Boxer Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

296 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an email I received from another member of the Boxer rescue I volunteer for.....

This is some information on Lyme's it needs to be kept and read when you get a chance if you are a dog person.
we have many dogs that are brought into the south now from where this is more prevalent... so we have to watch for it too.

Lyme *can*, in a few rare-cases, cause aggression-
aggression that can be reversed.

Subject: This needs to go to everyone.

My daughter's Boxer (in Maine) developed sudden lameness and pain in one hind leg.  It was Lyme's. It evidently presents itself with a variety of symptoms.  Widespread I know in the northeast and moving this way.

From another list: about Lyme's disease.  

We recently had a very strange event which I think
we should share around the rescue-community:
Young (~2 years) M Lab-mix, came into our program with
a 'questionable' background; may have been aggressive
toward some children; then again, maybe not.

We kept him for a long while - months of fostering in our
premier foster-home, no problems; placed him carefully,
with a single middle-aged man who adored him. We also,
as we do all our dogs, tested him for Lyme. He had it;
we treated it; case closed -- we thought.

Everything went very well after adoption - the star of
his obedience-class, frequent alum-visits to clinics -
for over a year. And truly adored by his adopter.

Then, over 12-mos post-adopt, Mojo became suddenly,
erratically, and seriously aggressive: literally attacked
visitors to his home, people in the vet's waiting room,
etc. Terrifying. Very-sudden. Totally inexplicable.
He was returned to us with genuine heartbreak from a
very loving adopter.
Mojo then went to our regular vet and was a totally
different dog: bared-teeth and growls at anyone who
approached his kennel, lunged at other dogs when being
walked, etc. We figured that whatever was happening with
him, he had become un-placeable and started a TDC (Tough
Decisions Committee - something we 'convene' that is open
to anyone with an interest in the dog when we think that
euthanasia might be an option).
However, someone at the vet's office said that perhaps
we should test him for Lyme. Huh????????
They had had a regular client of theirs come in recently
with similar, out-of-the blue-aggro, and it turned out
that Lyme was the problem - puzzled them, but seemed to
be the case. Okay -- hey, we'll try anything -- so we
had him tested.
He was high positive!

Fine, we started treatment while we continued to figure
out what to do with him via the TDC. Almost immediately,
however, once the antibiotics began, the Mojo we knew
came back!!
He was himself again - bouncy, happy, a bit neurotic,
but not at *all* aggressive!

The staff at the vets was amazed, but all confirmed this
change. We didn't believe it; vets didn't believe it...
BUT a thorough search of the Internet turned up a number
of studies (plus) anecdotal-observati ons indicating that
in some dogs (and some humans!!) the primary-symptom of
their Lyme Disease can be sudden, irrational and serious

We've known for a while to check thyroid-levels of dogs
that show aggro that just 'doesn't fit'. Now we've added
testing for Lyme as well. And we have - results not-yet
in - another dog, placed 12-mos-plus, returned because
of out-of-the-blue aggro... he also tested high-positive
for Lyme!

We've started treatment; we'll be monitoring his response.

So - plug this in to your protocols; worth checking-out.
I spent the day today with Mojo... he truly is just the
same dog we placed over a year ago.
(We've let his original adopter know - because he vowed
that it had to be *something* causing this behavior.
But he cannot take Mojo back because his roommate, one
of the people attacked, won't even consider it.
For the record, there were no skin-breaking contacts in
any of these attacks, but plenty of fear and we consider
them as serious as if they were full-fledged bites.)

We actually have additional insight into this because
one of our volunteers (human) has had Lyme Disease.
Took many months for her to be diagnosed; once she
was, she learned it's a VERY-nasty bug that remains
permanently, waiting for a chance to 'crop-up' again.

When we place Mojo again (TDC unanimously agrees we
should), we're going to explain the background, these
amazing events, and require the adopters test every
6-mos, whether or not he's symptomatic. We have no
idea whether that will work or be sufficient - we're
rather flying blind in this - but it seems rational.
But based on what we know now, its a real possibility:
Lyme *can*, in a few rare-cases, cause aggression-
aggression that can be reversed.

2,349 Posts
wow, thanks for passing this on.  It is new to me.


2,349 Posts
Want everyone to see this that might be interested.

11,429 Posts
Thanks for posting this.

1,267 Posts
I wonder how often it causes mood disorders in people as well?
Perhaps it was just the symptoms making them grouchy... the headaches and stiffness, assuming they get the same symptoms as people from the disease.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts