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Tick-borne disease and seizures


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Although I do have dogs with tick-borne disease or with titers that have

sometimes produced symptoms (depending on how you look at it which is

controversial), none of my dogs have

seizures at all so I did not have these

references at my fingertips.


Here are websites and below them are references to articles, mostly

from Pubmed and mostly about people. There is a lot of information out



I seem to have trouble posting this to Sheepdog.










www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/ tablecontents.htm





1. Canine Lyme disease: clinical and serological evaluations in 21 dogs

in Japan.

Vet Rec. 1994 Apr 9;134(15):369-72.

PMID: 8009799 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

2: Azuma Y, Kawamura K, Isogai H, Isogai E. Related Articles, Links

Neurologic abnormalities in two dogs suspected Lyme disease.

Microbiol Immunol. 1993;37(4):325-9.

PMID: 8350773 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

3. Rev Neurol (Paris). 1993;149(8-9):489-91. Related Articles, Links



[Epilepsy disclosing neuroborreliosis]


[Article in French]


Mourin S, Bonnier C, Bigaignon G, Lyon G.


Service de Neurologie Pediatrique, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc,



After two seizures, a 13 year-old boy experienced headache, fatigue and loss

of appetite over a period of 3 weeks. There was a bilateral papilledema with

normal visual acuity. CT and MRI disclosed two ischemic foci, that were

interpreted as evidence of vasculitis. High serum levels of IgG and IgM

antibodies specific to Borrelia burgdorferi, were present. The patient had

attended an outdoor scout camp in a area, in south-east Belgium, known to be

endemic for tick-born borreliosis. The clinical symptoms, the levels of the

specific antibodies and the radiologic abnormalities responded dramatically

to treatment. We believe that seizures in this case were related to cerebral

vasculitis. This case confirms the extreme diversity of the neurological

manifestations of Borreliosis.


4. 1: Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1998 Mar;17(3):189-96. Related Articles, Links



Neurocognitive abnormalities in children after classic manifestations of

Lyme disease.


Bloom BJ, Wyckoff PM, Meissner HC, Steere AC.


Division of Rheumatology/Immunology, Tufts University School of Medicine,

and the Floating Hospital for Children, Boston, MA, USA.


BACKGROUND: In adults a subtle encephalopathy characterized primarily by

memory impairment, irritability and somnolence may occur months to years

after classic manifestations of Lyme disease. However, only limited

information is available about whether there is an equivalent disorder in

children. METHODS: Case series of five children seen in a Lyme disease

clinic in a university referral center for evaluation of neurocognitive

symptoms that developed near the onset of infection or months after classic

manifestations of Lyme disease. The diagnosis was based on clinical

symptoms, serologic reactivity to Borrelia burgdorferi and intrathecal

antibody production to the spirochete. Evaluation included detailed

neuropsychologic testing. After evaluation the children were treated with

intravenous ceftriaxone for 2 or 4 weeks. Follow-up was done in the clinic

and a final assessment was made by telephone 2 to 7 years after treatment.

RESULTS: Along with or months after erythema migrans, cranial neuropathy or

Lyme arthritis, the five children developed behavioral changes,

forgetfulness, declining school performance, headache or fatigue and in two

cases a partial complex seizure disorder. All five patients had IgG antibody

responses to B. burgdorferi in serum as well as intrathecal IgG antibody

production to the spirochete. Two patients had CSF pleocytoses and three did

not. Despite normal intellectual functioning the five children had mild to

moderate deficits in auditory or visual sequential processing. After

ceftriaxone therapy, the four children in whom follow-up information was

available experienced gradual improvement in symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Children

may develop neurocognitive symptoms along with or after classic

manifestations of Lyme disease. This may represent an infectious or

postinfectious encephalopathy related to B. burgdorferi infection.




Brian A. Fallon, M.D. (1)

Jennifer A. Nields, M.D.

Joseph J. Burrascano, M.D.(2)

Kenneth Liegner, M.D. (3)

Donato DelBene, B.A. (1)

Michaell R. Liebowitz, M.D. (1)


PSYCHIATRIC QUARTERLY, Vol 63, No. 1 Spring 1992


"Case reports have linked a variety of neurologic syndromes to late Lyme

disease, including blindness (21), progressive demyelinating-like syndromes

(mimicking Multiple sclerosis) (2) or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (22),

Guillain-barre (23), progressive dementias (24), seizure disorders (25),

strokes (26), and extrapyramidal disorders (27)."

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Lymes disease is a very complex disease that is difficult to detect. Further, an initial bite from an infected tick may not appear to affect you, but the disease manifests itself upon subsequent exposure to another bite, perhaps years later. People often exhibit gluten allergies and other things which get you mis-diagnosed. A friend suffered 2 yr. and went to 10 doctors before being diagnosed with Lymes. The process of healing will be even longer as she goes thru treatments, antibiotics, and careful diet. gluten products inflame the disease and cause her severe relapses.


I had a dog, a brittany that contracted the disease and he exibited extreme joint pain and swollen testicles. It took two large rounds of anti-biotics to cure the problem and that was a disease apparently caught very early in the disease.

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Penny, I think you are so right about this. I think the tickborne diseases are a very scary lot, and are responsible for a lot more symptoms than are attributed to them. Like most working border collie people in this area of the country, my dogs and I have a huge exposure to ticks. I've had Lyme, and although it was supposedly successfully treated, I believe a lot of my mental deterioration is a result of continued chronic low-grade infection. (I'd like to put a smiley here, but unfortunately I'm serious.) The problem is, the diseases are so poorly understood, and the diagnostic tools so inadequate, how do you know? I have an old dog -- she'll be 13 next month -- who had Lyme and was treated for it in the past. She now has episodes of seeming to see and hear things that aren't there and be agitated by them. But is this senile dementia, or is it chronic Lyme infection in the CNS?


I would like to learn about any ongoing research on tickborne diseases in dogs -- I think supporting them would be money well spent.

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I agree since my late girl Casey had seizures brought on by Erlichia. The Vet School here (supposed experts) automatically presumed epilepsy, but luckily I pushed for tests and waited for the results. She was just beginning in her herding training (late start, she was a 3 y.o. rescue) and I couldn't explain why she no longer had the energy or desire for it when she had previously been very keen and able. I had no idea she was sick, but I could sure tell when she felt better. Even after the proper diagnosis, the Vet School nuerologist still told me it was a rare occurence...but then he later failed to diagnose another problem with Casey, so he's since lost ALL credibility!!



Raleigh, NC with ticks galore :-(

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Eileen, here is an abstract on Lyme and musical auditory hallucinations. Of course, the abstract refers to people because finding out if a dog is having musical auditory hallucinations could be hard.




South Med J. 2003 Jul;96(7):711-5. Related Articles, Links



Musical hallucinations in patients with Lyme disease.


Stricker RB, Winger EE.


Department of Medicine, California Pacific Medical Center, 450 Sutter Street, Suite 1504, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA. rstricker@usmamed.com


Musical hallucinations are poorly understood auditory hallucinations that occur in patients with otologic or neurologic diseases. We report the first cases of musical hallucinations in two patients with neurologic Lyme disease. Both subjects were women with clinical and laboratory evidence of chronic Lyme disease, progressive neurologic dysfunction, and abnormal magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. There was no evidence of hearing loss in either case. Musical hallucinations had a sudden onset and took the form of patriotic or operatic music. The auditory hallucinations disappeared with intravenous (i.v.) antibiotic therapy in both patients, but the hallucinations recurred when i.v. antibiotic therapy was discontinued in one case. Response to therapy was accompanied by an increase in the CD57 lymphocyte subset in one patient, whereas recurrent hallucinations were associated with persistently low CD57 levels in the other case. We conclude that musical hallucinations may be associated with neurologic Lyme disease. These auditory hallucinations appear to respond to i.v. antibiotic therapy. Patients with musical hallucinations of unknown cause should be tested for infection with the Lyme disease spirochete.


Publication Types:

Case Reports


PMID: 12940329 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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