How To Know If Your Dog Has Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, also known as canine borrelia, is a pathology that transmit ticks of the Ixodes type, infected by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorfer. It is one of the most common parasitic conditions in the world. If treated in time, this condition does not represent a serious danger for the pet. However if timely care is not received, infection can affect the joints, kidneys, heart or nervous system, complicating significantly the health of your animal.
In this OneHowTo.com article, we explain how to know if your dog has Lyme disease, which includes the symptoms, treatment and prognosis of this condition.
Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease
Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dogs condition.
- Some dogs who take antibiotics can develop loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Once infected, a dog will always have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in his or her body. Therefore, relapses are possible, and owners should be on the lookout for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, and/or lameness.
- A small percentage of dogs develop kidney failure as a result of Lyme disease. Clinical signs include vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal accumulations of fluid within the body.
Are Dogs Immune To Lyme Disease
When a dog is exposed to B.
burgdorferi, his immune system will make antibodies in response to the outer surface proteins on the spirochete.
Testing positive for Lyme does not mean that the dog actually has or will develop clinical signs of Lyme disease it just means that the dog has been exposed.
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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.
Can You Test My Dog For Lyme Disease
Absolutely. Diagnosis is made by a combination of history, physical signs, and diagnostics. For dogs, the test we incorporate at our animal hospital for diagnosing Lyme disease is called the 4DX test. Its a simple blood test that we run at our AAHA Accredited Cabbagetown animal hospital. This helps you get the answers you need in a timely fashion.
As the name implies, 4DX tests for four things: Heartworm, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Biological vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks, transmit all four of these diseases and may carry pathogens that can multiply within their bodies and be delivered to new hosts, usually by biting.
The test measures antibodies, meaning how your dog responds or reacts to an infection. A positive test result only indicates exposure to the bacteria. The infection could have occurred sometime in the past, and the immune system may have eliminated the bacteria without your dog ever showing symptoms.
If a positive test result is confirmed, our veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics and/or advise further, more specific testing.
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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease
Some people with Lyme disease develop a characteristic bull’s-eye rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. If this occurs, the disease can be easily diagnosed at an early stage.
However, signs of Lyme disease are more difficult to detect in animals than in people. The characteristic rash does not develop in dogs or cats. In fact, Lyme disease is practically unheard of in cats.
“Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells.”
Many dogs affected with Lyme disease are taken to a veterinarian because they seem to be experiencing generalized pain and have stopped eating. Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells. Often these pets have high fevers. Dogs may also begin limping. This painful lameness often appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If untreated, it may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.
Some pets are infected with the Lyme disease organism for over a year before they finally show symptoms. By this time, the disease may be widespread throughout the body. Non-specific signs which may indicate that Lyme disease is affecting the kidneys include vomiting, lethargy, anorexia , and weight loss. The kidney form of the disease is less common, but often fatal.
My Dog Just Tested Positive For Lyme What Does This Mean
Canine Lyme disease is a complicated and often confusing disease. Here are the answers to many commonly encountered questions about Lyme disease and some explanations for our current recommendations surrounding yearly Lyme vaccination, seasonal tick control products, and Lyme testing.
What causes Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with a spirochete bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. Here in Minnesota, the tick that transmits Lyme disease is Ixodes scapularis, more commonly known as the “deer tick.” The deer tick has three life stages within a 2 year life cycle. Humans and pets are usually infected by nymphs or adult ticks . The Lyme hotspots in MN are typically central MN and the MN/WI border.
How does Lyme disease differ in humans and in dogs?
Over 90% of infected humans will show clinical signs of Lyme disease. The initial signs of Lyme disease in humans are often the classic bull’s eye lesion and flu-like symptoms. Unlike their human owners, clinical signs of Lyme disease are observed only in approximately 5-15% of infected canine cases. When early clinical signs occur, they typically occur about 2 months after the infection. Signs include lameness , arthritis in one or multiple joints, enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy , and fever. Skin lesions are very rare in dogs.
How common is Lyme infection in dogs?
How does Westgate test for Lyme disease?
Why should my dog that is showing no symptoms of Lyme disease be treated?
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Other Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Dogs are more resilient against Lyme disease than other animals. According to an experimental study, only a few percentage of pet dogs that test positive for this disease develop symptoms.
Dog Lyme disease can also result in intermittent arthritis, similar to humans, and rarely results in a kidney infection. Other symptoms include:
- Pain in Joints and leg
- Signs of rash in areas such as the leg or the limb
- Signs of fever and illness
- Joint pain or
All of these symptoms are indicative of a tick bite.
Everything You Need To Know About Your Dog And Lyme Disease
Lyme disease sounds like scurvys evil twin: something to do with citrus. But its actually a bacterial infection named after Lyme, Connecticut, the city where the first cases were reported in 1975. Since then, weve learned a lot about it, including the fact that dogs are prime targets. Last year, more than 300,000 dogs in the U.S. tested positive for Lyme. Heres everything you need to know to keep your pup healthy.
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Can We Test Fluids Other Than Serum
Yes, CSF samples can be submitted from horses with neurological signs. The CSF sample needs to be submitted together with a serum sample from the same animal and taken at the same time. The relative increase of antibodies in CSF can indicate local production of antibodies in the CNS. Typically, one or two antibody values are increased more than 2-fold if B. burgdorferi contributes to the neurologic condition.
For other samples, contact the lab first .
Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Contagious
Thankfully, no! Your dog can’t get Lyme disease directly from another dog and can’t give it directly to you. A tick has to suck the blood from an infected animal and then bite another animal to spread the Borrelia bacteria. No tick bite means no Lyme disease.
It is also important to note that the tick must be attached for at least 24 hours to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi. Removing an attached tick from your dog promptly is one of the best ways to prevent Lyme disease.
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Signs Your Dog May Have Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection which can cause serious symptoms in dogs. Not all dogs that are infected go on to have problems, in fact, most dont. Those that do, however, can become very unwell. The bacteria that causes Lyme disease is carried by some of the tick species found in Canada and can be transmitted to both dogs and people if theyre bitten by an infected tick.
Cases of Lyme disease have increased in both dogs and people in Canada in recent years. If you walk in areas where ticks are present both you and your dog are at risk of contracting this serious disease.
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs may include:
- swollen lymph nodes
Always speak to your veterinarian if your dog shows any of these signs, or any other unusual symptoms. Your dog may not have symptoms for weeks or even months after being bitten by an infected tick. If your dog is unwell and you know he was bitten by a tick, even if it seems like a while ago, always mention this to your vet. Your veterinarian can conduct tests to try to determine if your dog has the disease and prescribe antibiotic treatment if needed.
Lyme Disease Symptoms In Dogs In Oak Park Il
Did you know dogs can catch Lyme disease just like humans can? Dogs are prone to picking up ticks that carry Lyme disease, and unfortunately, many dogs come down with this disease every year in certain parts of the world. In the United States, Lyme disease is especially prominent in dogs, so its crucial to understand the symptoms and know how to recognize it if you think your dog has this illness.
In this article, well show you the basics about Lyme disease and help you learn more about what it is. Youll then find information about the symptoms and treatment options available to you and your dog moving forward in Oak Park, IL.
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Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs To Watch For
Below are some of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease for dogs in Oak Park, IL:
- Fever: Dogs with Lyme disease often run a fever for an extended period of time.
- Lack of energy: Dogs are often too sick to want to get up and do anything when they have Lyme disease.
- Loss of appetite: Some dogs will be unwilling or unable to eat very much when theyre sick with Lyme disease.
- Lameness or joint pain: Dogs with Lyme disease may sometimes be unable to walk or may have very stiff, painful joints when they do move around.
- Other pain and discomfort: A dog who is in pain most of the time may have Lyme disease.
Causes Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease has been diagnosed in people and dogs across all states. But the infection rates vary from one state to another. In the US, the Upper Midwest, Northeast and Pacific Coast report the highest annual cases of Lyme disease in dogs.
This disease is contracted through the bite of an infected tick. These external parasites are often found in grassy or wooded areas, from farm fields to forests
Since ticks can’t jump or fly, they find prey by resting on the tips of leaves or blades of grass and wait for direct contact with pets or people.
Lyme disease isn’t contagious, but an infected tick that bites one dog may make its way to another pet or person to spread the disease further.
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How To Remove Ticks From Your Dog
When removinga tick from a dog be sure to grasp the tick by the head and pullfirmly straight from the dog. Dispose of the tick in a clear sealedcontainer and save the tick in case it needs to be tested for Lyme orother tick borne diseases. There are inexpensive tick removal toolssuch as a TickedOff that can be used to quickly and easily remove ticks.
Is Lyme Disease Contagious In Dogs
- Lyme disease is only contagious through ticks, not between other species. A dog with Lyme disease wont transmit it to a human or to other dogs, and vice versa. However, a tick can transmit Lyme disease several times in succession, so if a Lyme-carrying tick moves from your dog to you, it can transmit the disease to both of you.
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Where Are Ticks In Toronto Located
Blacklegged ticks are found most often in forests and overgrown areas between wooded areas and open spaces. This makes for perfect breeding grounds in many parts of Toronto. Specifically,
- The Rouge Valley, east of Toronto
- Don Valley trail system
The Public Health Agency of Canada works with provincial authorities to identify where populations of infected blacklegged ticks have been established or are spreading.
This is the latest Ontario Lyme Disease Map from Public Health Ontario:
More information can be found here:
In other parts of Ontario, known endemic areas for Lyme disease are:
- Point Pelee National Park
Expansion areas of risk in Ontario include:
- Kingston and surrounding areas along Lake Ontario
- Along the St. Lawrence Valley to the border with Quebec and northeast towards Ottawa
- Northwestern Ontario in the Lake of the Woods region
- Pinery Provincial Park on the shores of Lake Huron
For the most up-to-date information, visit canada.ca/LymeDisease
What Is Lyme Disease
The name Lyme comes from Old Lyme, Connecticut. A city where this disease was first reported and described by the medical community. The disease itself has been around for much longer, but most people could not specify it. The prevalence of this illness in humans and dogs continued to increase every year. Since there is no vaccine yet, there is no ultimate cure for this condition.
This is because the symptoms of this disease are rather inconsistent and the organism that causes it is entirely difficult to detect. Solving the Lyme disease history was like putting the missing pieces of the puzzle together to find some type of correlation.
Today, we have a better understanding of this condition. Doctors know that the cause of Lyme disease comes from bacteria. The name of this bacterium is Borrelia in scientific terminology from the Borrelia genus of bacteria.
The more graceful name of this disease is Lyme Borreliosis. The species, Borrelia Burgdorferi has been the culprit for Lyme disease in the past. However, as time progressed, experts found other species that cause the disease apart from the Borrelia Burgdorferi
In a much broader sense, you can refer to the rest of the diseases as, Borrelia Burgdorferi. This bacterium thrives in the northern hemisphere, and on moderate climate. Furthermore, the only natural way this bacteria enters your bloodstream is by ticks.
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The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Dogs don’t exhibit the telltale red rashsometimes manifested in a bulls-eye patternthat we humans display, so an infection in your pet may not be as obvious. However, some common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs or cats include:4
- Appetite loss
- Reluctance to move
Symptoms can progress and sometimes be fatal, which is why it’s important to get your dog diagnosed if she has any of these symptoms.
A veterinarian will do a physical exam and talk about your dog’s history. To determine if your pet has contracted Lyme disease, your veterinarian will typically administer blood tests. The presence of Lyme disease antibodies in the blood may indicate an active infection, and these typically show up about three to five weeks after a tick bite. However, they can sometimes be found even before you notice symptoms.
If the tests come back positive, your dog will receive antibiotics for up to four weeks. Sometimes longer treatment or therapy is needed.
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.
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