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Multiple blood samples were obtained from privately owned dogs living in tick-infested areas of New York (Westchester County) and Connecticut, where
Lyme disease in human beings has been reported. Of the 175 dogs examined, 127 (72.6%) had limb/joint disorder, whereas the remaining 48 dogs were considered healthy. Results of analysis of 419 serum samples revealed IgM antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi in healthy and lame dogs during all seasons. Prevalence of seropositivity was significantly (P less than 0.01) greater, using a polyvalent ELISA (89.5%) than using a class-specific ELISA for IGM antibody (57.8%). Mean antibody titers obtained by use of polyvalent ELISA were likewise higher than IgM titers. Analysis of paired serum samples from dogs with limb/joint disorder indicated that 118 (92.9%) remained positive for IgM or IgG antibodies when retested weeks or months after initial testing. In 48 dogs without history of joint involvement or other signs of
disease, 43 (89.6%) had antibody to B burgdorferi 2 or more times. Serotest results also revealed little or no change in antibody titer for lame dogs given antibiotics or for healthy dogs 2 or more months after initial sample collection.