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How Do You Test For Lyme Disease In Dogs

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Lyme Disease In Dogs Prognosis

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

How long does Lyme disease last in dogs? With proper treatment, dog Lyme disease can last for around 35 days before it is resolved.

However, it should be noted that the condition can recur in some dogs, especially those that are immuno-compromised. If it does happen, the vet will likely use antibiotic medications for treatment.

Taking your dog to the vet for blood tests is recommended 6 months after completing antibiotic therapy. It will determine if your dogs treatment was successful.

How Is The Lyme Multiplex Assay Different From The Assay My Veterinarian Can Perform

Your veterinarian can perform a quick assay in-house that checks for antibodies against only one B. burgdorferi surface protein. The in-house assay cannot detect early infection, cannot determine vaccination status, and does not quantify the amount of antibodies your animal is producing. Quantifying antibodies is an important measure for successful treatment and to confirm cure from Lyme disease.

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Lyme Disease From Adult Ticks

Adult ticks will seek new hosts throughout the fall. Their peak activity is between late October and early November.

Adults prefer taller vegetation. Theyre usually seen 3 feet off the ground on high grasses or leaves. Adults often use deer as hosts but theyre also happy with humans, dogs or horses.

Its believed that 50% of adult ticks carry Lyme disease in endemic areas of the Northeast. But, while adult ticks can carry Lyme disease, theyre less likely to pass it on to their host. This is because theyre larger and easier to detect within the first 24 to 36 hours.

Note: the timing of peak activity for each life stage of the tick may differ depending on your area. Check with local health departments for peak tick activity where you live.

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Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs

One way to help prevent your dog from contracting Lyme disease is to keep your pet on a tick prevention medication year-round and speak to your vet about vaccinating your dog against Lyme.

Whenever your dog has been walking through areas where ticks may be hiding, it is a good idea to check your petâs skin when you get home. Itâs important to remove ticks as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

That said, removing ticks isnât as straightforward as you may think. Contact your vet for instruction on how to properly remove ticks from your dog. .

Remember â Lyme disease is much more severe in humans than it is in dogs! If you walk in areas with long grass or shrubs be sure to check your skin regularly for ticks. Contact your doctor for advice on removing ticks if you find one latched onto your skin. Lyme disease in humans can cause a host of painful chronic symptoms.

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 petâs condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

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What Do Testing Kits Typically Include

Lyme Heartworm State College Veterinary Hospital State

Depending on the method of collection, testing kits may include:

  • a device to collect the blood, urine, or saliva sample
  • instructions
  • a container to ship the sample back to the lab
  • a shipping label

Some kits come with a bandage, wipes, and a biohazard bag. Kits may contain extras such as Styrofoam holders, labels, or tubes with varying solutions inside.

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Lyme Testing And Diagnosis

When a dog is exposed to B. burgdorferi, his immune system will make antibodies in response to the outer surface proteins on the spirochete. Lyme tests generally look for antibodies to these outer surface proteins. It takes at least three to four weeks for antibodies to develop after a dog has been exposed testing before that time may produce false negative results. 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.

The SNAP 4DX Plus test offered by IDEXX evaluates whether or not a dog has antibodies to the C6 peptide, a chain of amino acids present in the spirochete. This test is appropriate to answer the question, Has my dog been exposed to B. burgdorferi? with a yes or no answer. To run the test, your veterinarian will need a few drops of your dogs blood. It takes only eight minutes to run, so you can know your dogs results before leaving the clinic. This test also checks for two other tick-borne diseases , and heartworm. Results should not be affected by Lyme vaccination.

Two tests offered by Abaxis VetScan Canine Lyme Rapid Test and VetScan Flex4 Rapid Test also evaluate whether or not the dog has been exposed to Lyme. There is potential for this test to give a false positive if the dog has received a Lyme vaccine that includes the OspC protein.

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Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease

The diagnosis of Lyme disease can be made clinically or in conjunction with laboratory test results. When the skin rash is typical and when a patient has been exposed to an environment where blacklegged ticks are known to be established, the diagnosis can be made on clinical grounds alone. In parts of Canada where adventitious, unestablished populations of blacklegged or western blacklegged ticks have been noted, a clinical diagnosis is more challenging. When the rash is atypical or occurs in circumstances in which exposure to the appropriate vector tick species was unlikely, diagnosis is based on the demonstration of a serological response to B burgdorferi. Immunoglobulin M antibodies are usually detectable within weeks of the onset of symptoms however, a significant proportion of patients with EM may not have detectable antibody at the time of initial presentation . Furthermore, when patients are treated very early in the course of illness, antibodies may not develop. When an initial antibody determination is negative, it is suggested that a second serum specimen be collected four weeks later.

Current evidence suggests that commercially available enzyme immunoassays used for the purpose of screening are sufficiently sensitive .

Antigen detection has also been used in both spinal fluid and urine. As with NAT, antigen tests cannot be recommended unless their sensitivity and specificity significantly improve .

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Can Infection Be Spread Directly From One Dog To Another Dog Or From My Dog To My Family

Direct spread of Lyme disease from one dog to another dog has not been reported, even when infected and uninfected dogs have lived together for long periods.

Spread of Lyme disease from dogs to people has not been reported either, but people are equally at risk for Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected tick.

The Best Test For Lyme Disease

Treating a Dog with Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness spread by Lyme borreliaebacteria which includes, but is not limited to, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are 400,000 cases of Lyme disease annually, making Lyme a serious public health concern that only stands to grow as the spread of ticks affects disease endemicity and seasonality.

One of the biggest challenges of fighting Lyme disease is providing patients with accurate diagnostic tests. Without access to the best tests for Lyme disease, its impossible to diagnose this treatable disease in a timely manner. When the disease isnt caught in time, it can spread throughout the body and cause chronic health problems that could otherwise be avoided with earlier detection and treatment.

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What Are The Three Stages Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

While there is only one type of Lyme disease in dogs, the illness usually progresses through three stagesearly localized Lyme, early disseminated Lyme and late disseminated Lyme. Early localized Lyme is very difficult to detect in dogs, as it typically manifests as fatigue, fever and joint and muscle pain. An infected dog may not actively show any of those signs.

Similar symptoms characterize the next stage but on a more aggressive level. This stage is when your dog may start limping or losing their appetite. Late disseminated Lyme disease in dogs can affect the organs, brain and spinal cord.

Dog parents may also mistake other illnesses as Lyme disease. Tick-borne ailments with similar symptoms to Lyme include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis. All these illnesses can cause fever, loss of appetite and lethargy identical to Lyme disease.

Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. The symptoms of this disease in dogs can be very subtle and may not be recognized until the disease has progressed. Early diagnosis of Lyme disease is important to prevent long-term health problems. The most common treatment is the use of a combination antibiotic which can be given orally or intravenously. Treatment typically lasts for 4 to 6 weeks. However, some dogs develop chronic Lyme disease, which can be difficult to treat. Early diagnose of Lyme disease are important to prevent long-term health problems for your dog.

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If My Dog Tests Positive Does He Need To Be Treated

The decision to treat Lyme disease is somewhat controversial since many infected dogs show no signs of illness. Factors that would support treatment include:

a moderate to high value of QC6 signs of illness compatible with Lyme disease at the time of testing a history of illness compatible with Lyme disease within the past year the presence of abnormal levels of protein in the urine.

Other Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

Preventing Ticks on Your Pets

Dogs are more resilient against Lyme disease than other animals. According to an experimental study, only a small percent 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.

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Lyme Disease And Other Tick Borne Illnesses

Ticks carry a number of diseases, most notably Lyme Disease. They can create significant health risks for humans and companion animals.

What diseases can ticks transmit?

Ticks can transmit a number of diseases including:

  • Anaplasmosis
  • Bourbon Virus

Which ticks transmit diseases? Any tick can transmit diseases, but certain diseases are linked with certain ticks. All of the above illnesses are associated with ticks that are present in New Jersey.

What is Lyme Disease? Lyme Disease is the most common tick borne illness in the United States. It is transmitted by the deer tick. A tick has to be present on the skin for at least about 48 hours to transmit the infection, so detection and removal of ticks is important in prevention.

How is Lyme disease treated? Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. First-line treatments include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime for adults and children. Sometimes IV antibiotics are used if the Lyme disease is impacting the heart or brain. Once a patient is showing improvement, they may be switched from IV to oral antibiotics. The treatment is 7 to 14 days. If a patient has developed Lyme arthritis, which can be a late-stage symptom of Lyme disease, they may have a longer course of oral antibiotics.

What are signs of tick borne illnesses?

Signs and symptoms of tick borne illnesses vary with the illness and can show up 7 to 21 days after exposure. They include:

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Understanding Lyme Disease In Dogs

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete , Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to dogs through the bite of an infected tick. Once in the bloodstream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints or kidneys. The most common type of tick to carry Lyme disease is the deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick. Deer ticks are distributed through the midwest and the eastern United States.

Can Lyme disease also affect people?

Yes, but people do not get it directly from dogs. They get it from being bitten by the same ticks that transmit it to dogs. Therefore, preventing exposure to ticks is important for you and your dog.

What are the clinical signs of Lyme disease in dogs?

Many dogs infected with Lyme disease show absolutely no signs or symptoms at all. That is why screening for possible Lyme is important.

However, some dogs with Lyme 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 usually appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If left untreated, the lameness may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

It is recommended to test no earlier than four weeks after a tick bite.

How is Lyme disease treated?

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Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease

There is a myriad of clinical signs which may or may not be present in dogs. Some dogs may exhibit no clinical signs whatsoever. Unfortunately, this does not mean the body isnt being affected negatively by the bacteria. Be sure to contact your vet if your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Painful and/or swollen joints
  • Intermittent and/or limb-shifting lameness Example: lame on the right front leg one day, lame on the left rear leg the next day, not lame at all the following day

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Average Cost Of Treatment

Tips for preventing lyme disease in dogs

In recent years, the cost of antibiotics for dogs has increased. A 2-week dose of Doxycycline or Amoxicillin can cost about $400 in some areas. Blood tests typically cost around $80, depending mainly on the methods used.

As a dog owner, you also have to pay the vet exam fee, which ranges from $40 to $50 and isnt covered by pet insurance. The cost of modern veterinary care has increased in the country. This is why you can expect high vet bills if your dog is diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Fortunately, you can use veterinary crowdfunding to help with high and/or unexpected veterinary bills.

In comparison to typical crowdfunding websites, veterinary crowdfunding provides assurances to your donors that the money raised will in fact go to the pets healthcare needs. When you decide to start a campaign for your dog, have a bit of fun with it. You get to tell your dogs story, include and awesome picture, and share your needs with the community of pet lovers out there. Get social and post your campaign to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Pet lovers frequently visit these sites and you can capitalize on their big hearts by pulling at those heart strings to help your fury friend. There are a few sites that are solely dedicated to pet crowdfunding. Consider starting your campaign on a site like CoFund My Pet that is, as it may increase the looks you receive from other pet lovers.

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Is There A Vaccine That Will Protect My Dog From Lyme Disease

A safe and generally effective vaccine is available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine is initially given twice, at two- to four-week intervals.

“Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity.”

Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity. Vaccination against Lyme disease will be determined by your pet’s lifestyle and individual risk assessment. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian.

Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM

What To Do With A Positive Lyme Test Result

Richard E. Goldstein, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM & ECVIM , Cornell University

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What should I do when a patient has a positive result on a Lyme serologic test?

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Serological Testing Of Serum For The Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease

The most commonly used tests look for antibodies to the Borrelia species that cause Lyme disease in the UK and Europe, but they also detect infections from strains of Borrelia from the US.

The antibody response takes several weeks to reach a detectable level, so antibody tests in the first few weeks of infection may be negative. If the first sample was taken within 4 weeks from the start of symptoms and is negative and there is a clinical suspicion of Lyme disease, then retesting in 4 to 6 weeks may be useful.

It is very rare for patients to have negative antibody tests in longstanding infections. Borrelia antibodies persist indefinitely in some patients and this does not indicate continuing disease or a need for re-treatment.

Serological testing for Lyme disease in the UK and much of the world follows a two-step approach using commonly available antibody screening tests as a first stage, followed by immuno-blotting of samples that give positive or indeterminate results in the screening tests.

  • Sensitive screening tests are used at the first stage of testing but have the disadvantage of occasionally detecting other diseases and producing false positive results. RIPL uses the C6 Lyme ELISA for screening

  • Samples giving positive or indeterminate preliminary screening test results are then tested in a more specific system to confirm the presence of Borrelia-specific antibodies. RIPL uses the Borrelia ViraChip® IgG, IgM test for this purpose

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