In a nutshell…she’s had tick fever (ehrlichiosis) since Dec 2009...or possibly longer, depending on when she was first infected. And the vet's tick fever titer results were never good enough for them to want to get rid of the medication completely, so she has basically been on doxycycline for over a year straight now. Poor little beagle liver!
Here is what I know about tick titers (which isn’t a lot):
- Bloodwork helps measure the system/antibody response to tick fever
- Based on the response to the tick fever, the titer is given a ratio (such as 1:20, or 1:115)
- A result of 1:20 or less means that the system/antibodies have extremely little to no exposure to the tick fever
- A result of between 1:50 and 1:150 means that the system/antibodies have low exposure to the tick fever
- A result of 1:1250, for example, would mean that the system/antibodies have an extremely high exposure to the tick fever
When Lucy was first tested for tick fever, her titer results were 1:1250. Medication treatment commenced. The next time she was tested, her titer results were 1:1280 (even higher than before). Medication treatment was adjusted and continued. The next time she was tested, her titer results were still at 1:1280. Medication treatment continued. Now...
Six months after the last testing...
Her titer results are at 1:160. Yeah. Totally not kidding. Her system's/antibodies' response to the ehrlichiosis has dropped so drastically that they have suggested that we stop the doxycycline altogether! We'll have a retest in a few weeks and if the results go up, that will mean the ehrlichiosis is active again, so KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED that it stays the same or gets even lower. I know she likes the yummy pill pockets that the pills go in, but her liver needs a break.