We had a really hard spell here. I haven't wrote much more about how things were going with Thane and his Lyme treatment mostly because I was too busy trying to get help for him or working through the tough ordeal.
Thane reacted to the Doxycycline. As a result of his reaction, we wound up at a specialist to figure out where to go from there. Though I suspected the Doxy, there was the possibility that he was herxing (experiencing a reaction to spirochette die off)
Our area is not Lyme central for sure. Because of this, testing for Lyme is low and the understanding of the various ways to best treat an individual for it are not fully understood by one's regular general veterinary staff. At first, when my vet referred us to a specialist, I have to admit I was furious about it. I felt how dare she give this to him and not understand how to help him when it went south. Thane was suffering and I could not imagine how we would ever make it to the specialist who was about an hours drive away.
We made it there and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have spoken with a vet who understands much more about Lyme and how it assaults the body- especially for an individual whose assault began over two years ago.
Not only did I learn that most of Thane's medical history has been a direct result of the tick bite he received, but that his diet (a source of much debate by some unfortunately) had absolutely nothing to do with his medical history. On one hand that is a relief, but on the other hand, try as I might, it is very difficult not to blame myself for what has transpired. Though I know this now, I also know he may never be the dog he was before that fateful tick bite.
I know it's not my fault that he got bit by a tick, but I think sometimes that with a friend who has suffered greatly from the disease, that I should have been more aware- more intune with what a tick felt like on the skin and at least of what the reaction on his skin afterwards was.
For the most part I stay out of those kinds of regrets. I can't fix yesterday. I can only hope that should we encounter another tick, that I will have learned something from this experience that will change how I will respond to future experiences.
The specialist was definitely the way to go for Thane. I learned that reactions to Doxycycline are not just experienced by the most sensitive but that the kind of reaction Thane was having is usually more pronounced in the herding breeds. On the plus side of the equation for us, is that because Thane was reacting to the Doxy, further tests were run which revealed that he needed to come off it (and its class of drug) irregardless of whether it was the reason for the changes in Thane.
After 24 hours off of Doxy, Thane was a changed dog. Though he was not completely back to what he was before Doxy or before he collapsed from the Lyme, he was definitely at least 80 percent there. He has been on a new medication now for three doses and so far it has not taken the direction of Doxy. I have to keep close tabs on how he responds for a while here, but things look very optimistic thus far.
This morning Thane played a lot with my folks and has been his silly self a lot today. He has eagerly returned to retrieves of his own choosing and came to my side when he saw I was getting ready to take the trash out. Though I chose to leave him inside, his desire to be there was just the gift I needed as I deal with pain from the guide cane, my progressive disabilities, and the awareness I have of just how much Thane was making these changes in me seem almost absent.
It has been a hard and scary time for me coupled with a time of enlightenment as well which really changed my outlook for him.
I don't know what the future holds, but for today, I am focusing on the fact that his ball is back in his mouth and his ears are dancing with the sounds he hears.