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Canine resident Elva faces “irreversible” Lyme disease damage

A disease transferred by deer ticks, known as Lyme disease spirochete, has impacted the life of Crosskennan Lane resident, Elva.

Elva, pictured here, is described as “one of the most lovable” dogs.

After her arrival at Crosskennan Lane as an “emaciated pup,” the team states, “our main concern was keeping her living and getting her strong”. Like any other puppy of 9 months, Elva liked to play, however her struggle to gain weight, lack of balance and stiffness became more apparent.

A vet diagnosis confirmed Elva had Lyme disease and antibiotics were prescribed in hope of her returning “back to full health in a matter of weeks”. Unfortunately, the sanctuary says, “weeks passed and Elva didn’t improve” as “although she had been treated for the disease, she still faces all the symptoms and the damage left from it. This damage is irreversible.”

Due to Lyme disease presenting neurological complications in humans, the sanctuary believes canines can experience similar signs. For example, Crosskennan Lane voices that when “Elva is chewing a treat she can struggle, her jaw doesn’t seem to work the way she wants it to”.

Remaining resilient in her battle against the disease, Elva faces some of the most common symptoms of neurological dysfunction in dogs such as behavioural changes, circling, seizures, disorientation, head pressing, and sudden stumbling. The sanctuary expresses the symptoms “are thankfully mostly infrequent or have only occurred once in the time she has been with us but some are regular daily experiences, the weakness and stumbling being one”.

Elva has come a long way from the filthy and emaciated pup that first arrived.

Despite forming an unbreakable bond with the sanctuary’s manager, this merciless disease has often caused Elva to look at her “with absolutely no recognition”. Crosskennan Lane voices “we are thankful these days are few but they do occur and usually can leave Elva shaken and exhausted with her confusion.”

The sanctuary states that alongside Elva’s joint tablets that combat her stiffness, “she sleeps in a room of her own so that staff and volunteers can monitor her water and food intake during the day and night. She has a bed right beside the radiator which she needs even on the warmest of summer nights. In the winter she has the addition of a heat pad in her bed to keep her warm”.

A Crosskennan Lane spokesperson reveals that “Elva needs lots of little extras to keep her fit, well, and mobile”, these include washable non-slip rugs, Yumove tablets and coats with legs for winter and summer.

Visitors are reminded to book an appointment before visiting the sanctuary as “Elva doesn’t always understand why people are there and she will become defensive if she feels like her home is being invaded”.

Elva can be supported through Crosskennan Lane’s sponsorship scheme which was described by the sanctuary as “the perfect way for her to share her story and hopefully help educate on Lyme disease and the dangers of ticks”.

Visit to sponsor Elva and view her sponsorship profile or alternatively contact .

By Holly Fleck (Journalist)

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