Meet Prancer, a sweet lady we met last fall. After presenting to a local veterinary hospital with signs of decreased energy and appetite and squinting in her eyes, fluids were administered under the skin for concern of a toxin ingestion and stomach pain.

Over a few days, things changed quickly. Prancer stopped eating entirely and was unable to close her jaw, so her family fed her with a syringe. She was unable to blink completely, did not want to move or interact with her family and her eye pain increased—prompting her referral to us for further investigation.

After thorough examination, we diagnosed Prancer with severe uveitis (an inflammation within the eyes), in addition to trigeminal neuritis (inflammation of the nerves controlling several facial structures). Knowing these diagnoses can indicate infection or inflammation hiding in the body, we ran bloodwork to search for a cause. The results revealed that Prancer was positive for Lyme disease.

A bacterial infection spread by ticks, Lyme disease can cause many non-specific signs, such as eye inflammation; joint pain or generalized pain; lethargy; and loss of appetite. We started Prancer on a long course of antibiotics to eliminate the infection; steroids to calm the inflammation; and eye drops to lubricate and treat the uveitis.

Prancer made a miraculous full recovery over the following weeks. She regained her ability to close her jaw and eat on her own, maintained full vision and is back to her normal treat-loving self! We love seeing her smiling face every time she comes to our clinic. Prancer is a good reminder that year-round flea, tick and heartworm prevention is so important for our beloved pets. For additional information, please visit our In Focus blog, where you can read about uveitis causes and treatment and the importance of checking your dog for ticks.