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Dog Diagnosed with Lyme's Disease

by Emee
(Loma Linda, CA)

no hair & black specks on skin
rash with white spots around genitals
rash w/ dry scabs & dark spots

Our story is pretty complicated & ugly-I'll try to be thorough. We moved into a new place just over 30 days ago. The place is a trailer home in one of those mobile villages & seemed to be adequate for now (financially perfect). The yard was overgrown & not quite accessible, but the management had promised to have a crew come in before we moved. Of course they didn't & that's where our nightmare begins.

My 2 two dogs, Coleman & Little (16yr old Shepard) are my whole life & so it was not an option for me to wait for them to come clean it up. I dug in right away, ripping out molded foliage, rotted wood, animal corpses & whatever else. 20+ stray cats, skunks & possums are under the house all of the time. Neighbors soon told me the place had been vacant for 2 yrs prior and was tick infested. They also knew stray animals were being buried there. It smells of urine coming through the vents.

Coleman had suffered from some skin problems the year before as well as seizures (occasional). T6- cholesterol came back o.k. but vet said could be borderline hypothyroidism. That was never diagnosed & I opted not to vaccinate after that. Same with Little (just skin allergies).

We immediately called local agencies, management & animal services, but never got any help. Within 2 weeks, Little started getting stiffer & weaker. Then within days couldn't walk without my supporting her with a towel under her belly. She became incontinent, panting constantly. I knew I was only making her more miserable cleaning her accidents like a bed-bound patient. I lost her days later. This would be the most pain I have ever felt. Ever.

Obviously, I'm terrified of what I've subjected my dogs to environmentally. But it's too late. Coleman broke
out in a rash under his belly & inside back legs & base of tail. There were a few pimple looking things, along with scabs & very dry skin. He & I both are very depressed & stressed out. I was a pretty bad mess the day I lost Little & he had the worst seizure yet that same day.

I got him in to a vet-said it was bacterial & we left w/ Ceph 500mg. I couldn't afford their complete blood panel. He wouldn't go for letting me work it off. But I knew something was wrong.

His skin has improved but he's lethargic. He still eats & drinks, but without the overblown enthusiasm he normally has. I also pulled what I thought was a tick off him & rushed him in to the humane society clinic yesterday.

They rushed our visit, not listening to most of what I said. Vet never checked a black bump under his chin or fatty lumps on his belly & side. They did do a snap6 (?) blood test(?) 10 mins later informed me he was positive for Lyme. 350mg Doxy a day & bring him back in a few weeks. Also said to finish Ceph from other vet.

I don't like bogging him down w/ meds but I'm terrified. Shouldn't he be considered high risk for kidney/liver complications? He had another seizure last night & his stool has some black flecks in it today.

Hopefully I'm just paranoid, but his breathing seems irregular & rattley when he sleeps. His nose will run a little clear fluid then dry up. He's always snored a bit. He also has been taking Omega 3, glucosamin & oatmeal baths for his skin.

I'm so afraid to loose him too. Is this normal for Lyme? Assuming he really has Lyme. I hope I've covered what's needed.

Comments for Dog Diagnosed with Lyme's Disease

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Apr 13, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Diagnosed with Lyme's Disease
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Emee,
Thank you for all of the information. And I am so sorry that you lost Little. From your post it sounds like you did not get a diagnosis of the cause of death. It may have been from a stroke, not necessarily from Lymes' Disease, nor from the move or the environment.

As for Coleman, Lyme Disease does not present as the rash in the photo you submitted. It is more typical to have a fever, swollen joints, difficulty walking, plus the lethargy. I would be more suspicious of a flea allergy, or depressed immune system that triggered this skin rash.

Bathing with Dawn dish soap will help to kill fleas. And the oatmeal shampoo you are using will help with the itching. You can bathe with him with an oatmeal shampoo one time per week. And the Dawn Dish soap can be used monthly.

Evolv by Wondercide, made from Cedar oil, is a great flea and tick preventive to use in the environment and ON the dog! See our page on natural flea control for more information.

A positive test for Lyme Disease may mean exposure, not necessarily that he HAS the disease.

If you are concerned about his risk of kidney or liver disease, that would need to be confirmed on a blood test. In the Current Vet Therapy XIV, p. 859, the bacteria , Borrelia burgdorferi, that causes Lyme Disease has been associated with acute kidney failure, and also (p. 808), has been a cause for myocarditis, inflammation of the muscle of the heart. His breathing that sounds irregular, and rattly, with clear nasal discharge may be due to sinusitis, bad teeth, or other respiratory problem, not necessarily myocarditis.

If Coleman needs to take two different antibiotics, one for the 'rash' and one for the Lyme Disease, I would also give him acidophilus - About 1/2 the 'human' dose, added to the food two times daily.

Although, I question the need for the Doxycycline at this time, since it does not sound like Coleman is showing symptoms of Lyme disease.

It may be the antibiotics have created a digestive upset to cause the appearance of the black specks in the stool. In which case, the acidophilus added to the diet may help.

Also, improvement in diet will also help the skin, AND the immune system. NO DRY DOG FOOD. Feed more canned or consider a RAW diet. See our page on 10 Best Dog food Options.

Some good immune supplements include:
1. Missing Link Canine Formula
2. Immuplex from Standard Process
3. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder
(for the Immuplex, open and add one capsule to the food two times daily)


Apr 13, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Diagnosed with Lyme's Disease PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Emee,
Here is the rest of my response.

And I would strongly suggest that you seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to help guide you along with care of the seizures, monitoring his kidneys and liver with a blood test, and more natural treatment for the skin. And you did the right thing to decline any more vaccinations!

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section,
- Lyme Disease in Dogs

Apr 18, 2014
Follow Up Q & A for Coleman
by: Jeff (Administrator)

For continued dialogue between Emee and Dr. Tillman about Coleman's issues, click the following link:

Dog diagnosed with skin infection, then Lyme, now pancreatitis

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