Monday, November 27, 2023

How Do You Treat Lyme Disease In Dogs

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Find Ticks Where They Hide

Treating a Dog with Lyme Disease

Ticks are often found in wooded areas, high grass, and tall bushes. When you are looking on your dog for ticks, it can be difficult because ticks like to hide and they’re good at it. Ticks also like blood. This is why you can usually find ticks on more vascular areas of a dog’s body where you can see the blood vessels close to the surface.

Ticks can also be found on a dog’s exposed skin, their ears, and between the toes. Try looking behind your pet’s neck because ticks like to hide where your dog cant reach them easily.

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.”

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.

Also Check: Tick Bite Lyme Disease Rash

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.

Topic 2b: European Considerations Bernese Mountain Dogs In Europe

Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

In Europe, numerous serosurveys in dogs from different countries show a wide range of differences in seroprevalence. This is not surprising, considering the unequal distribution of ticks carrying Bbsl. Little information is available regarding clinical disease in dogs caused by these organisms in Europe. Most studies show no association of seropositivity with clinical signs., , , , One clinical study described 98 dogs with clinical signs possibly attributable to LB . Of these, 21 dogs were Bbslseropositive . In 13 of the 21 dogs, no other cause of illness was found after extensive diagnostic evaluation, indicating a relationship between Bbslseropositivity and disease. However in none of the 13 dogs could spirochetal DNA or viable spirochetes be detected.

Statement: It is not proven that European LB causes clinical signs in dogs .

Statement: Although not associated with illness, BMDs in central Europe are more often Bbslseropositive than other breeds .

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Buhner Protocol For Dogs

Dr. Stephen Buhner has also developed a well-known and effective treatment for Lyme disease and co-infections for humans, and he recommends the following herbal treatments for dogs.

  • Japanese Knotweed Root can reduce the inflammation from Lyme disease which in turn can reduce many of the symptoms that occur. The powdered form of the herb can be added to your dogs food at 3 tablespoons, twice per day morning and evening.
  • Cats Claw helps raise the immune system to best fight the disease. The powdered form of the herb can be added to your dogs food at 3 tablespoons, twice per day morning and evening.
  • Glucosamine Sulfate is a natural supplement that is often included in dog snacks to help joint problems. It helps with pain and inflammation and restores and protects cartilage. The powdered form of the supplement can be added to your dogs food at 2 tablespoons, twice per day morning and evening.

Can An Animal Get Infected Despite Being Vaccinated

Yes. This has been observed that some animals can still get infected after Lyme vaccination. This can be due to a low immune response of the respective animal and/or a very high exposure rate or Lyme prevalence in the area where the animal lives. A yearly check of the OspA titer is recommended for a vaccinated animal to ensure that the animal responded with high OspA antibodies to vaccination. Please indicate the name of the vaccine and when it has been last applied on the accession form.

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Lyme Disease Is Common In New Jersey

While there is no cure for Lyme disease in dogs, good tick control and vaccinating your pet for Lyme can prevent your dog from catching the disease. Lyme disease rates in New Jersey have been rising rapidly. Check out this website to learn more about heat mapping in your region. While there is no cure for Lyme disease in dogs, a vaccine can prevent your dog from catching the disease. If they already have Lyme disease, our veterinary staff can administer antibiotics to get them healthy and feeling better fast. City by the Sea Veterinary offers complete pet care services, including vaccines, pet microchipping, dentistry, surgery, and a whole lot more. Contact our office today to request an appointment.

How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed

Tips for preventing lyme disease in dogs

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.

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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.

Final Thoughts About Lyme Disease In Dogs

Homeopathy demonstrates worldwide effectiveness in treating a variety of infectious diseases. In fact, it has over 200 years of amazing success in epidemics, human and animal.

As a dog owner, dont give in to the fear and hype surrounding Lyme disease. Be mindful of the reality of its rarity and of the power of homeopathy to cure if it does occur.

Visit to find a homeopathic vet to help with your dogs journey to health.

Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease Doctors In Virginia

How Do You Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs

To prevent Lyme disease in dogs, try to avoid tick-infested areas, especially during peak season. When you come in from the outdoors, check your dogs body and carefully remove any ticks with tweezers.

Year-round tick control helps in prevention. You can also ask your vet about tick-preventive products. These products kill ticks on your dogs body before they have a chance to spread an infection. Vaccines can also help prevent Lyme disease in dogs, but vets warn against them unless you live in an area that is prone to ticks.

How Is Lyme Disease Prevented

Lyme Disease in Dogs: What You Should Know

Its not comforting to understand that such a small insect can have so much control when it comes to Lyme disease. A vector is an organism that transports and delivers an infectious organism from one host to another. In this case, the vector of Lyme disease is the deer tick in the Northeastern United States. Female ticks lay about 2,000 eggs in the spring. The tick will transmit the disease to a new mammal host. However, this process requires a minimum of 48 hours, and if the tick can be removed within that time frame, the dog or human will not get Lyme disease. This gives us control in the fact that we can vaccinate our dogs against Lyme disease and take preventative measures such as checking them for ticks after being outdoors.

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How Lyme Disease Is Transmitted

The question “How is Lyme disease spread?” is asked most often by people who are bitten by infected ticks but do not have signs or symptoms of the illness. Lyme disease is transmitted through a tick’s bite, which is why it is called ” Lyme.” Lyme disease is more prevalent in the western US and parts of Canada, where deer are frequently hunted.Lyme disease can be caused by several different species of ticks, including black-legged ticks and deer tick, but it is primarily transmitted to humans by the black-legged tick, which is easier to transmit because of its small size. The name “Lyme” comes from a town in Connecticut called “Lyme Disease,” where a local epidemic of lyme disease occurred in 1975.

Although antibiotics are available to treat lyme disease, most patients experience recurrence within a few weeks of their initial treatment.This usually occurs because the body’s immune system is not strong enough to fight off the infection. If you are experiencing repeated bites, have a rash, or are experiencing joint pain or swelling, contact your doctor immediately for confirmation that you are infected with Lyme disease. Lyme disease symptoms are usually similar to those of other tick-borne infections, so it is wise to be tested if you think you may have been infected.

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.

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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.

How Can I Tell If Treatment Is Working

How to protect dogs from Lyme disease?

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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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.

Keep The Dog’s Breed In Mind

Some breeds are affected more than others by Lyme disease. These breeds or mixes of these breeds should be treated immediately if they test positive for Lyme or are suspected of having Lyme disease.

Lyme can cause serious complications and destroy the dog’s kidneys. Kidney disease and related renal complications are often found in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs and Burmese Mountain dogs.

These dog breeds should be seen by the vet for a treatment immediately. Doxycycline or another antibiotic should be started as soon as possible.

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Where Do Ticks Live And How Do They Get On Dogs

Ticks that carry Lyme disease are especially likely to be found in tall grasses, thick brush, marshes, and woods especially where deer populations are high. Ticks do not jump but only crawl and in seeking a host, will latch onto your dog when they pass by.

Lyme disease was named after a high number of cases that occurred in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975, but cases in dogs have been reported in every state in the United States. However, Lyme disease is more common in some geographical locations specifically, the Northeast, upper Midwest, and northern Pacific coast. Dog owners who live or spend time in these areas should be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs, as well as the preventative measures available.

Topic : What Testing Is Recommended For Healthy Animals

What To Do For Tick Bites On Dogs

Panelists recommended that a qualitative Bb antibody assay be included with annual wellness and preventive care for healthy dogs living in or near endemic areas in North America . Screening for Bb antibodies allows: followup proteinuria screening for all seropositive dogs and early intervention for possible Lyme nephritis , followup minimal data base including CBC and serum biochemistry to identify cytopenias and kidney disease associated with tick and wildlife exposure, identification of seropositive dogs that may indicate risk of exposure of humans, horses, cats or other dogs in the area and the need for modification of preventive protocols and, recognition of successful preventive strategies in high risk areas. Panelists identified potential pitfalls when screening healthy dogs, including the potential for overuse of antibiotics in rare dogs with false positive assay results, overuse of antibiotics in healthy dogs that would never develop LB, assay expense, induction of anxiety in the owner, and the additional time necessary for owner education.

Statement: It is recommended to screen all healthy dogs that live in, live near, or travel to Bbendemic areas in North America for Bb antibodies. It is recommended to screen all Bbseropositive dogs for proteinuria .

Also Check: Tick And Lyme Disease Facts

Ways To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs

Some of the best ways to prevent ticks and Lyme disease for your dogs are:

  • Avoiding higher risk areas during warmer seasons
  • Checking the dog for ticks every day, but especially after walks in high risk areas
  • Manage your landscape: remove leafs, dirt, vegetative covers and similar
  • Prevent wildlife from entering your yard by using barriers and fences
  • Use acaricides that contain permethrin like SaverPak or Control Solutions they are very effective at killing ticks and are safe for dogs
  • Consider routinely vaccinating your dog against the disease but keep in mind that scientists are currently debating whether vaccines are worth it to prevent Lyme in dogs due to potentially increasing the risk of Lyme nephropathy in dogs, especially for breeds that are more at risk.

Below are some more tips in detail on how to prevent Lyme disease in dogs and prevent exposure to ticks on a daily basis.

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