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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25556
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have 2 questions. I am driving from Idaho to Pennsylvania/Maryland

Customer Question

I have 2 questions. I am driving from Idaho to Pennsylvania/Maryland in 2 days (Sunday) with my dog. I didn't realize until earlier this week that my dog needed a Lyme disease vaccination. She has lived her entire life in Idaho, so she's never been exposed to this before. She had the first shot administered 2 days ago (Wednesday) With flea/tick medicine to prevent tick bites, will the vaccine protect her at all before the booster shot?
Also how dangerous is the vaccine. Will I be able to tell if she has developed Lyme disease from it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
It's important to recognize that Lyme disease vaccines are controversial because the most serious forms of Lyme disease in dogs have an immune-mediated pathogenesis and the vaccine itself can upregulate (over-excite) Holly's immune system. Tick prevention and control are paramount and even more important than the vaccines. To answer you directly, yes, Holly should form partial antibody protection after one vaccine. The booster would increase that protection. The vaccine isn't able to produce active infection. Vaccines don't contain the Borrelia bacteria; instead, only the protein that incites antibody production. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So it would be an auto-immune type disorder not exactly Lyme disease? How would I tell if she had this response? It's been about 2 days and she seems like her normal self.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Yes, any vaccine could potentially cause a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) which might entail autoimmune disease. These are very ill dogs, however. The usual progression of events is fever and malaise that doesn't abate; instead, my patient remains ill and progressively worsens. This can arise within days or weeks after vaccination but thankfully is quite rare.