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Mr. B

Deer Tick question

30 posts in this topic

Last night while brushing Maggie I found a dead deer tick on her. I did not think much about it, other that the Frontline is working. But after telling my wife she got all worried that we should take Maggie in to get checked over for Lymes.

I think that we would be jumping the gun a bit if we went in. Maggie is a 5 year old female black lab that is regularily vaccinated against Lymes.

What do you guys think am I not taking this seriously enough or is my wife making a mountain out of a mole hill? Don't worry I will not share any responses with her.

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Not every deer tick carries Lymes. Not every dog will contract Lymes if bit from a tick that does carry Lymes. The tick needs to be attached for about 24 hours to pass the Lymes bacteria into your dog. Dogs who contract Lymes respond VERY well to antibiotics if given early into the disease. Dogs who have progressed disease still respond O.K. Unless your vet is using the new Snap C6 test for Lymes, your dog will test positive for Lymes titer because of the vaccination it recieved. The success of the vaccination is under 30%, so don't use that as your reasoning to test or not. I've had 2 friends who religiously vaccinate their dogs for Lymes, both their dogs came up lame this year and both tested positive with the new test. Both ended up paying well over $200 for treatment. The vet of one friend is thinking that the one dog may have gotten it's case from it's vaccination... Neither will continue vaccinating for Lymes any longer. Both dogs 'cleared up' within days. Many vets treat dogs (even vaccinated ones) with a round of antibiotics with confirmed deer tick bites (one of the reasons I quit vaccinating for Lymes years ago, why vaccinate if the treatment remains the same). Some dogs carry the disease and it never manifests itself in regards to clinical signs. Reading the study by Cornell University the best route is to watch for outward signs and begin treatment immediatley. The cure rate is close to 100% in dogs. This is the stuff I've learned... take it for what it's worth... in the end you need to do what you feel is best.

Many days worth of reading on the internet in regards to Lymes and your dog. Read the stuff from Cornell University... I posted it here a couple months ago when we debated to vaccinate for Lymes or not.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Labs4me I was hoping you would post. I read through that post a couple of months ago and to be honest I am just as confused after as I was before.

I am 99% sure tht Maggie was bitten by the Deer tick since the odds of finding a dead tick on her would be astronomical and for the Frontline to work the tick would have had to bite Maggie.

I was thinking that I would to see if Maggie developed symptoms, but after reading some of the articles it could takes weeks or even months to develop the symptoms. Would it be better for me to just be proactive and get her treated? I do not like to medicate just for the sake of medicating, but with the mixed results of the vaccine and a a sickness that I do not want to mess with it might be the time to call the vet and see what they think.

Seems strange in 5 years I have found one Deer tick on her, I am pretty sure that she has been bitten by them in the past I just did not see them.

Thanks for the advice.

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Since 1993 I have taken the route of wait and see. As I posted and as I've read, if you treat upon 1st clinical signs, the cure rate is as close to 100% as you can get and they are over it immediatley. I've never had to treat a dog for 'Lymes' yet... knock on wood. Twice in the early 90's I treated them upon confirmation of deer tick bites... I since have stopped doing this. One of the 2 dogs I spoke of in my last post had wandering lameness for 3 months before he finally took her in... she turned around in a matter of a couple days. Dogs respond very well to the treatment, unlike humans. Cornell recommends treatment upon clinical signs...

Again, follow your gut. Myself? I treat symptoms... But I take a very conservative approach in all my vet needs. It is confusing and there does not seem to be a definitive answer to this question.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I just went through a bunch of reports I had from this discussion last time... one of them says to treat them even if the dog is asyptomatic... I guess you can wait a week and get a C6 test if you are not comfortable waiting to see if they show clinical signs. This test gives and accurate count of infection vs. vaccine titer. Or maybe your vet will just prescribe a round of meds...

Maybe a personal call to him to see what course of action he'd take...

Again there is no clear cut answer to this situation... I know I still don't have one but am going to follow the regimen I have in place until I am confident there is another better route to take.

We have a member here named vetobe (I assume he is a vet to be), maybe he can give you his take from a student's perspective...

Good Luck!

Ken

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To clarify...In general the vaccination for lyme (not lymes - named after Lyme CT where it was originally discovered) has a much higher efficacy than 20-30%. Studies have shown that it is usually closer to 80-90%. What do I do with positive results on the Idexx 3dx/4dx test...I make sure there are no kidney issues with both a urinalysis and a urine protein:creatinine ratio (this makes sure there is no ongoing protein loss through the kidneys). I typically treat with doxycycline for 30 days. I also follow up with regular urine protein:creatinine ratios every 6 months to make sure there is no continuing problem. If I get a positive the second year, I make sure there is no increased urination and no lameness and recheck the urine protein:creatinine ratio.

I deal with this disease every day. Ask if you have questions. Be aware that ticks do not only transfer lyme disease and be aware that it does not always take 24 hours of attachment for your dog to become infected.

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To add to the information I stated last night. The flea and tick preventatives such as frontline and advantix (not a fan of other ones with pyrethrin ingredients in them such as Hartz's etc because these chemicals can be toxic to your dog) work very well but are not 100%. For example, if your dog is exposed to 10 ticks, frontline (my flea/tick preventative of choice) will get all of them. If he/she is exposed to 100 ticks, it will get about 95 of them but if exposed to 1000 of them, it will only get about 900 of them. The higher the numbers, the more chance you have of seeing ticks.

This year with the really bad ticks, I have started recommending frontline and something called a preventic collar. This collar does not have a pyrethrin in it like the flea and tick collars that most people know about. What it does have is a drug called amitraz. It can be used together with frontline. I have a client that is a landscaper and takes his dog everywhere. He saw ticks on his dog with only using frontline and when we added the collar in, he has seen none. A word of caution - if any cats in household, don't use. If anyone on anti depressants - don't use. If kids are likely to play with collar, don't use.

Labs4me hit the nail right on the head when it was stated that there is still a lot of gray out there relative to lyme. The test (Idexx 3dx/4dx) we use tests for antibodies. So if at some time in the last year or two, your pet was exposed to lyme through a tick and he produced antibodies to this disease and cleared it on his own, he will still test positive on the the tests we use. I personally still treat.

Be aware that there are 4-6 more diseases that ticks can carry other than lyme. So tick prevention is what I push very aggressively.

By the way, I am a practicing Vet in Coon Rapids. I have been practicing for a number of years. The vetobe is a moniker that I have had since before I went to vet school.

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Thanks for the advice guys. I am thinking the course of action will be making a call to my vet this afternoon just to see what he thinks and then probably a wait and see depending on what he says.

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This is one of the fact sheets from Cornell University:

NYS Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory

College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

In Partnership with the NYS Dept of Ag & Markets

US Postal Service Address: Courier Service Address:

PO Box 5786 Upper Tower Rd

Ithaca, NY 14852-5786 Ithaca, NY 14853

AHDL Contacts

Phone: 607-253-3900

Fax: 607-253-3943

Web: diaglab.vet.cornell.edu

E-mail: diaglab@cornell.edu

AHDL FACT SHEET

Canine Lyme Diagnosis

Canine ELISA test: Only valid for dogs that have not experienced vaccination with one of the

Lyme vaccines. This test does not distinguish between antibodies to vaccination and infection.

- Results reported as Negative are 99+% specific (antibody levels less than 100 ELISA units)

- Results reported as Positive are 99+% sensitive (antibody levels greater than 200 ELISA units)

- Results ranging from 100-200 ELISA units are reported as Equivocal and require a Western Blot

to confirm infection and/or vaccination status.

Canine Western Blot: a confirmatory assay

- The test will detect antibody to either infection or vaccination, or both.

- Vaccinal antibody may wane by as few as 10 months or may remain high for over 8 years (with

no booster beyond the initial vaccinations).

- Waning responses are more common than long term elevated titers to vaccination.

- The degree of antibody response to vaccination appears to be an individual dog response, not a

result of the type of vaccine used.

- Dogs that have been vaccinated, even once, should be tested by Western Blot to distinguish vaccinal

from infection responses.

- Infected dogs must have 3 of 6 specific bands to be classified as positive. This requirement assures

that no false positives are inferred.

Clinical diagnosis:

- There are four principal criteria for diagnosing Lyme disease in dogs:

• History of exposure to Ixodes ticks in an endemic area

• Typical clinical signs

• Positive serology with a properly validated assay

• Apparent response to antibiotic therapy when the disease is caused by infection

- Clinical Signs associated with Lyme disease:

• Abnormalities of the musculoskeletal and joint system with anorexia and lethargy.

• Sudden onset lameness with hot swollen joints.

• Depression, myalgia, swollen lymph nodes and mildly elevated rectal temperatures.

• Glomerulonephritis with protein losing nephropathy is a rare but often fatal outcome of

lyme disease.

- Rule outs should include rheumatoid, infectious or immune-mediated arthritis, osteopathies, degenerative

joint disease and other infectious diseases including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,

ehrlichiosis and bacterial endocarditis.

- Most infected dogs never show any significant signs of Lyme disease. In endemic areas, up to

90% of dogs may be infected. However, only 5 to 10% of these become symptomatic.

- Most dogs resolve clinical signs spontaneously but some dogs exhibit multiple episodes.

- Antibiotic therapy may reduce the load of organisms in infected dogs but does not eliminate all

of them.

- The organism sequesters in facia, connective tissue, and muscle. Infected dogs remain Lyme

positive for years even following appropriate antibiotic therapy.

- We suggest testing dogs prior to vaccination, so that you know if the dog has an existing infection.

- Dogs that are antibody positive for infection should have concurrent antibiotic therapy if they are

ever treated with steroids.

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vettobe, thanks for posting the good, knowlegeable info.

What exactly are the lyme symptoms that we should be watching for? -edit- looks like Labs post answered this. Thanks.

Ticks ARE really bad this year. I can go for a walk and pick 10-15 of them off my pants, they're having 'tick races' up my legs. Last week when the Frontline on my two labs was wearing down, I was picking 20+ a day off. Most of them are the common wood tick but occasionally I run into the small deer ticks. Now after a reapplication, I still get one or two, usually by the eyes or ears. That collar sounds like it would help but then when you start listing the warnings....

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Quote:

Be aware that ticks do not only transfer lyme disease and be aware that it does not always take 24 hours of attachment for your dog to become infected.


Very disconcerting when I hear that it can take less than 24 hours of attachment to give you lymes!!! I try to be diligent, wash my clothes every night, do tick inspections with my wife smile.gif , use a big mirror, take showers every night, but I still get the occaisional tick bite. I'd always consoled myself with 'they haven't been on for 24 hours'. Yikes! Maybe I should go have this stiff neck that I've had for the last two weeks check out!

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and one more fact sheet: Both these are from Cornell from 2004, but I have not found anything on their site to show a change in the course of vaccination or the course of treatment... there is a specific paragraph dealing with confirmation of a bite. Cornell has been working on a new style of vaccination that is suppose to produce a protein on the skin, so when an infected tick bites the host, it ingests the protein which in turn kills the bacteria within the tick. They feel a radical change is needed to be found to truley vaccinate for Lyme disease.

Again I defer to Vetobe... I'm far, far from being as knowledgeable on the subject as a vet. I openly discuss these thoughts with my vet, and post them here. I just have not had the opportunity to sit down with him yet as I've not had the need to see him over the last 3-4 months. He knows my protocol, and while he is an advocate for vaccinating, he agreed their is a lot of gray area on this subject and understands my approach and why.

An Overview of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease has been recognized in Europe for nearly a century but was not described in humans in the United States until 1975. We have since learned that clinical disease also occurs in dogs and, to a lesser extent, in horses, cattle, and cats, while many wildlife mammals and birds become subclinically infected and serve as reservoirs for tick infection. During the 1980s the disease incidence in both dogs and humans increased dramatically; Lyme disease is now the most common arthropod-borne disease of humans in the United States, and one of the most common in dogs.

What causes Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a corkscrew-shaped bacterium of the spirochete group. Among the spirochetes, it is most closely related to B. hermsii, which causes tick-borne relapsing fever in the southwestern United States. Better known but more distantly related spirochetes cause such diseases as leptospirosis and syphilis.

How is the disease transmitted?

Deer ticks, hard-shelled ticks of the genus Ixodes, transmit B. burgdorferi by attaching to and feeding on various hosts. Other bloodsucking insects may be involved, but there is little evidence that they are important vectors. The primary way in which an animal or human becomes infected is by tick bite.

After a tick attaches and begins to feed, spirochetes residing in the midgut of the tick begin to migrate to the salivary glands and from there move into the host. The danger of infection increases when ticks are allowed to feed for prolonged periods and become engorged. There is believed to be little danger of infection during the first 12 hours of tick feeding. Beyond this point, risk of infection increases exponentially.

Ixodes ticks require three hosts and four different developmental steps to complete their two-year life cycle. The female ticks lay about 2000 eggs in the spring. The larvae that emerge from the eggs do not carry sufficient bacteria to induce infection. In the northeastern United States, the larvae feed mainly on the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. Many infected mice harbor B. burgdorferi for long periods of time without developing disease themselves. The larvae become infected by ingesting the blood of persistently infected mice, then drop off the host and enter a resting stage for the winter.

The larvae molt into nymphs the following spring. Up to 25 percent of unfed nymphs in the northeastern United States are infected with B. burgdorferi. During spring and early summer the nymphs feed on new hosts, again white-footed mice or any of a wide range of animals, including dogs and humans. An infected nymph may infect its new host during the four-day feeding period. Conversely, an uninfected nymph becomes infected by feeding on a previously infected animal. Our studies of dogs indicate that nymphs are less effective vectors than adult ticks.

In the fall of the second year, nymphs molt again and enter the adult stage. An average of 50 percent of the adult ticks in infested areas of the Northeast may be carrying B. burgdorferi, and infected adult ticks are the most important source of infection for dogs. As long as temperatures remain above 2°C (35°F), adult ticks can be found on shrubs, where they are high enough off the ground to attach to the white-tailed deer and other larger animals.

Adult ticks mate on the host. Male ticks tend to stay on the host and die, but the females engorge for five to seven days and then drop off into the leaves, where they live through the winter. The following spring they lay eggs and complete the two-year cycle. Adult ticks that do not find a host in the fall may survive over the winter and become active again from early spring until about mid-May.

Discoveries by Cornell investigators indicate that exposure to B. burgdorferi-infected adult ticks in the fall and early spring months is more dangerous for dogs than exposure to infected nymphs later in the spring. Only repeated exposure to nymphs induces infection and disease.

In the southern United States, I. Scapularis larvae and nymphs feed primarily on lizards, which do not maintain infection with B. burgdorferi. Consequently, nymphal and adult infection rates are low, often less than one percent. Rates of infection with B. burgdorferi are also low (between one and five percent) in California.

What are the disease signs in dogs?

In contrast to human cases of Lyme disease, where three different stages are well known, Lyme disease in dogs is primarily and acute or subacute arthritis. The acute form may be transient and may recur in some cases. The devastating chronic stage in humans with systemic disease has rarely been seen in dogs.

Dogs show sudden lameness and sometimes signs of severe pain. One or more joints may be involved. Joints are often swollen, hot, and painful upon manipulation. Dogs may have fever and be off-feed and lethargic. Some become severely depressed and are reluctant to move. Lameness may recur after a period of recovery lasting several weeks.

Work at the Baker Institute has shown that the incubation period in dogs is longer than previously believed. Lameness in dogs occurs an average of two to five months after tick exposure.

The first stage of human Lyme disease, a skin rash called erythema chronica migrans, is rarely seen in dogs. Some symptoms associated with the later stages of Lyme disease in humans have also been reported in rare instances in dogs. They include heart block, kidney failure, and neurological changes such as seizures, aggression, and other behavior changes.

How likely is it that a dog will get Lyme disease?

The proportion of infected dogs that develop clinical disease is far smaller than it is for humans. Serological studies suggest that while more than 75 percent of the dog population in hyper-endemic areas may be exposed to infected ticks, only about five percent of those exposed actually develop clinical signs that might be attributable to Lyme disease. Within endemic areas, “hot spots” of tick infestation where dogs have a much greater probability of acquiring an infection are intermingled with non-infested areas where the habitat is not favorable to the vector tick. There may be age, breed, and genetic differences in the susceptibility of dogs to Lyme disease, but little is known yet about these factors.

Our studies indicate that bitches that become infected while pregnant do not transmit infection to their fetuses. Furthermore, our studies have shown no evidence that the pups of an infected (Contact Us Please) acquire the infection from her after birth.

How can Lyme disease in dogs be diagnosed?

There are several ways to examine the immune response of dogs to B. burgdorferi infection. The enzyme-linked immunsorbent assay (ELISA) performed by our collaborates in the Diagnostic Laboratory of the College of Veterinary Medicine is very useful if the dog has not yet been vaccinated against Lyme disease – many vaccinated dogs develop antibodies that the ELISA and other tests cannot distinguish from a dog’s antibody response to tick exposure. Our colleagues have found through ELISA testing that antibody can first be detected in dogs between four and six weeks after exposure to infected ticks. Antibody titers, which are the measurement of an immune response, increase for several weeks and then remain constant for at least 18 months in the absence of re-exposure. Despite high ELISA titers, viable B. burgdorferi organisms can be shown to persist in dogs for at least 18 months, the longest period studied. It is possible that antibody and organisms persist together in dogs for several years.

The western blot is a technique that determines antibodies against multiple antigens of B. burgdorferi. In dogs as in humans, this method can identify specific antibodies to the organism. The western blot can distinguish between dogs that have been or are infected with B. burgdorferi and dogs that have been vaccinated against Lyme disease. It can also detect the dog that has been both infected and vaccinated. While the ELISA is a quantitative determination of all the antibodies produced against many antigenic components of B. burgdorferi, the western blot determines the unique pattern of antibodies produced against antigens of a tick-induced infection, which is different than the pattern produced following vaccination.

There are now several kits available commercially that allow veterinarians to test for Lyme antibody in dogs without sending samples to diagnostic laboratories. However, well-controlled ELISAs and western blots run in reputable diagnostic laboratories are probably the most reliable option.

Is it possible to isolate the organism itself?

The definitive means for diagnosing bacterial infections is to isolate the causative organism. In veterinary and human studies, B. burgdorferi has been extremely difficult to culture from body fluids and tissues, apparently because of the lack of organisms in the samples. In our experimental studies, the only locus from which B. burgdorferi was consistently isolated over a period of several months after tick exposure was the site of bites by infected ticks. If the site of a tick bite is known, a skin biopsy from that area provides the best chance for successful isolation of the organism. Even if the area of the bite is not known, there is a better chance of isolating the organism from the skin, even from sites distant from the bite, than from the blood or urine. This approach is not recommended however, because isolation of the organism is time-consuming and expensive.

What are the criteria for diagnosing Lyme disease?

We consider four criteria important in establishing the diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs:

History of exposure to ticks in an endemic area.

Typical clinical signs (lameness with or without fever).

A positive antibody test.

A prompt response to antibiotic therapy.

One or two of these criteria alone are usually not sufficient to confirm a diagnosis. For example, if a dog has never been in an area known to be infected with Ixodes ticks carrying B. burgdorferi, it is very unlikely that the dog will have Lyme disease. A diagnosis based on clinical signs often remains questionable, for there are several other conditions, such as immune-mediated disease and rheumatoid arthritis, that cause lameness and pain in dogs. A positive antibody titer alone tells very little. Many dogs with high antibody titers fail to have clinical signs. The presence of a specific type of antibody (IgM) is a good indicator of recent infection with some diseases, but in cases of Lyme disease, IgM antibodies persist. The diagnosis of Lyme disease is strengthened by a good response to antibiotic therapy, but other infectious diseases that mimic Lyme disease, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Ehrlichia canis infection, also respond to antibiotics.

Can an infected dog be treated?

Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for Lyme disease in dogs, as in humans. Several tetracyclines, such as doxycycline, and penicillin-like antibiotics, including amoxicillin and ceftriaxone, are very effective. Tetracyclines should not be given to growing dogs. Because B. burgdorferi has the tendency to persist in dogs, antibiotics should be given for three or four weeks, even though a beneficial effect can be seen after a few days of treatment. The long duration of therapy is also warranted because of the very slow multiplication rate of the organism, which takes 12 hours or more to double in number, as opposed to the minutes in which most bacteria do the same. Considering the fact that Lyme disease appears to be self-limiting, the need for a long-duration therapy may be arguable. However, there are now reports that tetracyclines may have a direct ameliorating effect on arthritis.

Dogs with recurrent episodes of Lyme disease, whether acquired from reinfestation with infected ticks or a relapse from an initial infection, are highly responsive to antibiotics given at the same doses as for a primary episode. Humans in the chronic stage of Lyme disease do not respond as favorably to antibiotics as dogs do.

Corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs are sometimes used for treatment of Lyme disease in dogs. Although the initial result may be impressive, these drugs do not have a true healing effect and can mask the diagnostic value of antibiotic treatment.

Should antibiotic treatment be initiated on dogs found carrying Ixodes ticks?

The question is only relevant in endemic areas. If dogs are exposed frequently to ticks, treatment is impractical. Besides, infection of dogs only occurs after at least partial engorgement of ticks. The risk of infection, therefore, is greatly reduced if the ticks are removed from dogs on a daily basis. Because treatment in dogs is highly effective, many veterinarians initiate treatment only after the onset of clinical signs.

What is the prognosis for dogs with Lyme disease?

Dogs respond very well to antibiotic treatment. There may be recurrent disease, but dogs again respond well to treatment. Complete recovery can be expected in the vast majority of cases. As noted above, chronic disease, which can be devastating in humans, has rarely been seen in dogs. Furthermore, our studies have shown that dogs may recover spontaneously without antibiotic therapy.

Can humans get the disease from dogs?

Some have speculated that B. burgdorferi in the saliva or urine of infected dogs may be transmissible to humans. Experiments however have failed to provide any evidence of urine or saliva shed. Organisms are rarely found in the kidneys of infected dogs. Borrelia organisms also deteriorate quickly in the urine and saliva, and there is so far no evidence of human infection resulting from contact with dogs. It has also been speculated that dogs might carry home loosely attached infected ticks, which could then transfer to human hosts and induce infection. No such instance has been documented.

How can the disease be prevented?

There are two approaches to preventing infection in dogs. One is to limit tick engorgement on dogs by controlling the tick population, using tick repellents, and/or grooming daily. The other is vaccination.

Attempts to reduce the deer tick population by radically reducing the deer population, even by as much as 70 percent, have been only partially successful. Other wildlife can replace the deer as hosts, and efforts to reduce the population of white-footed mice are not feasible.

Selective chemical control of ticks appears to be more promising, although only relatively small areas can be covered. The Boston-based company Eco Health, Inc. has developed one approach, biodegradable tubes containing permethrine-treated cotton batting (Damminix®) that can be placed in infested areas. Mice use the cotton for nesting material. The acaricide-covered nesting material rapidly kills exposed I. scapularis larvae and nymphs. Contradictory reports have appeared about the effectiveness of this approach.

The Borrelia burgdorferi Bacterin from Ford Dodge Laboratories is currently the only licensed Lyme disease vaccine for dogs. Several million doses have been sold, and, other than transitory fever, dogs do not appear to have any immediate adverse reactions to its use. In a limited field study it was concluded that the incidence of disease (4.7 percent in infected, non-vaccinated dogs) was reduced to about one percent. However, the vaccine does not protect against actual infection. We do not yet have experimental data to show whether B. burgdorferi persisting in dogs vaccinated after tick exposure might cause later disease.

The fact that dogs showing antibody response only to vaccination, not to tick-induced vaccination, have been observed to develop classical signs of Lyme disease may indicate that the risk of vaccination with the whole-cell bacterin is greater than previously thought. If only one or two percent of vaccinated dogs in endemic areas experience this phenomenon, the possible advantages of the vaccine, which is reported to reduce cases of Lyme disease from about four and one-half percent to one percent of dogs at risk, would probably be offset by the risk of its use. However, the basis for the observation that vaccinated dogs develop Lyme disease is not understood and must be investigated further before firm conclusions can be drawn.

We cannot recommend vaccination of dogs in endemic areas with the whole-cell bacterin until questions are resolved about clinical Lyme disease developing in dogs that have been properly vaccinated. The risk of not vaccinating is minimal since the disease in dogs is probably self-limiting in the majority of cases and is effectively treated with antibiotics, even in cases of recurrent disease. Furthermore, the risk of ever developing clinical Lyme disease appears to be relatively low.

A recent vaccine trial at the Baker Institute furnished strong preliminary evidence that a distinctly different approach to vaccination is effective in protecting dogs against subsequent exposure to Lyme disease. Task force member Dr. Yung-Fu Chang engineered a recombinant preparation of Osp A, an outer surface protein of B. burgdorferi, in the common bacterium E. coli. Osp A holds promise as a human vaccine as well as a canine vaccine. Further study will be needed to confirm our findings.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Some dog owners say they use Biospot because its cheaper, But that also contains permethrin which is suppose to be toxic. Its an insecticide, correct me if im mistaken. Some people soak there clothes in it and then dry the clothes and use when hunting , etc. Seems a bit extreme when there are safer alternatives.

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Quote:

Some dog owners say they use Biospot because its cheaper, But that also contains permethrin which is suppose to be toxic.


Permethrin is toxic to ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, lice, ear mites, etc. It's not toxic to humans or dogs, if amounts and application are carefully followed.

Cutter's sells 3 applications, sized for your dog, for under 5 dollars at Menards; each application lasts for 5 weeks. Bio-Spot sells the identical 3 applications for under 10 dollars at Menards, under 15 dollars at pet shops. Bayer sells K9 Advantix, with essentially the same dosages of permathrin as Cutter's and Bio-Spot, only thru vets, at grossly elevated prices.

Quote:

Its an insecticide, correct me if im mistaken.


So's fipronil (Frontline), ivermectin (Heartgard),etc...

however, properly used they can protect farm animals and pets from serious illness.

Quote:

Some people soak there clothes in it and then dry the clothes and use when hunting , etc. Seems a bit extreme when there are safer alternatives.


There's quite a bit of new information at the camping forum thread you posted on earlier. You should check it out...

If you really know anything about safer alternatives, you should share your information.

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Are you a animal vet big bog. If not, I would like to hear from a vet and not somebody who thinks he a vet for correct info. Any vets out there we can trust?

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I hesitate to step into this quagmire at this time but I will. Pyrethrins and permethrins have been used for a long time. They have been used to kill everything from insects in gardens to ticks on people. Do they work better than fipronil which is in frontline? Sometimes. Are they safer in pets? NO. I have seen significantly more reactions to permethrins/pyrethrins than I have to frontline. I worry about a drug (permethrin) that says that it cannot be used on cats but we are ok in putting it on dogs. I do not know many other drugs that have a warning like this. The other thing that I do like about frontline is that it appears to be more waterproof than the other spot ons. Since my Golden swims every other day, I like to know that when she runs into the woods, she will still have some tick protection. Everything stated above is about ticks...if you are talking about fleas, Advantage or Capstar cannot be beat.

Now as to the question of money. We carry both K-9 Advantix and Frontline in my clinic. K-9 Advantix is very similar to Biospot etc. I believe we make a little more off of Advantix than Frontline. Could I make more money off of prescribing K-9 Advantix. Most definitely. I recommend Frontline because I believe it is a significantly safer drug to use.

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In 2005, Merial had 5,000 employees in over 150 countries, and sales in excess of $1.9 billion. As a marketing ploy, Merial restricts sales of Heartgard and Frontline to veterinarians who both prescribe and profit from these products; other professions might choose to call this a major conflict of interest.

The active insecticide in both Frontline and Frontline Plus is fipronil. Merial states that Frontline Plus will kill 100% of fleas in 18 hours, 100% of ticks in 48 hours (if the fleas and ticks remain on the host for these lengthy periods).

Bayer states that either Advantage or K9-Advantix, both containing the more recent active insecticide imadacloprid, will stop flea infestation in 3 to 5 minutes, will kill 100% of fleas in 12 hours, will kill reinfesting fleas in 2 hours, will kill flea larva in 20 minutes.

Bayer states that KP-Advantix, with the addition of the active insecticide permethrin, will repel and/or kill both ticks and mosquitoes before they can bite.

Cats exposed to permethrin may suffer feline permethrin toxicosis (FPT). Specific warnings not to use permethrin in households containing both dogs and cats. Specific warnings not to expose fish and aquatic life to permethrin. Specific warnings not to allow treated dogs in water until 12 hours following treatment.

Subsequently, treated dogs can go swimming as often as they choose. Treated dogs can be bathed as required using a soap-free shampoo. If a treated dog should show ‘signs of sensitivity’ (itchiness, rash, lethargy) the dog should be bathed with a mild soap and large amounts of water.

A quote from Bayer’s K9-Advantix website:

Quote:

Does your dog love the water? No problem! K9 Advantix remains effective after swimming or bathing. Studies show that after repeated swimming, K9 Advantix still kills 97.9 -100 percent of ticks and 92.5 -100 percent of fleas. After bathing, K9 Advantix kills 97.4 -100 percent of ticks and fleas.


Sounds pretty 'waterproof' to me.:)

Why would any satisfied owner, with a dog currently enrolled in a multi-month heartworm and flea protection program, even consider switching to expensive vet-prescribed K9-Advantix, when the owner need only purchase and apply Cutter permethrin applicator tubes specifically sized to his/her dog? Available at Menard’s or other pet supply stores, 3 applicators (15 weeks supply) cost less than 5 dollars.

Bayer won’t be offended, as Cutter is a Bayer subsidiary.:)

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Finding the tick dead is a good thing. I wouldn't rush to the vet just yet. If she starts to show signs of fatigue or you notice she just doesn't seem as active, I'd make an appointment. My lab had Lyme a few years ago and those were the first symptoms I saw. I suppose it could be different for each dog, but it's something to watch for.

As far as the vaccine goes, it seems like a waist to me. The vet recommended I treat with antibiotics even though he had the vaccine. If you feel more secure with your dog having the vaccine then get it, but realize you’ll most likely have to treat with antibiotics either way.

This by no means clinically proves anything, but friends of mine have a lab that has permanent joint damage from Lyme and the vet believes the vaccine may have hidden or lessened the symptoms thus prolonging the dogs exposure to the bacteria.

If you notice any change in her behavior, call the vet.

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Interesting comment by a vet. Not that I am trained in medicine, but typically a vaccine reduces or eliminates the disease. ie. chicken pox vaccine for children. They can still get chicken pox, but the intensity of the disease is lessened.

Note my thread on anaplastmosis. The impact on the dog is the same as Lyme, but dog would test negative for Lyme disease. Same antibiotic treatment schedule.

My older Brit does have some lameness in her rear legs which I associated with being 9 - 10. Now I wonder ...

Until this year anaplastmosis was not diagnosed in the standard spring blood test.

I would urge all dog owners to make sure their vet is using the multi-disease blood test kit in the spring when you are checking your dog for heartworm. Same blood test kit looks for heartworn, lyme, anaplastmosis and maybe others..... This blood screen test is not cheap, but worth every penny to ensure your dog is healthy.

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brittman,

I am trying to understood your confusion relative to something I stated about vaccinating for lyme disease.

As to anaplasmosis (formerly ehrlichia equi), this disease can give similar signs to lyme disease but even more concerning is its ability to cause platelet loss which can cause significant bleeding issues.

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My comment is directed to what MJ said:

Quote:

This by no means clinically proves anything, but friends of mine have a lab that has permanent joint damage from Lyme and the vet believes the vaccine may have hidden or lessened the symptoms thus prolonging the dogs exposure to the bacteria. - metro joe


I guess maybe I am confused by joe's comments. Vet comments that vaccine actually made the situation worse????

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After a good hour long discussion with my vet on Friday afternoon, my dogs will be going in for Lyme vaccinations late this summer.

Many of you have read that I have not vaccinated for Lyme disease since the early 90's due to many reports I've read on the ineffectiveness of the whole cell bacterin vaccine. During our discussions, my vet pulled out a 'handout' on a totally new way of vaccinating your dog... it is the one I wrote about earlier, in which Cornell was trying to get an Outer Surface Protein (OSP) vaccination on the market. It works in a much differnet way than most vaccines by 'blocking' infection before transmission occurs. The tick ingests the protein during the time it is biting the host and the protein kills the Lyme bacteria while it's still in the tick. The vaccine name is RecombiTEK and is produced by Merial. It is the 1st USDA approved vaccine with a one-year duration of immunity. In all tests it was proven to be 100% effective, even 12 months post vaccination. Merial is using OSP A, which is the protein that Cornell was working with and which showed the most promise for vaccinating against Lyme disease.

The vaccination my vet is /has been using is the 'improved' Lyme vacination from Fort Dodge. It is a combination of the whole cell bacterin and now they added OSP C, they claim if I remember correctly, a 92% effective rate. He will very shortly begin to switch over to the Merial vaccine.

One other item we discussed was the dramatic increase in the cases of Leptospira that he is seeing. Many dogs are coming in with kidney failure. It is a common disease in areas of high density of racoon, skunks, rats and oppossum. It is now the number 1 cause of renal failure in dogs. Many of the Lepto vaccines do not cover 2 of the emerging 'new' forms of Lepto... grippotyphosa and pomona. Make sure the vaccine you are giving covers these 2 forms as well as the other 'classic' forms the vaccinations covered in the past. Clinical signs of Lepto are: Fever, hemorrage and vomiting. Fort Dodge has LeptoVax4 on the market to cover all 4 forms of the disease in one shot.

I was kidding around with him saying it was much easier owning a dog 20 years ago vs. today... in reality there is some truth to that. I will still investigate all vaccinations (and procedures) prior to giving them, and as I've done in the past, I will sit down and take in a discussion with my vet to use his knowledge to educate me as to the advances in our pet's medicine and to what I've read from other sources pertaining to the topic we are discussing. The discussion, combined with information gathered through other sources, and I am able to make an educated decision in the care I will provide.

I've talked in the past on getting him to host a 'gun dog' clinic for owners to come in and ask general questions about their dogs (open question and answer period on: vaccinations, dysplasia, allergies, food, etc) and have a first aid / first response portion and what to carry in a first aid kit for your gun dog. This would not be a clinic to diagnose illness or disease (ie: hip films, lyme tests etc) but rather a way to garner more information about your hunting partner. He said he'd still be interested in putting one on. If I can get him to set it up for the end of August, would there be any interst in this? Let me know and I will try to get something set up.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Where would the seminar be?

Thanks for the info!!

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