Lyme Disease in Nebraska: Is Your Dog at Risk?

Meet Roxy! Roxy is a boisterous, bouncy Boxer who will be seven years old on August 5th. She’s feeling much better now, but Roxy was diagnosed earlier this summer with Lyme disease. This sweet girl came to see us on July 3rd because she was taking very short steps to walk, seemed slow and shaky, was having trouble posturing to go potty, and had lost her appetite. When Dr. Linda Rock-Paul examined her, Roxy’s temperature was 104 F (a moderate fever for a dog) her carpus & hocks were swollen and warm, and she was walking very tentatively.

Roxy was diagnosed with Lyme disease in July 2019.

Roxy at her follow-up visit

Even though her owner hadn’t seen any ticks on the dog recently, Roxy’s presentation was an indicator for possible Lyme disease; a quick “snap” test confirmed that Roxy was positive for Borrelia burgdorferi: the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Dr. Rock-Paul drew blood to send to an outside laboratory for a Lyme quantitative C6 test; this confirmed Roxy’s diagnosis within a few days. (Her test result number was 121, and anything over 30 indicates that the animal is positive for Lyme disease!) We started Roxy on an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication at her initial visit. When we saw her for a follow-up visit on July 10th, her energy level was back to normal, and her owner reported that she had been eating and drinking just fine.

The plan for Roxy is to continue to treat her with antibiotics for at least 1 month, and recheck the quantitative C6 test in 6 months – our goal is for Roxy’s test number to drop to about 60, which will show us that her body has gotten rid of the nasty bacteria.

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