Lyme Diagnosis and I Have Questions... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 15Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
Aly
Master Member
 
Aly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 770
Lyme Diagnosis and I Have Questions...

Friday, I took Rachel (the Wild Child) in for her annual exam; everything was good. Early Saturday AM, the vet emailed me that she'd tested positive for Lyme disease (negative for HW, Ehrlichia and anaplasmosis via SNAP test; she was negative for all four a year ago). She's not symptomatic (insofar as we could tell --- except see below) and no behavioral changes that I've observed.

Vet suggested drawing a fresh sample (at some undetermined point in the future; "no rush"), sending it off and having the lab check for an active infection. He's not anxious to put her on antibiotics (doxy) immediately, unless I say otherwise. While I understand and might otherwise agree with his thinking w/re overuse of antibiotics, philosophical considerations fly right out the window when it's my dog. .

Big headache for me is that I've not encountered Lyme disease before (human or canine), so I'm operating at a disadvantage. I spent the weekend reading everything I could find and now I've got questions for members who've dealt with this.

1. Can anyone point me to published data on the SNAP test? I'm particularly interested in finding out about sensitivity indices, rates of false positives and negatives, etc. So far, I've located lots of advertising, but little hard data. Very annoying!

2. What is the likelihood that Rachel's subclinical now rather than asymptomic? If it's possible that she's subclinical would it be wiser to start antibiotics now --- before getting a retest and possibly confirming an active infection? She's not limping, off her food, or otherwise altered. Nor did she show any joint or abdominal tenderness/sensitivity during her physical. The only thing that I've noticed is that she's been generally itchy and licking her paws a lot lately (past month or so). I checked them over very carefully, several times, and haven't seen anything amiss, so I put it down to an allergic reaction. You'd think we were in Seattle with the rain we've had this year.

3. What's a sensible time frame between first and second testing? Two days? A month? Several months? What literature I could locate on retesting is pretty opaque and inconsistent when it's not. Some suggest waiting several months for an asymptomatic dog, others recommend a shorter time frame (several weeks).

4. As to the retesting, what test would forum members recommend -- the C6 or the Cornell Multiplex, and why?

5. One of the things that most concerns me about Lyme is the possibility/likelihood of kidney and liver damage. I've read several suggestions to (a) assay kidney and liver function now (to establish a baseline, I imagine) and (b) homeopathically detox the dog before and/or during treatment. What do members think of that approach and, if deemed sensible, how would one go about detoxing?

5a. Related to the above question, can anyone recommend a homeopathic vet in the DC area? My vet's very good clinically, has a great touch w/animals (even the Wild Child likes him) and is very responsive with me. Unfortunately, homeopathy isn't his strong suit, which he'd probably admit himself. Well, one can't have everything, although he is cute ...

6. If you've experienced Lyme disease with one or more of your dogs, what treatment protocol did you follow and what were the results? Anything that you would do differently?

My apologies for the length of this, I've had to do a crash course in tick borne diseases. I'll be pithier in the future.

Many thanks,

Aly
Aly is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 06:38 PM
Administrator
 
WIBackpacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2,076
I've had numerous dogs test positive for Lyme, in spite of meticulous/religious use of different preventatives from my vet, attempts at environmental control (both chemical and otherwise), etc. I've done a lot of reading, and talked to a number of vets, but haven't formed conclusive opinions on a lot of your questions.... though I wish it were more black and white. I've resigned myself to the fact that my lifestyle and my environment are high risk.

Quote:
6. If you've experienced Lyme disease with one or more of your dogs, what treatment protocol did you follow and what were the results? Anything that you would do differently?
I treated with 30 days of Doxy, which I don't regret.

My 9.5 year old GSD came up Lyme positive on her pre-spay blood work back when she was around 2 (that was fun). Treated with full course of Doxy. She has not displayed any symptoms of Lyme or abnormal blood work, and it has been over 7 years since treatment. Now that she's heading into her senior years, I've been watching her more critically for things that may fall outside the realm of normal age and arthritis. I had her hips and spine re-Xrayed a while back, to prevent guesswork and blaming any future symptoms on the wrong cause. The more you know, the less you guess (in theory).

I try not to go off the deep end and drown in the sea of "THOU SHALT FEED THINE GERMAN SHEPHERD THE PERFECT 3,285 INGREDIENT INTERNET-APPROVED DIET OF UTMOST PURITY".... but I do make a point to feed a rotation of different food, with a good deal of it being fresh/whole. I've been fortunate that none of my dogs (present or past) have had negative reactions to antibiotics.

Positive Lyme results are really common in my local dog network (especially among my friends who own hunting/working dogs). In spite of using preventatives. It's very frustrating.
Aly likes this.

Last edited by WIBackpacker; 06-11-2018 at 06:43 PM.
WIBackpacker is offline  
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 06:42 PM
Crowned Member
 
Thecowboysgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,806
I did the full 30 days on mine when she had it too. She was also young when she had it, but has never tested positive again or had any further issues.

She is 11 1/2 now and has had tons of bloodwork done in the past 2 years and it's all totally normal. She moves like a dog half her age, still.
Aly and WIBackpacker like this.
Thecowboysgirl is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 06:49 PM
Crowned Member
 
Jax08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NNE PA
Posts: 29,760
I've had this discussion with my vet. He said there are two schools of thought...

positive test but not active so don't treat.

Positive test but not active and treat.

He's in the second primarily for one reason....if that active infection becomes active and causes kidney failure then it's game over.

Another vet, who teaches at Cornell, will treat until the antibodies show at an inactive level and then vaccinate with the Nobivac Lyme vaccine. The foremost person studying Lyme's was at Cornell (until someone offered him lots of money) so the Vet had the latest information.

My BIL almost died from Lyme's. I don't mess around with that. I would treat.
Aly and WIBackpacker like this.




Jax08 is offline  
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 06:57 PM
Administrator
 
WIBackpacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2,076
To add to what Jax posted -

If you do some reading on the Lyme vaccine, there are those who assert that vaccinating a dog that has *already* tested Lyme-positive is potentially dealing the kidneys a double blow. There are a number of vets who are strongly against vaccinating Lyme-positive dogs. And there are others with the reverse opinion.
Aly likes this.
WIBackpacker is offline  
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 07:03 PM
Elite Member
 
cloudpump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Lyons NY
Posts: 1,902
Welcome to the club:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...treatment.html
Aly likes this.

Snitches get stitches.
cloudpump is offline  
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 07:38 PM
Crowned Member
 
Jax08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NNE PA
Posts: 29,760
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIBackpacker View Post
To add to what Jax posted -

If you do some reading on the Lyme vaccine, there are those who assert that vaccinating a dog that has *already* tested Lyme-positive is potentially dealing the kidneys a double blow. There are a number of vets who are strongly against vaccinating Lyme-positive dogs. And there are others with the reverse opinion.
Are those people medical professionals? I would be interested in the studies if they are out there. Dr. O vaccinates after the infection is inactive because there are studies showing the vaccine helps kill off any spirochetes hiding and helps prevents an active flare up. But that was a few years ago and it's ever changing.




Jax08 is offline  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
Aly
Master Member
 
Aly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 770
Thanks so much, everyone, for the very quick and helpful responses; it's the kind of personal experience that I'm lacking and sorely needed. @cloudpump, thanks so much for the link; I hadn't seen that one. Bedtime reading for tonight.

@WIBackpacker, yes, I read through several articles discussing the (dubious) merits of vaccinating Lyme positive dogs. That's a nonstarter as far as I'm concerned; the logic for doing so simply wasn't convincing. You are SO right about the frustrating nature of all this. I'm in the city, but have access to 40 wooded acres two blocks away (inhabited by deer, foxes, etc) and a large field, 2 blocks away, in the opposite direction. We cruise through one or the other several times a week. Because of that, I'm pretty religious about preventatives, vaccines, checking for ticks, etc. And yet here we are.

@Cowboysgirl and @WIBackpacker, that's really good to hear. Sounds like your girls were both about the same age that Rachel is now. I like positive outcomes.

@Jax08, I'm really leaning toward your vet's opinion about starting antibiotics now. Basically, the possibility that she might be subclinical concerns me.

Thanks again,

Aly
Aly is online now  
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
Aly
Master Member
 
Aly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
Are those people medical professionals? I would be interested in the studies if they are out there. .
Not to speak for @WIBackpacker, but the articles that I've seen, while authored by vets, are opinion pieces. I've not seen any studies on the issue, as yet; I'll post links if/when I run across any.
Aly is online now  
post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
Aly
Master Member
 
Aly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 770
Who is Dr. O, @Jax08?
Aly is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome