Jump to content
BC Boards

Ehrilichia Recurrence?


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,


We went to the animal hospital yesterday and my 4 year old rescue's (Prince Zorro - Zoey) blood test showed positive for Ehrlichia. When we adopted him in July 2005, the rescue let me know that he had Ehrlichia and they had already started him on treatment and gave me meds for him to continue. They said it wasn't a big deal and I shouldn't be worried about it.


Early this summer, Zoey started limping very slightly. My local vet suggested x-rays - thinking that maybe he had broken something. It just didn't seem to me that this was a broken bone and I didn't proceed with the x-rays. Here are some of the health concerns I currently have:


-limping on left leg (almost appeared like he had a splinter in his pad); sometimes he doesn't limp at all, but most of the time he shows a slight limp

-he's been very lethargic

-didn't want to go out of the house much at all (I thought these were because of the hot summer versus his very heavy coat or that he was sad because we lost our 15 year old lab in April)

-his appetite has been very strong and he's put on about 5 pounds since the wintertime


Our visit yesterday was with a very large, experienced animal hospital. The Dr's physical exam showed that he has some pain in his left shoulder area - Dr thought it was soft tissue related, and said that he expected he was going to tell me to use a nsaid, keep his activity to a minimum, and that it would probably clear up after a couple of weeks.


After he got the blood results and saw the positive for ehrlichia he felt that the pain might be related to the ehrlichia and started Zoe on the Doxycycline. It wasn't until he mentioned the Ehrlichia that I remembered that he had it when I adopted him. Dr's given me enough for 4 weeks - I definitely don't remember giving it to Zoe for that long in 2005.


My questions are this,


- Can ehrlichia recur, or is it likely that Zoe had another tick give it to him again? - Maybe it recurred because I didn't give him meds for a long enough time



- If it does recur, will it come back for the rest of his life? Does the 4 weeks of doxycycline "cure" the ehrlichia?



- After the 4 weeks, if Zoey is tested again should the test result be negative?


Any other advice is greatly appreciated.


Thanks so much,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best thing you can do is get yourself on tick-L and ask questions there. The absolute best advice/info is to be found there and in their archives. What you'll probably find is recommendation for a higher dose than you probably gave for a longer period of time,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the link to subscribe to tick-L: Tick links page


On that page is some specific information on Ehrlichia (now known as Neorickettsia). Just scroll down past the tick-L subscription information to the section titled "Rickettsial diseases." Ehrlichia is a nasty one--I'd read up on the information there, and then if you still have questions post them to Tick-L. The people there are very helpful (the tick links page belongs to one of that list's members).


Here is one link from that page on treatment of TBDs: TBD treatment.


And here is a quote from that page:

The dosage we recommend on Tick List is an aggressive one: 5 mg. of doxy per pound of body weight given every 12 hours for 8 weeks. For those who prefer to figure body weight in kilograms, this is approximately the same as 10 mg per kg, the difference being not enough to mention.


This is twice as high as the dose that is generally recommended and here I should probably remind you that I am not a veterinarian or a medical professional. Well, that's true. At the same time, I should tell you that your vet is the one to decide what dosage to use. Well, no. In my opinion and that of everyone on Tick List, ehrlichiosis and Lyme must be hit hard the first time out and lower doses and/or shorter treatment times all too often mean recurrence. Unless your dog is one of the few that cannot take doxycycline or take it in this higher dose, insist on it! Each time ehrlichiosis or Lyme recurs, it's harder to stop or contain it. [emphasis added]


Please go to the treatment link and read it. It gives a lot of good information on using doxycycline and how to prevent or mitigate some of its side effects. It also has a section on Imizol, which is an accepted alternate treatment choice for dogs infected with Ehrlichia.


Good luck with Zoey.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...