Tick season again.
Every 6 months I send my boy's blood to MSU's lab for their full tick panel. I do that rather than the in-office test because we are known to have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in this area, and the SNAP4DX doesn't check for RMSF. RMSF is a big bad one and scares me.
Three times it has come back a "low positive" for something. Once for lyme, we re-tested in 4 weeks and it was negative. Once for anaplasmosis, same thing, re-test was negative. And now this latest one, low positive for RMSF. (Once he was high positive for lyme, and we did treat then).
The folks at MSU, as well as my vet, do not recommend treatment at such a low titer, especially since his routine blood work and urinalysis were totally normal. They just suggest re-checking. Supposedly, it indicates that he was exposed to it, and one of 2 things has happened/is happening. Either it's just starting out, in which case we expect to see a four-fold or more increase in antibodies on the next test, or he was exposed to it and his body has successfully fought it off. Or it's a false positive.
I asked WHY my dog keeps coming back with these low positives, and the answer was...."because you test for it".
So....apparently tons of dogs are exposed to the TBDs and successfully fight them off, and the owners never even know about it.
So here's the feedback I need.
How many routinely test for TBDs? If you do, how often? If you get a low positive on anything, do you wait or do you treat?
Would it be better to just skip the tests and treat only if you see symptoms? With the retrievers being more prone to lyme nephritis does it make sense to test often and treat early?
I'm going to be worried for the next 2 weeks until we re-test him, and it makes me wonder if I should even be doing the tests.
Thanks in advance.