Can My Dog Get Lyme Disease
This common tick-borne illness can also affect your pup. Know the signs and keep your best friend happy and healthy.
If you spend any time outdoors, make sure to protect yourselves and your pup from Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease is probably the most well-known tick-borne illness, for good reason: Carried by the black-legged tick , more than 200,000 cases of the disease are reported each year across the United States. Outdoorsy types are always on high alert to protect themselves from Lyme Disease but what about their pets? As it turns out, dogs can also contract Lyme Disease and it can be a serious medical concern when they do.
Get informed so you can care for your pet best. Lets take a look at what Lyme Disease is, its symptoms in dogs, and how you can protect them in the future.
Can Lyme Disease Be Transmitted From Pet To Pet
Lyme disease is seen in dogs, cats, and humans but thankfully, no, Lyme disease is not contagious, as it can only be transmitted via a tick bite. However, if one of your dogs or cats develops it, youll want to get all of your pets checked for the illness, as they may all be at risk of exposure to the ticks that infected your sick fur baby. You may even want to get yourself checked as well, as people are usually in the same places as their pets.
Lyme Disease In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment
Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but it only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. So some dogs may have it, but never show symptoms.
Transmission of Lyme disease has been reported in dogs throughout the United States and Europe, but its most prevalent in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific coastal states.
However, the disease is spreading and becoming more common throughout the United States. Heres some info about the causes and prevention of Lyme disease, as well as the symptoms you should look for and treatment options.
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How Can I Prevent My Dog From Contracting A Tick
Always remember that prevention should be high priority when discussing tick-borne illnesses. At Poster Veterinary Associates, we offer a wide selection of parasite prevention products to prevent ticks and other parasites from infecting your pet.
However, no method is 100% effective, so carefully consider outings and apply tick control treatments before taking your dog to environments where ticks may thrive. You should also check your dog and yourself for ticks when you arrive home.
Also check your dog periodically throughout tick season . They are typically dark brown or black in color, and can transmit diseases within 3 to 6 hours of biting your pup.
If you discover a tick, quickly remove it to prevent infection. Consider bringing your dog to our animal hospital, where a vet will be able to remove it safely.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. A spirochete is a type of bacterium.
“Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick.”
Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, 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 . Deer ticks are distributed through the Midwest and eastern United States, as well as throughout Canada with the highest proportion in Ontario.
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Preventing Lyme Disease In Dogs
Whenever your dog has been walking through areas where ticks may hide, its a good idea to check your pet for ticks once you arrive home. Removing ticks isnt as simple as you might think. If you spot a tick on your pooch, contact your veterinarian for instructions on how to safely remove the tick from your dogs skin.
We also recommend checking your own body for ticks. Lyme disease is much more severe in humans than in dogs. If you discover a tick has latched onto your skin, contact your doctor for advice on removing the tick.
Its important to note that your dog does not pose a risk to you or your family however you are at risk if you spend time in the same outdoor environment as your dog and are around infected ticks.
Also, keep up on tick prevention and parasite prevention year-round, and speak with your vet about vaccinating your dog against Lyme. Avoid brushing against shrubs or walking through long grass while on walks, and check your dog every day for ticks.
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 pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Understand Your Flea And Tickrepellents
The majority of people are unaware that their monthly flea and tick repellant, whether given orally or sprayed on the dogs back, has absolutely no effect on ticks. It will kill the tick after it has bitten your dog, but it will have no effect on the likelihood that your dog will get Lyme disease. Have your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease and tick bites, and use a monthly flea and tick repellent on your dog to help prevent these diseases from occurring. The vaccination will protect your dog against the illness itself, but it is necessary to provide a booster shot once a year.
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Signs Your Dog Has Lyme Disease
Ticks can cause all kinds of problems for dogs, but Lyme disease is one of the most serious. When a dog is infected with Lyme disease, you may notice that they are lethargic and running a fever. Other symptoms include joint pain and loss of appetite. Leg and body pain may also be present, and swollen lymph nodes are also a possibility. These symptoms may cause your dog to be more still than normal or walk with a stiff, painful gait.
Symptoms may seem to vanish only to reappear later. Lyme disease has many long-term effects, and it is a difficult disease to diagnose because the symptoms dont stand out in any way. To diagnose Lyme disease, your veterinarian will ask you about the possibility of tick exposure and watch any symptoms, as well as complete diagnostic testing. Once your dog has been properly diagnosed, your veterinarian will provide you with treatment options.
Since all dog breeds are susceptible to Lyme disease, it is a good idea to use flea and tick preventatives year-round, especially if you take your dog hunting or on other outdoor adventures. In addition, it is a good idea to get your pooch vaccinated against Lyme disease.
Lyme disease symptoms that you need to watch for include:
Other signs your dog may have Lyme disease include:
- Noticable Tick Bites
- Swollen And Sore Joints
How To Test Your Dog For Lyme Disease
The diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs involves several factors such as history, physical symptoms, and diagnostic tests. When it comes to dogs, there are 2 kinds of blood tests that are able to diagnose Lyme disease. These tests are the C6 test and the Quant C6 test, which are both performed by veterinarians to be able to diagnose the disease.
What the C6 test does is to be able to check for antibodies against the protein named C6. If there are antibodies present, this suggests that your dog may be infected with Lyme disease. Detection of the C6 antibodies ranges from 3-5 weeks after a dog has been bitten by an infected tick, and it may be found in a dogs bloodstream even before they show any symptoms.
The next test to be performed by the vet is the Quant C6 test. Together with a urinalysis, this type of test will be able to determine whether antibiotics would be needed.
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What Happens If My Dog Tests Positive For Lyme
Dogs with Lyme disease tend to get sick very acutely. They are normal one evening and then seem to become ill over- night. They will refuse to eat, run a fever, and generally have joint pain in multiple joints. The wrist joints are the most commonly affected joints, though any joint can become inflamed.
Impawtant Stuff To Know About Lyme Disease In Dogs
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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Testing For Kidney Disease
Tests to diagnose kidney disease include complete blood count, serum biochemistry, and urinalysis. These blood tests will determine if your pet is anemic, determine white blood cell counts, measure blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and electrolytes. A urinalysis is essential for the proper interpretation of the urea and creatinine values in the serum biochemistry profile and may also provide important clues to the possible underlying cause of kidney disease. A urinalysis will also determine the specific gravity, pH, presence of blood in the urine, and the amount of protein in the urine. An evaluation of the urine sediment will determine the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, crystalline material, and cellular casts all of which provide information to determine the underlying cause of kidney disease in your pet. Further diagnostic tests may be recommended based on the results of these initial screening tests.
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How Lyme Disease Spreads
Lyme bacteria are parasitic organisms, as many bacteria are. They need a host to live in. And because they cant make all the nutrients they need themselves, they scavenge them from their hosts. Most of what they need can be found in collagen tissues. So, once they enter the animal host, they begin breaking down collagen tissues into a kind of soup in order to feed. Its where they break down those tissues that important.
- Joints = Lyme arthritis
- Heart = Lyme carditis
- Central nervous system = neurological Lyme with associated brain fog, difficulty thinking and remembering, tremors, facial paralysis, loss of limb function and so on.
This is the secret to understanding the disease and how to treat it.
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Should I Have My Dog Tested
Antibodies can take weeks to develop. Because of this, tests for Lyme disease that are performed before the antibodies have evolved may show up as negative even if your dog is infected. If your dog is infected and is retested four to six weeks later, they should have a positive test. If you do decide to have your dog tested, you should also keep in mind that just because they test positive for antibodies does not automatically mean they have the disease. This simply means that at some point in their life they were exposed and their body mounted a response. In many cases, this makes it difficult to determine the importance of positive test results because unfortunately, there aren’t reliable tests that can identify the presence of the infecting bacteria in your dogs body.Whether or not they should be cause for concern depends on many factors, including whether or not your vet feels your dog is showing symptoms that may be consistent with lyme disease. Ultimately, you should rely on your veterinarian to decide whether or not testing for lyme disease is appropriate and should your dog test positive, what should be done with that information.
If you’re concerned about how long the testing process takes and how it may affect you or your family, keep in mind that humans cannot contract Lyme disease from an infected dog. The Ixodes tick is the primary means of transmission in people, as well as dogs.
How Much Does It Cost To Treat Lyme Disease In Dogs
Average Cost of Treatment
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.
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The Signs Your Dog Has Lyme Disease Are More Straightforward Than The Symptoms In Humans Know The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs And How To Treat This Tick
When I opened her crate that morning, Samantha didnt move. Instead of racing around with a toy in her mouth, our bouncy one-year-old Labrador Retriever stared at us with wide brown eyes, looking frightened. She didnt object when my husband lifted her, but when he set her down, she stood as though frozen. He carried her outside and held her while she urinated. When he let go, she couldnt walk.
A few hours later, our vet announced that every joint in her body was inflamed and she had a fever. No wonder our puppy couldnt move. She hurt all over. Samantha had Lyme disease.
Lyme disease affects thousands of Americans and their dogs and horses each year. Named for Old Lyme, Connecticut, where it was discovered formally identified in the 1970s, Lyme is a regional disease, with 90 percent of its cases in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. The rest come from the upper Mississippi and parts of California and Oregon. A few dogs and people with Lyme disease live elsewhere, but they are believed to have been infected during travel or, in some cases, by ticks from migrating birds.
Can Lyme Disease In Dogs Be Cured
And now for your sigh of relief: Yes, Lyme disease in dogs can be cured if the treatment is applied in time. Thats why its super important to take your dog for a checkup if you suspect they were bitten by a tick, even if they dont show any active symptoms.
Lyme disease in dogs is serious, but it is well within your power as a pet parent to help your dog steer clear of this condition. Some pet insurance providers, like Pumpkin, provide optional preventive care benefits that can help cover the costs of the Lyme disease vaccine, as well as a yearly vector-borne disease test. With proper preventive care, as well as treatment if your dog becomes infected, those ticks dont have to be so terrifying! Dr Wooten assures us. And you and your pooch can enjoy plenty of happy, healthy days ahead.
Additional ReferencesKlingborg DJ, Hustead DR, Curry-Galvin EA, et al. AVMA council on biologic and therapeutic agents report on cat and dog vaccines. JAVMA 2002 221:1401-1407.
Dambach DM, Smith CA, Lewis RM, Van Winkle TJ. Morphologic, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural characterization of a distinctive renal lesion in dogs putatively associated with Borrelia burgdorferi infection: 49 cases . Vet Pathol 1997 34:85-96.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease is, unfortunately, a relatively common canine illness.
The most common symptom is arthritic pain, accompanied by fatigue and fever. If youre unsure if your pet has been exposed, contact our Cabbagetown veterinary team to discuss appropriate measures to protect or treat your pet.
Left untreated, symptoms can last for years and include recurring arthritis and neurological problems, kidney failure, numbness and paralysis. We are often asked if Lyme disease can be fatal to a dog? Although uncommon, fatalities from Lyme disease have been reported.
Typical symptoms in dogs include:
- generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain
- swelling of joints
What Are The Key Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Borrelia burgdorferi is a pathogen that avoids immune clearance and persists in the skin, joints, connective tissue, and central nervous system. As the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs depend on the body system involved, we will break down the symptoms based on the body systems that are affected. It should be noted that most dogs that are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi are asymptomatic, where 15% of infected dogs will show symptoms in 2-5 months after being bitten by a tick. A red, bulls-eye lesion is frequently noted after being bitten by a tick.
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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.
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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