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Lisa
Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
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Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My veterinarian will not approve a prescription for a heart

Resolved Question:

My veterinarian will not approve a prescription for a heart worm preventative without having blood work done. And this is every single year. My dog is on advantix ii, and uses advantage (topical heart worm and worm preventative) every month through out the year. Is this common practice?

Also was told my dog had lyme disease though I never observed any symptoms. I treated his with the doxi for 30 days. The next year rolled around and was told he was lyme disease free. I don't understand since in humans I was told once you register as positive your titre for lyme will always read positive. Is it different for dogs? They do blood work for this and they also give him the lyme vaccine! I would really be interested in knowing the answer to these questions. THank you in Advance

Rabin
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 10 months ago.
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you with your dog today. Just like an in person consult, I just have a few questions....

When did they test him for Lyme?

Do you know how they tested him (did you get results in 10 minutes or longer)?

What state do you live in?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

They test him every year and every year he gets the lyme vaccine.


 


The first time he was "positive" for lyme was when he was 1 1/2 to 2yrs old, they sent the test to outside laboratory.


 


We live in New York State.

Expert:  Lisa replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it. As someone who lives and works in WI/MN, where tick borne disease is at epidemic proportions, I know all too well how to deal with this issue.

If your vet has not run a heartworm test this year, then unfortunately they will likely require that. As far as I know, it's a legality issue to dispense the heartworm medication without ensuring that the dog is heartworm free. However, if your vet sent out blood work for the tick borne illness, then the lab likely would have noted if they saw microfilaria in the blood slide, so you could ask your vet about it. Up here in MN/WI, we almost exclusively use the 4DX test when testing animals. Not only is it less expensive ($45), but it only takes 8 minutes (meaning it doesn't get sent out) and it tests for Lyme, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and heartworm.

About the Lyme....it's actually not unusual for a dog to test positive but show no symptoms. This is what we call a 'silent infection', meaning the dog has the titers, but the symptoms hadn't presented yet. We actually often find a dog who previously showed no symptoms end up with a full blown case after they've been sick with something else. Once the immune system is a bit down, it gives the disease a golden opportuntiy to break out. Up here we usually don't treat non-symptomatic dogs..however, every practice does things differently. It's not unusual for your vet to treat the asymptomatic dog.

As for as his titers being clear...we actually do see that frequently. It's possible that your dog only had a slight case of Lyme, and that once the antibiotics were gone, it cleared his system. As a general rule, we see dogs who test positive one year and clear the next. We also vaccinate every year, even if a dog has had it in the past, and that's because dogs can get reinfected. Think of it more like a cold...where you can get it over and over if you don't take precautions...rather than chickenpox where you only get it once.

I hope this helps.
Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 13207
Experience: AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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