Canine Lyme Vaccination Has Short-lasting Antibody Response in Horses

Vegetation = ticks affecting equine health
Vegetation = ticks affecting equine health

Lyme vaccines for dogs are frequently used off-label in horses, however, new research from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine shows that the antibody responses of horses are often of low magnitude and short-lasting.

Deer tick - Carrier of Lyme disease

Deer tick - Carrier of Lyme disease

Research shows that equine antibody responses to dog Lyme vaccines are often of low magnitude and short-lasting and doubling the canine dose can enhance antibody magnitude but not longevity of the response.
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Dr. Bettina Wagner, associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell and one of the researchers who discovered the low antibody response, suggests that horse owners double the canine dose and then test for antibody levels in order to ensure the horse is protected from debilitating Lyme.

The study was published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28668566

Wagner Biography: https://www2.vet.cornell.edu/research-departments/faculty/bettina-wagner

Wagner says: “Our research shows that equine antibody responses to dog Lyme vaccines are often of low magnitude and short-lasting.

“Doubling the canine dose can enhance antibody magnitude but not longevity of the response. In addition, bacterin-based vaccines can boost antibodies against infection markers in non-naïve animals and are not recommended.

“Because horses react individually different to vaccination, antibody induction by dog Lyme vaccines should be confirmed by antibody testing to ensure protective immunity.”

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..

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