Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How To Tell If Your Cat Has Lyme Disease

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Causes Of Lyme Disease

Preventing Lyme Disease in Cats – Ask a Vet with Dr. Jyl

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of bacteria that is transmitted by ticks. These ticks become infected with the bacteria by feeding on infected mice and other small animals. When an infected tick bites other animals, it can transmit the bacteria to these animals. Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick and a group of other closely related ticks. The exact tick species varies by location, but the deer tick is small enough to bite animals and people without being easily detected.

Cats that spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in areas with bush or tall grass, are most at risk of being infected with Lyme disease bacteria. It is important to remember that ticks can be carried into yards on other animals, so even cats that don’t roam far could potentially be bitten by a tick. Ticks are frequently found on dogs, so if you have a dog, the tick can hitch a ride into the home on the dogs and then bite the pet cat. There is currently no evidence that Lyme disease is spread by direct contact between animals, including between infected pets and their owners.

Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Cats: 9 Cases

Caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is possibly one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases. Within 36 to 48 hours of being bitten, ticks carrying this bacteria start to transmit this disease to the host animal.

While its uncommon and hasnt happened outside of a laboratory, cats can contract Lyme disease. Thing is, however, cats can carry the disease for a long time without showing any signs.

That said, in some cases, cats can exhibit symptoms when infected with Lyme disease. In this article, well dive deep into the most common symptoms of Lyme disease in cats and how early tell-tales of the disease can be identified.

  • 3. Neurological Complications
  • Preventing Lyme Disease In Cats

    Despite its rarity, its important to take preventative measures to protect your cat from becoming infected with Lyme disease, as well as other diseases spread by ticks.

    Cats are excellent groomers on their own, but its still important to brush your cat carefully and check their coat for ticks, especially if theyve been outside. To protect yourself when removing a tick, always wear gloves. They can be difficult to kill, so dispose of them in rubbing alcohol to ensure they dont attach themselves to anyone else in the home.

    Tick control medications and products are available . Talk to your vet to see if they are appropriate for your cat.

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    Late Lyme Disease Symptoms

  • Have you had any of the following symptoms typical of late or chronic Lyme disease?
  • Fatigue
  • Psychiatric
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure
  • New onset fatigue, widespread pain, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment are common symptoms of late Lyme disease. Many symptoms of late or chronic Lyme disease are non-specific and common among diseases. What sets Lyme patients apart is the severity of symptoms and the degree of functional impairment. Patients report pain at the severity of post-operative patients, fatigue at the level of patients with multiple sclerosis, and functional impairment comparable to those with congestive heart failure. Most patients with chronic Lyme disease report one or more of the following symptoms as severe or very severe: fatigue , sleep impairment , joint pain , muscle aches , other pain , depression , cognitive impairment , neuropathy , headaches and heart-related issues . Chronic Lyme patients generally report more than one symptom and average three severe or very severe symptoms.
  • May Support Hormone Balance

    How To Tell If Puppy Has Fleas Ideas

    While the evidence is scarce, one very small animal study suggests cats claw could help with hormone balance by supporting healthy estrogen levels. The study indicated that cats claw could inhibit estrogen receptors, which in theory could help women struggling with estrogen dominance. However, this was an old study, and it has not been replicated.

    Another study that followed rats with endometriosis found that the animals had less inflammation when given cats claw and even noted a possible contraceptive effect. While interesting, theres definitely not enough research to suggest this as a tool to avoid pregnancy.

    If you suspect your hormones arent what they could be, you can start balancing your hormones naturally today with my free hormone starter kit. It includes a seven-day meal plan, recipe guide, and much more info to nourish your body and get things back on track.

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    Veterinary Care To Prevent Lyme Disease In Ferndale

    At the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County, we care about our pet patients. If you are in Ferndale, Monticello or Liberty call our office at 845-292-6711 to make an appointment to discuss your pets Lyme disease prevention. Our veterinary professionals will be happy to help you come up with a plan to keep your furry friend safe.

    How Lyme Disease Affects Dogs

    • Other ways that Lyme disease can affect dogs include creating stiffness, particularly in their gait. Some dogs will experience sensitivity to touch from the inflammation, which may be accompanied by labored breathing. The most serious of the ailments caused by Lyme disease is the onset of kidney problems.

    “You can protect your dog in the U.S. against Lyme disease, but you can’t protect you or your children with a vaccine.” Dr. Gregory Poland, director the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, says there was a vaccine for humans, but it was withdrawn.

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    Lyme Disease Rashes And Look

    Circular, expanding rash with target-like appearance.

    Expanding rash with central crust

    Expanding lesion with central crust on chest.

    Expanding erythema migrans

    Photo Credit: Reprinted from Bhate C, Schwartz RA. Lyme disease: Part I. Advances and perspectivesexternal icon. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011 64:619-36, with permission from Elsevier.

    Description:Early, expanding erythema migrans with nodule.

    Multiple rashes, disseminated infection

    Early disseminated Lyme disease multiple lesions with dusky centers.

    Red, oval plaque

    Red, expanding oval-shaped plaque on trunk.

    Expanding rash with central clearing

    Circular, expanding rash with central clearing.

    Bluish hued rash, no central clearing

    Bluish hued without central clearing.

    Expanding lesion, no central clearing

    Expanding lesion without central clearing on back of knee.

    Red-blue lesion with central clearing

    Red-blue lesion with some central clearing on back of knee.

    Insect bite hyper-sensitivity

    Large itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to an insect bite.

    Fixed drug reaction

    Description:A skin condition that occurs up to two weeks after a person takes a medication. The skin condition reappears at the same location every time a person takes that particular medication.


    Description:Ringworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus. Its called ringworm because it can cause a ring-shaped rash that is usually red and itchy with raised edges.

    Pityriasis rosea rash
    Granuloma annulare rash

    How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease In My Cat

    Ask the Vet: Lyme Disease Signs

    The key to preventing Lyme disease in your cat is tick control. Ticks can attach themselves to most animals, including humans, so even indoor cats arent completely safe. When returning from spending time outdoors, its important to do a self-check for any ticks you might have brought into the home. Youll also want to do regular checks of your cats skin during grooming to ensure there are no pesky critters attached. If your cat spends time outdoors, be sure to check daily as a tick can transmit Lyme disease in less than 24 hours after attaching to an animals skin.

    Using flea and tick products is also a good way to help prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases. Speak with your veterinarian about putting your cat on a safe product to prevent the disease. At this time there is no commonly used vaccination for Lyme disease for cats.

    Your veterinarian can offer excellent solutions to help with the prevention and treatment of Lyme disease. Set up an appointment as soon as possible if you believe your cat might be at risk.

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    Treatment For Other Forms Of Lyme Disease

    People with other forms of disseminated Lyme disease may require longer courses of antibiotics or intravenous treatment with antibiotics such as ceftriaxone. For more information about treating other forms of Lyme disease, see:

    The National Institutes of Health has funded several studies on the treatment of Lyme disease that show most people recover within a few weeks of completing a course of oral antibiotics when treated soon after symptom onset. In a small percentage of cases, symptoms such as fatigue and myalgia can last for more than 6 months. This condition is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome , although it is also sometimes called chronic Lyme disease. For details on research into chronic Lyme disease and long-term treatment trials sponsored by NIH, visit the visit the National Institutes of Health Lyme Disease web siteexternal icon.

    May Help With Symptoms Of Arthritis

    One of the most popular uses for cats claw is for arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory joint condition that leads to pain, swelling, and loss of function. Cats claw may be a natural way to support your joints if youre experiencing arthritis-like symptoms.

    Cats claw may inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factor-alpha . Cytokines are signaling proteins that activate inflammation in your body, so cats claw may help turn them off.

    Some studies suggest that taking cats claw may help reduce pain and stiffness for people with osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis that leads to tissue degeneration around your joints.

    People with rheumatoid arthritis have experienced similar benefits as people with osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in swollen, painful joints. Its associated with elevated markers of inflammation in your blood.

    A study on forty people with rheumatoid arthritis found that those taking cats claw with their typical medication reported less joint pain than those taking a placebo.

    Again, the reason cats claw may help is related to its anti-inflammatory properties. In some people, it may interrupt and calm the inflammatory markers that would otherwise signal a pain-promoting inflammatory response.

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    Prevention: Are There Lyme Disease Vaccines For Cats

    Although vets diagnose Lyme disease daily in dogs, it doesn’t commonly ail cats. Because of how rarely it’s seen, there’s no vaccine available to protect our feline friends against Lyme disease. The best prevention is to protect your cat against ticks, especially during tick season.

    While Lyme disease doesn’t need to top your list of worries about your kitty’s health, it’s wise to be in-the-know about this tick-transmitted bacterial disease, should your kitty ever have a run-in with it.

    Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Cats

    How Do You Know If Your Cat Has Fleas Or Ticks

    Even when they are infected, many cats wont show any symptoms until the disease has caused more significant damage. This will take place usually around four weeks after the initial bite. Its important to keep an eye out for these symptoms if you suspect your cat has Lyme disease:

    • Fever
    • Stiff and/or swollen joints or muscles

    It is imperative that you take your cat to the vet immediately upon noticing symptoms.

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    How We Care For Lyme Disease

    The Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Childrens provides comprehensive care for children and adolescents with Lyme disease and other infections. Our services include consultation, evaluation, treatment, and management of long-term complications of Lyme disease.

    The commitment and compassion with which we care for all children and families is matched only by the pioneering spirit of discovery and innovation that drives us to think differently, to find answers, and to build a better tomorrow for children everywhere.

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    What Is Cats Claw/samento

    Cats Claw is a plant that is named for its claw-shaped thorns. Samento is an extract from the Cats Claw plant.

    According to an NIH review of Cats Claw:

    Theres no conclusive scientific evidence based on studies in people that supports using cats claw for any health purpose.

    Nevertheless, cure-all claims have been made by peddlers of products advertised as containing Cats Claw. The Hispanic community in particular has been target of bogus health claims about Cats Claw, which is known as Uña de Gato in Spanish.

    In the US, products made from Cats Claw are typically treated as dietary supplements, which means they have very little regulation. When it comes to supplements in the US, it is often unclear if the product is of high quality.

    Supplements may contain adulterants, be inconsistently produced, or not contain what they say on the bottle. And because herbal supplements are drugs, they may cause unexpected effects.

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    Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    An infected tick needs to be attached for a minimum of 24-36 hours in order to transmit Lyme disease to your cat or dog. So just because your pet got bit by a tick doesnt necessarily mean they have been infected with Lyme disease. This is why its so important to check your pet for ticks after they have spent time outdoors, especially if they have been in areas that have been identified as prime tick locations. If you routinely check your pet when they come in from outside and identify that they have been bitten, you can still safely remove the tick before any infection enters their body.

    If you suspect that your pet was bitten by a tick and has been infected with Lyme disease, keep an eye out for these symptoms: fever, lethargy, stiff or swollen joints, excessive salivation, decreased appetite, on and off lameness, and reduced energy. If left untreated, symptoms can progress to kidney failure or neurological damage. An untreated infection can also be fatal, so all infections should be taken seriously. In addition, a tick that is left untreated will eventually fall off its original host and can reinfect other pets or family members.

    Lyme Disease And Anxiety

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    Anxiety, like depression, is a common psychiatric symptom that can be associated with Lyme disease. Like other neuropsychiatric symptoms, anxiety is triggered by inflammation and the metabolic changes that occur in tick-borne infections. Concern about ones health especially if causes have not been identified can also contribute to anxiety or panic disorders. Different types of anxiety can present in Lyme disease. These include hypervigilance, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder , and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Of the tickborne co-infections, bartonellosis tends to cause an increase in anxiety. Bartonellosis requires a different treatment than Lyme disease, so it is important to test for all co-infections. I have seen generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks resolve when patients are properly treated for Lyme disease and co-infections.

    Of the associated tick-borne infections, Bartonella tends to contribute to anxiety more than the others.

    Bartonellosis requires a different treatment than Lyme disease, so it is important to properly test for all co-infections. I have seen generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks resolve when patients are properly treated for Lyme disease and co-infections.

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    How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease

    Avoiding ticks as much as possible will go a long way to controlling and preventing disease. Sprays, monthly products and vaccines are available, although many work best before dogs are exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

    Your vet may recommend appropriate boosters and vaccines if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should promptly remove any ticks you find on your dog to help prevent Lyme and other diseases spreading. Though dogs will not directly infect people, our pets may bring infected ticks into the house, which may then attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.

    Effect Of Cats Claw On Lyme Disease

    Cats claw is considered to be one of the main herbs that can help lower, or even eliminate, lyme spirochete loads in the body, support the innate immune function to help respond to the borrelia infection, and treat some of the symptoms of Lyme disease including central nervous system confusion, skin problems, and specifically arthritic inflammation among others.1

    Cats claw is specifically good for helping treat late-stage Lyme infection, chronic Lyme, and that which does not respond to antibiotics.1

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    Do Dogs Have Lyme Disease Forever

    Some time since, or just prior to, the last test, your dog was bitten by a tick that harbored the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi.

    According to a study at Cornell University, 94% of dogs that have been exposed will never develop disease symptoms.

    This means a positive test is not the end of the world.

    What Is Cats Claw

    How Do You Know If Your Cat Has Fleas Or Ticks

    Cats claw is a vine found in tropical areas of South and Central America and the Amazon rainforest. Its been traditionally used by indigenous tribes of the South American Rainforest to treat many different inflammatory conditions.

    There are two species of Cats claw, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis. Most of the research available focuses on Uncaria tomentosa. As a result, this variety is most commonly used in supplements, specifically the root and bark extracts, as capsules, or sometimes in tea and herbal tinctures.

    The somewhat unusual name for this botanical is because of its thorns that look like the claws of the cat. Also called una de gato, the thorns help the vine climb and grow up through the tall trees of the rainforest.

    The health benefits of cats claw are related to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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