I absolutely agree with you. This is why running a SNAP - 4Dx is very important. I have these run at minimum twice/year for Brisby and more if she has had a tick attach after the appropriate period.Be very careful with this article.
My dogs are routinely tested (twice a year)and ARE treated when they show more than exposure. I honestly cannot recall any of my dogs becoming symptomatic (possibly they have been but not apparent)
However, it is not uncommon for renal failure to be the first apparent symptom in our goldens. This is so not worth taking a chance and not treating or testing.
Granted, I live in CT but please do not take chances with Lyme Disease. People can also have debilitating symptoms with Lyme Disease.
I do not mean to sound a useless alarm, but we in the northeast generally take Lyme very, very seriously.
Also, if the SNAP - 4Dx is lyme positive, it does not mean that the dog has Lyme disease....So if your dog is bitten by a tick, it’s only 33% likely to carry the potentially harmful Borrelia bacteria.
If the tick is infected, then you or your dog will typically develop flu-like symptoms and possibly a rash at the site of infection. This is the first stage of Lyme disease.
Dr Rau and other researchers estimate that only 10 to 20 percent of tick bites will lead to stage 1 Lyme disease.
If untreated however, 30% of stage 1 cases will lead to stage 2 (where bacteria can infect the skin, joints, kidneys and sometimes the heart).
So your dog has about a 1% to 2% chance of stage 2 Lyme disease … the kind of Lyme disease that can really make him sick.
Stage 3 Lyme is the chronic stage, which can appear months or even years after infection. The most common symptoms are joint and muscle pain.
Only 1% of stage 2 cases of Lyme progress to stage 3.
Lyme Disease in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention...
According to Meryl P. Littman, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, canine exposure to Lyme disease is common, but the disease is not:“Ninety-five percent of exposed dogs don’t get sick, but they become Lyme antibody-positive on tests, which may scare people into thinking they need to be treated,” she says. “We don’t treat asymptomatic dogs, but we check their urine for protein. In some areas in New England, 70 to 90 percent of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive. At PennVet, we found about 40 percent of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive in our area.”Again, these are not sick dogs but dogs that have been exposed to the disease.
It’s clear from these statistics the immune systems of seropositive dogs have identified the Lyme disease pathogen and mounted an appropriate, effective response. So even though they test positive, they do not become sick with the disease..........
We’ve established that 95 percent of dogs exposed to Lyme disease never get sick from it. These dogs will, however, test positive for years down the road.
Hopefully your dog, if infected, will fall into that large group.
But if your pup winds up one of the five percent that becomes ill with Lyme symptoms, I recommend you have your vet run a SNAP-4Dx blood test. Dogs that test positive for Lyme disease with the 4Dx test are typically symptomatic. This test actually detects multiple vector-borne diseases, not just Lyme disease, so it can be useful to rule in or rule out certain other types of bacteria and parasites as well.
Your vet may also do a urinalysis to find out if your dog is excreting protein in her urine.
If the doctor determines your pet’s symptoms are indeed from a Lyme infection, treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline should be instituted.
In a very small percentage of dogs with active Lyme infection – much smaller than the five percent that show symptoms – chronic Lyme disease can result in significant kidney problems and also autoimmune polyarthritis. The latter is a type of joint degeneration secondary to an undiagnosed, untreated Lyme infection.
If you suspect your pet has symptoms of Lyme disease, it’s important to have him seen by a veterinarian.