River Cove Animal Hospital is currently part of a Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Clinical Study on Lyme Disease. We are one of only a few practices collecting data across New England and New York. The study is investigating how to best screen dogs for kidney disease once they have become exposed to Lyme Disease.
Though most dogs that get Lyme disease will develop arthritis, there is another form of disease that can be far more serious. The Lyme organism and antibodies produced after exposure can damage the filter in the kidneys. This is the silent killer of Lyme disease. If your pet starts to limp it is obvious and treatment can be implemented early. However, the effect on the kidneys can go unnoticed until it is too late. If we can identify this rare form of Lyme disease early, then we stand a better chance of controlling it. It is currently the best practice to evaluate a urine sample to look for protein loss in dogs that test positive for Lyme disease to determine if the kidneys have been affected. If found, treatment and monitoring can often be started before serious renal issues arise. The Cornell University Study will further evaluate the value of this test.
To be included in the study your dog must be healthy and have a Lyme test performed. Cornell will then cover the cost to evaluate a urine sample looking for protein loss. As a veterinarian in Vermont, we are excited for the opportunity to help advance our understanding of Lyme Disease.
Please ask your veterinarian if your dog can be included in the study.