posted at 1/9/2011 12:39 PM ESTMy sweet chocolate labrador retriever had Lyme disease about a year ago, with on-again, off-again lameness, and eventually a frightening event where he was not able to get up at all. We only realized what the problem was once we carried him (all 100 pounds of him) in to the veterinary emergency room. At that time he responded very well to treatment with Doxycycline.Now he is showing sporadic lameness again, and I am wondering whether his levels of Lyme bacteria might be building up again? He is mostly an indoor dog, with outings into the yard and occasional walks on town sidewalks. I'm wondering whether we should have his Lyme levels checked, or consider another round of Doxycycline?
posted at 1/9/2011 1:10 PM EST
posted at 1/10/2011 7:41 AM ESTI wouldn't indiscriminately give antibiotics, again and again. The damage done by Lyme could simply have been permanent in that it has set him up for joint problems. Or, it could be coincidental; 100 lb labs tend to have joint problems without having had Lyme. Take him back to the vet and have him tested.
Regardless, I'd give joint supplements and learn dog massage techniques to do morning and night. Also, memory foam beds for 100 lb dogs are super expensive (I know, I've looked), but if you can afford it, it would help his stiffness upon getting up after a nap. I've had a Tempurpedic bed, and it does work.
I feed Gracie Blue Buffalo's Fish and Oatmeal for Large Breeds; it has two joint supplements in it. She likes it (if I wet it first) and makes her coat shine like a show dog.
100 lbs is too heavy (although not unusual) for a lab, even a male. 80 lbs will not be too thin, and that extra 20 lbs is causing a lot of stress on the joints. I know it's very hard to restrict a lab's diet without their crying like they are abused (Gracie does every single night by the pantry), but you can do it. Ask the vet about how much you should be feeding so as to encourage slow weight loss. Gracie was tipping the scales at 85 lbs, and the vet said she was on the edge of "overweight." I cut back her food, and she's a healthy, sleak 78 lbs, now. If it were up to her, she'd be WELL over 100 lbs, causing joint problems and shortening her life.