Leesburg, VA (PressExposure) September 25, 2011 -- A primary reason why Lyme prevention was not widely accepted in the past was due to the inability to differentiate a blood sample from a vaccinated horse and a horse already affected with Lyme disease. In June 2011, Cornell University improved its laboratory test in a way that discriminates between acute/early and chronic infection, as well as a horse that has received prior Lyme vaccination.
Cornell University proved the effectiveness of the recombinant OspA vaccine in a small number of ponies. The ponies were vaccinated, then experimentally challenged with Lyme. None of the ponies became ill, no Lyme was isolated or cultured from their tissues, their blood test results remained negative, and infection was blocked. Overall, the study showed that vaccination protected the ponies.
The new June 2011 Cornell University Multiplex Assay Blood Test tells us:
1. If the horse is negative,
2. If it is acute positive (early infection),
3. If it is chronic positive (longer duration),
4. If it has been vaccinated.
For Clients Desiring Lyme Vaccination: We will test for Lyme disease before vaccination the first time. Based on the results, the following action will take place: If negative: begin vaccination protocol. If acute/early positive: treat with 30 days of oral doxycycline, then commence vaccine protocol. If chronic positive: treat with 60 days of oral doxycycline, then commence vaccine protocol. Vaccination Protocol: All horses: 1 dose initially, then boost in 30 days; thereafter administer once annually. Semi-annual vaccination (twice a year) should be considered in endemic areas / farms (like in Loudoun, Fauquier counties). Understand that the canine vaccine will be administered. It makes sense, but we offer no guarantees to its safety and efficacy. Lyme SNAP Test: It has advantages and disadvantages. It is less accurate and offers less information. It is faster and less expensive. TEVA offers the SNAP Lyme Test but it is not the preferred testing method.
Cost: Prevention is less expensive than treatment. 60%-80% of local horses have been exposed to Lyme disease. Treatment will likely cost between $300 and $500; and the moment treatment stops, another Lyme tick may infect your horse again. Treatment offers no prolonged protection.
The vaccination protocol requires 3 visits. The first visit is to draw blood for submission to Cornell University. The second visit is to administer the first vaccine, and the third visit is to administer the Lyme booster. Overall, it will be around $274 for the 3 farm calls, blood test, and 2 vaccines. First Visit Farm Call Lyme Multiplex Assay Test to Cornell University (includes blood work, shipping, interpretation) Preferred for detail and accuracy (e.g., distinguish between acute and chronic Lyme) Or Lyme SNAP Test: immediate results, (less detail), may still need to send to Cornell $58 $80
Or $58 ($40 for Wellness Members) Second Visit Farm Call (discounted) Lyme Vaccine #1 of 2 $38 (discounted) $30 Third Visit Farm Call (discounted) Lyme Vaccine #2 of 2 $38 (discounted) $30
$274 (or $252 (SNAP)) = For all visits
Multi-pet discounts are available.
Repeat Blood Testing: We recommend yearly.
Seasonality and Timing: Start anytime. In addition to vaccination, we strongly recommend aggressive tick prevention like keeping grass cut short, trimming tail hair above grass levels, administering topical insecticides or Frontline spray, and daily removal of ticks.
Total Equine Veterinary Associates believes it is safe and effective to administer Lyme vaccines to horses. Preventing the disease is paramount to protection. Vaccination is sensible and cost effective when compared to the consequences of the disease and treatment costs.
TEVA is proud to be at the forefront of Lyme prevention. This paper is meant to serve as a guideline for clients desiring Lyme protection for their horses. Call today (TEVA 703-505-2320) for more information and to schedule your Lyme prevention appointment.