Friday, May 24, 2013

Veterinary Highlights: Walks Like Lyme, Quacks Like Lyme ... Borrelia miyamotoi

Just when you thought there were enough reasons to hate ticks already, the Tufts researchers discovered yet another tick-borne disease.

Just look at those little bastards. Image Ladyamorea

What if your dog was showing all signs of Lyme disease and yet test came back negative?

Could it be that he does have Lyme but his body isn't doing anything about it? Or could it be that he's been infected by Borrelia miyamotoi?

This bacteria is a close relative to Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete bacteria causing Lyme disease, and it causes similar symptoms.

But is is a brand new disease, yet to be named. So the question is, is it really new, or has it simply been slipping under the radar?

The upside is that this infection responds to the same treatment as Lyme disease.

Would your veterinarian have treated based on symptoms contradicted by negative test results?

Gus' veterinarian didn't, in spite of Gus showing full spectrum of severe symptoms
(read the story here).

Not until Gus finally tested positive for Lyme. It begs a question, whether Gus had Lyme disease all along, or whether he had this new disease and just happened to catch the Lyme eventually. And what would have happened to him if he continued to test negative?

A scary question.

This new disease makes yet another addition to the tick-borne diseases to worry about, along with Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

What would you do if your dog was showing signs of Lyme disease but kept testing negative? What would your vet do?


Source article:
New Tick-borne Disease Found

Related articles:
Gus' Missed Diagnosis
The Ticking Bomb
Lyme Is Lame (Pun Intended)
Lyme Disease: Treating Lab Results Versus Treating The Dog
Twist And Shout: No Dog Owner Should Be Without A Tick Twister


  1. Ugh, I hate to even think about this. Next time I go, I might just ask her about this! Thanks for sharing

  2. Eck, that's all we need, another tick borne illness. I think if my vet highly suspected Lymes and the test came back negative she would still treat.

    1. Yeah, somebody needs to come up with a plan how to get rid of these ticks. (e.g. I liked the idea of "neutering" mosquitoes)

      Yeah, I'd hope that's what a vet would do. A therapeutic trial with antibiotics would make sense to me in such situation. But Gus' vet did not think so.

      I am as much against overuse of antibiotics as anybody, but situation like this would be the perfect candidate to try them and see if it helps IMO.