What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease
Most of the people who get Lyme disease and receive treatment early will be fine. Treatment can cure Lyme disease but you might still have some long-term effects. Untreated Lyme disease may contribute to other serious problems but its rarely fatal.
Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome
Even after proper treatment, some people may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or PTLDS. The symptoms dont mean that you still have an infection. PTLDS probably wont respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms that resolve at some point over the next six months.
Chronic Lyme disease
Chronic Lyme disease is a term used by some for a condition in a person who had Lyme disease and the symptoms of PTLDS. Some people consider chronic Lyme disease to be the same as PTLDS. However, some people receive a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis without a Lyme disease diagnosis. Sometimes, extended treatment with antibiotics helps.
This term may be why some people think a Lyme disease infection can occur without being bitten by a tick. There isn’t enough proof that mosquitoes can transmit Lyme disease. Many researchers dislike using the term chronic Lyme disease.
Where Are Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Found
Though Lyme disease occurs in every state, risk of infection varies. The vast majority of cases are from the Upper Midwest, the Northeast, and the Pacific case, though recent changes in deforestation, and migrating bird and deer populations have impacted these statistics. Ticks are most often found in farm fields, wooded areas, shrubs and long grass.
Can Dogs Fully Recover From Lyme Disease
With early diagnosis and treatment, a dog can indeed recover from Lyme disease. The prognosis is good if the pet is otherwise healthy and doesnt suffer from any chronic conditions, as would be the case of a geriatric patient, for example.
Puppies that get Lyme disease might have a reserved prognosis simply because their immune system hasnt yet developed enough to handle the aggression of the bacterium and its effects.
The vast majority of infected dogs recover their health in a matter of one to two months after being diagnosed and treated. You might have to continue giving your dog hip and joint chews for a while just to make sure that they are comfortable and their joint swelling symptoms are improved.
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How Long Should A Dog Be On Doxycycline For Lyme Disease
Doxycycline is usually given by mouth twice daily for at least 30 days. Improvement in the dogs symptoms should be noted within 24-48 hours. If the dogs condition fails to improve in 72 hours or worsens at any time, call your veterinarian.
What Does The Lyme Multiplex Assay Measure
The Lyme Multiplex assay quantifies antibodies directed against specific proteins on the surface of B. burgdorferi at three different stages of the bacterial life cycle. This antibody profile can indicate whether an animal has been recently infected or is chronically infected with B. burgdorferi. It can also be used to monitor protective antibodies after vaccination.
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Can A Dog Test Negative For Lyme And Still Have It
This test detects the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. A test can be falsely negative if the dog is infected, but has not yet formed antibodies, or if it never forms enough antibodies to cause a positive reaction. It is recommended to test no earlier than 4 weeks after a tick bite.
Safety Tips And Prevention For Dogs And Ticks
Although it is impossible to 100% prevent your dog from ever picking up a tick, particularly in high-risk geographical locations, there are quite a few steps to help reduce the risk of tick bites and Lyme disease.
The best thing you can do is have your dog on a tick medication recommended by your pet. There are many safe options on the market. There are topical and chewable options that are generally administered at home every month or every few months. Yes, these medications come with risks, but they also can help keep your dog much safer. Just remember, for these medications to work, the tick must bite your dog first.
You should try to keep your dog out of tall grasses, from brushing up against trees and plants, walking in the woods, and trotting through bunches of dead leaves on the ground. These are all prime locations of where ticks like to live. Keeping them out of these high-risk areas can really reduce the number of ticks they pick up while outside. Keep your dog on a paved walking trail when out for a walk or walk in a neighborhood with short grasses, sidewalk, and pavement.
You can also explore natural tick repellants as well. Clove, cinnamon, rose geranium , eucalyptus, and more are all said to ward off ticks. Rose geranium is claimed to be one of the most powerful natural tick repellants.
Always remember, the faster you find a tick that has attached to your dog, the less likely they are to contract Lyme disease.
Have questions or concerns about your pet?
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Lyme Disease And Kidney Function In Dogs And Kidney Failure
Dogs that have Lyme disease are said to be at a much higher chance of getting acute kidney injury which can develop into chronic kidney disease , a new study shows.
A recently published study in November 2020 from Physicians Weekly states that if your dog has Lyme disease, theyre now at a greater rate of getting CKD. Initially, it plays out as acute kidney injury which happens when all of sudden, it develops kidney damage. If your dogs AKI lasts more than 25 days, its now considered chronic kidney disease which actually happens to a lot of these dogs.
Surely, youd want to take all suggested treatments from your vet but you can complement to make sure you protect those kidneys as much as you can. Chinese skullcap is a herb that has shown to benefit in these conditions. It has an antiviral Lyme activity to it. Including it with other medications/foods will ensure added protection and help get rid of Lyme disease.
Besides that, you can put them on a temporary renal diet, include high dose probiotics, and other kidney supporting supplements like Omega 3s, curcumin, vitamin E, etc.
Kidney Restore for Cats & Dogs is an amazing supplement to help support normal kidney function in pets with kidney disease. You can find it here.
Kidney Shield for Cats & Dogs is for those looking for a strong dose of Omega 3s for pets with kidney disease. You can click the link here to purchase it.
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How Are Dogs Tested For Lyme Disease
Diagnosis is made by a combination of history, physical signs, and diagnostics. For dogs, the two blood tests for diagnosing Lyme disease are called the C6 Test and Quant C6 test. Veterinarians perform both.
The C6 test detects antibodies against a protein called C6. Presence of the antibodies suggests an active Lyme infection. The C6 antibodies can be detected three to five weeks after an infected tick bites a dog and may be found in the bloodstream even before the dog shows signs of illness.
The next step is to do a Quant C6 test. This, along with urinalysis will help determine if antibiotic treatment is necessary.
How Do You Treat Lyme Disease In A Dog
Doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is prescribed for Lyme disease, but other antibiotics are also effective. Treatment usually takes at least 4 weeks, and longer courses may be necessary in some cases. Your veterinarian may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory if your dog is especially uncomfortable.
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What To Expect At The Vets Office
If your pet has been diagnosed with uncomplicated Lyme disease, this is what you can expect to happen at your veterinarians office.
- Depending on the type of test used to screen for Lyme disease, a confirmatory test may be necessary.
- Urine protein screening — In general, only dogs who have symptoms of Lyme disease or protein in their urine should be treated with antibiotics.
- Dogs with protein in their urine should have regularly scheduled rechecks to monitor their condition.
Dog Lyme Disease Symptoms: Six Indicators
Unfortunately, Lyme disease is quite common in dogs. So what are the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs? Below are the dog Lyme disease symptoms to look out for:
- Joint swelling.
The above symptoms may lead to kidney failure, which has the possibility to be fatal. Other health complications include serious cardiac or neurological problems.
To know whether your dog is exhibiting symptoms, having a pet camera may help so you can monitor your dog at home. One such camera is the Petcube Cam which is a smart, affordable, HD camera, that also has a 24/7 Online Vet service. With products like these, you get peace of mind when it comes to looking after your beloved pet/s.
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How Is Lyme Disease Treated In Dogs
Typically, your vet will prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat your dogs Lyme disease. This course will likely last for four weeks or longer. The antibiotic Doxycycline is usually a first-choice option. If your pooch seems to be in a great deal of discomfort or pain, anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed to alleviate joint pain.
How To Test Your Dog For Lyme Disease
The diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs involves several factors such as history, physical symptoms, and diagnostic tests. When it comes to dogs, there are 2 kinds of blood tests that are able to diagnose Lyme disease. These tests are the C6 test and the Quant C6 test, which are both performed by veterinarians to be able to diagnose the disease.
What the C6 test does is to be able to check for antibodies against the protein named C6. If there are antibodies present, this suggests that your dog may be infected with Lyme disease. Detection of the C6 antibodies ranges from 3-5 weeks after a dog has been bitten by an infected tick, and it may be found in a dogs bloodstream even before they show any symptoms.
The next test to be performed by the vet is the Quant C6 test. Together with a urinalysis, this type of test will be able to determine whether antibiotics would be needed.
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Chronic Effects Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
If your dog’s case of Lyme disease isn’t promptly identified and treated, the condition can become life-threatening.
Lyme disease, if left to run its course or treated too late, Lyme disease can cause kidney failure, serious heart problems, neurological issues and long-term joint pain and arthritis in your pup.
Other Diagnostic Tests For Lyme Disease
For dogs showing active signs of disease, joint cytology can be helpful. Tapping 3 or 4 joints is recommended. In dogs with active disease, nondegenerative neutrophils in joint fluid may be increased. Culturing joint fluid to look for B burgdorferi bacteria is difficult and takes a long time thus, culture is not recommended.1
Other diagnostic tests that can be performed on symptomatic dogs include blood chemistry analysis, which may indicate azotemia or markedly decreased albumin. A complete blood count might show mild to marked thrombocytopenia and, if the dog has nephritis, mild to moderate anemia and leukocytosis. For dogs with nephritis, a urinalysis may show isothenuria and proteinuria.1
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Consensus group recommends routinely testing dogs in Lyme diseaseendemic areas for antibodies by using an in-house screening ELISA, evaluating dogs with a positive ELISA result for signs of joint pain/inflammation, and testing for proteinuria in the urine.3,4
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How Do Dogs Get Lyme Disease
Like humans, dogs can contract Lyme disease from ticks, specifically the deer tick, which carry the bacteria that causes the disease. The American Kennel Club notes that the ticks most likely to carry Lyme disease are typically found in forests and woods , marshes, tall grass, and areas with thick brush. In terms of geographical locations, ticks carrying Lyme have been expanding their reach across the United States in recent years, but are most prevalent in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest regions.
Dr. Sarah Wooten, veterinarian and American Society of Veterinary Journalists member, tells Pumpkin, When your dog spends time in the woods, marshes, grass, or bushy areas without adequate tick protection on board, these monstrous little bugs can latch on and bite. Those bites can transmit bacteria into your dogs bloodstream that cause Lyme disease, and thats when we have a real problem.
The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Limping — Lyme disease can cause swollen, painful joints. This is the biggest indicator of the disease since the other symptoms are so common as youll see in a minute.
If your pet starts limping or showing signs of lameness thats important signal. In fact, you might see your dog limping on one side for a couple of days and then the pain shifts to another leg. This shifting lameness is a distinct sign of Lyme disease and youll want to report it to your veterinarian.
Joint Swelling Swollen joints combined with limping is a good reason to contact your veterinarian and have your dog tested for Lyme disease.
Lack of Appetite — If your dogs appetite suddenly decreases — especially if you have a dog who is normally very excited for food, thats usually a sign your dog isnt feeling well. While this symptom alone could have any number of causes, if this symptom shows up in concert with others on this list, Lyme disease may be the culprit.
Sluggish — If your pet also seems low energy, thats a useful signal too. Lethargy and low appetite are indicators that something is off.
Fever One way to tell if your dog has a fever is to touch his nose. A healthy nose is cool and damp. A hot and dry nose is an indication of a fever.
Except for the shifting lameness and swollen joints, these other symptoms are generic indicators that your dog isnt feeling well. Your veterinarian will run a blood test to determine if Lyme Disease is present.
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Zoonotic Risk Of Lyme Disease
Dogs cannot directly transmit Lyme disease to people however, they can carry unfed infected ticks into a household where they might feed on humans. In addition, people are often in the same Lyme diseaseendemic areas as the dogs and can independently become infected.1 Increased incidence of dogs with Lyme disease can be used as an indicator for human risk in the same area.6
Prognosis For Lyme Disease
As mentioned earlier, most dogs exposed to infected ticks remain asymptomatic. For those in which clinical signs do develop, recovery is usually quite rapid after antibiotics have been started.1 Dogs with polyarthritis usually respond to antibiotics within 24 to 48 hours. However, remind clients that it is important that they give the full course of antibiotics, regardless of how good the dog looks or may seem.
For dogs with Lyme nephritis, the prognosis is guarded to poor these dogs are usually euthanized within days to weeks of diagnosis. For dogs not euthanized, death can be secondary to systemic thrombosis or oliguric/anuric renal failure.1
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Science Behind Dogs And Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is most commonly transmitted to a dog from the deer tick, although all varieties of ticks can carry the disease. Deer ticks are particularly small, making them very hard to spot on your dog’s skin or fur. In order for the disease to be transmitted to your dog, the tick must bite them and take a blood meal. The tick usually must be attached and taking its blood meal from your dog for 24-48 hours, but it can take up to 3 days after the bite. This means the faster you find the tick on your dog, the less likely they will be infected with Lyme.
Once the bacteria get into the dog’s bloodstream, it is carried to most parts of the body and particularly affects the joints.
If your dog tests positive for Lyme disease, this does not mean your dog has a death sentence. Most dogs will be treated at home with a series of antibiotics. The most common medication is Doxycycline, but there are other medication options as well.
Treatment plans generally run four weeks and sometimes longer depending on how tricky the case is to cure. Your dog may also get an antiinflammatory for the time to help with any pain and swelling in the joints.
Summary Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease is transmitted via tick bites, and can cause lameness, swollen joints and even kidney failure. While it can be treated if the case is not too severe, prevention is best. The best way to prevent an infection is to reduce your dogs exposure to ticks and stay up-to-date on monthly preventatives and Lyme vaccinations.
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