I read your webpage on Lyme Disease and have a question. Once the dog gets Lyme Disease and is treated, the animal will show it has the disease every year afterwards when tested due to antibodies in the blood whether the disease is active or not. Are there any tests available to differentiate between the actual disease and the antibodies? Does the animal have to be dosed EVERY YEAR with the antibiotics?
Thank you for your inquiry to Holisticpetinfo. There is not a test yet to differentiate active disease or not, especially since in an endemic area 90% of dogs will have antibodies against the lymes spirochete organism. Most exposed dogs rarely get sick but almost all of them will develop antibodies and these antibodies may persist for years.
There is a test called the C6 Test that can detect a certain peptide that is unique to the organism. It will not distinguish between active infection or natural exposure but a vaccinated animal should not test positive.
It is recommended to treat an animal with a 2-4 week course of antibiotics when only showing clinical signs, with improvement usually seen within 48 hours. Elimination of the organism is not usually expected, but the goal is to place the infection into remission. The animal does not need to be treated every year the test shows positive.
A good thing to consider is what makes a positive dog show clinical signs? Stress, poor nutrition and lack of immune support may be factors in the animal getting ill. Immune supplements such as TF-Defense, Immugen and Immunity and Liver Support support may help dogs recover quickly and decrease the incidence of recurrent signs.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA