were HUGE indicating 4th stage kidney failure. She spent five days at an Animal Hospital near Philadelphia and had her kidneys flushed and the values brought down to a plateau. She looked great but three days later the kidney values were up, she would not eat, barely drink, not take her medication. She was put to sleep on June 14 after suffering two small seizures. She had tested positive for Lyme Disease every year since 2011 when she was initially given 90 days of Doxycline. I used Advantix periodically on her. She tested positive for Lyme Disease every year after 2011 until 2016. She was not prescribed any further medication or treatment. She did not exhibit any signs of Lyme Disease until mid-May 2016 when she appeared lethargic and listless and not her energetic self. Until that time she was always active. I no longer patronize the vet whom I had been going to with various dogs for 20 years. He should have been more vigilant with an older dog who had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease such as annual blood tests and bi-annual check-ups. If caught early there is a chance to manage kidney failure whether caused by Lyme Disease or not. I knew nothing about kidney failure in people or animals until this happened and fault myself also for not being more vigilant. However, it all comes down to a caring vet. I was devastated when I got a copy of the blood test and the vet did not contact me to discuss it but merely, at that time, said to make another appointment for a re-test in a week. I loved that dog and her sister both of whom were Border Collie mixes and true Border Collies — affectionate, energetic, and intelligent. I was fortunate to get them when they were 1-1/2 years old and to still have the sister, Vixen. But she and I are still sad.

  201. I left a comment about my Border Collie, Dokken, now deceased. Did you get it?

  202. Regarding my comment, above. My Border Collie, Dokken, was diagnosed with 4th stage Kidney Failure in mid-May, 2016. She was 10 years old and was put to sleep on June 14. Dokken had been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure after a blood test indicated HUGE kidney values. Dokken had tested positive for Lyme Disease in 2011 and, at that time, was given 90 tabs of 100 mg Doxycicline. She tested positive for Lyme Disease every year from thereafter until 2016 but was never given further medication. She exhibited no symptoms until mid-May when she became lethargic and listless and not her usual energetic Border Collie self. She spent five days at a veterinary hospital outside Philadelphia and they brought her kidney values down to a plateau. She seemed great but three days later her kidney values were up again and she would not eat, barely drink, not take her medication. After two small seizures I had to make the sad decision to have her put to sleep. It was devastating. I loved that dog and her sister, who I still have, whom I got when they were 1-1/2 years old. Border Collies are so affectionate, loyal and intelligent. I no longer visit this vet whom I have been going to for over 20 years with various dogs. He made no effort to discuss Dokken’s condition with me and merely said to make a second appointment the following week. He should have suggested annual blood tests for a dog testing positive with Lyme Disease and who was an older dog together with bi-annual checkups. Possibly that could have indicated a beginning problem (since some dogs do develop kidney failure with Lyme Disease) and could have been managed with medication and diet. The animal hospital diagnosis could not exactly determine the cause of Dokken’s kidney failure but suggested it could have been age, genetics, and a possible underlying occult infection (Lyme Disease?). I miss her terribly although I till have her sister. They were and are both great, sweet dogs and I was fortunate to have them for 8 plus years.

  203. That should not be a problem to give the Vectra now

  204. HI Diana. Just seeing your questions now. Answering this one first. So sorry to hear of your recent tragic loss It does sound like you did everything possible for her. AS a fellow graduate of University of PA Veterinary School in Philly, you have a world renowned expert there on Lyme Disease who i learned from in Meryl Littman, VMD. The bottom line of all of this lyme hubra is that all veterinarians should really be doing on their lyme positive dogs, is monitoring periodically urine protein/creatinine ratios on the urines of dogs to pick up early protein loss in urine which RARELY happens on dogs exposed to lyme disease i.e called Immune glomerulonephropathy; All of the other fancy tests, etc that are constantly being redone and over or misinterpreted are a waste of time in my opinion and experience. The only rare sensitive patient that develops complications from Lyme disease typically involves the kidneys like this. Megarounds of antibiotics with doxycycline, etc are of no use in monitoring for this most important yet rare complication

  205. My 100 pound chocolate lab was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in August 2016. My vet immediately started him on Doxycicline (5-100mg dose every 24 hours). After his treatment was over they wanted to test his levels again and appeared to still be high and want to re-test in January or February 2017. We also have been fighting an issue with blood in his urine which they are attributing to his kidneys, are the two linked?

    Just yesterday he is starting to show the signs of lyme disease, he has visibly swollen joints and walking slowly (if he is even moving). Does this mean the doxycicline didn’t work? I called my vet to talk to her about it and she still wants to wait to re-test and prescribed him previcox 227 (1 dose every 24 hours). She seemed to think from a previous check up that he has arthritis. So maybe she thinks that is the cause of his swollen joints.

    My concern is that his lyme condition is getting worse and affecting his kidneys and my vet isn’t sure how to handle. I just need a second option, I guess. Thanks in advance.

  206. I would recommend that your vet check urine analysis for protein loss in urine as well as a specific test known as urine protein/creatinine ratio to see if early kidney disease present, which is the ONLY real risk from chronic lyme disease. Some retrievers are prone to this rare form of lyme, and if detected early, may be able to be helped with drugs called Ace inhibitors such as enalopril or benazopril, as well as omega 3 fatty acids supplements. I would also consider working with a holistic vet on this as traditional vet medicine not do great job with these rare complications. To learn more see As for the swollen joints, it could be another flareup of lyme or perhaps another chronic joint issue. I would NOT simply go back on the doxy. Sometimes prednisone or other immuno suppressive meds are needed, as the FEW dogs who get sick on lyme exposure, this is due to an autoimmune reaction(an overactivity of your pet’s immune system) rather than due to the bacteria itself, so that is why repetitive doses of doxycycline may not help. Your vet should also check for other tick born diseases. I would NOT use previcox on case like this. You could also ask your vet for referral to vet internist in your area if he or she is stumped. Good luck on it

  207. Kelly. This is just my opinion but when giving the doxy, they should also get a good probiotic. Also, if you read up on you may want to also incorporate homeopathic Ledum or another they suggest to help.
    Good luck.

  208. The only RARE clinical chronic health care consequence of natural exposure to lyme disease in dogs, is a rare form of kidney disease where the filtering mechanism of the kidneys has been damaged resulting in excessive loss of protein in urine and eventual kidney failure. A simple urine analysis, and then a test known as a urine protein/creatinine ratio can be performed on the urine to see if this is a possibility. Prescription drugs such as benazopril, as well as supplements like omega 3 fatty acids may help manage this for a while long term. Further courses of doxycycline will likely not lead to long term improvement, however doxycycline does have anti inflammatory effect, even in lyme negative dogs. Your description of swollen joints is more likely an autoimmune reaction, which is the only rare reason why occasional dogs develop the rare chronic form of kidney disease, and which may need immunosuppressive meds to help manage like prednisone, etc. Most dogs, in fact, who are naturally exposed to lyme disease get over it all on their own, without any symptoms ever developing in exposed pets. I dont think previcox is way to go in this case, especially if autoimmune joint issue now, as well as potential kidney toxicity of this drug. I would ask your vet for referral to vet internist in your area, if he or she is stuck

  209. Excellent suggestion Julie. Always a good idea to use probiotics when using antibiotics, especially doxycycline, which may lead to yeast overgrowth in some sensitive dogs

  210. My 6 year-old Golden tested positive for lyme April of 2016. No symptoms. Urine tests good along with other blood tests. The number, not sure what it means, has gone up from 34, 58 and now is 94. I have learned that a dog is not symptomatic unless 300. I don’t want to treat her with doxy if not necessary as she is a healthy happy dog and is on a raw diet.

  211. HI Bonnie. As a more holistic oriented veterinarian, I always stress to clients that we should NOT treat lab values, but only if patients are symptomatic. Whether her number is 300 or 94, if she has no symptoms of discomfort, fever, kidney issues, swollen joints, etc, I DONT treat asymptomatic dogs in my practice with conventional drugs. You could consider taking her to an internal medicine specialist in your area, who can offer you expert second opinion. I would continue to follow her urine protein/creatinine ratio, which is MUCH more important than some sort of quantifying lyme diagnosis test, as the urine protein/creatinine ratio can pick up early kidney problems, which can occur on rare occasions in dogs, especially Goldens who have been exposed to lyme disease. I would also consider working with a holistic or homeopathic vet on raising her health in different ways. To learn more about homeopathy, see the booklet on the website as well as the info on my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations nationwide.

  212. My dog had blood test for Lyme desiese which was 35 was put on doxycycline.If he bred another dog would there be any harm for the mother or puppies to get the disease .ther was never any symptoms but noted that there was a tick on him.When I told my vet she automatically tested his blood. Thank you

  213. No risk at all to other dog you would breed to or future puppies, etc Also DONT assume your dog has LYME DISEASE INFECTION. Most dogs who are positive for lyme disease EXPOSURE, HAVE NO SYMPTOMS and get over the exposure fine on their own with or without treatment with doxy.

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