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D2003-23

Dear Daisy Dog

If a dog receives a Lyme vaccination, will the Lyme blood test be positive a few months later? Can a dog get Lyme disease from the vaccine?

Daisy Responds

Maybe -– and maybe.

The three most commonly used Lyme blood tests are the IgG test, the IDEXX Snap test and the western blot test. The IgG test result is positive after vaccination, so if your dog has been vaccinated and your veterinarian suspects Lyme disease, one of the other tests should be run.

Your second question is more controversial. A small number of Lyme-vaccinated dogs have been reported to develop a Lyme-type disease that is theorized to be secondary to the vaccine, rather than the disease.

In dogs, Lyme bacteria -– called Borrelia burgdorferi -– stimulate the immune system to attack the joints and sometimes the kidneys. Some researchers think that the vaccine may -– in rare cases -– work similarly.

For this reason, it is important to talk with your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of vaccinating your dog, taking into consideration your dog’s breed and exposure to ticks.

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