Although few dogs exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease develop this disease, Acces Vet Network veterinarians recommend vaccination for dogs at risk. Indeed, potentially fatal kidney damage can occur, especially when repeatedly exposed to the bacteria transmitted by ticks. Thus, all dogs that test positive for Lyme disease and do not show clinical signs should be vaccinated because next contact with the bacteria would become potentially dangerous.
Why vaccinate if I preventively treat my dog against ticks?
Although it is very effective and safe, preventive medication will not be 100% effective. If your dog is part of the 1% who might have a tick, the vaccination will give him extra protection to make sure he does not develop Lyme disease. As already mentioned, ticks are active as soon as the mercury climbs above 4 degrees C. Vaccination will therefore provide excellent protection during the winter days when mercury climbs beyond 4 degrees C and during which your dog does not receive its preventive treatment.
A positive result on this test will indicate that your dog has been in contact with a tick carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Additional tests will be offered to determine if your dog should be treated for Lyme disease or safe to wait for treatment. You and those around you should also be especially careful and do regular inspections on you, family members and your pets to quickly find a tick that would have chosen you for their next meal! Finally, because future exposures to the bacteria increase the risk of developing Lyme disease, all dogs tested positive should receive good preventive treatment and be vaccinated.