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Thread: Positive Lyme test

  1. #1
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    Default Positive Lyme test

    Our chocolate female, Maya, had her 1 year exam this past Monday. Along with her heartworm test they did a test for Lymes disease. The test came back positive for Lyme, which apparently only shows that she has Lyme antibodies in her blood, meaning she's been in contact with the bacteria at some point. We had used Frontline on her all year, and had only picked a couple of wood ticks off of her over the previous several months time, not bad for Wisconsin. Our vet went through all of the possible symptoms of Lymes, such as loss of energy, vomiting, diarhea, stiff joints, fever, and Maya never showed any signs of any of them. This seemed to stump our vet a little. She sent us home, told us she would contact the company they get the tests from and see what they recommend.

    Vet called us back the next day and wanted us to come back in for a quantitative test to see how high the levels of Lyme antibodies are in Maya's blood. Went back in and gave more blood on Friday. Got the call today and were told her levels are 115, and that they treat anything above 30.

    My wife and I have done as much reading on Lyme disease in dogs as we possibly could in the past week, and it seems to us that the general consensus among most lab owners is not to treat dogs that aren't showing symptoms, so that would be the way we are leaning at this point.

    Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member sick lids's Avatar
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    Did you vaccinate for Lymes, would explain the +test results?

  3. #3
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    No vaccination.

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    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    What is the downside of treating? What is the potential that she is in the incubation phase and clinical symptoms have not yet developed. What if she is an a symptomatic carrier who will develop clinical disease later?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Erik Nilsson's Avatar
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    my vet prescribed a treatment of doxycycline for my dog, he tested positive when I got him. Not to scare you however I lost a very nice YLM to Lyme at the young age of 3. It affected his kidneys and he went into renal failure. We didn't know it and he showed no signs until it was too late. If it were me I would treat it regardless. He had the vac and was treated topically too.
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  6. #6

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    You might consider getting a different DVM to talk to you. I thought I might have Lymes ( a couple times) as I am continually finding ticks on me in spring (on my training grounds behind my house) --- sometimes stuck and swollen and red area and looking like it might be a problem. My MD had me take the human test for it. HOWEVER--- she made it clear to me that while I would get a result in a day or two that the final ACCURATE confirming results would not come for more than a week. or so. Apparently there is a second level of analysis that takes longer to process than the immediate result. The first result showed I had contracted Lymes. As predicted the second one that was a more in-depth analysis showed that there was no problem. My blood had been sent to some laboratory that specializes in Lymes and other diseases. They tested me again six months later --- just to be sure since symptoms do not always show up immediately. I was fine. While humans and dogs are not the same, you might do some exploring about just what you are seeing and how their blood samples are analyzed.

    PS edit -- see the post below. She is very right . If in doubt --Doxie is the drug of choice. I used to keep a bottle of it on hand all the time since Wisconsin has so many bad tick problems. I have had several dogs on it multiple times. The situation with the dog discussed above seems to be related some odd situations .. My point was that there are two levels of testing when sent to a laboratory that specializes in Lymes and other diseases.

    Marilyn Fender --Windstorm Retrievers --- mf96nfc@centurytel.net
    Last edited by Marilyn Fender; 11-26-2013 at 08:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    If I had a positive lyme test on a dog, and I have had them, there is no way in heck I would not treat it. Even if they were asymptomatic. There is no way I will risk my dog developing huge problems as they get older because they had lyme when they were young. I can point you to people with crippled dogs and sick that were in your position and chose not to treat. There is a tick-l with a lot of bitchy women and an old curmudgeon, but they have a lot of experience with regards to lyme disease. Maybe you should join and get their take on this. There are also Yahoo! Groups. Doxycycline is the treatment of choice and is a very innocuous drug. There is no downside to treating, but every potential downside to not treating. I would want to get that titer down as soon as possible.
    Susan

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    "There is no downside to treating, but every potential downside to not treating. I would want to get that titer down as soon as possible."

    That is the same advice I got from 2 different vets in Minnesota and South Dakota. Don

  9. #9
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    Same here. My boy was asymptomatic, tested positive on MSU tick panel, and we treated aggressively.
    Furthermore, according to my vet (who just about walks on water IMO), any dog who has ever been Lyme positive should have a urinalysis done a minimum of twice a year to check for protein in the urine, and should be on a heavy dose of fish or krill oil (preference being krill) to help prevent inflammation in the kidneys caused by reaction to the antibodies. I know a couple of people who have lost dogs to Lyme nephritis, it's not something to mess with.
    Finally, if your dog has *heavy* water exposure (swimming or being bathed more than 3 times per month), according to the makers of the spot-ons you need to put it on every 21 days, not every 30, as it is down to less than 80% effective by then. Which means 1 in 5 ticks won't be killed....
    The deer tick nymph is very small. You generally won't see them on the dog.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Lietzau View Post
    "There is no downside to treating, but every potential downside to not treating. I would want to get that titer down as soon as possible."

    That is the same advice I got from 2 different vets in Minnesota and South Dakota. Don

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  10. #10
    Senior Member jd6400's Avatar
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    Rather unuauall this topic was brought up.A client of mine just brought a dog in that tested positive I had the dog here the biggest part of the summer he did not leave the state.
    I took 3 of mine in and got 1 positive.My vet said he has done 1000 tests and I was his first positive.We just dont see it here.I`m hoping the good dr. Ed reads this as I am confused about treatment (neither dogs show signs but have two different doses by 2 different vets.
    My clients dog gets 100 mg of doxy a day while My vet prsescribed 500 doxy and200 mg minocycline a day 7 times the dose and said dogs are equal in weight?We will see how it goes.Jim
    Jim Weitzel
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