How Can These Costs Be Reduced
Getting pet insurance for your dog prior to any illness will protect you from the high costs of treating your pets Lyme disease or any other potential emergency, injury, or illness you and your pup might encounter throughout their life. Most pet insurance companies will cover blood tests, treatment, medications, and potentially vet exam fees as long as you chose a plan for your furry friend before they were diagnosed with Lyme disease
Why Antibiotics May Not Work For Lyme Disease
These days, early treatment is typically successful, according to the latest science, but most patients go undiagnosed for years. At least 20% of those who are said to be successfully treated for Lyme will experience the same symptoms after treatment, which as mentioned, can easily be attributed to a depleted immune system leading to Candida overgrowth or other fungal pathogens, opening the door for many other infections as well.
Antibiotic resistance occurs at a high rate with spirochete bacteria. Borrelia , will respond slowly to antibiotics. They will develop resistance. The bacteria that survive antibiotics can become completely antibiotic resistant. This is why doctors are starting to use multiple antibiotics at once seems, and this does lead to better chance of defeating Lyme, and depleting the immune system. If the medication fails, the bacteria that have survived will not only become resistant, but it will also become much more entrenched in the host.
What Do Testing Kits Typically Include
Depending on the method of collection, testing kits may include:
- a device to collect the blood, urine, or saliva sample
- a container to ship the sample back to the lab
- a shipping label
Some kits come with a bandage, wipes, and a biohazard bag. Kits may contain extras such as Styrofoam holders, labels, or tubes with varying solutions inside.
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Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs
If you notice your furry companion has any of the above-listed symptoms, make sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will conduct a blood test and, if the results come back positive, they will prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of the bacteria from the pups bloodstream.
At the moment, Doxycycline and Amoxicillin are the most common treatment choices. After initiating antibiotic therapy, the symptoms will typically subside quickly .Make sure to follow the vets instructions when it comes to administering any drugs to your furry companion with regards to timing of the doses, quantity of medication given, and number of days to give the medication. It is crucial to finish administering all of the prescribed courses of antibiotics, even if your dog seems better after a few days. If you stop giving the drugs part way through a course, not all of the bacteria in your dogs body may be killed, and the remaining bacteria can become resistant to the antibiotic and make your pet sick again.
Pets who test positive for Lyme disease will need to undergo a urine test every year as long-term exposure could lead to renal disease.
How Will Pregnancy Affect Treatment For Lyme Disease
Early treatment of Lyme disease during pregnancy is important. Thats because if Lyme disease is left untreated, it can affect the placenta. According to the CDC , transmission of Lyme disease from mother to fetus is possible, though rare.
For pregnant people, treatment includes a round of antibiotics. Certain treatments for Lyme disease may not be used, as they can affect the fetus. If you suspect that you have Lyme disease, talk with a healthcare professional immediately.
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The Blood Tests Can Have False Positives
The blood tests can trigger false positives, suggesting that you have the disease when you really dont. This can happen in up to one out of four tests.
This can lead to unnecessary treatment with antibiotics. These drugs are usually safe, but they sometimes cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. In rare cases, they can even cause dangerous allergic reactions.
Using too many antibiotics can also lead to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. This means that bacteria in your body may get stronger and more difficult to treat with antibiotics in the future.
A false positive can also lead to more unneeded blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and doctor visits.
If you have a false positive, you may not get treated for the real cause of your pain. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes joint pain. It can lead to permanent and severe joint damage if you do not start taking the right medicines as early as possible.
How Do My Top Picks Compete On Price
The Lyme disease tests on this list are relatively close on price. The test from Personalabs is the cheapest, but for the low cost, you need to visit a testing location to provide your samples.
If you have existing DNA data to upload, SelfDecode offers low-cost and free DNA wellness reports on much more than your predisposition to chronic Lyme disease for active subscribers. If youre interested in learning more about your genetic predispositions, SelfDecode provides excellent value-for-money.
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How Is It Diagnosed
If youâve been outside in an area where ticks are known to live, you should tell your doctor. Theyâll also want to know about the symptoms youâre having. These details are crucial to making a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Early symptoms that usually occur within the first month after a tick bite can include:
- Rash at the site of the tick bite that may look like a âbullâs-eyeâ
- Racing heart
- Problems with your short-term memory
Symptoms that come and go are common with Lyme disease. They will also depend on the stage of the disease.
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How To Test For Lyme Disease
Wondering how to get tested for Lyme disease? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a two-step testing process to check for a Lyme disease infection, both of which involve antibody testing , typically done on the same blood sample.
If the first step in the process returns a negative test result, then the second step is not necessary. However, if the first step yields a positive result, the second test is recommended as confirmation of a Lyme disease diagnosis. The Everlywell Lyme Disease Test follows this recommended protocol from the CDC, so it includes the two-step testing process.
Questions For Your Doctor After At
If you take an at-home test, you can review the results with your doctor and consider asking some of the following questions:
- Is my at-home test result reliable?
- Is repeat blood testing or any other kind of testing appropriate?
- Are my symptoms consistent with possible Lyme disease?
- If I donât have Lyme disease, what could be causing my symptoms? What tests can help determine this more concretely?
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What Are The Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Treatments
Antibiotics, like all medications, have the potential for side effects. Any antibiotic can cause skin rashes, and if an itchy red rash develops while on antibiotics, a patient should see their physician. Sometimes symptoms worsen for the first few days on an antibiotic. This is called a Herxheimer reaction and occurs when the antibiotics start to kill the bacteria. In the first 24 to 48 hours, dead bacterial products stimulate the immune system to release inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that can cause increased fever and achiness. This should be transient and last no more than a day or two after the initiation of antibiotics.
The most common side effect of the penicillin antibiotics is diarrhea, and occasionally even serious cases caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile. This bacterial overgrowth condition occurs because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in our gut. It can be helpful to use probiotics to restore the good bacteria and microbiome balance.
What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
The first-line standard of care treatment for adults with Lyme disease is doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic. Other antibiotics that have activity against borrelia include the penicillin-like antibiotic, amoxicillin, and the second generation cephalosporin, Ceftin. The mainstay of treatment is with oral antibiotics, but intravenous antibiotics are sometimes indicated for more difficult to treat cases of neurologic-Lyme disease, such as meningitis, and cases of late Lyme arthritis.
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Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test
The Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test is a DNA tick test that checks whether the tick carries a Lyme disease pathogen.
The test requires a person to take one to several ticks from the same host and place them in the specimen bag. They then mail them to the lab using the pre-addressed mailing label.
Individuals can expect to receive their results through email, phone, or mail within 3 business days. The available screenings feature basic, advanced, and comprehensive test panels that check multiple pathogens.
At the time of publication, this test costs $25.
Pros and cons
This test features several advantages. Reviews state:
- It is easy to use.
- It is affordable.
- People can use it on their pets.
However, it does not test for other infections that ticks carry.
What Are The Risk Factors For Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Risk factors for Post Treatment Lyme Disease include:
- Delay in diagnosis
- Increased severity of initial illness
- Presence of neurologic symptoms
Increased severity of initial illness, the presence of neurologic symptoms, and initial misdiagnosis increase the risk of Post Treatment Lyme Disease. PTLD is especially common in people that have had neurologic involvement. The rates of Post Treatment Lyme Disease after neurologic involvement may be as high as 20% or even higher. Other risk factors being investigated are genetic predispositions and immunologic variables.
In addition to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there are several other tick-borne co-infections that may also contribute to more prolonged and complicated illness.
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- LetsGetChecked provide quick results from CLIA-certified labs and offer consultations if you test positive.
- Everlywell offers affordable at-home Lyme disease testing and results within 5 business days.
- Personalabs affordable and convenient lab-based testing for Lyme disease at 2,300+ locations across the US.
- SelfDecode checks your genetic predisposition to getting Lyme disease.
Do Tick Bites Leave A Bump On Dogs
Ticks are one of the most common parasitic causes of lumps. On some occasions the lump that you see is actually the tick still attached to your pets skin. It could also be the reaction to a tick bite, looking like a small lump on your dogs skin. Tick bite reactions are more likely to lead to a firm lump .
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When Should I Get Checked For Lyme Disease
Generally, it is best to get tested for Lyme disease if you live where ticks are common or have recently visited such areas. Most certainly, you should get tested if you suspect that a tick has bitten you. It is important to talk to your doctor if you think you have any of the following early Lyme disease symptoms:
- A rash resembling a bulls eye on the spot where youve been bitten
Other symptoms dont show up immediately. Sometimes, it takes up to a few weeks or months after the tick bite to notice the following:
- Swelling on the joints or severe joint pain
- Tingling in the feet and hands
- Shortness of breath
While it is okay get checked early, Lyme disease test results numbers are more authentic a few weeks after youve been bitten by a carrier-tick. Your body would have developed antibodies within that period, and that can make it easier to detect the disease.
How Do They Test For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is best tested using two different blood testing methods. These are:
- The Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay test: In a nutshell, this test will look for signs that your body is trying to fight off Lyme disease by producing antibodies. However, the ELISA test may come back negative even when a person is infected by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. False-negatives can occur during the early stages of the disease, where the infected persons body has not produced enough antibodies to fight off the B. burgdorferi bacteria. For this reason, reliable diagnosis is not usually based only on the ELISA test results.
- Western Blot test: Heres a simple way to explain the western blot test without getting into all the nitty-gritty details of what it does and how it does it. Put simply, it separates the blood proteins and detects antibodies to the bacteria causing the Lyme disease. Usually, when an ELISA test comes back positive, a western blot test is performed to confirm the diagnosis.
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What If Your Lyme Disease Test Is Positive
Its important to note that a positive result doesnt mean you have a diagnosis of Lyme disease. The tests will show that antibodies are present in your blood, but a physician will need to order another type of test before you get an official diagnosis.
If someone gets a positive at-home test, definitely see your doctor, says Dr. Puja Uppal, a board certified family medicine physician and the chief medical officer at Think Healthy.
A physician will likely order both an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a Western blot test, which check for antibodies specific to Borrelia burgdorferi. They will consider the results of both these tests, along with your symptoms, to make an accurate diagnosis.
Are Test Results Accurate
When looking at your test results, itâs important to know that laboratory methods can have a significant impact on the outcome of Lyme disease antibody testing.
Analyzing blood samples for Borrelia antibodies is a technical process. In some cases, cross-reactivity can cause a positive result when you havenât actually had a Borrelia infection. Cross-reactivity is when antibodies to other infectious organisms are detected by the test as if they were antibodies to Borrelia.
The CDC has created standards for testing in order to reduce the chances of this kind of false positive result. Studies have found that results are most reliable in labs that use these CDC standards.
The timing of blood antibody testing can also affect accuracy because IgM and IgG antibodies develop at different rates. Taking the test too early after Borrelia exposure can lead to a false negative result even if you have an active infection.
Beyond antibody blood testing, many test methods marketed for Lyme disease are not proven to be accurate. The CDC recommends against the use of unvalidated tests, including the following:
- Urine tests such as urine antigen or PCR tests
- Blood testing with PCR or any laboratory method other than an enzyme immunoassay, immunofluorescence assay, or the Western Blot, also called immunoblot, method
- Cell culture, immunofluorescence staining, or cell sorting of Borrelia bacteria
- Lymphocyte transformation tests
- CD57 lymphocyte assays
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Everlywell Lyme Disease Test
Everlywells Lyme Disease Test checks for a persons exposure to any of the three strains of Borrelia bacteria. The test is suitable for those experiencing fatigue, headaches, or joint pain. The test offers a fingerprick sample collection.
Once people receive their kits, they can register them online, collect their sample, and return it to the labs using the prepaid shipping labels. They can access their results through their online dashboards.
The kit costs $109.
There are some advantages that Everlywell services offer:
- It works with CLIA-certified labs.
- Independent board-certified physicians review and approve peoples tests.
- It offers free shipping.
QuestDirects Lyme Disease Test is available in person. People purchase their test and book an appointment with a nearby Quest Patient Service Center, where a medical professional collects the sample.
They then receive their results through their MyQuest accounts.
The cost for the test is $89, with an additional $6 fee that covers the physicians visit.
Pros and cons
QuestDirect has some advantages. Firstly, the MyQuest portal allows individuals to view their results online. Additionally, the companys health team can contact the customer if their results require prompt attention.
However, disadvantages include the fact that there is an additional physician fee. The service is also unable to provide a receipt for health plan reimbursement.