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I have a little paint mare. Have had her for two years, started having trouble in April. Sadly, I thought saddle fit, took a few weeks to get fitter out, minor adjustments, horse got worse. Called chiropractor (love our chiro, she also does acupuncture) she said, if this doesn't help, get a lymes test done. after getting the vet out to do the test, (which was positive) we put her on doxycycline, but she continues to decline. She has been on the Doxy for 5 weeks, still very lame, muscles are painful to touch, really dull coat, no energy (she was not a high energy horse to begin with).

so I called the vet again. She has been on Absorbine flex since we got the diagnosis, but I did try her on Grand Meadows flex (she won't touch it for love or molasses). Vet has her on bute twice a day for the next two weeks, along with another 15 days of doxy, and I am switching to an all around supplement for muscle, coat, hooves and joints. At the end of the two weeks we are going to take her off the bute to see what kind of baseline we have.

I know some of you all have been through this. Please tell me there is a light at the end of the tunnel? I miss riding my sweet friend, and it kills me to see her in pain. I have heard of people having to go three rounds of doxy (3 months) do horses really come back from that? I am giving her probiotics, but I am really in the weeds here. Is there anything I should be doing for her that I'm not? Are there horses that don't ever make it back to sound after a lymes diagnosis?
 

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I had to have two months on Doxy the last time I had Lyme Disease so it’s likely the horse needs to be on it for longer or maybe consider a course of tetracycline
If the horse had Lyme for some time before you realized something was wrong it’s possible that the damage isn’t reversible.
Have you had the horse checked for Vit E deficiency, the symptoms are very similar and combined with Lyme could produce an exaggerated effect
 

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I have no recommendations to give...my personal knowledge on this is limited.



Just offering positive thoughts and do not give up...
My understanding of Lymes in horses is it can take several series of antibiotics for a change to be seen, in the meantime the horse can look terrible, feel terrible...and it is a ailment that can and does reappear periodically and you need to do it all over again.
Not always is the response to treatment 100% recovery and favorable either.
Hugs offered....lots of hugs.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Yes they can be sound after being treated for lyme disease. Have to do doxy for a good 3 to 4 months and re test after treatment. To make sure treatment did it's job. Have dealt with Lyme disease in my gelding not to long ago.
 

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What did your test results show- currently active, or chronic version?

I have three mares, all three have been treated. Two now re-test fully clear, one still has elevated OspF (chronic) values, though they have been steadily declining over the past year. The two who are clear are retired but sound. One of the two had a really rough go of it and never really regained her topline after treatment, though I retired her at that point so with more consistent work, maybe she'd look a little better. The third who still tests chronic is sound and we ride around 20 miles/week conditioning for distance riding.

My vet's preferred treatment is 5 consecutive days IV tetra/oxytetracycline (administered by the vet, so either they have to stay overnight at the clinic, get hauled in daily, or have 5 days of farm calls) followed by 3 weeks doxy. It's a lot of medication to keep up with and obviously antibiotics are hard on their systems so good nutrition and ability to move around are important for them during treatment.

Since the science is so inconclusive, this is one of those places where I've played around with herbs too. Hilton Herbs has two liquid supplements (pour-over onto hard feed is fine) that, anecdotally, have been helpful in perking up Lyme-treated horses for my friends and I: Tic X First Response and Tic X After Care. You can rotate through each if you choose to keep them on it longer term. Mine are all now getting the off-label dog vaccine, which is a twice-a-year affair.

I wish there was one easy answer for every horse (or every person, for that matter) but it really takes a lot of trial and error to get them through it. Hope your mare gets feeling better soon.

PS - This is the best summary I have found of Lyme in horses, from diagnosis to treatment to long term prognosis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5866975/
 

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I have a little paint mare. Have had her for two years, started having trouble in April. Sadly, I thought saddle fit, took a few weeks to get fitter out, minor adjustments, horse got worse. Called chiropractor (love our chiro, she also does acupuncture) she said, if this doesn't help, get a lymes test done. after getting the vet out to do the test, (which was positive) we put her on doxycycline, but she continues to decline. She has been on the Doxy for 5 weeks, still very lame, muscles are painful to touch, really dull coat, no energy (she was not a high energy horse to begin with).

so I called the vet again. She has been on Absorbine flex since we got the diagnosis, but I did try her on Grand Meadows flex (she won't touch it for love or molasses). Vet has her on bute twice a day for the next two weeks, along with another 15 days of doxy, and I am switching to an all around supplement for muscle, coat, hooves and joints. At the end of the two weeks we are going to take her off the bute to see what kind of baseline we have.

I know some of you all have been through this. Please tell me there is a light at the end of the tunnel? I miss riding my sweet friend, and it kills me to see her in pain. I have heard of people having to go three rounds of doxy (3 months) do horses really come back from that? I am giving her probiotics, but I am really in the weeds here. Is there anything I should be doing for her that I'm not? Are there horses that don't ever make it back to sound after a lymes diagnosis?
I would do the Cornell test if you haven't it gives you exact numbers and can help you determine improvement or not on further testing. Vets here in MA are treating with 30 days tetracycline followed by 30 days doxycycline due to the perseverance seen in recent years. I would talk to your vet about upping the drugs. It may even be 60 days each! Luckily I haven't had to treat recently (we test annually as a precaution), but the drug therapy is definitely more aggressive then it used to be.

You may need to get really aggressive if you can't get her numbers down. My friend's mare was getting IV antibiotics (oxytetracycline) for awhile when she didn't respond to oral. She was boarded at the vets for a week or two.

I wouldn't bute anymore then needed, if she's that sore look at other options (herbal stuff) bute may be good if she has a fever though. But it's very very hard on the system. I would consider an ulcer supplement and I would definitely start a good joint supplement (and plan on continuing that lifelong) but this isn't going to show much improvement until the Lyme is under control.

Lyme can be very major unfortunately, however I think it's way too early to decide that just yet, she absolutely has a chance to recover at least to "normal" even if she's not 100%.
 
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