Does My Horse Have Lyme Disease?
Detecting and diagnosing equine Lyme disease can be very challenging. There is little to no scientific literature on the subject and therefore a lack of an experimental model for equine infection. Also, a positive lab test is not definitive enough to lead to a positive Lyme disease diagnosis. Because of this, equine Lyme disease is often over diagnosed. Though, you should still get your horse tested. However, lab results show the horse has been exposed to the disease at some point and has produced antibodies against it. With all these problems with diagnosis, here are a few sure-fire steps to figure out if your horse has the infection:
- First of all, is your horse is located in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent?
- Also, look for the clinical signs consistent with Lyme disease. You can find them in our article Defining Horse Lyme Disease.
- You might have to rule out other causes of the clinical signs your horse is showing. These signs tend to overlap with many other equine diseases.
- If your horse is in a Lyme Disease region and is showing common clinical signs of the disease that cannot be attributed to something else, then have your horse tested.
Laboratory tests consist of blood and tissue testing from the affected area. Veterinarians test horse blood in several different ways. These include the indirect fluorescent antibody test, Western blot test, or whole cell immunology. However, blood testing alone can be inconclusive without tissue testing. The broad-spectrum tetracycline and similar antibiotics are the most commonly used drugs to treat equine Lyme disease. For more information check out our other articles on Lyme diseases in horses. Are you looking for a horse property in Colorado? Don’t settle for a regular realtor that doesn’t have experience with horses. Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.