Lyme Disease From Nymphs
Come fall, larvae grow to poppyseed sized nymphs.
Nymphs remain inactive throughout the winter and early spring. In late spring, the nymph will begin looking for a host. Once a nymph finds a host, it will latch on for four or five days. It will engorge with blood and swell to several times its original size.
- If infected in the larval stage, the nymph may give Lyme disease to its host.
- If the nymph was not infected as a larva but the host is, the nymph will become a carrier.
in endemic areas of the northeast and upper midwest, up to 25% of nymphs carry the Lyme disease spirochete.
Like tick larvae, nymphs prefer small mammals and birds but your dog can be a suitable substitute.
Nymphs are also the most dangerous. Heres why
To give Lyme disease to your dog, ticks must feed for 24 to 36 hours. If you remove them before this time, theyre unlikely to transmit the disease. But because nymphs are so small, they often go unnoticed until theyre engorged. This makes the nymph most likely to spread Lyme disease. .
Once engorged, the nymph will drop off its host and molt into an adult in the comfort of fallen leaves.
Weeks To Months After Initial Infection
Pet owners often first recognise lameness where the tick had latched on. But this lameness is often intermittent and may recur two to three weeks later in the same or a different limb and left untreated it can lead to chronic joint problems.
At this stage, Lyme disease can become more serious, in some cases other clinical signs may be seen depending on where the bacteria localise in the body and the dogs immune response to the bacteria, for example Lyme disease can cause kidney damage, although this has been mostly reported in the US. And although this is rare, Lyme disease can be fatal in dogs.
Lyme Disease In Dogs: 10 Ways To Prevent And Treat It
In contrast to people, Lyme disease in dogs is a less common occurrence after being bitten by a tick that is infected with the disease. Instead, dogs will frequently have symptoms such as fever, lameness, anorexia, depression, and, in rarer instances, nephropathy. Previously, it was believed that only the deer tick carried the disease, but it is now recognized that a variety of tick species are carriers of Lyme disease. When it comes to parasite-borne illnesses that affect both canines and humans, Lyme disease is the most widespread in North America and Europe.
Know your adversarys appearance here is what a black-leggedtick looks like:
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Can I Give My Dog Lyme Disease Or Vice Versa
You cant give your dog Lyme disease, nor can your dog infect you. However, if either one of you has a tick, you should both be checked out by a medical professional. Its entirely possible that the tick may have traveled from your body to your dogs, or vice versa, without you realizing it. If you have an open wound, there is also a slight chance that the bacteria from the tick can pass through it, so make sure to be extra vigilant to keep yourself safe in those cases.
Other Canine Diseases Carried By Ticks
Anaplasmosis can involve symptoms similar to those for Lyme disease. Babesiosis can present with a wide range of symptoms, from sudden and severe shock, high fever, and dark urine to a slowly progressing infection with more subtle clinical signs. Diagnosis of both diseases includes blood tests similar to those used to check for Lyme disease.
Sometimes, dogs and people can become sick with co-infection of multiple tick-borne diseases, where more than one type of disease-causing bacteria is transmitted through a tick bite. This situation can make diagnosis and treatment even more challenging and difficult.
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For Animals That Have Not Been Vaccinated Can Osp A Values Be Positive How Should This Be Interpreted
Antibodies to OspA have previously been interpreted as markers for vaccination. Non-vaccinated animals usually have low values for antibodies to OspA, while vaccinated animals develop these antibodies. OspA antibodies have been shown to protect from infection with B. burgdorferi.
However, there is accumulating evidence that antibodies to OspA can occur without vaccination. First, residual OspA is present on the bacterial surface at the time of transmission to an animal. This causes a low and transient OspA antibody response early after infection. Second, antibodies to OspA have also been associated with treatment-resistant Lyme arthritis and with development of autoimmunity in human patients. Similarly, OspA antibodies in non-vaccinated dogs or horses can be considered as markers of chronicity and disease severity.
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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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.
Ways To Help Your Pet Stay Tick And Lyme Disease Free
Did you know that this summer is expected to be a Lyme disease war zone with ticks carrying Lyme disease rampant along much of the East coast?
For that reason, we thought it might be a good idea to provide some tips that could help prevent your pet from acquiring ticks, or at least from acquiring Lyme disease if a tick happens to make its way into his coat.
The easiest way to keep your pet safe might be to keep him indoors as much as possible, but, we are sure you dont want to force your pet to be locked up all summer long! So, we have some other ideas that might be more beneficial in this fight for your pets well being .
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Where Is Lyme Disease Found
In the United States, Lyme disease has been reported in every state, but over 95% of cases are from the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwestern states, with a small number of cases reported along the West Coast, especially Northern California. In Canada, Lyme-positive dogs are found mostly in southern Ontario and southern Manitoba, with a small number of cases in southern Quebec and the Maritime provinces.
What Is The Best Method Of Tick Removal
How to remove a tick
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Yikes You Found A Tick On Your Dog How Can You Remove It
The biggest key here is to be very careful and very quick, Dr. Wooten advises. This is because your dog is most likely to contract Lyme disease from a tick thats been feeding for 12 hours. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Protect your hands from potential bacteria and bites with a tissue or disposable gloves.
- Get a great set of tweezers dedicated exclusively to this purpose. Use these to remove any moving ticks you find immediately by pulling it straight up and off of your dog.
- If the tick isnt moving and is stuck on your dogs skin, get your tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight up and off of your pet. Be careful not to twist your tweezers, as this may rip off only part of the tick and leave its mouth on your pet and leave your dog at risk of infection.
- If necessary, ask someone to help restrain your dog while you remove the tick.
- Place the tick in rubbing alcohol or crush it. If you crush the tick, be sure not to get any of it on your skin.
Signs Of Lyme Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:
- Recurrent arthritis/lameness that lasts 34 days
- Loss of appetite
- Reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait
- Swollen joints that are warm to the touch
- Pain in the legs or throughout the body
While there are many species of ticks, Lyme disease is usually carried by:
- Western Black Legged Ticks
- Lone Star Ticks
Its important to understand that that Lyme disease isnt caused by the tick itself. Well get into detail about this later. But first, lets make sure you understand the ticks role in Lyme Disease in different stages of development larvae, nymph and adult.
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Can I Get Lyme Disease From My Dog
No. Although pets particularly dogs can contract Lyme disease, there is no evidence that they can spread the infection directly to people. However, pets can carry infected ticks into homes and yards increasing your chance of getting bitten.
Here are some ways to protect yourself when venturing into wooded hiking trails with your dog:
- Wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Pull your socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs
- Wear light-coloured clothes to identify ticks easier
- Use insect repellent containing DEET
- Shower within two hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks
- Do daily full-body check for ticks on yourself, your children and your pets
Lyme Disease Is Always Near By
Lyme disease may be found almost anywhere, although certain regions are more deadly than others. It is true that Lyme disease used to be restricted to a few regions of the country, but it has now spread throughout the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that it is now present in every state in the United States and that there is no region that is fully secure from Lyme disease, therefore it is advisable to assume that you are in a Lyme disease area.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Dogs with lameness, swollen joints, and fever are suspected of having Lyme disease. However, other diseases may also cause these symptoms. There are a few blood tests that may be used for confirmation. The first is an antibody test, that your veterinarian can perform in the clinic setting using a special test kit. 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. Some dogs that have been infected for long periods of time may no longer have enough antibodies present to be detected by the test. Therefore, a positive test is meaningful, but a negative is not. A follow up test called a QC6 test can be done to assess the numerical antibody level as confirmation.
Other tests including PCR , ELISA , joint fluid analysis, and culture can also be done with varying degrees of sensitivity, but are done less commonly. General blood and urine tests are also often done to assess kidney function and look for loss of protein in the urine. See handout Testing for Lyme Disease in Dogs for further information.
Impawtant Stuff To Know About Lyme Disease In Dogs
This Blog was originally published on:
Reviewed by Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM.
Lyme disease has become increasingly common in humans, and as a result, many pet owners have become concerned about Lyme disease in dogs. While this tick-borne illness is serious, it doesnt have to be a deadly one for our canine companions. That said, dog owners still need to be quite vigilant and responsible about taking proper precautions to prevent and treat Lyme disease in their pets. Heres everything you need to know about Lyme disease in dogs so you can stay informed and prepared.
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Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian
If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.
Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Dogs can display several forms of Lyme disease, but the most common symptoms are lameness, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In addition, serious kidney complications have been associated with Lyme disease in dogs.
Clinical signs of Lyme disease in horses include shifting-leg lameness, generalized stiffness, hypersensitivity to touch, weight loss, and poor performance. Sometimes, the bacteria can infect the central nervous system, leading to neurologic symptoms.
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Preventing Lyme Disease In Dogs
If possible, keep your dog away from tick-infested environments where Lyme disease is common.
The most effective way to prevent Lyme disease and protect pets from other tick-borne diseases is to use flea and tick prevention.
Your veterinarian can prescribe a variety of prescription flea and tick options, including collars, topical solutions, and tablets and chews that kill and repel ticks. These products should be used under a veterinarian’s supervision and according to the label’s directions.
If you live in an area where ticks are abundant, Lyme vaccines are available. However, not all dogs are a good candidate for the vaccine. Talk to your veterinarian to see if the Lyme vaccination is right for your dog.
1. Lyme Disease. Companion Animal Parasite Council. https://capcvet.org/guidelines/lyme-disease/.
2. Littman MP, Gerber B, Goldstein RE, Anna M, Michael L, George RL. ACVIM consensus update on Lyme borreliosis in dogs and cats. J Vet Intern Med. 2018 :887-903. doi:10.1111/jvim.15085
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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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.
How Can I Tell If Treatment Is Working
If joint lameness is the presenting sign, improvement may be noted after 3-5 days starting antibiotics. A dog’s response to therapy can be assessed by repeating the QC6 test six months after treatment is complete. Dogs that start with a moderate to high QC6 value typically show a 50% reduction or more in the QC6 at six months, indicating that treatment has been successful. Dogs that have a lower initial QC6 value may not show such dramatic reductions in the QC6 at six months, although the value should still be lower than the starting point if treatment has been successful.
A persistently high QC6 suggests treatment may not have been complete or that the dog became reinfected after treatment was stopped.
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Things You Might Not Know About Lyme Disease
The real cause of Lyme diseaseLyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the world. Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not cause Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterial spirochetes of the genus Borrelia–most commonly Borrelia burgdorferi in North America–which is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.Some ticks dont carry Lyme diseaseNot all ticks carry Borrelia burgdorferi. In North America, only Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus can transmit Lyme disease. Other species of ticks have been found to transmit Lyme disease in Europe and Asia. Species affected by Lyme diseaseLyme Disease, known medically as Lyme borreliosis, can affect people, dogs and occasionally cats. People and pets cannot get Lyme disease directly from an infected dog. However, a dog can bring an infected tick home where it could potentially spread Lyme disease to others in the household. Transmission time for Lyme diseaseWhen an infected tick bites, it takes twenty-four to forty-eight hours for the tick to transmit Borrelia burgorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease. That means you can prevent the transmission of Lyme disease by removing ticks promptly. Check yourself and your pets for ticks–especially after visiting areas known to have ticks–and remove them immediately.