I took Becca in for her heartworm test today. She was clear for that, but positive for lyme disease. I hadn't vaccinated her for it because her breeder suggested not. She was on Frontline last summer. I'm assuming it may be from the tick I found on her in December. You would think with snow on the ground there would not have been ticks. I had her vaccinated today and go back for a booster in 3 weeks.

She is on minocycline, similar to doxicycline, twice a day for a month. Becca has not shown any symptoms at all. Has anyone else been through this? Any suggestions?

Western Maine seems to be tick central. Is Advantix better than Frontline?

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I believe the current gold standard on a positive SNAP test is this:

1) Dog symptomatic--- treat

2) Dog asymptomatic-- send in second blood test to see if the SNAP test indicates old infection or active one.

That's what we did with Maddie.  The second test showed antibody levels low enough that we did not have to treat.  Thirty days on antibiotics is no joke and I'd rather not treat if I don't have to....   We did the quantitative antibody test

http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com/2011/06/excellent-information-regard...

I forgot to answer your other questions:

Ticks can be active all year, depending on the temps:

http://www.aldf.com/deerTickEcology.shtml

I've heard Advantix is better than Frontline for ticks (and it repels them, whereas for Frontline they have to bite the dog first), but I am having trouble finding the efficacy comparisons that I had seen some time back...

Hi Marcie,

I had a foster and found a tick on her, it was already swollen and she did show signs of lameness. Some dogs don't show any sign of lameness after initial weeks of exposure. Minocycline should take care of it. In my opinion, the best way to prevent ticks is stay out of tall grassy area, ticks are active anytime above 0, so check them often is your best bet. Advantix / frontline are not 100% tick proof.

Thanks. New England has become tick central the last few years. The kids at school come in from recess with ticks and the playground is pavement or mowed. I'm going to treat for fleas/ticks all year now I think. I was shocked to find the tick in December, the temps had been below zero. We love to tromp through the woods, so more detailed checks for both of us this year.

Max had lyme before we got him but was treated.  They will always show a minor positive once they've had it. 

I have to laugh...my daughter's name is Rebecca, we call her Becky or Becca.  Her father's cocker spaniel when he was growing up was named Becky.  We always told her she was named for Daddy's dog.

I live in southern Iowa, the border of my 6 acres is a creek.  I have major tick problems, but didnt know they had a vaccine for lymes.  Unfortunately I lost my outside dog to Lymes this winter.  Acted like arthritis.......with meds and a remission he made it till last October.  Do whatever you can do, it was too late for Dumpster but now EVERYONEgets vaccinated.  Wish they had it for humans since my sister has suffered from it for 6 years.

I live near Ithaca where the lyme vaccine was developed at Cornell.  An emeritus professor who was part of the team said that it is very important to strictly follow the timing for the first few years in terms of boosters and annual shots.  My sister's dog got lyme and struggled for the rest of her life which was shortened by lyme.  Why would you not get the vaccine - lyme is ugly and greatly compromises quality of life.

I did not get the vaccine because her breeder recommended against it. There are three vaccines for lyme, the effectiveness varies. It is also possible to get a non-treatable form of lyme from the vaccine. I got the vaccine this time after discussing each with my vet and weighing the options. It is not a cut and dried decision.

I know you made the decision not to get the vaccine based on your breeder's advice; I didn't know that you could get an untreatable form of lyme from the vaccine.  Our breeder said nothing about lyme and it wasn't on her list of vaccines, worming etc. which I wondered about.  Having seen it in both dogs and people up close - my daughter was very sick with lyme while living in the Catskills - I was grateful that a vaccine existed.  No criticism of you was intended - I think we all struggle with making decisions for our pets.  Please let us know how Becca does and what you decide to do.  We have deer all over the woods here and they trek through our land daily so I worry about this too.

Sarah....I live in the Catskill region and Lyme is a big problem here and across the river in Dutchess.

Max had Lyme before we got him but was treated.  He gets his shots every year now.  I do wonder if his neck problem was caused by the Lyme, probably will never know.  Thankfully acupuncture has done an incredible job of relieving the pain and allows him to be a very normal corgi.

 

Marcie...I'm sure you feel bad enough.  You acted on the advice from your breeder which many of us turn to with questions.

Here in CT we also have an epidemic of Lyme, and over the years, the vets have become more positive about vaccinating, but as everyone says, it's not a clear black/white decision.  And, as someone else states, they are now not automatically treating for just an initial positive test, but checking to see if the dog is actively fighting the infection first.

Meanwhile -- on a slightly different point, be careful of the photosensitivity that this family of antibiotics can cause.  My Bertie was treated with doxy for Lyme a few years ago, and the little pink, lightly haired area on his nose got a staph infection!  Which required a different antibiotic altogether.  So be sure if he has exposed skin on nose or other areas to use a good sunblock.

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