Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC Veterinary Research




Originally published at

Date of Submission

November 2015



While Koch’s postulates have been fulfilled for Lyme disease; causing transient fever, anorexia and arthritis in young dogs; treatment of sero-positive dogs, especially asymptomatic animals, remains a topic of debate. To complicate this matter the currently recommended antibiotic treatments of Lyme Disease in dogs caused by Borrelia burgdorferi require daily oral administrations for 31 days or longer, which makes non-compliance a concern. Additionally, there is no approved veterinary antimicrobial for the treatment of Lyme Disease in dogs in the USA and few recommended treatments have been robustly tested.

In vitro testing of cefovecin, a novel extended-spectrum cephalosporin, demonstrated inhibition of spirochete growth. A small pilot study in dogs indicated that two cefovecin injections two weeks apart would be as efficacious against B. burgdorferi sensu stricto as the recommended treatments using doxycycline or amoxicillin daily for 31 days.

This hypothesis was tested in 17–18 week old Beagle dogs, experimentally infected with B. burgdorferisensu stricto, using wild caught ticks, 75 days prior to antimicrobial administration.


Clinical observations for lameness were performed daily but were inconclusive as this characteristic sign of Lyme Disease rarely develops in the standard laboratory models of experimentally induced infection. However, each antibiotic tested was efficacious against B. burgdorferi as measured by a rapid elimination of spirochetes from the skin and reduced levels of circulating antibodies to B. burgdorferi. In addition, significantly less cefovecin treated animals had Lyme Disease associated histopathological changes compared to untreated dogs.


Convenia was efficacious against B. burgdorferi sensu stricto infection in dogs as determined by serological testing, PCR and histopathology results. Convenia provides an additional and effective treatment option for Lyme Disease in dogs.


© 2015 Wagner et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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VCU Microbiology and Immunology Publications