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masoethe
Dec. 2, 2009, 09:56 AM
Short summary:
My new rescue tested positive for Lymes, but was asymptomatic. We decided not to treat and start the Lyme vaccination. She is now on monthly frontline.
About a week after the initial positive and Lyme vaccination, she became acutely symptomatic. We started her on Doxy, and she improved immediately. She is on week 3 of her 30 day treatment and is due for her second lyme vaccination this week. I'm not sure I want to vaccinate a dog who is currently being treated.
WWYD?

For the record...I am very conservative regarding vaccinations, and my vet is most definately not! ;)

Marshfield
Dec. 2, 2009, 06:34 PM
While I would suggest waiting until she's done with antibiotics, I would be inclined to vaccinate. What my experience has been is that many of the infected/affected dogs we treat will be clean (negative) on the Snap test after a year or two, but live in such high risk areas that if left unvaccinated, they will end up contracting Lyme again. So, I think her best chance for avoiding another bout would be in vaccinating. The efficacy on the updated vaccine released by Schering-Plough this year is a big improvement over the older vaccines.

wendy
Dec. 2, 2009, 07:11 PM
I don't believe anyone recommends the lyme vaccine these days for any dog.

Ben and Me
Dec. 2, 2009, 07:38 PM
I don't believe anyone recommends the lyme vaccine these days for any dog.

I know plenty of vets who recommend this vaccine.

fivehorses
Dec. 2, 2009, 07:46 PM
I would question administering a vaccine to an animal that is actively fighting the disease.

I am not a vet, but I would think based on my minimal knowledge, that you would treat, wait for the disease to be 'cured' and then vaccinate.

I know in horses, they only recommend the vaccine(canine) for those horses who are negative. Some vets have a difficult time administering a vaccine approved for one species to another, but reports from Cornell seem to think its ok. I have 3 who are vaccinated, 5 who are not due to previous confirmed lyme, and two in the wings who will be tested and if neg, vaccinated.

I know I digressed talking about equines, but I would think the same would hold true for canines. Except that I believe the vaccine is ok for dogs who are over lyme...Would love to hear from some small animal vets about this.

Equino
Dec. 2, 2009, 08:33 PM
I live in Westchester County where ticks and Lyme is pretty prevalent. I don't vaccinate my dogs or cats against Lyme. I know a vet who vaccinated his dog and the dog one day was really sick, showed random symptoms and nothing came up positive on the titers. When the dog went into kidney failure, it was determined he had Lyme Disease. The vaccine was hiding the fact the dog should've been positive.

Personally, I have a titer taken each year to monitor my dogs, and of course, I would also check if something seemed off. I frontline them monthly and groom regularly to check for ticks.

Anyway, to answer your question, I take the same stance as fivehorses-I would think there should be a wait period between treatment and a vaccination. The immune system is already depressed from fighting the disease, so why risk it? Chances are he'll be fine, but why not wait? What does your vet say?

Pancakes
Dec. 3, 2009, 04:38 PM
I live in Westchester County where ticks and Lyme is pretty prevalent. I don't vaccinate my dogs or cats against Lyme. I know a vet who vaccinated his dog and the dog one day was really sick, showed random symptoms and nothing came up positive on the titers. When the dog went into kidney failure, it was determined he had Lyme Disease. The vaccine was hiding the fact the dog should've been positive.

Personally, I have a titer taken each year to monitor my dogs, and of course, I would also check if something seemed off. I frontline them monthly and groom regularly to check for ticks.

Anyway, to answer your question, I take the same stance as fivehorses-I would think there should be a wait period between treatment and a vaccination. The immune system is already depressed from fighting the disease, so why risk it? Chances are he'll be fine, but why not wait? What does your vet say?

Just a note, cats do not need to be vaccinated against Lyme, nor is the vaccine licensed for use in cats. They do not get the disease with clinical symptoms.

I personally would vaccinate if you are in an endemic area where Lyme is prevalent. Of course, wait until the current disease state is over, and then vaccinate once healthy. There is a debate over the safety of the vaccine, but if you live in an area where re-infection is likely and the risks of getting clinical disease again and again outweighs the risks of a rare vaccine reaction, then I would vaccinate.

masoethe
Dec. 4, 2009, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the replies. She was due to go in yesterday for Lyme vaccination, but I decided to wait a couple of weeks before getting her second dose. The vet didn't think it would be a problem getting the vaccination, but I felt more comfortable getting her through the treatment first.

Ben and Me
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:31 AM
The only problem is (based on my understanding), the 2nd booster has to be given 2-4 weeks after the first shot. So, you might be out of that window and have to restart the vaccine series. Still, a small price to pay for your comfort. :)

Edited to fix timeline after doing more vaccine research (see my next post)

wendy
Dec. 4, 2009, 01:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendy
I don't believe anyone recommends the lyme vaccine these days for any dog.

I know plenty of vets who recommend this vaccine.
{/unqote]}

individual vets, like individual doctors, are often uninformed idiots. There IS NO single organization that suggests using lyme vaccines- quite the opposite in fact. Vaccinating dogs against lyme is not suggested by any organization because the possible side effects outweigh any possible benefit. And I live in Lyme disease central. No one here vaccinates their dogs against it because it doesn't work, and makes it impossible to tell if your dogs symptoms are caused by it.

Equino
Dec. 4, 2009, 02:24 PM
Just a note, cats do not need to be vaccinated against Lyme, nor is the vaccine licensed for use in cats. They do not get the disease with clinical symptoms.

I know, but people have asked me before why I don't vaccinate my barn cats against Lyme Disease.

siegi b.
Dec. 4, 2009, 05:59 PM
what Wendy said..... and also, there are a few veterinarians who just like to get the extra income generated by useless vaccinations.

fivehorses
Dec. 4, 2009, 06:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendy
I don't believe anyone recommends the lyme vaccine these days for any dog.

I know plenty of vets who recommend this vaccine.
{/unqote]}

individual vets, like individual doctors, are often uninformed idiots. There IS NO single organization that suggests using lyme vaccines- quite the opposite in fact. Vaccinating dogs against lyme is not suggested by any organization because the possible side effects outweigh any possible benefit. And I live in Lyme disease central. No one here vaccinates their dogs against it because it doesn't work, and makes it impossible to tell if your dogs symptoms are caused by it.

HUH??? I live in NH, lyme is prevalent. my dogs are snap tested every year, and also given the vaccine.

Can you site your source showing that the vaccine is ineffective, dangerous(aside from the normal issues with all vaccines) and that if you vaccinate, you cannot tell if a dog is infected or not?
thanks.

Calamber
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:14 PM
I would not vaccinate against Lyme and I have had two dogs who did test positive and who were treated with Doxy. Both fine and are seven years old. I do not do yearly vaccinations and "many veterinarians recommend them as well". I do SNAP test once a year for heartworm, erhlichia and Lyme.

No incontrovertible evidence that proves to me they need to be introduced to such a peculiar pathogen as Lyme. After their initial puppy shots, and their first yearly booster, other than rabies I do not vaccinate. My dogs do not go to a kennel, doggie yards or competitions, I see no need. My beagle who lived for fifteen years died of a tumor that was strangulating the nerve bundles over his shoulders (vaccination site). Otherwise he was in perfect health and would have lived longer.

A friend of mine who had a female dalmation in another Lyme hotbed of Northern Virginia would vaccinate her dog for Lyme yearly, she would come down with the disease every year or so, so what was the point and how efficacious was this, poor dog never had a chance to mount a credible defense against the disease. The whole debate of our unfounded belief in yearly vaccinations is way behind the curve or there would be more of an effort to make titer tests more affordable and more discussion about nutrition and how to boost the immune system and not one system fits all approach to vaccinations in general.

Ben and Me
Dec. 5, 2009, 12:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendy
I don't believe anyone recommends the lyme vaccine these days for any dog.

I know plenty of vets who recommend this vaccine.
{/unqote]}

individual vets, like individual doctors, are often uninformed idiots. There IS NO single organization that suggests using lyme vaccines- quite the opposite in fact. Vaccinating dogs against lyme is not suggested by any organization because the possible side effects outweigh any possible benefit. And I live in Lyme disease central. No one here vaccinates their dogs against it because it doesn't work, and makes it impossible to tell if your dogs symptoms are caused by it.

Client handout from VIN's partner site re: Lyme and pros and cons of vaccinating.

http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1588

You are correct, but also misleading: there is not a single reputable organization that I can find that lists Lyme as one of the core vaccines (unlike Distemper, Parvo and Rabies, for example). However, it is listed as a non-core vaccine, and the latest (that I can find at the moment) AAHA recommendations are at this link. The AVMA also lists Lyme as a non-core vaccination. http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/VaccineGuidelines06Revised.pdf Non core vaccines are recommended on a case-by-case basis, depending on geographic location, lifestyle, etc.

As you can see, there are also 2 vaccines that are listed as non-recommended: coronavirus and giardia. Lyme is listed as a non-core, NOT non-recommended.

I trust the veterinarians that I worked for, and since they recommended the vaccine for my dog (at a financial loss to them, since I received a substantial discount while working there), my dog has been vaccinated. Since we now live in Philadelphia, I can state with certainty that there is, in fact, at least 1 person in your area that vaccinates against Lyme. ;)

As the above client handout points out, as well, not all Lyme vaccines are created equal. My dog received the RecombiTEK vaccine.

Ben and Me
Dec. 5, 2009, 12:40 AM
Vaccine prevents infection in dogs vaccinated before any exposure to Lyme spirochetes. This means it is only helpful for dogs not yet exposed, such as puppies and dogs from non-endemic areas traveling to endemic areas.

I would be most concerned about the above quote from the client handout. You may want to ask your vet about it. I was not aware of this until just now.

There is still a lot of research to be done re: tick born diseases. I think in the future we'll realize that some of these cases that we're clumping together under the "Lyme" umbrella are probably caused by a different tick-born pathogen.

My theory about the vaccine is that my dog didn't have a reaction, and doesn't seem to be suffering any ill effects. For $30/year, I can live with that.

Ultimately, in spite of all the very strong opinions, I know we all want what's best for our dogs. I hope that in the future, we'll have a clearer answer.

Pancakes
Dec. 5, 2009, 01:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendy
I don't believe anyone recommends the lyme vaccine these days for any dog.

I know plenty of vets who recommend this vaccine.
{/unqote]}

individual vets, like individual doctors, are often uninformed idiots. There IS NO single organization that suggests using lyme vaccines- quite the opposite in fact. Vaccinating dogs against lyme is not suggested by any organization because the possible side effects outweigh any possible benefit. And I live in Lyme disease central. No one here vaccinates their dogs against it because it doesn't work, and makes it impossible to tell if your dogs symptoms are caused by it.

It is a controversial topic, and there is not one consensus statement because there is no clear answer; there is much evidence both for and against vaccination, given a certain set of circumstances. This does not make veterinarians who advocate the vaccine idiots, nor does it make them uninformed. It also doesn't make you the authority. If you do a lot of reviewing of the literature you will understand why there is no clear cut answer.

Pancakes
Dec. 5, 2009, 01:18 PM
The snap tests are just screening tests. If you live in a Lyme-endemic area, and your dog tests positive on the snap test, I don't really give it much merit. It just means your dog has been exposed. Your dog could be 100% fine and test positive. If your dog is acting like it has Lyme, tests positive on snap, then it might be worth further testing (Lyme C6 quant) to determine if the Lyme is active, or if it is another disease. However, if the snap is negative, then there truly has been no exposure to Lyme.

And re: income with vaccinations. Vaccinations do NOT make up a significant part of a veterinarian's income. It won't make a difference one way or the other encouraging a non-core such as Lyme.

Horsegal984
Dec. 5, 2009, 04:41 PM
A positive SNAP test is not diagnostic for Lyme. It's a less expensive and more quickly available screening test like Pancakes said. If you have a dog with apositive and symptoms you can start doxy while waiting on the Lyme C6 quant, which is a far more definitive diagnostic tool.

And re: reccomending vaccinations as a revenue booster, we are in a non-endemic area but have a lot of clients that travel frequently to the NE coast. We do reccomend that they vaccinate their dogs to prevent disease. By doing so, and making sure we have the vaccine on hand for them we actually lose money, because we buy 25 vaccines and throw out about 15 for expiring before we use them.

To me, vaccinating for Lyme is like vaccinating for Lepto. It is a higher risk vaccine with less effiacy so the risks must really outweigh the benefits. If that's the case can only be determined by an educated client and a vet they trust.

Katherine
Vet Tech