Keya is a long term patient of the North Waterloo Vet Hospital. We have been taking care of her for most of her 15 years. This summer, she was travelling with her owners, and had to visit a vet in the U.S. because she was limping. An exam and x-rays found nothing wrong with Keya. She was treated with antiinflammatory medication and her lameness improved. In September Keya came to see me becaue she had a poor appetite and was losing weight. She had a complete physical exam and blood testing and I could find nothing wrong with Keya. Even her occasionaly sore leg seemed to be fine. I decided she might have stomach irritation from taking the medication for her lameness and began treatment for an upset gut. She came back 2 weeks later. Now she was not eating at all and was very weak. She could walk, was willing to eat treats and was alert but she seemed to have no energy. She had another physical exam and xrays and once again there was nothing wrong with Keya.
Keya was sick, but no one could find anything wrong with her.
I reviewed Keya’s health over the past few months with her pet parents and the topic of ticks emerged. They had had to remove several ticks from Keya over the past year. We collected another blood sample and sent it to the lab to be screened for tick borne diseases. Keya tested positive for Lyme disease. The signs of Lyme disease include lameness and loss of appetite and in dogs it can cause serious kidney disease.
Keya is currently being treated for Lyme disease and is responding.
Dogs that have had exposure to areas where ticks are present can be easily and inexpensively tested for tick transmitted diseases. Consider having your dog tested yearly.
For more about tick borne diseases: