What Is a Light Positive Lyme Test in Canines?

by Betty Lewis
    A carrier tick needs to be attached to you or your pup for at least 50 hours to transmit Lyme disease.

    A carrier tick needs to be attached to you or your pup for at least 50 hours to transmit Lyme disease.

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    There's no reason to like a tick. The little bloodsucker carries a variety of illnesses, including Lyme disease. If a tick carrying Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium bites you and hangs on long enough, you're at risk for contracting Lyme disease. Preventive medication and frequent, thorough tick inspections can keep risk of contracting the disease at bay.

    Lyme Disease Testing

    It can take months for the signs of Lyme disease to present. Symptoms can include fever, painful joints, lethargy and loss of appetite. Several tests can detect Lyme disease. For on-the-spot testing in the vet's office, SNAP tests are quick, convenient blood tests that can confirm Borrelia burgdorferi in less than 10 minutes after a blood sample. If the organism is present in your pup, the test will show a blue color. The intensity of the color may vary; but if the color is light, it doesn't mean there's a lower level of infection. A light positive is still a positive, according to IDEXX, the SNAP test manufacturer. The IDEXX website notes the amount of antibody or antigen is different from dog to dog and "any color development in any of the sample spots indicates a positive result." In other words, even if the coloration on the sample is faint, it's positive. The dog has Lyme. Your vet may order additional tests to learn more information about his condition.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis has been writing professionally since 2000, specializing in animal care and issues, business analysis and homeland security. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University as well as master’s degrees from Old Dominion University and Tulane University.