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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » canine Lyme test reliability

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Author Topic: canine Lyme test reliability
Mvdr
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Not to be paranoid but my Jack Russell terrier was bitten by a tick and then became lethargic and cranky and is "ouchy" to the touch all over. I think he has Lyme. He had the blood test in Nov. which was negative. I'm taking him to the vet today and want to be prepared to discuss the reliability of the test. Does anyone know how it compares to the human variety? I wonder will the vet give me the same run around as every other dr. I've ever encountered? Except the LLMD, of course.

Thanks so much.

Posts: 143 | From Pittsburgh | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lpkayak
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When i lived in endemic area my vet gave me doxy and i used it everry time they were bit

Whether they had sx or not

They were paralyzed 48 hrs frim waist down after lyme vaccine so i didnt fool around. I loved that vet but she retired

If my new vet wouldnt give me doxy for my dog i would get it somewhere else. Its the same pill they give humans and fish

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
GretaM
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DO NOT rely on a lyme blood test for your dog! There are 3 tiers (or more) apparently. Similar to humans tests.

My dog was negative on the first tier (basic elisa), I anxiously awaited signs of TBD.

When the signs came, she was dead within a week.
The damage to her spleen and heart was so severe I had to euthanize her.

Afterwards babesia ducani and Bb. I still cry over her needless suffering.

DO NOT rely on blood tests!

you know your dog, if some vet tells you the bloodwork is neg, find another vet.

Posts: 4358 | From British Columbia, Canada | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
oceangirlSA
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I agree with Greta. If your vet says your dog can't have lyme due to a negative blood test, go somewhere else.

This happened to my dog. He was lame for months and the vet kept giving him celebrex.

He couldn't climb the stairs, he was tired and he was miserable.

The celebrex did not help and his lyme test was negative.

I insisted on a trial of doxycycline and he started recovering, but they would not give him more than 2 weeks.

So I pulled his medical records and went to another vet who listened to his whole history, and who gave him 3 months worth of doxy based on his history.

My dog got better and can now jump on the couch again. He is happy and has energy again.

Some vets are like IDSA doctors unfortunately.

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desertwind
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My Golden has chronic lyme and also had anaplasmosis. Anaplasmosis was missed by a previous vet and she was not given a high enough dose of doxy to get rid of it. Once we increased her dose to 500mgs she turned the corner.

Our current vet is what I would consider a LL Vet. and has her on a pulsing regimine of Doxy every month. Ten days on the beginning of every month and she does well on this.

When she get bitten again we put her on Doxy for 6 weeks.

We use the 4DX which gives us a specific level that we use to compare from time to time but at the end of the day we treat clinically.

Night and day difference once treated and continued treatment.

Posts: 1671 | From Tick Infested New Jersey | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mvdr
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Thank you all so much. I am going to the vet in 2 hours. If he doesn't listen to me I will go to a vet who does. What a nightmare this Lyme is.
Posts: 143 | From Pittsburgh | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pointermom
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What did your vet say?

I volunteer with a rescue that does extensive testing and treatment for tick-borne disease. We battle with the vets all the time and have identified a couple that will work with us.

The snap test that they do in the vets' offices is similar to the ELISA test, dog has to be half dead to test positive.

suggest putting your dog on doxy for a month prior to testing. The preferred test is the IDEXX 371.

Your vet needs to contact IDEXX for pricing and sample shipping requirements.

Mine have been on abx long term and are thriving so far (4 dogs, all rescued from high-kill shelters, 6-10 years old).

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One day closer to being cured.....

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Cattail
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Wow, I am learning a lot here and I am sorry for those of you who have suffered along with your pets.

While on the subject of Lyme and dogs, does anyone know how well the Lyme vaccine works for dogs or if it works at all? I would like to forward your responses to a friend.

Thank you.

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GretaM
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In my opinion, the lyme Vaccine does nothing to protect the dogs.

My dog had the lyme vaccine. She also used revolution flea and tick drops every month.

Heartbreaking how she suffered so in her last week.

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Mvdr
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Well the test was negative..what a surprise. I pushed to treat anyway and was very pointed about the fact that the test is inaccurate. I told her my sister is a dog trainer, breeder and a relative is a vet and they all suggested treating anyway. She seemed much more receptive when I mentioned relatives who are in the know. We begin treating today with 28 days of Doxy. He has back pain so we'll do nsaids as well.

Btw, my sister the dog person said you can get 50mg. of Doxy at Jeffers.com which I was prepared to do. Who knows, may have to get it for myself someday! thanks to all for the input!

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skies
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Jeffers.com didn't bring anything up for me.. Are you sure that's the website?

Thanks.,

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"The simple things can get you through the hardest times."  -

Posts: 628 | From Connecticut | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mvdr
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Sorry, it's jefferspet.com A better source is kvsupply.com. Surprising how many antibiotics can be purchased there
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skies
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Interesting. I tried to order doxy once from KV Supply..Order went through fine, but then I got a call from them asking for a prescription from the vet, which of course I did not have, so I couldn't get it.

I'll try Jefferspet. Thanks!

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"The simple things can get you through the hardest times."  -

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desertwind
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If it is Lyme causing the problem you should see results in 2-3 days. With my Golden, it is like clockwork - 2 days after starting Doxy she can walk up and down steps again. Best.
Posts: 1671 | From Tick Infested New Jersey | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sammi
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Mvdr, good for you to fight for your dog!

I hope he responds quickly to treatment. Keep us posted.

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pointermom
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cheapest doxy I've found is inhousepharmacy.biz

be very cautious of the lyme vaccine.

My crash course in Lyme 101:

I adopted a dog and thought something was wrong, vet couldn't find anything wrong and gave him shots to bring him up to date, including lyme vaccine

dog became acutely ill within a few days (kidney failure)

a smart vet intern at the emergency hospital finally figured out it was Lyme, prescribed doxy and gave subcutaneaous fluids

In 48 hours he began walking, by 72 hours he was eating and playing with my other dog

3 years later, he's the sweetest dog in the world, but he still gets lame if I stop his doxy.

I feel like that vet, and the information that I got from the dog rescue, saved my life.

If I hadn't adopted a dog with Lyme, I would still be listening to my idiot PCP!

[ 04-03-2014, 01:42 AM: Message edited by: pointermom ]

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One day closer to being cured.....

Posts: 104 | From Wisconsin | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pointermom
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some good information about Lyme tests in "Ticked Off"

and "Tick Panels for Dummies at

http://illinoisbirddogrescue.org/

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One day closer to being cured.....

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lpkayak
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I just got back from yrly ckup with my dog/rabbit/diva named etta

I asked the vet if the lyme test is reliable. He used the 4DX i think he called it it tests heartworm too

He insisted negatives are always neg

Occationally a pos will be a false pis

Um very nervous about it cuz of nyphs...she has been "off" recently but it could be just playing too hard at daycare

So do you all agree the 4 DX is pretty reliable? That is different than the test greta talked about? Thanks

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SickSci
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Mvdr / lpkayak -

The snap test where you get results same-day at your vet's office are checking for the c6 peptide, which is a protein made by the Lyme bacteria.

C6 may not show up for 3-5 weeks after infection:
https://www.idexx.com/pdf/en_us/smallanimal/reference-laboratories/diagnostic-updates/truth-about-lyme-disease.pdf

So you may have been too early for a positive result. I'm not surprised your vet was flexible about treating anyway. That's great.

I do think vets are better prepared to have vector-borne diseases on their differential diagnosis lists, but we have all the same problems as human docs with suboptimal diagnostics.

I really don't see how we can ever avoid ticks on dogs, horses and ourselves, even with topical preventatives. And the fleas and mosquitoes are contributing plenty, as well.

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- Working Dx: Protozoa x3, Bartonella
- Tx: Biaxin, Mycobutin, Ivermectin, boluoke, serapeptase, allimed, silver ACS 200 spray, Mg, Iodoral, fish oil, Vit's B, C, D, NAC, etc

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desertwind
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My vet uses the 4DX and we are able to compare her levels and see if they are going up or down. We had used another one recently but I do not recall the name of it.

My Golden Retriever has chronic lyme and had a bad case of erlichiosis. At this point she is on 10 days of pulsed Doxy a month.

However, if she gets re-bitten or becomes symptomatic she goes on full time for 6-8 weeks. Dose for dogs is pretty high. She is 60 lbs and on 400 mg.s /day.

Nice thing with dogs is that in 48 hours you will see a big difference. In about 3 days back to normal.

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lpkayak
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my dog is not on treatment she tested negative has always tested negative she is 3 now and her symptoms are not bad at all I'm not convinced she has Lyme just worried because of the nyphs I 'll watch her close

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

Posts: 13712 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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