Three weeks ago, my 3 yr. old Beagle, Mariah, looked like she was trotting short across her pen. It was mid week & we had rabbit hunted 4 days previous. She had difficulty jumping up onto or off the couch & bed like her hind end was sore. This dog jumps like a monkey, hunts and plays hard. I gave her some Rimadyl and also put her on doxycycline as I have been pulling deer ticks off the dogs like crazy for the past month.
She seemed to get a little better but went downhill again when I took her off the Rimadyl. It's been my experience with dogs & Lyme that they seem to rally pretty fast once they are on the doxy.
Took her to the vet & blood work confirmed not only Lyme but Anaplasmosis as well. Palpation showed some thorasic back soreness. Vet said keep her on the doxy for a month & continue the Rimadyl every other day.
Several days later, her hind end weakness had gotten worse. She has trouble getting up from a sitting or lying down position. Back to the vet & another vet gave her a more thorough physical exam and said her right hind knee flexed sore, left shoulder and also still was showing thorasic back tenderness. Recommended continuing the doxy, keeping her on the Rimadyl & added Tramadol into the mix. She also had a low grade fever. Vet thinks this may all be from the Anaplasmosis but wants to wait another two weeks to see how she is doing. Also suggested it might be a tweak to her back or hind knee that is causing her enough discomfort to effect other body parts from trying to protect the areas that hurt. She is very stoic about palpation and flinches slightly but no yelping and no limping once she is up and moving. Trots sound. Vet said xrays if no improvement & then possibly a $2000 (!) MRI if xrays are inconclusive.
My gut is telling me these aren't symptoms from the Anaplasmosis/Lyme, that something nerve related from a tweat somewhere is what is causing this. I guess my question is has anyone dealt with these symptoms & what was the ultimate outcome? I'm afraid that putting off further diagnostics will damage her in some permanent way. Should I be second guessing her assessment by thinking the pain meds should make her more comfortable if her body soreness is from the tick diseases? If anything, she is worse than she was in the very beginning 3 wks. ago.
I'm heartbroken for my girl. She has always been a working dog & she still begs to go hunting but obviously I can't/won't take her. She wisely does not try to jump up on anything and waits for me to lift her up on the couch & barks when she wants to get down. I'm so sad for her. Any thoughts or experiences? We need a hug.
Lyme/A. can be the cause, or a red herring. Beagles are one of those breeds commonly diagnosed with disc issues as well. Theory says that Lyme/A. will show some remission with doxy, where other neuro issues wont. However, I dont think this would completely exclude it from being a potential trigger.
Is it possible to speak with a neurologist? They will liklely be able to do a more thorough exam than your regular vet, if anything, to rule out disc and non-infectious neuro disorders.
It could be the Lyme/A., but it does sound also like a disc. I agree with the neuro consult and I would spring for the xrays sooner rather then later in case it is a disc. Some discs can show up on CT/myelogram, and that would be cheaper then an MRI.