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Pregnant dog diagnosed with Lyme - Need help deciding safest treatment route

NatalieD

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Hi there everyone - looking for some opinions and advice. I apologize for the long post!!! for reference Eva is a 2 year old female 26 pound lagotto romangolo.

Eva was diagnosed with lymes saturday 11/11/23 she was totally fine and normal prior to 11/11, and when woke up in the morning, she did not want to run outside with the other dogs and clearly was having a lot of joint pain. we initially thought this could be due to morning sickness, as she and her pupsband (our other dog) mated numerous times oct 14-18th.

I scheduled a vet appointment that morning and got her in for a 3 pm appointment After worrying and googling all morning, I had a suspicion that it could be lymes, as we do a lot of hiking and she has extremely thick wooly brown fur, and we've found a number of ticks on her and our other dog the last month especially.

At the vet they tested her for lymes, and it came back positive. do not know the levels, but i can email them and see if they can send me the results. she tested neg for heartworm, but also tested positive for anaplasmosis. when the vet bent her paws gently, both of them, she cried in pain.

Vet gave us 30 day round of amoxicillin 250mg. to be taken every 8 hours 3x a day

We had her full blood panel done and that all looked good, and her urinalysis did have "very low levels" of protien in the pee, and i know that can be a sign of early lyme nephritis, but couldn't the protein in the urine be from being pregnant?

The vet didn't seem to be convinced that Eva was pregnant, but since saturday shes looking fatter, nipples bigger, extra cuddly - I'm fully certain that she is pregnant, they tied plenty of times.

Monday I got her started on homeopathic ledum 200c 3x a day and have been giving her japanese knotweed, and a medicinal mushroom tincture i make in organic glycerin with chaga, maitake, shiitake, reishi, and lions mane. Sadly shes been off of this mushroom tincture for the last few months as i had ran out and was in the middle of making a new batch.

you could tell she was feeling A LOT better Sunday even just from 12 hours of antibiotics, and then when we started the ledum monday she has been back to normal. she never lost her appetite, but then again she gets really good raw food so its hard to resist.

Shes been on the antibiotics six days, but has been acting healed since Monday. Would it be crazy to stop the antibiotics and continue the ledum weekly, with Japanese knotweed and medicinal mushrooms daily? shes been on good soil based organic probiotics, and we will continue that for the next year.

I also have a lyme nosode that i have not treated her with yet. I was planning on giving 1 dose a day for 3 days and thats all, and re administer if she has another flare up in the future.

I really would like to get her off the antibiotic... From this study i found it seems that the outcome of people discontinuing their antibiotics early can be the same as if you finished the whole round...

to summarize:
pregnant (about 33 days since mating) 2 year old dog diagnosed with symptomatic lymes 11/11
great improvement 11/12 12 hours later on 250mg amoxicillin
fully improved 11/13 monday with homeopathic Ledum 200c

currently taking 250mg ammoxicillin every 8 hours 3x a day
daily: japanese knotweed tincture, ledum 200c homeopathic remedy, medicinal mushroom glycerin tincture, probiotics
on raw diet (80 muscle/ 10 bone / 5 liver / 5 secreting organ)

To stop amoxicillin or not? its considered safe for pregnancy, but it has been associated with lower birthrate and some other things. If she's feeling completley better, is it needed? We could just do another round of it or actually use doxy after the puppies are weaned and done breastfeeding, if eva starts to show Lyme symptoms again.

and another question that I found mixed info on - can the mother pass lymes to a fetus? General consensus says no, but there is some potential concern, at least in humans
and potentially lyme could harm the fetus in other ways such as birth defects or low birthweight, etc.

Eva has been exposed to plenty of ticks, last year and this year, as we do our best to bathe and check her but some do go un-noticed. I feel bad, as when we do remember to put the essential oil sprays on the dogs before we go out, it does significantly if not eliminate the ticks we find on them.

ive made up spray bottles and put them in both of our vehicles so no matter what we will be spraying them and get into a good habit, as i want to keep our dogs safe, yet dont want to use the chemical treatments, and we arent going to stop hiking anytime soon.

Eva and Massimo are both Lagotto romangolos and we do hunt truffles with them, so they are out all the time with my husband in the woods and they love to work and trade the truffles for the most delicious treats.

massimo has no symtoms and we've not had him tested, but ive been giving him the ledum 200c homeopathic remedy as a precaution, and started him on "dont lyme to me" as he has had tick bites recently as well. I want to give Eva the don't lyme to me herbal blend, but it says "cautioned use" for pregnancy so I have emailed the company to ask more before I give it to her.

I wonder if eva's pregnancy may have lowered her immune response, as i doubt this is the first time she was exposed to lyme.

Thanks for reading this far, I just want to do whats best for our sweet pups and greatly appreciate any feedback and insight.
 

Dr. Christina

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Since she is back to normal, I would stop the antibiotics.
I would not do the lyme nosode as she is doing well.

click on Lyme disease in the resources --- library - you are already doing a lot that we recommend, and this will help you.

@Dr. Jeff can speak more about the testing you may want to be doing and he and Dr. Sara can address the pregnancy safety issues better than I.

Stay positive, do whatever makes her happy, do any energy healing you have been trained in.

Dr. Christina
 

Dr. Sara

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Dear Natalie,
I will try to answer your questions in the order in which you raised them - as much as sensible!
If the urine was a free catch sample, there may have been trace protein present from the vagina. Any female dog may have trace protein from the vagina, as it is not a sterile area- think of how often a dog licks themselves. Pregnant dogs are no more likely to have protein in the urine, as the cervix should be closed during pregnancy. If it was a cystocentesis sample (tapped directly from her bladder) trace protein is normal ONLY if the urine is concentrated above 1.030.

Amoxicillin is an appropriate conventional treatment for a pregnant girl with Lyme. It crosses the placenta, but is not harmful to the fetus. I can not find any studies indicating otherwise, though an individual could be sensitve to anything, including herbal treatments. Doxycycline can cause birth defects, so it is good they avoided that. The recommended length of treatment for Lyme disease is four weeks. That length of treatment might not be necessary, though as you have started it, you have already upset the biota, so as she is pregnant, it might be wisest to continue for the full four weeks. It is a bad practice to start and stop antibiotic treatment repeatedly, as that makes the development of resistant pathological organisms more likely. Do continue the probiotics as you are.

Ledum and Lyme nosode might prevent a recurrence of signs of Lyme. (I would have used these first if possible, though I also understand why you started the antibiotics.) However, if the Lyme signs recur, you can't have a pregnant girl with lameness and loss of appetite, and resuming the antibiotics will be more damaging to her biota then just giving them the full four weeks. Hard to know the best choice!

In research studies, the Lyme organism may cross the placenta. It is unknown if this happens with natural infections. The pups will have elevated antibody levels for at least four weeks, so be aware of that.

I am not familiar with the products you mention, and it is always wisest to contact the manufacturer about safe use in pregnancy, as you have done.

My Berner bitches were positive for Lyme through all of their pregnancies. They never were symptomatic, and whelped healthy, normal sized litters. It is likely that something caused your girl to have increased susceptibility. Pregnancy might have been the stress, or there may have been something else. Be sure that your essential oil blends are fresh, as that can affect their efficacy.
I hope this helps,
Dr. Sara
 

Dr. Jeff

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Hey Natalie!

Thanks so much for making your first post.

I'm super happy to hear about Eva's pregnancy and am sorry for her recent health challenge with Lyme.

I second Dr. Chistina's recommendations about the Lyme resources (like the Lyme course and 2021 Happiness Protocol and Lyme webinar). In them you'll learn that the in clinic test that your vet did was not a Lyme disease diagnosis. It only proves exposure.

However, her rapid response to the anti-biotic is pretty convincing for a Lyme diagnosis. A rapid response to Amoxi. is almost confirmatory for Lyme (especially if she had a fever when she was seen by the vet).
couldn't the protein in the urine be from being pregnant?
As, Dr. Sara mentioned, yes it could! Any protein in the urine needs to be interpreted based on the concentration of the urine (the more concentrated the urine, the less significant the protein).

Please keep us updated.
 

NatalieD

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I scheduled a vet appointment that morning and got her in for a 3 pm appointment After worrying and googling all morning, I had a suspicion that it could be lymes, as we do a lot of hiking and she has extremely thick wooly brown fur, and we've found a number of ticks on her and our other dog the last m
Hey Natalie!

Thanks so much for making your first post.

I'm super happy to hear about Eva's pregnancy and am sorry for her recent health challenge with Lyme.

I second Dr. Chistina's recommendations about the Lyme resources (like the Lyme course and 2021 Happiness Protocol and Lyme webinar). In them you'll learn that the in clinic test that your vet did was not a Lyme disease diagnosis. It only proves exposure.

However, her rapid response to the anti-biotic is pretty convincing for a Lyme diagnosis. A rapid response to Amoxi. is almost confirmatory for Lyme (especially if she had a fever when she was seen by the vet).

As, Dr. Sara mentioned, yes it could! Any protein in the urine needs to be interpreted based on the concentration of the urine (the more concentrated the urine, the less significant the protein).

Please keep us updated.
Hey Natalie!

Thanks so much for making your first post.

I'm super happy to hear about Eva's pregnancy and am sorry for her recent health challenge with Lyme.

I second Dr. Chistina's recommendations about the Lyme resources (like the Lyme course and 2021 Happiness Protocol and Lyme webinar). In them you'll learn that the in clinic test that your vet did was not a Lyme disease diagnosis. It only proves exposure.

However, her rapid response to the anti-biotic is pretty convincing for a Lyme diagnosis. A rapid response to Amoxi. is almost confirmatory for Lyme (especially if she had a fever when she was seen by the vet).

As, Dr. Sara mentioned, yes it could! Any protein in the urine needs to be interpreted based on the concentration of the urine (the more concentrated the urine, the less significant the protein).

Please keep us updated.
Thanks Dr. Jeff! She had normal body temp for dog - no fever the day of her vet visit 11/11 I took her fever myself rectally (and labeled that thermometer DOG USE ONLY) 😅

Oddly enough actually didn’t see the vet take her fever, unless they did that when they drew blood in the back with her.

The urine sample was a free catch, so yes there could have been contaminants in the urine. She also wasn’t drinking a ton of water the day she went into the vet and her pee did look yellow like she was a bit dehydrated. She’s been back to normal on water consumption and I’ve not noticed any excessive drinking of water.

How soon would you recommend having her urine re-sampled? Also what lymes test would you recommend for checking the lyme amount in system and how soon?

I have begin to check out the lymes resources and watched the webinar, thank so so much for providing these resources!
I’m so glad we found this forum!
 

Dr. Jeff

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How soon would you recommend having her urine re-sampled?
If her BEAM is fine and there's no excessive drinking or urinating, then perhaps wait 6-8 weeks. Just drop off a free catch urine sample if your vet will allow this (especially since you'll have young pups at home).

Also what lymes test would you recommend for checking the lyme amount in system and how soon?
A quantitative C6 in 3-6 months is all you really need.

I'm glad you found us as well!
 

NatalieD

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update:
Eva is the proud mother of 5 beautiful healthy baby girls!
labor began at 11:30 pm
The first puppy she didnt get out fast enough and we tried the hardest to bring it back but we tried our hardest and couldn't get her going. puppies 2, 3, 4 all came out good and healthy, puppy 5 was stillborn and when we tried to rub her clean or revive her, her fur started shedding off, very unlike the first one, so we think something out of our control just happened with that one. at this point it was 6 am and we were all losing stamina, and she wasn't pushing or having strong contractions. with the still born, we decided to get her into the 24 hour vet and get an X-ray to see what was going on. vet palpated and didnt think there was more puppies, but X-ray showed two more! so we delivered them there and finally got to go home at 9 am with 5 healthy babies.

We discontinued her antibiotics after 7 days, and she hasn't had anymore Lymes symptoms since that first day we took her in to the vet. We have had her on Japanese knotweed mushroom tincture, probiotics, raw diet but have just been giving probiotics, raw food, yogurt and a bit of calcium supplementation since the babies have come.

we've been keeping her whelping pen at around 80 degrees, and I think she may be getting a little dehydrated / hot as she will drink a lot of water, and then put and lick it all over her chest, I think to cool down. we've reduced the heat in the room to about 75 and have a heating pad on the floor that stays around 85, cause we dont want to dehydrate her.

my question is - how much water should a nursing mama be intaking daily? she's been drinking more and peeing more since delivering the puppies, but before the puppies arrived there was no noticeable excessive water intake.


if I were to take her in to have her urine analyzed again to check for the proteins - would that even be possible? she's having discharge (not tons, but some) from the litter still, so it seems like any urine would definitely read for proteins since the discharge. is there a way to sample the urine without free catch that would make sense?

trying to use common sense and feel that the water uptake is due to the puppies and her nursing / hot whelping room, but still want to be safe and consider her Lyme episode and just want to catch any Lyme nephritis asap if that could be the case.

she's acting normal and is such good mom, but I did notice extra water intake and extra urination. thanks for any advice!!

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Dr. Jeff

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Eva is the proud mother of 5 beautiful healthy baby girls!
Hooray! Go Eva!!
- how much water should a nursing mama be intaking daily?
How much does she weigh? Pregnant bitches kept in a warm whelping box will drink as much as they need to stay hydrated and to produce enough milk to feed the pups.

As long as she has plenty of fresh cool water to drink, her body will do the job that nature intends...
 

NatalieD

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I think she’s fine, just me being overly worried! She weighs 26 or so lbs usually but I’m sure she’s a little bit heavier currently! Thanks for everything!!
 

Dr. Jeff

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You're welcome Natalie!
 

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