We are at the end of the first month of a two month trial on a lovely Hanoverian mare (third/fourth level, 13 ears old) who has chronic lyme disease (determined from the Cornell multiplex test assays). She is negative on acute and only high on the chronic titer.
In so many ways, the mare is a winner: sane, kind, talented, well bred.
I am wondering what people would feel about buying a horse knowing the horse had chronic lyme disease. Her job would be that of a mid-level dressage horse. The asking price is $29,500 but we are considering offering less, possibly much less (like $15-18K).
Opinions wanted. The seller is a VERY decent person and offered us this trial because my daughter had just been badly screwed over on a dressage horse by a seller from western Canada who sold us a sick horse. This seller is a very ethical person. I want to be the same to her.
Be aware that chronic lyme will pop back up again at some point in life - speaking from experience here. I have chronic lyme disease myself and my horse does as well. She was fine for several years following the initial lyme treatment but her hooves have never been the same since and she has been very difficult to keep weight on - prior to the tick bite she was a very easy keeper and had rock solid feet that never chipped, never took a lame step, nada.
I'm a little rusty on my Lyme knowledge, so forgive me. Does the Cornell test determine whether there is "chronic lyme", which I take to mean having symptoms of long standing that are hard to eradicate, versus "been exposed to Lyme". I *think* it is the latter. If that is the case, then I would not let the test results bother you -- as my vet says EVERY horse in my area will test positive b/c they have ALL been exposed to Lyme.
However, if the horse has symptoms of Lyme, esp. if they are ongoing (like TB Pony's horse) then I'd be wary.
I would have a long conversation with a knowledgeable vet. In this part of the country, ALL of the horses test with a positive Lyme titer since it is epidemic here. Our vets only treat if the horse is symptomatic.
I would find out if she has had the 28 day treatment of IV oxytetracycline. If she has only had Doxy, that may be why she is chronic. I had a DWB who had Lyme multiple times over the course of 4 years and it took the 28 day IV treatment to completely eradicate it.
Find out what they mean by "chronic Lyme." When was she last treated? With what? What were her symptoms? How many times has she been treated? Have you talked to your vet about this? Will they let your vet look at the vet records for her lyme treatments?
To pay as much as they're asking, she'd have to be an amazing dressage horse and also a gourmet chef.
I'd offer what you think you're willing to offer based on the answers you get.
"The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky
Thank you everyone. The test done was the new Cornell multi-plex test and the woman who is letting us have the trial has given us all the vet records. They did not do 28 days of oxytet, only four days followed by oral oxytet. Today my daughter had an awesome ride on her, she is non-symptomatic, but I think her topline is a bit weaker than one would expect of a mare performing at this level. I don't want to insult the owner, but am thinking of offering closer to $15, maybe even less. (As far as I can tell, this mare is not an amazing chef, though she can cook up a good pattie!)
Thanks, any additional comments welcome.
Last edited by Iberiansyes; Mar. 16, 2013 at 05:34 PM.
Northern Virginia, 45 minutes east of paradise - 2 hrs during rush hour
It takes 6 months for the titer to become negative after a successful treatment. If she has a chronic lyme titer more than 6 months later, then she is still sick and you will have to do the 28 day IV Oxytet.
"The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"
"...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x