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How Does Lyme Disease Affect Dogs

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Dog Lyme Disease Symptoms: Six Indicators

Lyme Disease in Dogs

Unfortunately, Lyme disease is quite common in dogs. So what are the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs? Below are the dog Lyme disease symptoms to look out for:

The above symptoms may lead to kidney failure, which has the possibility to be fatal. Other health complications include serious cardiac or neurological problems.

To know whether your dog is exhibiting symptoms, having a pet camera may help so you can monitor your dog at home. One such camera is the Petcube Cam which is a smart, affordable, HD camera, that also has a 24/7 Online Vet service. With products like these, you get peace of mind when it comes to looking after your beloved pet/s.

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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.

Canine Lyme Disease Prevention: What Works Best

  • Use a veterinary-approved flea and tick medicine to keep disease-carrying ticks at bay.
  • Preventative vaccination is a must for all dogs.
  • Make sure to check both your dog and you after walking through the woods. Take a look at your canines collar, tail, among ft, under their legs, and elbows.
  • Remove ticks as soon as possible. The sooner you detect them, the less probable it is that your dog will become infected. Learn how to remove ticks properly by purchasing a pair of tiny tweezers.
  • The next time you visit the veterinarian, ask the doctor to do a tick check. Those that you may have overlooked, we can track down.
  • Keep your lawn manicured and avoid going through grassy areas.

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Symptoms Of Dog Lyme Disease

Even though Lyme disease in dogs can be easily transmitted by ticks, it causes clinical signs in only 5% of dogs who are affected with the disease.

The most common symptoms in dogs with Lyme disease have been recorded in a 2015 study: lameness, joint swelling and arthritis, depression and a listless appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, increased urination and abnormal fluid buildups.

There are other signs and symptoms that veterinarians associate with canine Lyme disease that you could watch for at home:

  • An arched back with a stiff walk
  • Touch sensitivity
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease

Lyme Heartworm State College Veterinary Hospital State

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.

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How Is Lyme Disease Treated In Dogs

Breathe easy: if caught in time, Lyme disease can be easily treated in dogs. The treatment includes antibiotics for a duration of usually for at least 30 days, as well as supportive medication if needed, Dr. Muller tells us. In order of use, those antibiotics are typically doxycycline, amoxicillin, followed by azithromycin. At times, dogs may need longer durations or more rounds of antibiotic treatments. Depending on how long they were ill, your pooch may also need therapy and treatments for individual organs or systems that have been affected by Lyme, especially the heart, nerves, joints, and kidneys.

Can Lyme Disease In Dogs Spread To Humans

The good news if your dog has Lyme disease is that it doesnt spread directly from dogs to humans. Like dogs, humans get Lyme disease as a result of a tick bite. Your dog isnt contagious when they have Lyme disease, so you dont have to worry about keeping your distance or catching Lyme. That being said, its important to keep in mind that there could be more Lyme-carrying ticks around if your dog is infected, so you should still practice good hygiene and watch out for ticks.

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What To Expect Following Vaccinations

Immunizations should mildly stimulate the animals immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This stimulation can create mild symptoms, ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions. While many pets will show no side effects, it is common for pets to experience some mild side effects after receiving a vaccine, usually starting within hours of the vaccination. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends you monitor your dog for mild effects:

  • Discomfort and local swelling at the vaccination site
  • Sneezing, mild coughing, snotty nose or other respiratory signs

If these side effects last for more than a day or two, get worse, or cause your pet significant discomfort, it is important for you to contact your veterinarian. Additionally, always inform your veterinarian if your pet has had prior reactions to any vaccine or medication. If there is a history of prior reaction, the vet may choose to administer or recommend at home administration of antihistamines prior to vaccination. If in doubt, wait for 30-60 minutes following vaccination before taking your pet home.

  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Itchy skin that may seem bumpy
  • Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
  • Severe coughing or difficulty breathing

Can You Test My Dog For Lyme Disease

Police dog battling 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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Polyarthritis From Lyme Disease In Dogs

Polyarthritis is a joint condition that is caused by infection or inflammation. It is a common symptom of Lyme disease in dogs and can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. The first limb that is affected is typically closest to the tick’s attachment spot. If left untreated, polyarthritis can cause permanent damage to the joints and it can be very painful for dogs. It is therefore important for dog owners to be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and to get their dogs treated if they suspect that their dog has been infected. The most common clinical signs include:

  • Intermittent, shifting leg lameness

Lyme Disease Risk In Canada

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease affecting human and dog health in North America and Europe . In most human cases, LD presents as a non-specific flu-like illness frequently with a characteristic skin lesion known as erythema migrans . If left untreated, the disease can progress to arthritic, cardiac, and neurological manifestations. In dogs, clinical disease is a less common outcome of infection than in humans and usually presents as one or more of: fever, anorexia, depression, lethargy, lameness, joint swelling, arthritis, and lymphadenopathy. Nephropathy can also occur in the more advanced stages of the disease in dogs, although this is uncommon .

In Canada, the agent of LD is the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, which is transmitted by the bite of ticks in the genus Ixodes. Ixodes scapularis, the blacklegged tick, is the main vector in eastern and central North America and Ixodes pacificus, the western blacklegged tick, is the main vector west of the Rocky Mountains .

This article focuses on i) the environmental drivers of LD, ii) the geographic distribution and variation of LD risk areas in Canada, iii) the key clinical features and diagnostic options for detection of LD in dogs, and iv) recommendations for treatment and prevention of LD in dogs. Veterinarians across the country can play an important role in raising public awareness about ticks and the pathogens they transmit.

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What Is Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme disease is also referred to as Lyme borreliosis, a bacterial illness that certain species of infected ticks can transmit to humans, dogs and other animals.

Since ticks dont fly or jump, they make contact with their host by lurking on the tips of long grass or bush, then quickly grabbing onto your dog when he walks by. He then crawls on to his body to look for a place to bite.

An infected tick carries the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, then bites a dog or person, transmitting the virus through the bloodstream.

Once its entered the bloodstream, the bacteria can reach different parts of the body and result in problems with specific areas or organs, including joints, as well as general illness. The disease can be transmitted after a tick has been attached to a dog for 24 to 48 hours.

Beware Of The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

Kidney Failure In Dogs Due To Lyme Disease

Lyme disease affects dogs but it’s not the same in all dogs. The bacteria that causes Lyme disease in dogs can affect the neurological system, musculoskeletal system and kidneys. Dogs suffering from Lyme disease will have symptoms that depend on the organs or systems that are being affected. This article will look at the different systems and organs that can be affected by Lyme disease and reveal the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs.

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Where Do Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Live

Though Lyme disease has been seen in dogs across the US, higher rates of infection are typically seen in the Upper Midwest, Northeast and the Pacific coast.

Though ticks do not jump or fly, they do lurk on the tips of grass blades, leaves and in shrubs with their first legs outstretched, awaiting direct contact with people or animals so they can latch on to their new host. Ticks are typically found in areas with brush land, farm fields, long grass or forested areas.

As you can imagine, this leaves nature lovers and their pets at risk. If youre walking your dog through areas where ticks may be lying in wait, its a good idea to check your dog for ticks once you arrive home.

If you see a tick on your pet, contact your vet for guidance on how to safely remove this parasite from your dogs skin. Humans suffer from Lyme disease much more than some other animals. Contact your doctor for tips on how to remove ticks if you discover that one has found its way onto your body.

Most Dogs Never Get Sick

A study was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania. In the experiment, researchers infected Beagles with Lyme disease. Yet none of the adult dogs showed any symptoms of the disease.

Then they used Beagle puppies. This is because puppies would have weaker immune systems than adult dogs. The puppies showed about four days of transient symptoms such as fever and lameness in the same study. After those four days of on-and-off symptoms, the pups became asymptomatic. This means their bodies cleared the infection without any treatment.

Meryl P Littman was the lead reaearcher . She explains exposure to Lyme disease is common, but the disease isnt.

95% of exposed dogs dont get sick, but they become Lyme antibody-positive on tests, which may scare people into thinking they need to be treated, she says. In some areas in New England, 70 90% of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive. At PennVet, we found about 40% of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive in our area.

So, it seems that Lyme disease isnt all that common. Dogs arent that likely to get it, even when infected. In fact, the experts at the ACVIM {American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) dont recommend testing for lyme disease in dogs, or giving the Lyme vaccine .

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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.

What Is The Cost Of Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme Disease in Humans & Dogs

The cost of treating Lyme disease depends on the severity of the disease. If caught early, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics along with a follow-up appointment and regular blood work to monitor the condition. If the infection is severe at the time of diagnosis, on the other hand, your dog may require hospital care with supportive treatments , which will be more expensive. Expect to pay for the initial office visit, diagnostic tests, medications, hospitalization, and any follow-up visits.

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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.

Lyme Disease: A Pet Owner’s Guide

Lyme disease is an illness that affects both animals and humans what is known as a zoonotic disease and is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Transmitted through tick bites, the disease can be difficult to detect and can cause serious and recurring health problems. Therefore, it is best to prevent infection by taking appropriate measures to prevent tick bites and, for dogs, possibly vaccinating against the disease.

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease a worm-like, spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi is carried and transmitted primarily by the tiny black-legged tick known as the deer tick. Deer ticks are found in forests or grassy, wooded, marshy areas near rivers, lakes or oceans. People or animals may be bitten by deer ticks during outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, or even while spending time in their back yards.

Named after numerous cases were identified in Lyme, Conn., in 1975, the disease has since been reported in humans and animals across the United States and around the world. Within the U.S., it appears primarily in specific areas including the southern New England states eastern Mid-Atlantic states the upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin and Minnesota and on the West Coast, particularly northern California. The CDC maintains a map detailing confirmed cases of Lyme disease throughout the years.

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What Happens To A Dog With Lyme Disease

When a dog gets Lyme disease, they may not show any symptoms for a while. Symptoms of Lyme disease tend to present after a few months, but only 5-10% of dogs who have Lyme disease will show symptoms. Treating Lyme disease early on is important because it minimizes the complications that result from Lyme.

While dogs with Lyme disease typically experience symptoms such as fever and lameness, these are just some of the complications that can arise from Lyme. Left untreated, Lyme in dogs can eventually cause issues with the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. These complications can lead to death in rare cases. Some dogs may also experience lifelong complications after contracting Lyme disease. However, most of the time dogs with Lyme are fine as long as you take them to the vet and get them started on antibiotics early on.

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