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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lyme Positive...Help!

As I have mentioned in a few posts, I moved here about a year ago. Where we were before, ticks were around, but nothing we were ever concerned about. 2 weeks ago, I found a tick on my dog...I called the vet frantic, but she said not to worry. Today I take my dog to the vets, and bring up a few of my concerns with her, one being the tick we found on him, and what we should use to prevent future problems. She said lets run some bloodwork on him, in combination with the heartworm test. We will know today if he is infected with Lyme. I wasn't worried about heartworm, since he had been on preventitive year round...but ok. He came back slightly positive. Well you can't be slightly positive, you either are positve or not. Worried I would start crying...I didn't ask a lot of questions. I said what would you do if he were your dog....she said if he was older, nothing, but since he is young she would put him on medication to treat, and lyme vaccine, also frontline. The meds she has him on is Doxycycline 100 mg 2x a day for 2mos.

So where do we go from here....I presume he is positive for life? If we plan to use him for a stud, can we still do that, or will this prevent that. Should I be doing anything else at this point to help him, prevent further problems? He is going to have his eyes (cerf) on Sunday, is this still ok? We are also having his TDI test on Monday, again is that alright?

I know I am probably over reacting, but I really just don't know what to do. I figured once I calmed down, I would call the vet back, and ask these questions, but I just want to have some answers down in front of me first.

-Shannon
 

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It's nothing to panic about, really! He wasn't at the point where he was showing symptoms. I had 2 dogs in the past that couldn't stand up! Once treated by antibiotics, they were fine. Actually, they were immediately fine - brought them to the vet who gave them a shot and they had no problem standing immediately.

Anywho.

It's quite common to come up with slight positive for Lyme. Even false positives are pretty common, as they are with humans. The treatment certainly won't hurt him in any way, so they typically choose to put them on antibiotics right away - you don't want to take the chance, ya know?

Ask your vet about lyme vaccination, too. Mine get it yearly, as well as the monthly Frontline.

He'll be fine!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I feel bad, all we do for our pets, and I could of prevented it. When we moved here, he had already been seen by a vet before we moved. So this is the first time for his yearly at this vet. He doesn't go running in the woods, but what I learned is that the deer that come into our yard from the woods, could drop the ticks into our yard. I did get him vaccinated for the Lyme this time. Plus the Frontline. Is it overkill to treat the property for ticks? Again, the animals that come onto our property could still bring them back. I have 3 small children (5 and under), that play out back. I worry for them too. This is so scary. This city girl isn't use to all the country living, and almost regretting it now.
 

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I certainly wouldn't give him a Lyme vaccine now that he's positive. Run the meds through and get a negative Lyme titer before you even consider doing vaccines. You NEVER vaccinate a non-well dog.

I've been treated twice for Lyme and I've had a dog treated. As long as it's caught earlier, it's not that big of a deal. Personally, I won't give my dog the Lyme vaccine. I'd rather test and treat a suspicious dog.
 

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As far as your kids are concerned - they should wear repellent if they are in the woods. You can have your yard treated to kill ticks and fleas. And/or you can thoroughly examine your kids when they bathe daily.

Where are you anyway? I live in NJ - had a dog that was very sick with Lyme but she recovered quickly - but we don't live in fear of Lyme and I don't Lyme vaccinate my current dogs. I also no longer treat the yard and don't use Frontline. I'd rather be vigilant about checking the dogs than put pesticide on them. Now, if I lived in another area with possibly heavier infestation, I might be more proactive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Laura,
I just did what she (vet) thought was best, would the fact that she said he was "Slightly Positive" Be the reason she vaccinated him for Lyme? Or could it be that there was risk for a false positive that they vaccinated him? I wish I had asked questions before leaving.
 

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I certainly wouldn't give him a Lyme vaccine now that he's positive. Run the meds through and get a negative Lyme titer before you even consider doing vaccines.
Yes, what she said. My 2 that did have it in the past, my vet wouldn't vaccinate until they were done with the meds and came up negative.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Calling vet now to check to why they vaccinated him for they lyme, will update when I get off of hold with them.
 

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Ok, just spoke to the vet, and the reason they vaccinated him, is cause he was such a mild case, that he still can contract it, so we vaccinated. See doesn't make sense to me......If I took a pregnancy test, if it came up positive, I am pregnant, I am not slightly pregnant. Does that make any sense at all? I am such a novice to all this, and just hoping that I am doing the right thing here for my boy. He isn't showing any signs (lethargy, stiffness). If it weren't for the test, I wouldn't of known he even came back positive.
 

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If I took a pregnancy test, if it came up positive, I am pregnant, I am not slightly pregnant.
HA!
Chances are, if they did the test again it will come back negative. I guess they just haven't mastered it yet.
 

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I suspect that some dogs get exposed to Lyme but don't actually come down with the disease (hence a mild positive). The antibiotic is to make sure you didn't catch it so early that the dog was just coming down with the disease and it wasn't simple exposure. To that effect, a vaccinated dog, recently exposed to Lyme will show a positive just because it tests for antibodies and the dog is producing them to fight off the virus.
To vaccinate a dog that has a mild case of Lyme wouldn't do any good but to vaccinate a dog who has been exposed and really hasn't actually come down with the disease would certainly help protect him. I can see both Vets view points in this.
 

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Since your dog is not actively symptomatic I cannot imagine that the vaccine is going to hurt him. I would not fret any more about this one. Just give him all the meds for the duration of the treatment period and he should be OK.
 

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I had my dog vaccinated for lyme, because it's very prevalent here in eastern PA, and we spend a lot of time outdoors. Back in January when we took her in for her yearly exam, they ran a test on her as part of the check-up. Although she had absolutely no symptoms, guess what - she was positive. This, despite the fact that she had been vaccinated just the year before (she's a year and a half old). They put her on a month's run of doxycycline.

My last lab had the vaccine as well, and never got lyme. I'm 100% certain that it was due to the vaccine, since we'd frequently find deer ticks on him. However, he did get ehrlichiosis and despite several courses of antibiotics to try to get rid of it, he tested positive for the remainder of his life. (Tested positive at 13, passed away at 15.5.)

Ticks are nasty...
 

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I had my dog vaccinated for lyme, because it's very prevalent here in eastern PA, and we spend a lot of time outdoors. Back in January when we took her in for her yearly exam, they ran a test on her as part of the check-up. Although she had absolutely no symptoms, guess what - she was positive. This, despite the fact that she had been vaccinated just the year before (she's a year and a half old). They put her on a month's run of doxycycline.

My last lab had the vaccine as well, and never got lyme. I'm 100% certain that it was due to the vaccine, since we'd frequently find deer ticks on him. However, he did get ehrlichiosis and despite several courses of antibiotics to try to get rid of it, he tested positive for the remainder of his life. (Tested positive at 13, passed away at 15.5.)

Ticks are nasty...
Your dog tested positive BECAUSE you had her vaccinated. Once vaccinated they will likely test positive. You then really have to wait for symptoms to determine if they are really sick or not.
 

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Your dog tested positive BECAUSE you had her vaccinated. Once vaccinated they will likely test positive. You then really have to wait for symptoms to determine if they are really sick or not.
That was my understanding as well - that a vaccinated dog would test positive. I discussed that with my vet (whom I trust very much, she has an execellent reputation and isn't out to gouge me for extraneous services) before treatment, and she said that wasn't the case here. She explained to me, but I can't really remember the conversation - it was over my head anway. :D

Not being a vet, I can't really explain why it wasn't the vaccine causing the positive. I do know that the vaccine is far from 100% effective. She gave us the option of either treating her, or waiting to see if symptoms developed. I felt more comfortable treating my dog. Other than the expense, there really wasn't a negative to treatment.
 

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That was my understanding as well - that a vaccinated dog would test positive. I discussed that with my vet (whom I trust very much, she has an execellent reputation and isn't out to gouge me for extraneous services) before treatment, and she said that wasn't the case here. She explained to me, but I can't really remember the conversation - it was over my head anway. :D

Not being a vet, I can't really explain why it wasn't the vaccine causing the positive. I do know that the vaccine is far from 100% effective. She gave us the option of either treating her, or waiting to see if symptoms developed. I felt more comfortable treating my dog. Other than the expense, there really wasn't a negative to treatment.
Very true. Once my dog had Lyme and I talked to my then vet about vaccinating my other dog he told me about the reality of vaccinated dogs testing positive forever.
 

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Very true. Once my dog had Lyme and I talked to my then vet about vaccinating my other dog he told me about the reality of vaccinated dogs testing positive forever.
This may have been the test that was given - I know that she was being tested for heartworm and I was surprised that she was tested for Lyme.

Anyway, from http://www.caberfeidh.com/Lyme.htm

Diagnosing Lyme in Dogs

There is a new test for Lyme disease in dogs, known as the Canine SNAP 3Dx or the C6 SNAP test, which tests for C6 antibodies to Lyme disease, and also tests for heartworm disease and ehrlichia canis, another tick borne disease. It is done in-office and is extremely accurate in detecting Lyme in dogs. That is because the C6 antibodies are only present due to actual infection, not as a reaction to the vaccine - very helpful for dogs who have been vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.
If you get a positive on the C6 SNAP test, a follow-up test should be done, called the Lyme Quantitative C6 Antibody Test. This has to be sent out. This will establish the baseline values you'll want to see affected by treatment, making it a useful tool for therapy and not just diagnosis.

These tests are only available through IDEXX laboratories.
 

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Can you change vets? Yours sounds like a BS artist. Either the dog tested positive for Lyme or it didn't. ANY Lyme is treated. As I said earlier, caught early and it's not a problem and most humans and animals recover 100%.

Even in a false positive, you'd treat the animal and consider that the dog had Lyme and not vaccinate until it was retested. IMO, it sounds like your vet knew you were confused and new and took advantage at the risk of your dog.
 

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The new SNAP 4Dx (testing for C6 peptide which is more specific to Borrelia burgdorferi, not the vaccine antigen I've been told) is much less likely to be positive due to vaccination, it's my understanding that was a bigger problem with the 3D SNAP tests. I'm not sure what your vet used though. If you want to be positive you can ask them to run a Western Blot - that can give a better idea whether it was tick exposure or vaccine exposure that's causing the test to come up positive. You can also run a C6 quant which will tell you how high his Ab titers are to Lyme. Then you can run it again a few months after you're finished the doxycycline and see if it dropped, and you'll have a baseline in case he comes up positive again.

Lyme is different in dogs than humans. About 95% of Lyme + dogs never show signs, and many that do show signs are later found to be infected with another tick born disease as well (Babesia microti for one). So there's a chance your guy was just exposed to Lyme, and doesn't actively have Lyme Disease, not every dog exposed gets the disease, just like not all of us exposed to the flu get it.

The problem is, labs seem to show a higher than normal rate of Lyme Nephropathy (kidney trouble due to Lyme disease). It's not clear yet what the problem exactly is, other than it causes PLN (renal damage and so protein is lost into the urine). For that reason, I know some vets who recommend testing all Lyme + labs for protein in their urine. It's simple (pee in a cup) and you can monitor how they're doing (she also does it at each yearly physical).

Don't beat yourself up about it too much! You did the right thing by taking him to the vet and being worried about him. If you're anywhere on the East Coast, there's really not much you can do except put on the Frontline and hope for the best. :)

As for the breeding him, I'd suggest you check out this link if you haven't already:
http://www.justlabradors.com/forum/index.php/topic,34657.0.html
 
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