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Can we talk about Lyme again?

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  • Can we talk about Lyme again?

    Hi all,

    My horse had just not been himself this last few weeks - our last show I even had a hard time getting him around and my horse never stops. Looking back now, he was cranky, grinding his teeth, had intermittent swelling in his hind legs, lost some weight and had seemed stiff in the shoulder. Of course I had the vet out right away and yet again, we're dealing with Lyme disease (it came back at 10,000). They think it's an "unresolved infection" that keeps coming back.

    The first time we had tried 3 weeks IV Doxy (edited to add that apparently this is fatal in horses, so I am glad my horse is still alive ) followed by pills for another 3 weeks. It obviously didn't work so they're trying some other antibiotic now.

    My questions are: are there some horses that just don't get better from Lyme? What can I do to help him while he's recovering? The vet wants him to work while he's being medicated but are there things we can be doing to help him feel better?

    Thanks for your help - it's very frustrating.
    *Faune D'Helby*
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Hi all,

    My horse had just not been himself this last few weeks - our last show I even had a hard time getting him around and my horse never stops. Looking back now, he was cranky, grinding his teeth, had intermittent swelling in his hind legs, lost some weight and had seemed stiff in the shoulder. Of course I had the vet out right away and yet again, we're dealing with Lyme disease (it came back at 10,000). They think it's an "unresolved infection" that keeps coming back.

    The first time we had tried 3 weeks IV Doxy (edited to add that apparently this is fatal in horses, so I am glad my horse is still alive ) followed by pills for another 3 weeks. It obviously didn't work so they're trying some other antibiotic now.

    My questions are: are there some horses that just don't get better from Lyme? What can I do to help him while he's recovering? The vet wants him to work while he's being medicated but are there things we can be doing to help him feel better?

    Thanks for your help - it's very frustrating.
    *Faune D'Helby*

    Comment


    • #3
      Gillian, I am clueless on Lyme but wanted you and Faun to know I am worrying with you. Hope he gets better soon!
      Steph

      http://community.webshots.com/user/stephanne014

      Rerider/Haydunker Clique

      RIP Barbaro, you were my hero!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks Steph Given all you're going through, I really appreciate your thoughts. This disease is eating away at my horse's soundness and personality, and I wish there were a surefire way to protect him. It's very hard to see him uncomfortable There is a lot else going on in my life right now so it makes it extra hard...

        Kisses to Bodie and big hugs to you
        *Faune D'Helby*

        Comment


        • #5
          There was a great article in the Horse JOurnal about 2 or 3 years ago, called "Living with Lyme" about the varied experiences of horses after treatment. It's worth going to the website and paying the fee to download the article. http://www.horse-journal.com

          In a nutshell, they said that different horses often need different aftertreatments. Some need to be kept on joint supplements, some need to have immune system boosters, some need anti-oxidants, some need to be re-treated periodically with antibiotics.

          My horse (treated for lyme 3 years ago) has done well on a flax-based joint supplement, combined with antioxidants. She was treated initially with a 30 day course of doxy, and the vet (who is a regular DVM as well as doing some alternative medicines) then dosed her with artemesia for 30 days. She has not had a relapse of the disease, and she was not diagnosed right away.

          Good luck. It's very frustrating, particularly when you're not sure whether you're actually seeing symptoms, or whether it's just a training issue, etc.
          "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

          Comment


          • #6
            When we pulled blood for the test , my vet said that if my mare had Lyme, she would recommend IV tetracycline, because in her experience experience Doxy doesn't work. Then when we had the blood results back she said that due to staffing issues she couldn't do the IV and I would just have to do Doxy. Luckily for both of us, it worked.
            "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

            Comment


            • #7
              Do you do a re-test a month after you stop treatment? That could give you a better baseline on where he is post treatment.

              Otherwise, "Some need to be kept on joint supplements, some need to have immune system boosters, some need anti-oxidants, some need to be re-treated periodically with antibiotics." (I agree) All depends upon how quickly it was first caught and what damage it did prior to treatment.

              Curious, does your vet prescribe a week of NSAIDS during the initial treatment period? Also, a probiotic?

              This lyme thing is a slippery slope. Each horse presents differently... and there's so much contradiction in the studies about treatment/ cure/ re-infection, even 'immunity'.

              I'm not much help but you sure have my sympathy.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for all your thoughts. He is on a joint supplement (chondrogen EQ) and Transfer Factor (an immuno booster). He also gets Legend ongoing. I consider myself lucky that he's not even stiffer than he already is.

                We didn't re-test after his last treatment that I know of - and I have no idea why not. I am usually more thorough than that with following-up with my vet. But he had seemed so much better so I really don't know what happened here. I guess the symptoms come and go...

                It does suck - no two ways about it.
                *Faune D'Helby*

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have found that most horses need to be on the Doxy for at least 90 days. I had one that was on it for 9 months, but now he is better than ever and has been off the Doxy for a year.

                  Good luck!
                  \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks, Mary. I guess each vet has their own approach...let's hope that my guy gets what he needs.
                    *Faune D'Helby*

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Boston, my gelding was diagnosed with lyme on Tuesday He initially got three IV injections of oxytet, now is on 5000 mil doxy for three weeks. My question is how do you feed the doxy? The stuff I got is capsules so I emptied them and mixed with syrup and then pasted him. Problem is I'm going to be gone this weekend and hubby has to do it. Any way it can be "hidden" in the food? It tasted pretty bitter, but maybe mixed in with his beetpulp still in capsule form? Any advice would be much appreciated as I want to make it as easy as possible for him.

                      Thanks, and good luck ~
                      Robin

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Robin - my guy eats everything that isn't nailed down so we don't have issues with that. I had a friend who (I think in the advice of this board) used to put her horse's meds in a little bit of vanilla frosting and the horse would just go to town! Maybe have hubby do that? I bet it would work.
                        *Faune D'Helby*

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Robyn- What I've been doing to get Kiwayu to eat his doxy is put about 1/4 pound of his normal grain in his bucket, then dump the 50 pills (my vet ordered me these TINY pills instead of the capsules since Kiwayu won't eat anything) on top, then I add enough applesauce and molasses mixed with the pills/grain to make a mush. Kiwayu has been eating every last bit. Of course, he's NOT IR or Cushings, but after this treatment he could turn into that with all the sugar... Unfortunately that's the only way he'll eat all the pills, so if that's what I have to do, then that's what I'll do.
                          Kristen

                          Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
                          http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks you guys, I'll give both these suggestions to my husband...and will try them both when I get home. He is not a picky eater, but can sure manage to avoid what he doesn't like.

                            robin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am in Lyme pergatory as well. Cleo did a 30 doxy course. Off for three days and all her symptoms came back. She is now on another 30 day course. She gets 100 pills of doxy per day -- they are little tablets. She just eats them in her grain and has never seemed to notice them. I was worried b/c she is picky, but I guess they must not taste bad.
                              I am worried tho b/c after about 3-4 days on the first round of doxy her symptoms went away almost completely. But now it's been over a week on the second round and she still has symptoms. GGrrrrr! Is this normal?
                              Mary in Area I -- did you do 9 straight months or did your horse come off, regain symptoms and then go back on?
                              My vet has said she might need to get IV doxy after the 60 days and then another 30 days of oral after that.
                              Have you kept your horses in work? I started riding again lightly after the edema in her legs went down and her personality came back to normal. Of course, all fall competition plans were destroyed.
                              Posting Trot - what is Artemesia?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                PS Anyone know of a cheap place to get the doxy? My vet charges $360 for a 30 day dose. I tried Walmart and they were going to charge more than $700!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Robyn:
                                  Boston, my gelding was diagnosed with lyme on Tuesday He initially got three IV injections of oxytet, now is on 5000 mil doxy for three weeks. My question is how do you feed the doxy? The stuff I got is capsules so I emptied them and mixed with syrup and then pasted him. Problem is I'm going to be gone this weekend and hubby has to do it. Any way it can be "hidden" in the food? It tasted pretty bitter, but maybe mixed in with his beetpulp still in capsule form? Any advice would be much appreciated as I want to make it as easy as possible for him.

                                  Thanks, and good luck ~
                                  Robin </div></BLOCKQUOTE> The biggest hassle is emptying the casules.

                                  So don't bother.

                                  I put the capsules in a yogurt container, then add hot water, and wait for the gelatin to dissolve.

                                  For Music I just dump it in with her feed.

                                  For Belle I mix it with apple sauce first.
                                  Janet

                                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My vet has said she might need to get IV doxy </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                    I sincerely hope your vet is NOT planning to give IV Doxy.

                                    Please read the posts from Ghazzu (she is a vet). IV doxy is FATAL in horses.

                                    What your vet PROBABLY said was "IV oxytet" which is a form of tetracycline.
                                    Janet

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Boston Chicken:

                                      My questions are: are there some horses that just don't get better from Lyme? What can I do to help him while he's recovering? The vet wants him to work while he's being medicated but are there things we can be doing to help him feel better?

                                      Thanks for your help - it's very frustrating. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                      I take care of a horse that has had recurrent Lyme disease for the last 3 years. She has been treated with every drug, in every dose, for unimaginable amounts of time. We monitor her by pulling a titre on her every 6 weeks, when the titre rises, she starts antibiotic treatment again. The good news is that her symptoms do subside with treatment, it just doesn't seem to be permanent.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Ohh man. Hearing all these stories is making me keep my fingers crossed that 30 days of doxy will be enough!! What kind of "evaluation" do you guys do to see if your horse needs more than just the 30 days? Do you have your vet back out?
                                        Kristen

                                        Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
                                        http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

                                        Comment

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