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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today at Bailey's vet visit for annual vaccines, I had them run the Snap 4Dx test. Unfortunately, she tested positive for Lyme disease (with the Lyme vaccine and year round Advantix treatments). :(

She's been put on a month of doxy, but I was told there is only a 20-30% chance that she will test negative when rechecked in six months.

First, is this the normal protocol (30 day antibiotics, recheck in six months)? And for those with dogs that have tested positive, did their results come back positive or negative at the recheck?

Also, how did your dogs tolerate the Doxycycline?

Thanks!!
 

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Marcy
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Finny tested very low positive. After 30 days of doxy he came back neg at six months and a year.

He never had any problem with the doxy. Good luck!
 

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My dogs test positive at their 6 month rechecks, but the titers are lower.

One dog (Casey) has had issues with the doxy, but 3 others (Rowdy, Faelan and Towhee) have not experienced any tolerance issues.

With doxy, give the pills with food and do not include calcium or any type of dairy product since this will interfere with absorption (unless you specifically have a brand that is to be taken with milk).


I really am starting to think most dogs on the east coast have, have have or will have TBDs whether topical preventives are used or not. And Lyme is one of the more innocuous of the TBDs - nasty buggers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both! When you say they "tested lower" or the titers were lower, what exactly does that mean? They only told me she was positive, but did not indicate any kind of severity.

Sunrise-when you say that Casey did not tolerate the doxy well, what were his symptoms? Also, I think you are right about the east coast/CT. My vet said that he doesn't do the Snap test automatically because approximately one in three dogs that come in would test positive. :(
 

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So far my two have always tested negative for Lyme. I know it's controversial, but they do get the Lyme vaccination. So far, so good. Shadow is 7 and Tucker will be 7 in February. I tested positive, my neighbor tested positive and my neighbor's dog tested positive, so I decided to give the vaccination a chance. They both were around a year old when the vaccination started.

Thinking of Bailey...
 

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Thank you both! When you say they "tested lower" or the titers were lower, what exactly does that mean? They only told me she was positive, but did not indicate any kind of severity.

Sunrise-when you say that Casey did not tolerate the doxy well, what were his symptoms? Also, I think you are right about the east coast/CT. My vet said that he doesn't do the Snap test automatically because approximately one in three dogs that come in would test positive. :(
You can have titers done to test strength of the infection - lower titers for TBDs are good (unlike the vaccination titers where higher is good). This test is pricier though and you may not really need it.

Casey's symptoms that doxy does not agree with him include not wanting to eat (nausea), that hang dog look that we know means they just don't feel good, lack of energy, gas etc - he'll even ignore play time and want to be by himself. It will start about a week after the doxy starts .... but he is also generally on a high dose since he may be going into the chronic stage and we need to go after any hint of active TBDs aggressively.

I think the incidence of TBDs may actually be higher than 1 in 3, I honestly do not personally know anyone whose dogs have not had a TBD at least once <sigh>
 

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If your dog tests postive on the Snap test, you need to have a Quant C6 run. The Snap test is either positive or negative, the "weak" positive is really meaningless.

The Quant C6 will put a number to the Snap result. My boy tested 64 on his Quant C6 after testing positive on his Snap. The goal is to retest in 6 months following treatment, and have that original number be cut by half or more. That shows you that the treatment was effective.

If your dog scores less than 30 on the Quant C6, current thinking is that you don't need to treat, just retest in 6 months.

I have had 3 dogs test positive in the last 5 years. All tolerated their Doxy very well, and I treated with an aggressive dose, double the amount of Doxy usually prescribed for twice the usual time. You can give them Pepcid to assist with their stomach, and a lot of people also use probiotics.

My boy did not respond to the traditional 4 week time frame and dosage and required further treatment, while my girl did.

My boy has tested positive on the Snap 4 each of the 3 years following his diagnosis and eventual successful treatment, but each time the C6 was very low, in the low double digits and did not require treatment. I fully expect that he will eventually test negative-maybe this year.

My girl tested negative on the first Snap following her diagnosis and treatment.

There is a ton of information here

http://blackgsd.googlepages.com/

http://blackgsd.googlepages.com/lymedisease

and an excellent Tick List, with at least one vet on it

http://apple.ease.lsoft.com/scripts/wa-PLUTO.exe?SUBED1=TICK-L&A=1

Goldens seem to be particularly susceptible to Lyme nephritis (kidney disease), so it is important to diagnose and treat it promptly. It is becoming more common to recommend a kidney function test for a Golden who has tested positive for Lyme. I have not done so but am considering it.

It is a very scary disease, to be honest, but if caught early and treated promptly, your dog should be fine. One thought is that it can remain dormant in the body and "break out" at times of stress.

My old boy caught Lyme Disease shortly after I had his sperm frozen for the first time. Either the first treatment did not work, or he got it more than once, as he ended up being treated 3 times for Lyme Disease. After that, his fertility was never the same. When I finally neutered him, the consensus of the vets who looked at his testicles was that they were not normal, were diseased and probable cause was the Lyme Disease. This was a long time ago though, when diagnosis and treatment was not as well understood as it is now.

I should add that the above boy lived to be 14 years old and, other than the Lyme Disease, was very healthy.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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It seems every month there is new thinking on Lyme but I believe the basic protocols have not changed very much. The good news is that 95% of dogs who test positive never turn symptomatic (swollen sore joints, elevated fever, etc). The bad news is that Goldens and Labs for some reason have a disproportionate amount of that remaining 5%. More good news is that the vast majority of dogs tolerate doxy very well. And you need to understand how Lyme can be a threat to your dogs life. It is not actually the Lyme itself but the immune system response to the invasive foreign bodies. The defensive response is extremely hard on the kidneys and cause them to loose their filtering abilities and produces proteins that are very harmful/toxic to the dog.
My experience with Lyme is with Lucy and I will tell you what we did, for what it is worth. She tested positive at around 18 months of age on the Snap test and we did a C6. We did the 30 of doxy rechecked via C6 test and her numbers had decreased by about 60% so we did nothing more. In another 6 months we did the Snap test again and again although positive it was a weak positive. I decided at that time to not take any action. Each year there after she tested a weak positive until she was 8 years old, she then tested clear. If I was to again encounter Lyme with one of my dogs I would probably again treat the same way.
One other thing to remember, at least it was this way back when I was testing/treating Lucy. After you do the 30 days of doxy and then recheck via the C6 if the number has not decreased does noot mean the treatment did not work. It may be that the dog was re-infected after the treatment and you need to do another course of doxy.
Again these are my opinions and I am noot a vet nor did I ever play one oon TV - Hell I didn't even stay at at Holiday Inn Express last night. ;)
 
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