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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We don't have it (almost non existant) in Florida, and DH is pretty dead set on transferring to New England. I'm not thrilled because aside from dog limits (we'd have to live in Maine and commute to Boston, I worry about lyme disease. Those of you up there, what do you do? How many of you have dogs with Lyme? Can I not take my dogs out to run at all in the spring and summer? That would make me crazy.
 

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Frontline is an absolute necessity, and some people double up and put on tick collars during time in the field and woods and then zip-loc them the rest of the time.

Regular SNAP4Dx tests are a must (we do them every 6 months). The SNAP tests for Lyme, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. All three are TBDs, and all three can be dangerous.

Lyme usually shows up in dogs with fever, lethargy, and intermittent lameness. It responds very well to treatment (usually Doxycycline), but untreated, it slowly progresses, and the dog can die of kidney failure (Lyme nephritis).

Lyme takes hours of embedding to be transmitted, so the slow kill time of Frontline still seems to prevent it well (we also do the vaccine, since the new one is safe and over 60% effective). I've never had a dog who tested Lyme positive. We also rarely get the ticks on ourselves, since they prefer the dogs and get poisoned on contact with them.

I have, however, have had two dogs test positive for Anaplasmosis. Comet came down with acute Anaplasmosis yesterday and is on doxy today. He was a little slower than normal for a couple of days, but nothing scary, and then yesterday, he became completely stiff and lethargic, to the point that I was pretty frightened. He's dramatically better this morning on the doxy, though still not himself.

If your dogs are mostly on your own property, there are things you can do to limit ticks. You can fence the deer out, put down pesticides, cut back brush, and keep the grass short in the areas the dogs frequent. Some people swear by diatomaceous earth, but I'm skeptical. My dad, who lives in NJ, catches squirrels in have-a-heart traps and flea powders them, since they're a major vector for the ticks. I find that hilarious but also totally logical.

Our dogs never get them in the yard, but they get literally dozens sometimes when we go out in the woods. We choose to go out with them anyway, all the time, and we manage the problem, rather than living in fear of the little buggers.
 

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I am probably about 20 miles from TippyKayak and my dogs are also tested at least every 6 months; it is a serious concern and one that needs to be taken into account whenever a dog is not himself here in CT and probably the Northeast in general- but as TippyKayak also stated, when caught early a course in Doxy will normally take care of it.

My dogs are in the woods most days and in fields many days as well and I have had them pick up ticks around parking lots!!

My dogs are on antibiotics right now (one as a precaution, and 2 tested positive for TBDs) - BTW, Lyme Disease is not the worst of the TBDs and erhliciosis, Anaplasmosis, RMSF etc are not covered with the vaccine.

When I first saw a tick (20+ years ago) I stayed out of my woods for a few months but then reality set in - I can manage ticks and have my dogs tested way easier than figuring out how to get the dogs enough exercise without the woods.

BTW: Tippykayak, I hope Comet is up to snuff real quick - Casey is already back to prancing and he's been on antibiotics (not Doxie but another) since Sunday.
 

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GREAT post, Brian! Very informative for those of us in NE, but new to having a dog here! Thanks!

Bailey is on Advantix, receives the Lyme vaccine, and we also have our property sprayed for fleas/ticks. After reading several threads here recently, I am going to request the SNAP test on our next vet visit. I will start testing every six months to be on the safe side.

As with Brian's dogs, Bailey never seems to get ticks in the yard but certainly brings them home on our trips to the woods, river, etc. She enjoys our outings far too much not to do them, so we just do everything we know of to keep her safe. Guess that's all you can do!
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brain, does Advantix work, too? Advantix doesn't work on the Florida ticks (dog ticks) but they don't carry disease so I don't care. Frontline does not work on ticks OR fleas down here in Florida anymore. I assume fleas are not the problem up there that they are down here.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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All the advise given so far is good and I do not want to minimize the possible severity of lyme disease but understand even for a dog that has benn diagnosed with Lyme disease it is not always a horrible thing. Only about 5% of infected dogs ever show any clinical signs of the effects of the disease. I have a dog that tested positive and has never shown any clinical signs or any effects. She was treated with a single course of doxy seven years ago and over time her tests eventually returned to negative.
For those of you who live in Florida it is similar for us how you can live with your gators and other creepy crawlers. You know they exist, you do what you can to avoid them and you use common sense to weigh how to combat them.
 

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I'm in Maryland but have had experience with Lyme. Sam contracted Lyme while on Frontline. He presented with intermittent lameness but otherwise, no symptoms. The Vet thought that he'd been bitten as many as 6 months earlier. I had Lyme last year. My symptoms were severe body aches, as if I'd had a strenuous workout, and a slight fever. I found a tick biting me, a regular brown dog tick, so thought nothing of it. Within a few weeks I had the tell tale bulls eye rash at the bite site and the lymph nodes in my underarm swelled to the size of golf balls. Even with all these obvious symptoms and signs, I tested negative for Lyme. My Dr treated me with Doxycycline anyway. Evidently, many Lyme's cases are false negatives. The antibiotics worked and my symptoms went away and I'm fine. Sam never had complications from his bout with Lyme either.

My daughter lives in Kingston, Mass. and gets her dog vac'd for Lyme. It's pretty prevalent in that area.
 
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