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Old 03-26-2012, 08:17 AM
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Default Lymes Vaccine

I'm trying to make a decision on whether or not we should get Tucker a Lymes disease vaccine. We don't use any sort of flea/tick preventative. When we had to because he got fleas he ended up acting very lethargic for a week and didn't eat for two days so we'd like to not use it again. We live in Massachusetts which has like the fourth highest incidence of Lymes in people in the US. Last year we found two ticks on him, only one deer tick, and both were found on the same day that he got them (one hadn't even bit him yet, the one that had bit him was not engorged at all and both were found after he came home from the park). But Lymes disease is kind of scary and I don't want it to be my fault if he gets it (since my parents allow me to make the decisions regarding things like his vaccines, they'd just do whatever the vets tells them). Over the summer we got out fairly often...park once a week, walks in the woods a few times a week, lots of time in the yard and going on regular walks through the neighborhood.

So opinions? What are the risks of the vaccine? How often is it needed? Do you think Tucker's at a high risk for getting the disease?
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:34 AM
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I know somebody in Mass. that is a vet tech and she has been seeing an insane amount of dogs with Lymes disease this year, so I would but I may be paranoid
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:54 AM
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Watson came up positive for Lyme disease this year. We are lucky because he has had no symptoms. He is being treated now.

My vet strongly recommends the vaccination as a lot of dogs around here come up positive without it. She said that the vaccine has shown itself to be about 92% effective in dogs.

She wants Watson to be vaccinated as having had Lyme does not provide immunity to future reinfection.

If you see a lot of ticks and a lot of Lyme positive dogs in your area it might be a good idea to go ahead with it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:23 PM
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I think lyme's disease is totallly overstated. First off, most dogs don't have a symptom at all. DNA from the B. berdorferi bacT has been found in samples thousands of years old in human bone marrow. So the disease has been around for a lot longer than we've recently been told. It's not new by any means. maybe testing is new, but the disease is most certainly not.

If your dog has tested positive, and hasn't shown any symptoms, this being spring, most tick infections would have occured LAST year that were going to show up in a test. It usually takes a few months, but maybe not.

But treatment is done to bring bacT levels down to a subclincial level so a dog doesn't have symptoms, if your dog isn't having any problems what's the reason for treatment?

and if its been infected and can't clear the B. bergdorferi infection with the antibodies it creates from natural exposure, what researcher is telling you that the vaccine induced antibodies are more specific or act better?? I know some vets tell you you must vaccinate after exposure, but this is highly controversial, and among researchers it has more to do with who's signing checks rather than actual efficacy.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:57 PM
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Nope, I don't like the lyme vaccine. Too new for my liking.

Jackson tested positive for lymes disease in 2010. He was limping, completely holding up his back paw for 3 days. We did x-rays, etc, and then it turned out to be lymes and we still don't get the vaccine. Around 15 days or so of antibiotics (doxy-something) and he was fine! He got a few days of pain meds and was walking on his leg again within 6 hours! I do try to get up with the advantix on him, but space it out. Last summer, he had one dose of advantix in June and we didn't see a tick again until October! Which is strange for us, but I just keep an eye. Oh and the test for lymes was negative last year.

Some good reads about it:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1588
http://www.drschoen.com/articles_L1_11.html

While some vets do push the vaccine, it it non-core and there needs to be a GOOD reason to give it, especially since people are trying to link the vaccine to possible kidney problems and sometimes even symptoms that make it look like they have Lyme's Disease.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:01 PM
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I wouldn't.
then again.. I barely vaccinate as it is lol we only do rabies because we legally MUST
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
I think lyme's disease is totallly overstated. First off, most dogs don't have a symptom at all. DNA from the B. berdorferi bacT has been found in samples thousands of years old in human bone marrow. So the disease has been around for a lot longer than we've recently been told. It's not new by any means. maybe testing is new, but the disease is most certainly not.

If your dog has tested positive, and hasn't shown any symptoms, this being spring, most tick infections would have occured LAST year that were going to show up in a test. It usually takes a few months, but maybe not.

But treatment is done to bring bacT levels down to a subclincial level so a dog doesn't have symptoms, if your dog isn't having any problems what's the reason for treatment?

and if its been infected and can't clear the B. bergdorferi infection with the antibodies it creates from natural exposure, what researcher is telling you that the vaccine induced antibodies are more specific or act better?? I know some vets tell you you must vaccinate after exposure, but this is highly controversial, and among researchers it has more to do with who's signing checks rather than actual efficacy.
Whoa... take it easy.

I am well aware of the ins and outs of immunology, microbiology, and research. I am also aware of the controversial nature of the vaccines. As well as the fact that Lyme disease is not as well understood as it could be.

My educational background is in microbiology, biology, and parasitology.

I have to tell you honestly you are coming across a bit strong and I am feeling like I am being talked down to.

I never said what our actual treatment decisions were other than the course of doxycycline. It is a very personal choice and has nothing to do with anyone but me, my vet, and Watson.

It has in fact been show that even animals and people that go without symptoms for a long period of time can suddenly have a flareup if not treated. The bacteria it has been suggested can go dormant in the body.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:46 PM
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
Whoa... take it easy.

I am well aware of the ins and outs of immunology, microbiology, and research. I am also aware of the controversial nature of the vaccines. As well as the fact that Lyme disease is not as well understood as it could be.

My educational background is in microbiology, biology, and parasitology.

I have to tell you honestly you are coming across a bit strong and I am feeling like I am being talked down to.

I never said what our actual treatment decisions were other than the course of doxycycline. It is a very personal choice and has nothing to do with anyone but me, my vet, and Watson.

It has in fact been show that even animals and people that go without symptoms for a long period of time can suddenly have a flareup if not treated. The bacteria it has been suggested can go dormant in the body.
I don't think he/she was responding to you, I think it was just a general reply to the OP about whether or not the vaccine was worth it. As far as I could tell she wasn't singling you out or anything, just giving her opinion.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:07 PM
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What topical did you use?

The problem with using just the Lyme vaccine instead of something topical is that you're still letting those tick nasties get into your dog. Lyme isn't the only thing ticks are carrying (anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are concerns around here- not sure what applies in Mass.)

I don't vaccinate Steve for Lyme at this point even though we see a ton of it in our area. I've thought about it. I've really struggled with my decision on this topic. Dogs *do* die from Lyme. Not a lot, but it doesn't really matter what the statistics are if it's your dog. The vast majority of dogs we see are either never symptomatic enough that the owners notice in the first place (we just catch them in a general screening) or they're symptomatic and recover with a single course of antibiotics. But I've seen dogs with Lyme nephritis, which is straight up fatal. I've seen Lyme affect the heart. It *can* be very serious and should not be dismissed.

We vaccinate a lot of dogs at work with the Merial Recombitek Lyme vaccine. High risk dogs we vaccinate twice a year. I've never seen a problem, but I'm just inherently anti-vaccine in my heart, so I haven't made the leap to vaccinate my own dog.
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