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Old 04-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Mikko's tick panel came back and the titer for RMSF was 1:64, which is the very low end of positive.

The vet recommended we proceed with treatment (three options: 1) doxycycline 2)doxycycline from a compounding pharmacy since doxy is super expensive right now 3) another tetracycline drug that I can't remember the name of that may treat it)

Questions for those who have had a dog test positive for RMSF:

1. Did your dog have any symptoms and what were they
2. How long did the symptoms show before you found out it was RMSF?
3. What was the antibody count for the titer (not sure I'm phrasing that correctly)
4. What treatment did you proceed with?

Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh no that is terrible. So sorry to hear that. I haven't dealt with it myself but I know a few people that have and I believe they got on doxy right away. Not sure if that is what you should do or not. I'm sure others will have more info for you.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, Belinda! I found the doxy at a decent price at CVS ($150/100 compared to over $300 at other places), so I'm going to ask the vet to call it in tomorrow. I really didn't want to have to go the compounding pharmacy route, so I was leaning toward the minocyclin until I called CVS.

I hope people can chime in about their dogs' symptoms and such, I'm really interested in hearing about them!
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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RiteAid if you have one near you! it was $51 for 84 pills.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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RiteAid if you have one near you! it was $51 for 84 pills.
Unfortunately, no. But how long ago was that? Before or after the shortage?
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey, I'll weigh in.

1. My dog's symtoms were dizziness, head tilt, and rapid eye movements (nystagmus). They were extreme and very scary and came on suddenly one morning after our run.

2. I took her to the vet right away and we started treating with doxy before the titer came back.

3. I'd have to check but it was very high. I want to say 1:3200???

4. I treated with doxy for at least two months per my vet's recommendations. It is my understanding that RMSF if actually a "safer" tick illness than others because it goes away completely- unlike erhlichia or lyme. However, the nuerological symptoms my dog had were extreme and scary and I am so so pleased they went away. She is a GSD, spayed female, was 3 at the time. She is almost 7 now and never showed any signs of being sick except for the brain issues. She ate well, had high energy and wanted to play the whole time, even though she'd fall over when she moved too quickly... those were stressful times. I was waiting to see, but if she'd stayed so dizzy I wasn't sure it would be fair to keep her alive..... the vet wasn't sure she'd recover. She did... love that girl!
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Also wanted to add- my dog never had the classic signs of RMSF. Her blood work was normal, she had no fever or malaise/loss of appetite. All she had was that terrible dizzyness and the high titer and response to doxy confirmed it.

I had no idea RMSF could present itself that way, but apparently it can. I think it was the first my vet had seen it. I was in Massachusetts at the time, but we'd spent time in Pennsylvania and Illinois so she could have picked it up anywhere.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I rescued a little terrier who had two seizures at the shelter. By the time he came to my house he was lethargic and had neurological symptoms. Took him to the vet immediately, blood was drawn for the tick panel and he was started on antibiotics. He died the next day, two days before the test results came back positive for RMSF. It should be treated aggressively as it can be very serious. Even people die of RMSF.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How scary for both of you!
Muskeg- I'm glad your dog made a full recovery.
I'm not really sure what to think of Mikko's results, being the low level that they are. The Dr. said he might not even have it, could just have been exposed to it in the past, but of course because it is such a bad disease, he is treating it anyway.

The reason we got him tested was because he has been slightly dragging his front left leg. I didn't think it was a joint/arthritis problem because it didn't respond to Adequan or Rimadyl. I wasn't sure it was an injury because he runs, jumps, etc just fine. His appetite has been normal, but he seems kind of tired and bored. Then my vet noticed that he was squinting his eyes (which someone else pointed out a few days prior too).
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_LOVE_MY_MIKKO View Post
Unfortunately, no. But how long ago was that? Before or after the shortage?
3 weeks ago. Have your relatives in PA get the script filled for you and mail it to you. Wonder if your vet would call their vet and have it called in for you?
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