The dot is supposed to turn blue when antibodies against Lyme disease are present in the blood sample. Additionally, the blueness of the dot is supposed to correspond to the number of antibodies. This is why a pale blue dot is recorded as a “faint positive” for Lyme, and a dark blue dot is a “strong positive.”
This test is not 100% reliable, and I would never diagnose a dog with Lyme disease based on it. At this point you have several options:
- Treat for Lyme disease. A 30-day course of antibiotics is often presented as a reasonable course of action. However, antibiotics are dangerous drugs with significant side effects, and antibiotic overuse is what has led to MRSA and other resistant strains of bacteria. Since dogs commonly test positive year after year, is it good medicine to treat your patient with antibiotics for a month every year? It sounds ridiculous, but I read medical records every day that tell that story. What is being treated in these cases? The dog owner’s and the vet’s anxiety.
- Do further testing. Sometimes a C6 titer supports a diagnosis of Lyme disease, and sometimes completely negates it in spite of the blue dot.
- Do nothing. The presence of antibodies indicates exposure. That means that the dog has been bitten by a tick in the past that was carrying the Lyme bacteria. Does the dog actually have an active case of Lyme disease? This needs to be determined by the physical exam and pet owner interview. If your dog has active Lyme disease, there must be symptoms to support that diagnosis.
- Give herbs that strengthen the immune system. Echinacea is the most common one that comes to mind here. Use a tablet, capsule, or an alcohol-free tincture. Dogs are dosed as a percentage of the human dose. For example, a 50 lb. dog gets approximately 50% of the recommended human dose. Other useful herbs are Cat’s Claw and Goldenseal.
- Support the immune system in other ways. Is your dog on raw food? Now is a good time to start! Do you give probiotic and digestive enzyme supplements? Remind yourself to put them in your dog’s food daily. Are you giving your dog high antioxidant supplements, like spirulina and bee pollen? Why not?
- Give homeopathic Ledum 1M, 1 pellet by mouth three times a day for three days.