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Luana

new lyme exposure

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Hi all,

this year Spillo tested positive to Lyme. I test him every year. in April I found a tick on him (even if he is protected with frontiline). it was different from the ticks I know, so I preserved it.

in May he had is full check up with blood test and resulted positive to Lyme. I then sent the tick for testing and the results shows  that the tick was infected.

so my vet decided for 400 mg doxy a day (divided in 200 mg every 12 hours) for 4 weeks

is this the amount that is given to a 43 pound dog from your experience? he has to take 2 100 mg capsule twice a day and I am wondering if this is a very aggressive amount for an asymptomatic dog.

if you have any experience with it I will appreciate any input.

Luana

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Not all dogs who test positive for Lyme exposure actually get Lyme disease. I have a dog who's been testing positive for 4 or 5 years now. She's never exhibited any symptoms and has never been treated. I do, however, have a urinalysis done every year to be sure it hasn't affected her kidneys.

Most tests only test for exposure, not actual disease, so you may have given him Abx needlessly.

BTW, your dog's likely to test positive for the rest of his life. It doesn't mean he has Lyme disease or that he ever did. But it will mean you have to be watchful for symptoms in the future, not so much from this exposure but because the SNAP test won't be able to tell you if he's been re-exposed to Lyme disease from a later tick bite.

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/04/04/lyme-disease-in-dogs.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookpets_ranart&utm_campaign=20190519_lyme-disease-in-dogs&fbclid=IwAR2Mk9ZVPLKe_oYF9dgM3Rgn0l1IPihobFK8EgFni0BQBqdDXpywTcDI8Is

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In the linked article a dog is defined as being infected when it exhibits clinical symptoms but not infected in the absence of “clinical symptoms” even with a positive Lyme test.  No one defined “clinical symptoms” in the article.

We have had dogs that tested positive (Idexx Snap test) that only exhibited symptoms while working livestock (loss of physical and mental stamina) but no symptoms when not working.  These dogs regained physical and mental stamina within 4 days of starting the doxycycline treatment.  Our dogs were infected; however, if they were not working livestock the vets in the linked article would have diagnosed them as unaffected, with a false Lyme positive test.  We have also had a dog test positive that had no symptoms while working.

btw, our Lyme positive dogs tested negative after the doxycycline treatment.  This does not fit with the commonly held opinion that they will test positive their entire life.  I wonder if the lifelong positive Lyme tests are true infections but sub-clinical because of the current definition of “clinical infection”.

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1 hour ago, GentleLake said:

Not all dogs who test positive for Lyme exposure actually get Lyme disease. I have a dog who's been testing positive for 4 or 5 years now. She's never exhibited any symptoms and has never been treated. I do, however, have a urinalysis done every year to be sure it hasn't affected her kidneys.

Most tests only test for exposure, not actual disease, so you may have given him Abx needlessly.

BTW, your dog's likely to test positive for the rest of his life. It doesn't mean he has Lyme disease or that he ever did. But it will mean you have to be watchful for symptoms in the future, not so much from this exposure but because the SNAP test won't be able to tell you if he's been re-exposed to Lyme disease from a later tick bite.

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/04/04/lyme-disease-in-dogs.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookpets_ranart&utm_campaign=20190519_lyme-disease-in-dogs&fbclid=IwAR2Mk9ZVPLKe_oYF9dgM3Rgn0l1IPihobFK8EgFni0BQBqdDXpywTcDI8Is

thanks for the reply.

Spillo had a C6 quant test to quantify the Ab response. his numbers are elevated with a value of 70 compared to the baseline of 30 and that is why the Vet decided to treat him. 

I agree that it could also mean his immune system responded to the bacteria, but not being sure I followed the Vet directions. 

the goal is to bring is Ab value below threshold, when the number is very low it will not be detectable on the snap test. his number at 6 months from treatment will serve as baseline for him as I will continue to test him every year with the C6.

my concern however is with the dosage of antibiotics, as it seems quite high to me and I was wondering which is the dosage generally used for a border collie.

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24 minutes ago, Mark Billadeau said:

...our Lyme positive dogs tested negative after the doxycycline treatment....

In no way is intended to be argumentative, but my experience with one dog who had clinical Lyme disease and was successfully treated with doxycycline continued to test positive with subsequent SNAP tests for the rest of her life.

@Luana, I don't remember what her doxy dose was.

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The Merck Veterinary Manual lists 20mg/kg of body weight of doxycycline for 4 weeks as the preferred treatment.

https://www.merckvetmanual.com/generalized-conditions/lyme-borreliosis/overview-of-lyme-borreliosis?query=Lyme

Based upon this a 43lb dog should get 390mg; 400 was prescribed because of how much comes in pills.

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Correct dosage, however, the recommended from many others is for a minimum of 8 weeks.

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My dog tested positive after I noticed that he was letting another dog win at tug games and acted weird/edgy a couple times playing tug with me. No other symptoms and otherwise seemed quite healthy and normal.

 

After the first three days of doxy he was back to tugging with gusto. Based on this, I’d absolutely treat a dog who tested positive even if they were pretty normal. The bacteria could be doing some level of damage. 

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37 minutes ago, Journey said:

...the recommended from many others is for a minimum of 8 weeks...

I don't know what the current recommendations are for length of treatment, but when my dog was being treated (I can't recall when it was but it was at least 5 years ago) the recommended course of treatment was undergoing some changes. I remember discussing this with my vet at the time when he prescribed a shorter course than what I'd been hearing was the normal recommendation. He said that a shorter course had been shown to be effective and what he was following were the new (at the time) recommendations from Cornell.

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/animal-health-diagnostic-center/laboratories/serology-immunology/lyme-disease

Since we're on the subject, I'd like to mention a symptom of Lyme disease in dogs that I haven't heard mentioned often called "walking on eggshells." I knew to look for limping, but my dog didn't limp. What she did was every so often kind of mince her steps with her hind legs. It reminded me very much of the kind of shuffling gait seen in elderly people; she reminded me of a tottering old person.

As I said, I don't remember ever seeing this mentioned in the list of symptoms generally published for people to be aware of, but after describing it to my vet he knew immediately what I was referring to. Went home and did a quick search and found a number of references to it. So it's apparently well known as a symptom, but still not often mentioned the the frequently listed symptoms to look for.

 

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thanks for all the useful information.

one thing I have been noticing with Spillo on this medication is an increased thirst. he drinks water often and more than usual. is this something to be concerned about?

other than that he acts normal.

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On 5/20/2019 at 9:02 PM, Mark Billadeau said:

...No one defined “clinical symptoms” in the article.

Mark, again not trying to be argumentative but I'd like to know what you would consider an adequate definition of the "clinical symptoms"?

From the article:

"Common symptoms of canine Lyme disease include:

  • Fever
  • Lameness that shifts from leg to leg
  • Hot, painful, swollen lymph nodes
  • Lethargy
  • Joint swelling
  • Loss of appetite"

Except for the omission of "walking on eggshells," which as I mentioned before most listing of symptoms fail to include, what else would you want to see included to qualify as a definition of clinical symptoms?

 

   
   

 

 

 

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None of our Lyme positive dogs had these symptoms.  That means our dogs were not clinically infected and treatment would not be prescribed based upon the recommendations in the linked article.  However, they did respond to treatment.

This suggests to me the definition of clinically infected may not adequately identify truly infected dogs and these dogs may be going untreated.  Or perhaps the current definition of clinical infection only become accurate after the infection has progressed longer than when the Lyme test detects the infection.

I personally would either treat a Lyme positive dog and assess the accuracy of the positive test by how the dog responds (or does not respond) to treatment or I would retest to assess if there was a false positive test.

loss of physical and or mental stamina while working livestock is a commonly reported symptom within the working community.

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10 hours ago, Mark Billadeau said:

 

loss of physical and or mental stamina while working livestock is a commonly reported symptom within the working community.

my trainer gave me a similar description of her dog symptoms.

this is a article that support treatment of asymptomatic dogs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2223868/

however my dog is not doing well on doxy so after 10 days of treatment I might consider to stop or try a different antibiotic.

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