HILDEN, N.S. – Lori MacWha wants to warn people about a deadly danger in the community: Lyme disease.
Her six-year-old golden retriever, Kira, was diagnosed with Lyme on March 9, and was so sick MacWha was afraid she would die.
“It happened really fast,” she said. “She was fine when she was out for a walk during the day, but when I got back around 6:30 in the evening (March 8) there was diarrhea everywhere. At first, I thought it was just an upset stomach, but in the morning she was also vomiting and limping, and was listless.”
She got Kira to the vet that morning, fearing her beloved pet might have had a stroke.
“As soon as the vet saw her, she asked if she’d been bitten by a tick lately,” said MacWha. “They did blood work and told me it was Lyme disease. I was surprised, but relieved because I knew it was treatable.”
Kira was given an injection to settle her stomach and prescribed two strong antibiotics, but was extremely weak for three days.
“Her legs weren’t working right and I had to help her go out and pee,” said MacWha. “I slept on the couch because she couldn’t go up and down stairs. She slept almost all the time for three days, and usually she’s so full of energy I can’t keep up with her.”
Kira now goes out for very short walks, but has no interest in eating, and is being given Gravol to settle her stomach.
“She’s been with me since she was 10 months old, and this was very stressful for me because I thought I was going to lose her,” said MacWha. “She’s my baby.”
She hasn’t seen any ticks this winter, so she doesn’t know whether the dog was bitten recently or several months ago.
“I gave Kira medication to protect her from ticks during the warmer weather, but she’ll be on medication year-round now,” she added. “I think this is something everybody has to be aware of, and I recommend everyone treat their dog to protect them against this.”