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How To Tell If Your Dog Has Lyme Disease

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Dog Lyme Disease Test

How to Tell if Your Dog or Pet Has Lyme Disease

The Serology test looks for enzymes in the blood associated withLyme disease. The problem is that there are two types of vaccines. The ELISA test can tell if yourdog has the disease only if it has not been vaccinated or it if had thesubunit vaccine. If your pet had the whole cell the test cannot tell ifyour dog has the disease or a reaction to the vaccination itself.

A newer test called the Canine SNAP 3Dx or the C6 SNAP test. It isdone in your Veterinarians office and if positive a follow-up test isdone and sent to a lab to confirm the findings.

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What Does The Lyme Multiplex Assay Measure

The Lyme Multiplex assay quantifies antibodies directed against specific proteins on the surface of B. burgdorferi at three different stages of the bacterial life cycle. This antibody profile can indicate whether an animal has been recently infected or is chronically infected with B. burgdorferi. It can also be used to monitor protective antibodies after vaccination.

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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An Interesting Side Note

While our current dog doesnt have Lyme Disease, our other dog that we had before him had been diagnosed with another tick-borne disease called Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

He had it from the day we found him as a young puppy. Presumably, he got it from a tick bite in his first few weeks of life.

To our knowledge, Destin never suffered any ill effects of having the disease. He never showed any symptoms. Thats typical with both Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease in both humans and animals sometimes the symptoms present themselves, and sometimes they dont. Just the same, sometimes the disease shows up in blood tests, and sometimes it doesnt.

Often these diseases wont present themselves until many months or years after the fact.

How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed

Ticks, Lyme Disease and our Pets

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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How Much Does It Cost To Treat Lyme Disease

A long treatment course sounds pricey, doesnt it? The initial bloodwork for the Lyme disease test costs around $80. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, you must focus on treatment for your dogs Lyme disease.

Antibiotics arent cheap, and in some areas, a two-week supply can cost $400 or more. Blood tests are also needed, which cost about $80, and an exam fee can be $40 or more. How can you reduce these costs?

Consider pet insurance for this or any potential emergency you and your pet may happen upon. So long as it was not a pre-existing condition, pet insurance companies will pay for treatment medications, blood tests and potentially exam fees.

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Lyme Disease From A Tick Bite

Poor pupper has a bug bite. Heres how to tell if its serious.

Editors note: Were beyond paw-roud to offer this post as part of our partnership with Animal Humane Society . You may know em for their outstanding adoption offerings, but weve been blown away as weve learned about the additional services they offer to our community.

You and Fido just went for a hike in the great outdoors. Now youre back and he has some sort of bite, but your not sure if its a tick bite. We asked the veterinarians at Animal Humane Society for advice.

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Lyme Disease In Dogs: What Your Vet Isnt Telling You

Lyme disease the mere thought of it is terrifying to pet owners everywhere. Rashes, lameness, swollen joints these are all symptoms that you never want your dog to experience.

The good news is, the situation isnt as scary as you may have thought.

Before we look at why, lets take a look at how dogs get Lyme disease in the first place.

How Do I Remove A Tick From My Dog

My Puppy Got Lyme Disease & I Didn’t Treat It…

Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. The deer tick is a small tick and only about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but is a little more obvious in the adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly and place it in rubbing alcohol or crush it between two solid surfaces. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with fine tweezers or your finger nails near the dogâs skin and firmly pull it straight out. There are also tools available called Tick Twister® or Tick Key® which can be useful. However, take care to use them cautiously as twisting or jerking the tick may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. See your veterinarian if you are unsure or unable to remove the tick from your dog.

Make sure you protect your fingers from exposure by using a tissue or a disposable glove.You may need another person to help restrain your dog. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease does not appear to be transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately 12 hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the tickâs contents, including blood, on your skin.

Note: The bacterium that causes Lyme disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin.

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Treating Asymptomatic Lyme Disease In Dogs

If your dog has tested positive for Lyme disease and isnt showing any symptoms, you may be wondering why you need to treat them for the disease. After all, if your dog cant give you Lyme disease and they arent showing any signs of having it, why treat them?

The answer is in how Lyme disease attacks the body. Even if the dog isnt currently showing symptoms of Lyme disease, that doesnt mean they wont eventually start developing symptoms. And if Lyme disease is allowed to ravage the body unchecked, the symptoms that eventually show up can be worse than any mild obvious symptoms, such as kidney damage.

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Lyme Disease Isnt As Simple As A Bite From A Tick

I said earlier that Lyme disease is not caused by the tick itself.

While ticks can infect your dog with the Lyme disease researchers have found that infection alone isnt the cause of Lyme disease. In most cases, Lyme disease only occurs when theres a coinfection.

Coinfection means a host has one or more bacteria, viruses, or other infections at the same time.

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If The C6 Test Is Positive What Is The Next Step

A positive C6 test means antibodies to C6 were found. The next step is to do a QC6 test, which determines if the levels of antibody are high enough to justify treatment. If the value of the QC6 is higher than 30 IU/mL and signs of illness are present, then antibiotic treatment should be considered. If the QC6 is less than 30 IU/mL and there are no signs of illness, then treatment may not be necessary.

In addition to doing the QC6 test, your veterinarian may want to take samples of blood and urine to assess kidney function and to look for protein in the urine. A positive test for protein in the urine could signal serious underlying kidney disease.

Diagnosing Lyme Disease In Dogs

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You will need to provide a thorough history of your dogâs health to give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are being affected.

Clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease is usually confirmed with a positive blood test for Lyme along with the clinical signs associated with Lyme disease.

Its important to note that tests can take 4-6 weeks to show up as positive after exposure, which is why veterinarians will use a combination of diagnostics to diagnose your dog:

  • Blood chemistry tests
  • X-rays and tests specific to diagnosing Lyme disease
  • Fluid from the affected joints may also be drawn for analysis

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Can Lyme Disease In Dogs Affect Humans

Its unfortunate that bacterial infection brought by Lyme disease could be transmitted to humans. This is otherwise known as Lyme borreliosis.

There are a lot of people who show early symptoms of the infection with the most common being rash around the ticks bite.

As per accounts of previously affected individuals, the rash developed in a span of 3 to 30 days after being bitten. Its comparable to a target on a dartboard with the edges seem a bit raised. Usually, the diameter of the rash bite is roughly 15cm or 6 inches but could be smaller or bigger.

How To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs

PetMD is one of the largest and most used veterinary sites in the world. It discusses how to prevent Lyme disease by using toxic sprays and chemicals, as well as vaccines. Most conventional vets also advocate this approach.

But if Lyme progresses into more than flu-like symptoms only when cofactors are present then isnt stressing the immune system backwards thinking? And dangerous for our dogs?

You know that Lyme disease only progresses to a harmful stage if dogs arent healthy, right? So how do vaccines and chemicals make dogs healthier?

Lets look at the list of cofactors again but this time lets consider the role of vaccines

  • Chronic inflammation vaccines are well known to cause chronic inflammation and auto-immune disease
  • Immune suppression we know vaccines to suppress the immune system after administration
  • Coinfections of other viruses well, thats what they designed vaccines o do deliver a small amount of virus into the body
  • Heavy metals and toxins vaccines contain aluminum, thimerosal, formaldehyde and other dangerous toxins

Not to mention the side effects of conventional solutions such as

So how do you prevent Lyme diease in your dog?

If there is one thing you should take away today its this

the more toxic your dog is, the more likely he is to suffer an exaggerated response to Lyme disease.

Here are some tips to help bolster your dogs immune system:

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Contagiousness Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

Is Lyme disease contagious in dogs? No, Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from one dog to another or from dog to human. Dogs are not hosts for bacteria, but ticks are.

However, the transmission of dog Lyme disease in your home may happen when an infected tick clings to your dogs fur after he goes outdoors. If this occurs, other pets and humans within the vicinity are at risk of infection.

Ticks can transmit Lyme disease once they are attached to dogs for around 12 days. As for humans, the transmission may occur when ticks are attached for about 23 days.

Dog Lyme Disease Symptoms: Six Indicators

Ask the Vet: Lyme Disease Signs

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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The Best Way To Remove A Tick

Upon discovering a live tick on your pet, your first instinct might be to pull it off immediately. But rather than doing so with your bare hands, experts caution that patience is the safer route.

The best way to take off every tick is with a sharpened tweezers and to kind of grab them as far down by the head as you can and pull them off, explains Goldstein. People ideally should wear gloves when theyre doing it, if they can, or just be careful. Theoretically, if you have a cut on your finger and you squish a tick and get the blood from the tick, you could get infected with something. So be careful not to do that.

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Common Misconceptions About Lyme Disease:

1. If a dog tests positive for Lyme disease, it means she has it.

2. Dogs are much more likely than people to become ill from Lyme disease.

3. A dog infected with Lyme disease will tend to start showing symptoms within a month, and sometimes within the first 18 hours.

4. Dogs can transmit Lyme disease to people.

5. Lyme disease strikes only in warm weather.

A lot of times, a dog will test positive for Lyme disease, and her owners get nervous that their pet is sick and needs treatment, but the dog is fine. How can that be?

Its because testing positive for Lyme simply means that antibodies to the illness have been detected in the dogs blood. It does not mean that the animals body is actually being affected by the disease. How can that be?

The fact that a dog can test positive for Lyme disease yet not actually have it in a way that matters has led to a lot of nervous owners, and sometimes, even veterinarians who have over-treated. To clear up the misconceptions, heres what you need to know.

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How Likely Is It That Your Dog Will Get Lyme Disease

The Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria found in ticks causes flu-like symptoms. Dr Raus research shows that about a third of ticks carry this bacteria species meaning that if a tick bites your dog, its only 33% likely to carry the B burgdorferi bacteria.

If the bite is from an infected tick, then your dog may develop flu-like symptoms. He may also develop a rash at the site of infection.

This is the first stage of Lyme disease.

Dr Rau and other researchers estimate that only 10% to 20% of tick bites will lead to Stage 1 Lyme Disease. But if left untreated, 30% of Stage 1 cases will lead to Stage 2. This is where bacteria can infect the skin, joints, kidneys and sometimes the heart.

So that means your dog has about a 1% to 2% chance of Stage 2 Lyme Disease the kind of Lyme disease that can make him very sick.

Stage 3 Lyme is the chronic stage. This stage can begin months or even years after infection.

The most common symptoms are joint and muscle pain. Only 1% of stage 2 cases of Lyme progress to Stage 3. This mirrors research done in dogs.

Signs & Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Lyme Disease

The symptoms of Lyme disease vary. While many dogs infected with Lyme disease may not exhibit any symptoms, others may show severe signs, including:

  • Bruising or unexplained bleeding

Lameness, painful or swollen joints, fever, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and lethargy are the most common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs and can range in severity. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to more serious symptoms, like damage to the kidney or the heart and nervous system.

Lyme disease commonly affects the kidneys more than the nervous system or heart. Unfortunately, it is often fatal. In cases of Lyme disease that affect the nervous system, seizure disorders and facial paralysis can occur.

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What Are The First Signs Of Having Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii, It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.

If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings , and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.

Can dogs fully recover from Lyme disease?

Can my dog recover from Lyme disease? If you are able to detect the disease early, symptoms should disappear within the first 3 days of your pups treatment. However, while treatment is usually very effective at eliminating signs of Lyme disease, dogs with Lyme disease can remain positive for the rest of their lives.

If your vet identified that your dogs kidneys have been affected by Lyme disease, they will be able to monitor and treat the condition before more serious problems arise.

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