Interestingly enough, tick-borne Lyme Disease was first reported in 1975 near Lyme, Connecticut. A tick carrying the bacteria will transfer the bacteria by biting through the skin of the horse in order to begin feeding.
The initial response is usually inflammation surrounding the tick bite. Other symptoms are fever, lameness, poor performance, behavior/attitude change, laminitis and uveitis (moon blindness). Insulin resistance can also be found in a laminitic Lyme horse.
Lyme may present itself with recurrent fevers along with the presence of stiff and/or painful joints and muscles. In fact, you may witness these symptoms prior to the bloodwork indicating Lyme.
Lyme Disease is difficult to diagnose in horses. Examine your horse daily simply by brushing. In addition, it has been suggested that once your horse has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease to recheck the titer three months after the determined treatment has ended. Increased titers at this time could mean there is still an active infection. Early detection followed by a quick diagnosis and treatment is key!
This tip was brought to you by Kendra Helfter (www.abcplus.biz) and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars, which take place monthly. These webinars are an expansion of KAM’s weekly tips. Go to www.kamanimalservices.com to sign up for the next webinar on September 26 which will focus on what to do in an equine emergency (hurricane, fire, toxicity, infectious disease). The FREE webinars will conclude with a question and answer session, so be ready with your questions.