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My friend's dog died from chronic kidney failure, and the vet said it was likely caused by a long-term Lyme disease infection. The dog never showed symptoms of Lyme disease, but apparently that's not unusual.

So...I started thinking, "What if MY dog has Lyme disease and I don't know it?" I called my vet and explained the situation, and said I'd like a Lyme titer on my dog.

Turns out they have't done Lyme titers in years, but they do the 4DX test.

I gave her the Lyme vaccine 2 or 3 years ago. I heard it was only effective for a year, so I don't think it would cause a false positive on the test.

Is the 4DX test accurate? The vaccine + office visit will cost me about $80...but it'd be worth it for peace of mind. I think.
 

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The 4DX is very accurate at finding antibodies to the Lyme organism. It is terrible at imparting any information about whether an animal has clinically significant Lyme disease. There is a newer test that I think is called a C6 (? - I can't remember off the top of my head but could look at it later) but honestly IMO an asymptomatic animal doesn't need testing OR treatment for Lyme.

Chronic kidney failure is extremely unlikely to be related to Lyme disease IMO. Lyme, if it causes kidney disease, causes a very specific type of disease called glomerulonephritis which is a separate problem than chronic kidney failure.
 

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My friend's dog died from chronic kidney failure, and the vet said it was likely caused by a long-term Lyme disease infection. The dog never showed symptoms of Lyme disease, but apparently that's not unusual..
WHY? Why would vet attribute chronic kidney failure to lyme disease. LOTS of dogs suffer this and it is not in the least way related to lyme! Please question these kinds of statements if you hear them.

So...I started thinking, "What if MY dog has Lyme disease and I don't know it?" I called my vet and explained the situation, and said I'd like a Lyme titer on my dog.

Turns out they have't done Lyme titers in years, but they do the 4DX test.

I gave her the Lyme vaccine 2 or 3 years ago. I heard it was only effective for a year, so I don't think it would cause a false positive on the test.

Is the 4DX test accurate? The vaccine + office visit will cost me about $80...but it'd be worth it for peace of mind. I think.
The 4DX missed the lyme on my symptomatic girl . . . but the C6 caught it. She was treated for six weeks and then took almost six months to get back to her full self as her lethargy had become a bit of a habit. She tends to be lazy normally and the aching from the lyme disease made her more determined seek out and stay settled in comfy spots. It has been 4 years and she is doing great.

SOB
 

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My friend isn't medically-savvy in the least, it may have been glomerulornephritis the dog died from. Whatever the vet said to him, what he heard was "kidney". And this article, among others, is what has me worried and connecting kidney failure, long-term Lyme disease, and the possibility of having Lyme and not knowing it:

http://www.2ndchance.info/lyme.htm

Maybe a better option would be the kidney test? I haven't had a lot of luck with my vet, the whole concept seems alien to them. Am I being overly paranoid?
 

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The Lyme associated kidney problems are extremely rare. Something like 5% of dogs who are exposed to Lyme disease ever get sick at all, and some tiny fraction of that 5% will get glomerulonephritis. There isn't any evidence that anything affects an individual's chance of developing it -- whether, how quickly, or how long they are treated, how soon after a dog is exposed you test them, or any other variable. It seems to be an individual, idiosyncratic problem - in any given individual, it's either going to happen or it's not. It's been speculated that it may be related to how exuberantly (or over-exuberantly) a particular animal's immune system responds to infection, or that it is some type of particular strain of the organism, but no one really knows. Personally, the dogs with GN I've seen associated with Lyme infection were quite sick from the Lyme, they weren't asymptomatic but testing positive.

Personally, I think Lyme disease causes more worry than disease. I don't vaccinate for it and I don't test my dogs, and I probably wouldn't treat them if they tested positive if they didn't have any symptoms. It's not really wrong to do so, and if a client wanted to I would treat their dog, but I just personally don't think there's enough evidence that it changes anything for me to do it myself with my own dogs. Everyone has to make their own choice about that, though. (In a symptomatic dog, I would treat of course.)
 
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