Dog Testing Positive for Lyme Disease

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Dog Testing Positive for Lyme Disease

This is a discussion on Dog Testing Positive for Lyme Disease within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Yesterday, during a routine vet visit, I was told my beagle, Brody, tested positive for Lymes. I'm not really surprised even though we use flea ...

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Old 11-21-2015, 04:25 PM
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Exclamation Dog Testing Positive for Lyme Disease

Yesterday, during a routine vet visit, I was told my beagle, Brody, tested positive for Lymes. I'm not really surprised even though we use flea & tick meds since we live in a very bad tick area and we are always hiking through the woods.

My concern is, the vet prescribed antibiotics even though my dog has shown zero symptoms of the disease. I love my dog and don't want him to get sick so I paid for them and everything, but since then I've been looking on the internet about this and it says most dogs never show signs of the disease and it usually works its way out of the dog's system on it's own.

My vet is also talking about having a titer test done every 6 months to track the disease. They also want us to vaccinate for lyme's even though they are saying our dog will always test positive for it from now on. So what is the point of the vaccination / titer tests if my dog again, has shown no symptoms?

I can keep scouring the internet but I see varied answers and would love some input maybe from someone that has gone through this with their dog before.

Is it safe to say this isn't a death sentence for my dog? Is it silly for me to be expecting him to be sick any day now? I love my dog and he is only 4, I don't want anything to happen to him - but I also don't want to go broke paying for unnecessary tests. Again, he has never shown any disease symptoms. He has a great appetite (in fact he could lose some lbs, typical beagle!) and he is always, always ready to play and go for walks.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:43 PM
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I have lyme, and I know that you want to eradicate it before symptoms do start showing! I actually know three dogs who have had lyme, and all of them were showing symptoms. It reduces normally energetic creatures to almost lifeless forms. I highly encourage you to give your dog those antibiotics. Lyme disease is fatal.

There are some natural forms of treatment, which you could research or ask your vet. Please treat it before it gets out of hand.

Your are very fortunate to have caught it before symptoms begin to show.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:09 PM
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I have lyme, and I know that you want to eradicate it before symptoms do start showing! I actually know three dogs who have had lyme, and all of them were showing symptoms. It reduces normally energetic creatures to almost lifeless forms. I highly encourage you to give your dog those antibiotics. Lyme disease is fatal.

There are some natural forms of treatment, which you could research or ask your vet. Please treat it before it gets out of hand.

Your are very fortunate to have caught it before symptoms begin to show.
I am giving my dog the antibiotics. I don't need any encouragement to treat my dog. I was asking about the titers and the vaccination. It doesn't sound to me like you know much about this. Lyme in humans is completely different than in dogs, and 95% of dogs with lyme lead a normal life without ever showing symptoms. Thanks anyway.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:18 PM
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I am giving my dog the antibiotics. I don't need any encouragement to treat my dog. I was asking about the titers and the vaccination. It doesn't sound to me like you know much about this. Lyme in humans is completely different than in dogs, and 95% of dogs with lyme lead a normal life without ever showing symptoms. Thanks anyway.
It's kinda funny that 95% would show no symptoms. I guess the three dogs that I knew that had lyme are the apart of the small 5% that did show symptoms. All three of these dogs were reduced to laying around all day barely able to move. I did not mean to be rude, and I suggest on this forum you don't resort to being rude either.

Yes the titers and the vaccination may not be effective but it is worth a try.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:41 PM
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It's kinda funny that 95% would show no symptoms. I guess the three dogs that I knew that had lyme are the apart of the small 5% that did show symptoms. All three of these dogs were reduced to laying around all day barely able to move. I did not mean to be rude, and I suggest on this forum you don't resort to being rude either.

Yes the titers and the vaccination may not be effective but it is worth a try.
I'm in no way being rude. I think it is rude though on a forum for dog lovers that you immediately imply that I am not helping my dog. Of course that is going to strike a chord with someone. I love my dog and that's why I'm on here looking for more information. No where did I imply that I was not going to give my dog the antibiotics.

It is not very welcoming that my first post on this website has resulted in someone being rude especially at a time where I'm stressed out about my dog potentially becoming ill. I have read how bad the disease COULD get. Forgive me for clinging to the fact that I've read on multiple websites that 95 percent of dogs don't experience symptoms. I don't think that's funny at all, I hope my dog is fortunate enough to be in the 95%. He is only 4. I was coming here for SUPPORT and additional information.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:46 PM
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I'm in no way being rude. I think it is rude though on a forum for dog lovers that you immediately imply that I am not helping my dog. Of course that is going to strike a chord with someone. I love my dog and that's why I'm on here looking for more information. No where did I imply that I was not going to give my dog the antibiotics.

It is not very welcoming that my first post on this website has resulted in someone being rude especially at a time where I'm stressed out about my dog potentially becoming ill. I have read how bad the disease COULD get. Forgive me for clinging to the fact that I've read on multiple websites that 95 percent of dogs don't experience symptoms. I don't think that's funny at all, I hope my dog is fortunate enough to be in the 95%. He is only 4. I was coming here for SUPPORT and additional information.
Forgive me. I made a mistake. I some how got the idea through reading your post that you were unsure about giving the dog antibiotics. I see now that this is not the case. I hope that your dog will stay happy and healthy too.

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Old 11-21-2015, 07:47 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I don't believe @Jeru was being rude, I also doubt that she meant for it to be rude. I understand you just got a major diagnosis and I'm sure you're very stressed right now, please don't take it out on somebody trying to help and share their own experience! If you're concerned about the treatment, you should talk it over with your vet. I also know several dogs with Lyme disease and it's easier to start treating them for it before they start showing symptoms!
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:43 PM
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I'm sorry that your fuzzy isn't feeling well. My Misty had Lyme disease a couple years ago and it was awful. She started showing symptoms on December 24, and it was terrible having to see her be so sick through the holidays until the 27th when she could be taken to the vet. She couldn't walk, but she would eat and drink if I brought her bowls to her. It actually took her a long time to show symptoms - a tick that bit her in the fall got her sick in the winter. But if I could have treated her before her symptoms started to show, I would have.

My vet also said to not bother with the Lyme disease vaccine because it's not very effective anyway, and that it's better/easier to use flea and tick treatment each year rather than wasting money on the shot. I'm hoping Misty doesn't get sick again - in spite of flea and tick treatment, I've pulled about a dozen ticks off her just this month (but almost none all summer).

I'm kind of wondering why your vet was testing for Lyme disease when your pup wasn't showing symptoms. Is that a test that's done normally during routine visits? The vets where I live have never done that, but it's at least good that you know what Brody has before he started showing signs of it. Lyme disease is not a fun thing to watch your pet go through; when my Misty had it, she still had a properly functioning mind, and she was just this side of zombie. Her eyes had this look like, "My legs aren't doing what I want them to do. I'm confused."

Best of luck with medicating Brody too. I don't know about anybody else's pups, but I would rather try to stuff a cracked-out monkey into a sack than give Misty pills. She was a little too smart for her own good and would find pills hidden in her food more often than not. I'm not sure if the twice-yearly titer test (for how many years, exactly? Every year?) is necessary, though. I also don't know if Brody's always going to test positive for Lyme disease just because he's had it once. That part sounds to me like your vet wants to make a few extra bucks off your dog.
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:02 PM
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I'm sorry that your fuzzy isn't feeling well. My Misty had Lyme disease a couple years ago and it was awful. She started showing symptoms on December 24, and it was terrible having to see her be so sick through the holidays until the 27th when she could be taken to the vet. She couldn't walk, but she would eat and drink if I brought her bowls to her. It actually took her a long time to show symptoms - a tick that bit her in the fall got her sick in the winter. But if I could have treated her before her symptoms started to show, I would have.

My vet also said to not bother with the Lyme disease vaccine because it's not very effective anyway, and that it's better/easier to use flea and tick treatment each year rather than wasting money on the shot. I'm hoping Misty doesn't get sick again - in spite of flea and tick treatment, I've pulled about a dozen ticks off her just this month (but almost none all summer).

I'm kind of wondering why your vet was testing for Lyme disease when your pup wasn't showing symptoms. Is that a test that's done normally during routine visits? The vets where I live have never done that, but it's at least good that you know what Brody has before he started showing signs of it. Lyme disease is not a fun thing to watch your pet go through; when my Misty had it, she still had a properly functioning mind, and she was just this side of zombie. Her eyes had this look like, "My legs aren't doing what I want them to do. I'm confused."

Best of luck with medicating Brody too. I don't know about anybody else's pups, but I would rather try to stuff a cracked-out monkey into a sack than give Misty pills. She was a little too smart for her own good and would find pills hidden in her food more often than not. I'm not sure if the twice-yearly titer test (for how many years, exactly? Every year?) is necessary, though. I also don't know if Brody's always going to test positive for Lyme disease just because he's had it once. That part sounds to me like your vet wants to make a few extra bucks off your dog.
Thank you so much for sharing this. What a shame that it happened to you during the holidays Did Misty recover with no major issues? Symptoms didn't turn? I originally was at the vet to update Brodys distemper and bordatella. We had moved so it was a new vet but we were referred there by many people. The very recommended a lepto vaccine and a snap test. The snap test is what revealed the lyme. He goes back Dec 11 and I think they want to do the titer test to see the exact levels of the lyme in his system to make sure it's not too high. I'm all about doing necessary tests to help my pet but if he's not showing symptoms and is on antibiotics, what would the results of that test matter. I also have heard of another test where they check urine for protein but they haven't suggested that yet. I know they are wanting me to do the lyme vaccine but even your vet said it's pretty much pointless..

I know what you mean about frequently pulling off ticks. I do use k9 advantix II. It's a shame that we try to be good dog owners and take the dogs hiking for exercise as much as we can and now we're paying for it. Ticks are so rampant around here.

And yes the vet says Brody will always test positive now that he's been exposed... the titer tests do seem like a money scheme. Also I just put a tiny bit of peanut butter on the pill and he eats it without hesitation lol.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:28 PM
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In spite of me only getting maybe 20 of her 30 antibiotic pills into her system (if I was lucky), Misty did recover fully. I started seeing a huge difference a few days into the antibiotics, but she seemed to hold herself a tiny bit more delicately once treatment was done. That could be due to simple age rather than Lyme disease, though. I think a younger dog has a better chance of making a good recovery than an older dog. And I tried peanut butter among many other foods too; she would just refuse to eat whatever I was giving her after a couple tries. She would even turn her nose up at liver because she knew I did something to it, and trying to force it into her mouth usually involved putting her in various wrestling holds for 15-20 minutes, only for her to spit the food back out and/or eat everything except the pill. She is horrible with pills and is a lot like a stubborn old person who refuses to take their pills because they want to deny needing to rely on medication to maintain their health or keep them alive. Meanwhile, my other dog will eat something before he even knows what it is because he's a pig in dog's clothing.

I don't go hiking with my dogs myself, especially since Misty is such an old lady. When I walk her, it's basically all business, more now than ever now that she's going senile. I just live out in no man's land in the Northeast with all manner of outdoor critters, which includes a whole lot of ticks. I keep Misty out of bushes and leaf piles and she still winds up with ticks on her, as does the younger dog. It's just tougher to find them on Misty at times because she's a long-haired dog.

The crappy thing is even if a dog has Lyme disease once, I don't think that means they have immunity to it. I know a couple folks whose dogs had Lyme disease more than once. From what I understand, not all dogs will remain positive for Lyme disease forever after having it, but many will. Should Brody have the misfortune of contracting it again, you may not know until he displays symptoms (if he does). As far as the titer tests, if the vet already knows he'll test positive for Lyme disease for the rest of his life, why bother getting regular tests to prove what you both already know? Seems a little silly.
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