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Author Topic : Lyme Disease
 WR Kennel
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11/26/2013 5:36:57 AM reply with quote send message to WR Kennel Object to Post  

Well last week my year old lab, Maya, tested positive for being exposed to Lyme. So the vet drew some more blood and sent it on to the lab to be tested to see how high the levels were. Got a voicemail from her yesterday evening that said she came back at 115 and anything over 30 they treat. We are more than likely going to treat, because there's no downside that we can tell to doing it, what can it hurt?

My concerns are this, I've been reading a lot on Lyme in dogs, a lot of people out there think of the vaccine as a vet money scam of sorts since dogs who are vaccinated can still get it? Many dogs, from what I've read, fight it off themselves as I'm sure they have for years before we humans came up with tests and treatments for it.

It did seem odd (keep in mind I'm not used to dealing with this woman lol there is one vet there I absolutely love and take his word as gospel but he's my horse doc, and I have no idea if this woman is the type of vet who is determined every dog is sick kind of thing and yes I'm a little paranoid hahaha) that the vet said "oh why don't we also check for Lyme while we're testing for the heartworm (which honestly also has me wondering after my sister's lab was diagnosed and just given the heartworm pills and miraculously it's gone months later) so my husband and I said ok, we never in a million years thought it would come back positive, but it did.

And given the fact that we are religious about tick control since she is an outdoor loving dog and has only had 2 ticks on her in her life (yes as with pregnancy I realize one is all it takes sometimes lol) and those ticks were found right away and removed and it was months ago that the last was even found. The vet seemed very confused by this fact, and the fact that my lab has never had a sick day in her life that may indicate she had lyme or anything else for that matter.

So my husband is posting on his hunting forum and getting opinions on all this from them, and I thought I'd post here happy :) I have also checked out the web, and I'm seeing that some in certain areas are stipulating in puppy contracts that the dogs are never to get vaccinated for Lyme, I'm kind of wondering if anyone knows why this is?

Another thing that has us really wondering, is that the vet said normally they recommend Doxy to treat for this, but that it was $600 a month to do this (usually give meds for a month) and they do have a cheaper one out there that works just as well. But when my husband looked online he found where he could order 2 months worth of Doxy for a little less than $50 plus shipping?! If this stuff is what's normally used for this, why try to get us to use something other than what's best and tell us it's way more expensive than it is? I even double checked with my husband this morning when he found it online to make sure I hadn't heard her wrong, and yes she said that outrageous amount lol.

We have a lot of plans for this wonderful pup, and we will do anything in our power to make sure she has a long and happy life, I just don't want to get caught up in some kind of fad and worry about something that may never be an issue again in her life, you know what I mean? But I have also heard that some dogs don't show symptoms until years down the road?

So sorry for the long post happy :) and I am aware I like to babble and talk in circles so I can be hard to understand hahaha. But I would love others opionions on treating dogs who have had limited exposure and the vaccine itself. happy :)
 PelicanPups
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11/26/2013 8:32:41 AM reply with quote send message to PelicanPups Object to Post

Sorry that you are going through this. Ticks are nasty and vile little vampires. Is she showing any outward signs? Doxy is the absolute way to go, and yes it's terribly expensive due to a shortage earlier this year. There is an email list out there that is best suited for your questions. It helped a great deal when my young friend was diagnosed with Anaplasma Phagocytophilium. I never remember my dog ever have a tick on her. apple.ease.lsoft.com/scripts/wa-PLUTO.exe?SUBED1=TICK-L&A=1

Best of luck!
 
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11/26/2013 8:49:30 AM reply with quote send message to Object to Post edit post

quote
posted by WR Kennel
We are more than likely going to treat, because there's no downside that we can tell to doing it, what can it hurt?
Antibiotics are pretty safe, of course there is a reasonable chance of digestive/gut upset while taking them but usually that is resolved shortly after cessation of treatment.

quote
posted by WR Kennel
a lot of people out there think of the vaccine as a vet money scam of sorts since dogs who are vaccinated can still get it? Many dogs, from what I've read, fight it off themselves as I'm sure they have for years before we humans came up with tests and treatments for it.
A lot of people think the moon landing never happened, that the universe is < 10,000 years old, or that reptilian aliens are secretly running the world's governments.

Just because lots of people think something doesn't make it true. Naturopathy, Homeopathy and tons of other "treatments" which have been shown to be no better than placebos are very popular and their proponents & the people/companies making millions off of them are very loud and determined to discredit medicines which do have to show significant beneficial effects before they can be sold.

The main issue with Lyme vaccines is that they aren't effective against all the strains of bacteria that can cause it. So if the dog is exposed to a different kind of bacteria that was not used to develop the vaccine the dog will still be able to catch it. -> Similar to meningitis in people there are at least 3 types of bacteria that can cause it but we only have a vaccine against one of them.


quote
posted by WR Kennel

It did seem odd that the vet said "oh why don't we also check for Lyme while we're testing for the heartworm.

She may have suggested that because the clinic has seen a higher number of cases of Lyme than normal but didn't want to make you paranoid about it. -> Worrying about something can actually cause a reverse placebo effect where people will start noticing symptoms of the disease they are worrying about without actually having it.

quote
posted by WR Kennel
I have also checked out the web, and I'm seeing that some in certain areas are stipulating in puppy contracts that the dogs are never to get vaccinated for Lyme, I'm kind of wondering if anyone knows why this is?

I can only guess but the anti-vaxx movement is still going strong (despite many scientific studies proving the safety of vaccines). Before the autism + MMR vaccine scare (which was fraudulent) there was a previous auto-immune disease + Lyme vaccine scare which had even less scientific basis than the autism + MMR vaccine scare. But since Lyme disease isn't super common and has simple treatment options available the vaccine was less important than the MMR vaccine so the gov't/company/scientific community was less willing to put effort in to dispel the myth and the Lyme vaccine was eventually discontinued.

Plus based on the comment in this forum it seems many dog breeders are members of the anti-science/anti-medicine movement.

quote
posted by WR Kennel
Another thing that has us really wondering, is that the vet said normally they recommend Doxy to treat for this, but that it was $600 a month to do this (usually give meds for a month) and they do have a cheaper one out there that works just as well. But when my husband looked online he found where he could order 2 months worth of Doxy for a little less than $50 plus shipping?!

Be careful about buying drugs online. Often the very cheap online drugs are expired/out-of-date and may not be effective anymore. Generally the online drug market place is poorly regulated and much more susceptible to fraud (mislabelled, fake or out-of-date drugs). Plus isn't Doxy a prescription drug so it should be illegal to sell it online since you can't check the prescription?


quote
posted by WR Kennel
I just don't want to get caught up in some kind of fad and worry about something that may never be an issue again in her life, you know what I mean? But I have also heard that some dogs don't show symptoms until years down the road?

Lyme disease definitely isn't a fad it has been around for ages and has been known about for decades. In severe cases it can cause permanent nerve damage, chronic kidney disease or death. It is a relatively slow disease unlike some bacterial infections where the patient can be dead in a few days after infection. Lyme disease has also been linked chronic or long term joint/heart issues. How and why that happens is not well understood.

grif,
 Templar Knights
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11/26/2013 10:33:47 AM reply with quote send message to Templar Knights Object to Post

Doxy has gotten expensive this past year, due to a shortage. But $600 seems like it's overpriced.
I just got a week's worth supply for a 90# foster, and it was $55 before our discount.

There are different schools of thoughts on Lyme disease. One being that 1-2 months of doxy is enough to knock out the disease.

Another school is that you have to maintain the dog on a dosage of doxy longterm. This woman has some interesting info, and I think she had Lyme disease herself: illinoisbirddogrescue.org/
 griffin
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11/26/2013 10:53:55 AM reply with quote send message to griffin Object to Post

this post has been edited 1 time(s)

quote
posted by Templar Knights
This woman has some interesting info, and I think she had Lyme disease herself: illinoisbirddogrescue.org/

#1 Is this person a scientist or clinician?
#2 How many cases of Lyme has she treated?
#3 Has she done a double blinded trial comparing short term and long term treatment of Lyme disease with Doxy?
#4 Has her work/writings been peer-reviewed by experts in the treatment of bacterial infections (specifically Lyme disease)?

Anecdotal evidence from the experience of one person with the disease is not evidence of anything. There are dozens if not hundreds of crack-pots who believe because they did X while being treated for Y and they got better it must mean X cures Y. Or conversely because Z happened to them after W, W must have caused Z.

grif,

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Last edited by griffin on 11/26/2013 10:54:34 AM
 Templar Knights
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11/26/2013 11:38:30 AM reply with quote send message to Templar Knights Object to Post

She lists all her treatment plans, test results, and works with a couple of vets locally to collect data on the success of her treatment. She clearly states that she is not a vet, but works closely with the vets that treat the dogs to track and monitor data. I'm not sure how many years of data she has posted currently but it is enough to make you look twice at some protocols.

The Lyme disease debate is huge in our area, and it is worthwhile to read thru some of the data out there and consult vets and people who have dealt with it.
 GaylanStudio9
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11/26/2013 1:11:28 PM reply with quote send message to GaylanStudio9 Object to Post

this post has been edited 1 time(s)

Well, I don't know too much about Lyme but my understanding is that it is much more of an issue for people than dogs. I suspect including the test with heartworm is frequently done as a monitoring activity as much as anything, probably due to the human element.

Now, my experience involves a one time positive test (with the heartworm test) perhaps 4 or so years ago. I don't suppose it was particularely high but my vet did advise me of the result. She did not seem concerned nor did she recommend treatment. He tested negative next time around. He's still around, 14 1/2 years old and doing quite well all things considered. At five years he had a near-death experience with an auto-immune thing and has not been vacinated for anything since - yeah, perhaps some degree of luck involved there.

WR, I'd consider discussing it with your horse doctor whom you trust - a second opinion is always wise. Perhaps even see about a re-test.

On-line drugs - I'd hesitate for all the reasons above. I'm not anti-science, but drug companies are in the business of making profit. Do your research!

Edit - because I can't spell worth a d***!

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Last edited by GaylanStudio9 on 11/26/2013 1:16:50 PM
 Cornus
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11/26/2013 5:03:23 PM reply with quote send message to Cornus Object to Post

Lyme and other tick borne diseases take long term high does treatment with antibiotics. We treated a dog for about 6 months for a tick disease.

Remember even if your dog is on a preventive such as Frontline or Advantix the tick has to bite the skin to receive the chemical and it only takes one bite, attached or not, to transmit a tick borne disease.

Lyme in itself may not be harmful right away to the dog, but other conditions such as Lyme nephritis and Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia can be caused by tick borne diseases.
 WR Kennel
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11/27/2013 1:35:19 PM reply with quote send message to WR Kennel Object to Post

Thanks so much for all the opinions on the subject, I really appreciate it!!

We have decided we are going to treat with the doxy, and no worries, he was just doing price comparing to get a kind of average on cost, we plan to purchase locally happy :)

We are still on the fence when it comes to the vaccine itself though, even the vet admitted that a dog can still get Lyme while on the vaccine and I believe it was said that a dog will test positive for months after it? I may be wrong, my memory sucks hahaha. And I have read from others that had their dogs test positive that they don't feel another dose of the bacteria even through a vaccine is a wise bet when it's already in there and the dogs are naturally trying to make their own immunity to the bacteria. But again, we're still debating that and will talk more with the vet about it.

I will see if I can get a hold of my horse doc for his opinion, he is so unbelievable I love him to death lmao he even stopped out after a couple weeks on his own time to check on my mare after her surgery to get a cyst removed under her eye lid and this was after another vet from that office told me I was better off putting the mare down because it may be cancerous. Not all vets are as dedicated as he is! It's going to be a sad day when he retires lol

But I'm rambling again hahaha
 Lilliput
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11/28/2013 12:22:09 AM reply with quote send message to Lilliput Object to Post

quote
posted by Cornus


Remember even if your dog is on a preventive such as Frontline or Advantix the tick has to bite the skin to receive the chemical and it only takes one bite, attached or not, to transmit a tick borne disease.


Tick Borne disease in general yes, but not true for Lyme. In order for Lyme to be transmitted, thee tick must be attached for 36-48hours according to the CDC. If the tick is removed before then, transmission is highly unlikely.

However, Lyme is transmitted by deer ticks, in all stages in my understanding, and some stages are so tiny that even humans do not realize they have been bitten. It doesn't always happened from the classic adult form that then engorges.

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