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Re: Undecided on Lyme vaccine

Posted by:  Leslie Hemsing
Posted on:  May 10, 2003 at 21:53:22

In Reply to: Undecided on Lyme vaccine
Category:   Medical
Posted by:  Jenny
Posted on:  May 09, 2003 at 08:35:41

Question:

: Hi,
: Thanks again for the great advice on this forum!
: I have a 5 year old spayed JRT who just went in for her annual vaccinations.
: My vet recommended giving her a Lyme vaccine, as they have had 20 dog deaths in my area since September. (I live in Northern Massachusetts).
: I asked him about the side effects and he was very honest. The new vaccine hasn't been used for more than a year, they don't have any conclusive proof about the side effects of the drug, and it's probable my dog won't need it.
: She gets checked for ticks every day, religiously gets her preventative treatment once a month, and generally has a very bad reaction to her vaccines (lameness, fever, vomiting, etc. for a few days).
: That said, I decided NOT to give her the Lyme vaccine. I am now second-guessing myself. I am a responsible JRT owner, and love my girl dearly. I don't want to her contact Lyme, but I can't justify putting yet another vaccine into her little body (She is only 9lbs). I am horrified about the side effects from the shots given annually to dogs...it seems like through my research I've found more dogs die FROM the vaccinations that from the diseases they shots are said to be protecting from.
: Any thoughts/ideas about what I should do? Has anyone else had or not had the Lyme shot? What were your reactions?
: I just want what's best for my terrier.
: Thank you,
: Jenny


Response:

Hi Jenny,

Like you, we familiarized ourselves with the possible reactions, side-effects of the Lyme vaccination as well as the disease itself before making a decision. We also talked to folks who have vaccinated their JRTs (no problems) as well as those whose JRTs were infected and treated for the disease. After careful consideration, we have chosen not to vaccinate our terriers against Lyme disease. (We live in northern VA and travel to MD and PA to attend terrier trials; our terriers are 10 years old.)

Our vet clinic offers a combination-test for heartworm, Lyme and another tick-borne disease whose name escapes me at the moment -- this might be something you want to discuss with your vet. Since your girl does not do well with her annual boosters, I suggest you also talk to him about having her titers (immune levels to disease) checked through a blood test. Since she was just vaccinated, you'll have to wait since her titers will show immunity to the diseases. Still that gives you plenty of time to research the idea... :-)

That's just my opinion...I could be wrong. LOL! I expect the other volunteers will weigh in with their experience regarding the Lyme vaccine and disease so you'll have more information to consider. The only thing I ask is that when you've made your decision, you stop second-guessing yourself -- time spent "fretting" takes away from time spent enjoying your little one...understand?

Warm regards,
Leslie