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As the Lyme Disease organism invades our region, we have a variety of ways to protect our animals from infection. Our clinic currently utilizes a Lyme vaccine for dogs, and we recommend the use of tick repellents to help protect our horses. Current research suggests that horses differ dogs in their response to Lyme, as most will not become ill. But for those that do, treatment is expensive, and loss of a show season can be frustrating.
Due to rising concern about the disease in horses we have elected to offer vaccination for horses following these guidelines:
If a horse turns up positive on the stall side test (4Dx), we would not recommend vaccination at this time. If you are interested we can utilize further blood testing (Multiplex) to see whether the exposure is of great enough concern to consider treatment. We are NOT recommending treatment for horses who are not showing clinical signs.
Please also check out the following links to read more about Lyme disease in horses. If you have any questions, please let us know!
The Horse article on Lyme in horses: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=19325
Update on Lyme testing from Cornell (multiplex test): http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/June11/LymeVetTest.html
A scientific overview of Cornell University's pony studies on Lyme treatment and vaccination: http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaep/2003/divers2/ivis.pdf