Tuesday, March 10

Dog Debacle

Lots of things have been going on with my dogs that I have not mentioned on my blog. The first was a HUGE dog fight about three weeks ago. It was all triggered over a pit bull tied up right next to my fence on the outside. The dog was sick and waiting for it's owner to take him to the vet. I didn't know the dog was sick or I would have taken him to the vet for the guy. After a few hours, my dogs snapped and when I let them out, they locked up on each other. The other dog died later that day at the vet. He had Ehrlichia.

I'd never heard of Ehrlichia before coming to Costa Rica. It's pretty common here with the ticks transmitting the disease. It's a sad state for a dog if left untreated. Usually, it goes undetected without blood test.

I got through that dog fight with major stitches on my sister dogs. It's all about nervous aggression and my boy, Max, always starts the fights by being aggressive to the nearest dog barking. The usual anti-inflammatory and antibiotics were administered to the sisters, Mela and Macha (as always, see dog fights). Yes, I watch Cesar Millan and he has really helped me with this problem and gaining control as THE PACK LEADER (me).

Two weeks later, again, another fight. I take the sisters in AGAIN for stitches and all is healing great when I notice one of the sisters, Mela, is leaking urine. Yesterday, I take her to the vet to remove the stitches and check the healing on both sisters and both dogs have a fever. The vet gets a blood sample, has it analyzed and it comes back EHRLICHIOSIS!! I was shocked. Yes, I had a tick infestation in my house about three months ago but resolved it almost immediately. I've been through THAT before and knew what to do to delouse my house. (previous posts) I did not consider checking their blood. What you don't know, CAN KILL your dog...
I only takes one infected tick.

I am telling you this so you know that if you have a dog, in Costa Rica, be sure to check once a year (during the hot months) by doing a blood test on your dog. Check out this site if you'd like more info. It is horrible in the final stages and I was very lucky to have caught it in time. Just one more reason I love my vet, Dr. Jose Manuel at Jaco Vet. Dr. Jose prescribed Imidofin 60mg, 2 tablets each for the girls and three pills for big Max. Repeat dosage in 15 days.

Photo is of baby ticks picked off my dogs at one sitting. I know, GROSS!!
Check your dog's blood. After reading some of the comments, I'd better get my blood checked TOO.
Little earthquake here in Hermosa - Wed. 11:25 a.m. my house was swaying.

UPDATE March 29th: This above treatment IS NOT ENOUGH!! Read the comments for the recommended treatment.


Jen said...

Glad you caught it! I need to get ours in to be checked. Just a precaution as I'd be lost without either dog now. Thanks for the warning.

TICA MACHA said...

I try not to write about my woes having fighting dogs but this time, it worked out that they were checked (temperature). No telling how long it would be before I noticed something was "wrong". I don't check their temperature!! It's hot now so lathargy, loss of appetite, hair loss is normal. Luckily, my dogs are fine and eating good. I hope this "disease" explains why they fight! (Like Lyme disease - maybe it makes them psychotic)
I hope the medicine cures that too. Till then, only two dogs outside the house at a time.

katemeri said...

Thanks for the timely post. The ticks are bad right now - my poor dogs! I went to my vet yesterday and got some Advantix and will get a shot in a couple days when I can make it back to Jaco. I read your post about Peretroide - where do you find it? Agro, vet, ferreteria?

Thanks from me and Lowti and Lido!

Anonymous said...

i'm glad to hear that they're doing well! do you have pics of your dogs? i'd love to see them. i have two huskies and i've thought how funny they would look in central america. maybe not, though?

also, i'm curious to know how your veterinarian care is. do you like your vet? was it hard to find someone you liked and trusted?


Kathy Heaton said...

Unfortunately, your dogs are not the only ones at risk... Please read:



Houston TX

TICA MACHA said...

My readers are so helpful, thank you Kathy from Texas. I think you're right, I have had many problems and will go for a blood test at our lab in Jaco tomorrow morning first thing. I don't feel "normal", tired, joint pain, etc.
Kate, the Agri-vet here in Jaco (Pops road) has that Peretroide, it's the active ingredient. I buy liquid and dilute it, pump spray it in my yard and inside my house. Is the shot for ticks? The vet gave my dogs shots when I needed control fast. I don't like doing that because it affects their internal organs over time and many injections.
Mary, I don't know what to tell you. You'll have to go to the different vets and see which one you prefer. As I stated in my post, I love my vet. He has been very patient with keeping my dogs in one piece. There are photos on my blog of my dogs somewhere.

Costa Rica Baby! said...

I'm sorry for your dogs!

Did you get your blood tested yet??????

TICA MACHA said...

Yes I did, this morning and now on my way back to town to find out the results. BTW, the lab has been torn down (along with the old Tico bar, Rincon del Mar). I went to the Catalina clinic but have since then found the new location for the old lab. It's beside Mas x Menos on the second floor. The tech speaks perfect English.
I am so sad all the quaint buildings in Jaco are being torn down to make room for bigger,better~ Sad, sad.

Anonymous said...

I have Lymes and I'm pretty sure I'm not psycotic. Maybe I should ask my husband, lol. Should I be worried?

TICA MACHA said...

I received this notice from a friend that deals with this problem nearly everyday. I am so grateful she informed me the correct way to treat this disease:
Hi Teri ,

I was checking your blog today and found the note about ehrichia.

Just to let you know, that Imizol (Imidofin) in the most cases is not enough to treat ehrlichiosis. The injections or pills are to use additional to the doxicicline treatment, which is supposed to be given for 21 days, 5-10 mg per kilo twice a day.

I know too many of ehrichia patients which died as a result of a wrong treatment, that if it was my dog, I would follow the protocol used all over the world. There is maybe a little difference in a dosage or the length of the treatment, but the basic information is always the same: Doxicicline as a main treatment, Imidofin additional.

Here few information from different sources in States and from the Merck manual.

Have a great weekend

Katja/ McKee Project

The suggested treatment with doxycycline has been 5 to 10mg per day per Kg. (according to the Merck Manual.) Some dogs have been treated at a rate of 20 mg per kg body weight per day (or 200 mg for the typical 22 pound dog, divided into two daily doses given 12 hours apart) with excellent results. Most cases have shown that the higher dosage is more effective, but its use will be dictated by the animals tolerance. It should be administered for at least a 6 week period. Due to the high dosage Merck also suggests vitamin supplementation with vitamins B and K due to the reduction in the animals ability to synthesize those vitamins in the large intestine. In some cases wrapping the tablet in a piece of bread or adding to rice will facilitate administering the drug as well as helping to prevent nausea which may occur in some animals on the high dosage.

the treatment of choice given limited resources is doxy 5-10 mg/kg for 3 weeks or tetracycline 22mg/kg for 3 weeks (do not use in puppies as it harms the teeth). if imidocarb is cheap there you can give it additional 2 weeks apart

lee w

several treatment options are effective. If symtoms warrent you must address the anemia and thrombocytopenia first. doxycycline 5mg/kg PO

q12 hrs or 10mg/kg PO q24hrs for 21 to 28 days, in endemic areas I would opt for 28 days. Together with Imidocarb dipropionate- 5mg/kg IM for 2 doses

Good Luck Dr. Rayburn

I usually treat with doxycycline at 5-10 mg/kg divided twice daily for 21 days. This is not based on any specific research- its what I will do for any ricettsial org that shows up - Lymes , Rocky mtn spotted fever, erlichia etc.

Kai is 82 lb= 37 kg so I was giving him 100 mg

tablet- 2 tab twice a day- a lttle over 10 mg/kg.

Erlichia can cause a low platelet count which leads to bleeding . Chronic infections can reduce the red blood cell count also.

So I think that the protocol they have in place sounds good. I like to cover with the meds for 3-4 weeks.