Lyme Disease Vaccine

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Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby LadyBelle » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:09 pm

Hello. Because of the markedly increase in deer ticks this spring with pulling three off myself and four off my dog in the last couple weeks, I had my dog get the lyme disease vaccine last week when I took her to a vet clinic for her heartworm test and such. Two things, my dog didn't go to her normal vet because of our finances this year so I couldn't get her usual vet's advice, and two, I didn't even know they offered such a vaccine and unfortunately, being so creeped out with the abundance of ticks this year, I had my dog get the vaccine when I saw the offer without having researched anything on it. The clinic did have a vet but no side effects or adverse reactions were discussed, just that we've encountered many ticks so far this year.

I have found since that my dog could end up with symptoms of lyme disease anyway as a side effect of the vaccine and possibly somewhat debilitated and with kidney problems. At best, from my understanding of what I've now read, this vaccine does not prevent lyme disease from occurring.

My dog is supposed to get a second shot next month and a third next year. Perhaps it goes without asking, should I just forget about the rest of the series and hope for the best that she is not damaged by the initial vaccine?

As a side, I can't believe how bad the ticks are. I haven't pulled a tick off myself since I was a kid (presumably those were brown ticks), let alone my dog who is five years old until this year. It's deer ticks, and from what I've read, they've gone from rare to abundant in just the last couple years. The mild winter did not help the population this year either. Now looking for lawn treatments as well.

Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby PofiMia » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:37 pm

There aren't a lot of fans of Lyme Disease Vaccine on this board, but I have continued it for my two because my friend's dog died fairly young after suffering from chronic Lyme for some time and because mine have not showed symptoms within what I would guess (and I mean guess) is a reasonable window to associate with the vax.

Lisa T II had a dog who had very adverse issues from Lyme vaccine and I don't discount her experience at all. But Lyme is so bad here in MN and deer ticks are out of control. Even before this mild winter.

Pofi did, a few years ago, seem to have some joint issue in one leg, but x-rays did not show inflamation in a way that would indicate arthritis or Lyme. However, a Western Blot test showed antibodies from the Lyme vaccine and also exposure to Lyme. We treated with Doxy for 4 weeks and he's had no recurrence.

I know there is a chance the vaccine could have adverse effect. But I know with certainty Lyme disease will also and the chances of exposure are profoundly high here. So this is the choice I've made.

Not advice, really, just explaining my approach and decision. I'm also trying my dogs on Certifect this year as I was unhappy with Frontline performance last year. I. Hate. Ticks.

:)
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby connie » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:49 pm

I agree, it is a choice that will be made differently by lots of dog owners. In Chicago, my dogs are not at extreme risk for Lyme, and I had a truly horrifying experience with an earlier generation of the Lyme vacccine for one of my dogs in the late 1990s, so I will not give it.

But I also have a rescue Lapphund who has chronic ehrlichia, so I do know how awful tick diseases are, and I will do everything I can to prevent them. I might elect to use the vaccine if I lived in a different area.

So, that's no help, huh? :rofl:
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby LisaT_II » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:00 pm

A lot of dogs that have had the lyme vaccine will also get lyme, and it's possible that in these dogs, it then becomes a more chronic form of lyme. The risk of this happening is probably more likely if the vaccine is given after the dog has been exposed to lyme? The likelihood of danger from the lyme vaccine is quite likely partly genetic.

Because the vaccine has such a high rate of failure, because it can cause chronic disease alone, and also create chronic infection in those dogs that also contract lyme, and might even help lyme evade testing in dogs that have had the vaccine, I would not use it under any circumstances, but I recognize that it's a very individual decision.

It is true that I had a dog severely damaged by the vaccine, and I have paid close attention to the different variations of the vaccine for the last decade. They say that the newer vaccines are "safer" than the older one, but a few things should be added to that.....many vets still use the older vaccine (Ft. Dodge), the "safer" one was one that did not contain an adjuvant, and was an OspA vaccine. Later canine Lyme vaccines have since added back the adjuvant and the newest vax is also OspA&C, so they are stepping up the vaccines - they will be more effective, but also more dangerous.

Here is some additional info:
http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubb ... #Post55638
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby LisaT_II » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:51 am

LisaT_II wrote:...Later canine Lyme vaccines have since added back the adjuvant and the newest vax is also OspA&C, so they are stepping up the vaccines - they will be more effective, but also more dangerous....

Should have said more dangerous in susceptible dogs. Which dogs are susceptible are unknown.

In the human OspA vaccine fiasco, evidence pointed to about 1/3 of humans having the genetic makeup that would predispose them to lyme vaccine complications. Dogs I'm sure can have those same genetic variations, but the number of them - I have no clue.

As an example of the genetic susceptibilities in dogs, some retrievers are thought to suffer kidney damage from both lyme and the vaccine at a higher rate than other dogs.
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby Moemer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:12 am

A lyme related question....

I know it's a TBD, but that's all I know of transmission (i.e. nothing). If a dog is bitten by a tick carrying lyme, does it matter how long it's attached for? is there any benefit in fast removal of ticks, or is a bite a bite when it comes to lyme? (or other TBDs)
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby LisaT_II » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:56 am

The "official" answer is it takes 24-48 hours for transmission. However, I found a few papers implying shorter transmission times, probably depends if the spirochete is in the gut of the tick, or already in the saliva glands upon attachment. . For sure the longer the attachment the greater chance of transmission. Other TBDs I think take less time to transmit.

There are conjectures, unproven, about other ways to transmit. Lyme is a spirochete, like syphilis, and even lepto.
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby JudyL » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:05 am

Emily, the CDC website says 36-48 hours, but I've also heard doctors say within 24 hrs. Obviously, ASAP!

I got into a nest of them when hiking in the woods about 15 years ago. I literally had abotu 2 dozen stuck in the fuzz inside my sweatshirt and who knows how many were on my pants. Totally creeped me out and I did shower and change all my clothing. I ended up with one embedded in my forearm, which I think got onto the couch and got on me later in the evening. I found that about 18 hrs later.
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Re: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Postby melissa412 » Fri May 18, 2012 5:17 pm

I moved to upstate NY over a year ago (where ticks and tick-borne illness are endemic), and on the first trip to my new vet she suggested the Lyme vaccination. I'd never vaccinated my dogs for Lyme before and never even had it suggested, so I wanted to do some research before saying yes.

I found that almost all teaching veterinary hospitals either don't supply the Lyme disease vaccination at all, or they only offer it at the owner's request - because 1) only a small percentage of dogs who are infected ever go on to develop clinical signs consistent with Lyme disease and 2) the vaccine is not risk-free and can ultimately interfere with testing if/when you're trying to make a diagnosis of a tick-borne disease.

I decided against the vaccine because I'm diligent about checking my beagle for ticks daily and know that if I do find an engorged tick on him, he can very likely be successfully treated with antibiotics. But every decision comes with some degree of risk - we all do our best!
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