Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an area of ongoing research and discussion in the veterinary community. Currently there is no vaccine that has undergone the large-scale safety and efficacy studies necessary to be marketed for use in horses, and we do not recommend Lyme vaccination as part of our core vaccine protocol.

However, anecdotal evidence and a limited amount of veterinary research has mounted which makes Lyme vaccination something that horse owners should consider and make an informed decision about with their veterinarian. We will be happy to discuss the available information with you so that together we can come up with a plan for how to best protect your horse.

Before we vaccinate we do require multiplex testing and appropriate treatment prior to vaccination. If you horse has tested positive for Lyme disease, talk to your veterinarian about one of the following options for treatment:

  1. 21 days of IV Oxytetracycline
  2. 7 Days of IV Oxytetracycline followed by 21 days of oral Doxycycline
  3. 28 days of oral Doxycycline
  4. 28 days of oral Minocycline
  5. No Treatment- Not treating your horse even though they have an above normal Lyme titer may be an acceptable option. This is especially true if they are not displaying clinical signs of Lyme disease.

Post Treatment, or if your horse has a negative Lyme titer:

On one of the last days of treatment or if your horse has a negative titer we recommend that your horse receives a Lyme disease vaccine. This vaccine will be the first in a 3 vaccine booster series given at day 0, 20, and 82. This vaccine will start to give your horse protection against reinfection once they have completed treatment. After the original series we recommend boostering the Lyme vaccine twice yearly, in the spring and fall, to maximize protection.

It is recommended that a Lyme titer be checked 2 months after completing treatment to ensure that the titer is dropping. It can take a long time for blood titers to decrease however, most horses show a significant decrease after 2 months following treatment if the treatment was effective.

If you do not wish to vaccinate your horse against Lyme disease or even if you do topical preventatives may be used to try to decrease tick contact with your horse. These topical preventatives include :Vectra3D /Frontline Spray/ permethrin sprays, Swat above the chin area, show sheen on the legs……

*** Please talk to one of our veterinarians to discuss appropriate treatment for your horse taking into account the horses history, current Lyme titer, previous Lyme titer, current health and condition, and cost.***