How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has Lyme Disease
Here’s the thing, even if a dog has been infected, the dog may not show any symptoms at all.
If a dog does show symptoms, usually the symptoms show up two to five months after the tick bite.
Unlike in people where the classic symptom is a red, “bull’s eye” rash, dogs don’t develop such a rash.
Instead, one classic canine Lyme disease symptom is the sudden onset of lameness, and quite often, that’s the only symptom. You will notice that one or more of your dog’s joints has become swollen and painful to the touch. The dog will limp, and may walk hunched over. The lameness may last for only a few days, although in some cases it may last longer or recur for months.
Other symptoms that an infected dog may develop include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Lethargy and weakness
- Loss of appetite
In more serious cases, an infected dog may develop severe kidney disease leading to kidney failure. In rare cases, the heart or the nervous system may also be affected. Understandably, these problems are more difficult to treat and can be fatal.
Treating Dog Lyme Disease
If the diagnosis is Lyme disease, your dog will be treated as an outpatient unless their condition is unstable . 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.
Unfortunately, antibiotic treatment does not always completely eliminate the infection from Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Symptoms may resolve but then return at a later date, and the development of kidney disease in the future is always a concern.
Administering the antibiotics properly to your dog reduces the likelihood of chronic consequences.
Improvement in sudden inflammation of the joints caused by Borrelia should be seen after 3-5 days of antibiotic treatment. If there is no improvement within 3-5 days, your veterinarian will want to reevaluate your dog.
How We Eliminate Lyme Symptoms
Dr. Stephen Tobin is a holistic vet out of Connecticut who treated thousands of cases of dog lyme disease using homeopathy. He has treated over 1,000 dogs with Lyme disease.
He discovered that Ledum palustre in a 1M potency given three times daily for three days is about as close as you can get to a specific cure.
According to Dr. Tobin, this method has cured cats, dogs, and horses with recent and established infections, some of which were first treated with antibiotics. In addition, he uses the Lyme disease nosode, a homeopathic preparation of Borrelia burgdorferi 60x as a preventive, giving one dose daily for one week, then one dose weekly for one month, and one dose every six months indefinitely.
We used his protocol of 1M Ledum 3 times a day for 3 days and our girls symptoms completely disappeared.
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Topic 2a: Considerations For Dogs In North America
Most Bbseropositive dogs show no clinical signs. The 2 main clinical manifestations of Bb infection in dogs, Lyme arthritis and Lyme nephritis , were extensively reviewed previously and are not presented in detail here., , , Subclinical histologic evidence of mildtomoderate synovial changes and tick bite site perivasculitis and perineuritis are consistent findings in dogs experimentally infected with Bb after tick exposure the changes seen are milder in 18week old versus 6week old exposed puppies., , , Although neurologic signs were described in a few seropositive dogs in the past, recent field studies showed no association of neurologic signs in seropositive dogs, thus neuroborreliosis as seen in human and equine patients is not welldocumented in dogs., , , Fatal myocarditis was described in Boxer pups with Bbpositive immunohistochemistry, for which no other cause was found there may be a genetic predisposition for autoimmune myocarditis triggered by a Lyme antigen which mimics cardiac myosin. Lyme carditis, although uncommon in people, typically is manifested as atrioventricular block this disease presentation also is poorly documented in dogs. Orbital myositis is a rare finding in infected people and has been reported in 1 dog.
Statement: Neurologic and cardiologic manifestations of LB in dogs are not welldocumented .
How Is Canine Lyme Disease Treated And Prevented
Because Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics, once an animal has been examined and tested positive. The antibiotic of choice for canines is doxycycline. Treatment lasts for up to 4 weeks.
The Cabbagetown Pet Clinic offers a comprehensive Cabbagetown Care Program, which includes a canine Lyme vaccination. This is the only way to assure dogs in endemic and expansion areas, such as Toronto, are protected.
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Lyme Disease In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment
Reviewed and updated on April 14, 2020 by Rania Gollakner, DVM
Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but it only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. So some dogs may have it, but never show symptoms.
Transmission of Lyme disease has been reported in dogs throughout the United States and Europe, but its most prevalent in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific coastal states.
However, the disease is spreading and becoming more common throughout the United States. Heres some info about the causes and prevention of Lyme disease, as well as the symptoms you should look for and treatment options.
Topic 1b: Geographic Distribution And Epidemiology Of Bb Infection
Prevalence estimates of LB in dogs are hindered by a lack of demonstrative clinical signs and no national surveillance system for companion animal diseases. However, screening tests for Bb antibodies are widely used, and estimated canine Bb seroprevalence data at the US state and county and Canadian province and territory levels are available based on input from commercial diagnostic laboratories through the Companion Animal Parasite Council . Lyme disease in humans has been a notifiable disease in the US for many years although not every case is reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and surveillance summaries lag behind disease reporting. Underreporting of cases in humans is more likely in highly endemic areas, whereas misclassification is more likely in nonendemic areas. The same may be true for dogs. Travel history of sick or seropositive dogs is an important historical question because cases in nonendemic areas may occur after travel to or importation from endemic disease areas.
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Is There A Lyme Disease Vaccine For Dogs Can All Dogs Take The Vaccine
There are 4 Lyme vaccines available in the United States for dogs. Lyme vaccination is considered a lifestyle vaccine, i.e. not all dogs need it, and the decision to vaccinate is an individual one and is not for all dogs.
The Lyme vaccine works by sterilizing the bacteria in the gut of the tick, preventing transmission of bacteria to the dog if they are ever exposed. Lyme vaccines appear to prevent illness in 60%86% dogs that are vaccinated, but not consistently in all dogs, and not for a very long duration of immunity.To ensure the vaccine provides optimum protection Dr. Wooten notes, your dog will receive two initial injections of the vaccine, two-four weeks apart, and then either annual or biannual boosters to maintain immunity.
While most dogs are tolerant of the Lyme disease vaccine, all dogs are different and may need another form of prevention. According to an article in Todays Veterinary Practice, Golden Retrievers should not receive the Lyme vaccine because of a genetic predisposition to develop Lyme nephritis, an inflammatory kidney disease. Fortunately, if proper tick prevention is utilized, vaccination should not be necessary. However, your veterinarian will help you determine the best form of Lyme disease prevention based on your dogs age, breed, size, any potential pre-existing conditions, and their overall health.
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.
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Protect The Dog From Ticks
The primary ways to protect a dog from infection with B burgdorferi are to keep it out of tick-infested areas, use topical acaricides when living in or visiting areas endemic for B burgdorferi, and inspect the dog daily for ticks and remove any found.1,2 Acaricides that kill ticks quickly or prevent their attachment and feeding are preferred.1,2,4
Your Puppy Needs A Lyme Disease Vaccine
A preventive Lyme disease vaccine for dogs is often the best course of action, but they arent right for every dog. If your veterinarian determines a vaccination is suitable for Lyme disease prevention in your dog, theyll receive an initial vaccination followed by a booster in two to four weeks, followed by annual boosters. The goal of vaccination is to prevent infection in dogs before theyre exposed to Lyme disease. That means the vaccine is recommended for puppies who have not yet been exposed. The vaccine is also recommended for dogs who live in endemic areas such as New Jersey.
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Traditional Lyme Treatment For Dogs
The traditional treatment for lyme is to use the antibiotic Doxycycline for 30-60 days. Sometimes it works and some times it doesnt. The long term use of the antibiotics does have an effect on the gut though, so be sure to use a GOOD probiotic for your dog while using these. This is very important.
Strengthen the gut with good whole, fresh prepared food as well. Not junk kibble and canned dog foods.
Lyme Nosode Is A Prevention Must
Its important that you understand what a Nosode is. A nosode is a preparation used by many naturopathic physicians and veterinarians, as well as homeopathic doctors, in order to treat disease.
Heres how The Body Healer puts it: It is created using a highly diluted preparation of the disease itself, diluted to the point that there is no danger of contracting any illness. There is no potential to become infected as the dilution process deactivates all viable organisms.
Think of it as a form of very gentle vaccine that has no dangers or side effects and is safe for adults, children, and pets. Both naturopathic physicians and vets consider it far more successful than the Lyme vaccine, which is considered weak at best.
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Natural Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease in dogs is the leading tick-borne disease in the United States.
And while Lyme disease may not be common and many dogs never develop any symptoms, it is something that you need to treat if your dog starts showing signs
But if your dog does get this infection, dont run to the vet for drugs without trying these natural alternatives first.
Preventing Lyme Disease In Dogs
Whenever your dog has been walking through areas where ticks may hide, its a good idea to check your pet for ticks once you arrive home. Removing ticks isnt as simple as you might think. If you spot a tick on your pooch, contact your veterinarian for instructions on how to safely remove the tick from your dogs skin.
We also recommend checking your own body for ticks. Lyme disease is much more severe in humans than in dogs. If you discover a tick has latched onto your skin, contact your doctor for advice on removing the tick.
Its important to note that your dog does not pose a risk to you or your family however you are at risk if you spend time in the same outdoor environment as your dog and are around infected ticks.
Also, keep up on tick prevention and parasite prevention year-round, and speak with your vet about vaccinating your dog against Lyme. Avoid brushing against shrubs or walking through long grass while on walks, and check your dog every day for ticks.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
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Discussing Symptoms And Treatments With Your Vet
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”
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Topic : Should Treatments Be Offered For Nonclinical Nonproteinuric Seropositive Dogs
This topic is still controversial 4/6 panelists do not routinely recommend treatment for such dogs ,, stating that: this practice potentially promotes overuse of antibiotics no data exists proving treatment of healthy dogs is associated with decreased risk of illness Bb may not be cleared from all tissues with treatment and, reinfection may commonly occur in dogs in endemic areas. Seropositivity indicates tick and wildlife exposure and possible coinfection. Tick control and possible vaccination should be readdressed . Panelists in North America recommend reevaluation for proteinuria at least 23 times per year, even if the dog is treated with antibiotics, because clearance may not occur, and because the pathogenesis of Lyme nephritis is unknown.
How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted
The US Centers for Disease Control reported it as a vector-borne disease which means that it can be transmitted by blood-feeding anthropods such as ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.
There are 4 main types of ticks that can transmit the disease, the most common one being the Deer tick. The Deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick is found throughout the world, however, it is most common in European countries. The Deer tick is a carrier of a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is a worm-like bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
This tick is found primarily in grassy or wooded areas and occasionally around rivers, oceans, and lakes. Lyme disease is transmitted when a Deer tick bites a dog during outdoor activities, such as camping or walking, or even playing in the park.
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What Is Canine Lyme Disease
The risk for you and your pet specifically dogs of contracting Lyme disease is increasingly on the rise across areas of Ontario.
Incidence of Canine Lyme Disease easily keeps pace with the increased incidence of the disease in humans, and probably more. Although likely true that the incidence of Lyme disease is higher in dogs than humans, there is no national or provincial system for capturing the incidence of Canine Lyme Disease.
Lacking a national or provincial system for tracking, reviewing the human data for Lyme disease is important as an indication of the exposure and potential infection in dogs.
A Ticks Life
Ticks dont fly, jump or blow around with the wind. They are sluggish and lumbering and can be as small as a poppy seed. Bites are usually painless, so you or your pet may not know that theres been a bite.