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.
Natural Lyme Treatments For Dogs
When it comes to Lyme disease and exposure to the biting bugs that carry the disease i.e. ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, horseflies, etc. your dog may be your canary in a coalmine. In other words, because your furry friend is rambling through areas of higher exposure to these bugs than you, it may get exposed to Lyme disease before you do.
Consequently, you may notice your dog exhibiting the following symptoms, and if you do, you should contact your vet to have your pet tested for Lyme disease:
- Stiff joints
- Gastrointestinal problems
Like with humans, a 4-6 week course of doxycyline has the highest potential to knock the infection out and keep it from going into the chronic phase if caught within the first 60 days of infection onset.
However, if you dont catch it in time or if you are not interested in giving antibiotics to your pet, there are three natural treatments with high levels of effectiveness.
My Dog Is Lyme Positive
The increased prevalence of ticks in the Chittenden County over the last 10 years has led to a greater number of dogs testing positive for Lyme disease.
The first thing to know when your dog tests positive for Lyme disease is that this test merely identifies dogs that have been exposed to the organism that can cause Lyme disease, not the illness itself. 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.
Clinical Lyme disease manifests itself in a variety of ways but most commonly we will see limping that is often combined with a decreased appetite and energy level. A physical exam will typically identify joint swelling, pain, fever and sometimes enlarged lymph nodes. If your dog is exhibiting these clinical signs then treatment is imperative. The antibiotic Doxycycline is our first choice. Signs typically resolve within the first three days and improvement can be seen within 24 hours. Typically a 3-4 week course of antibiotics is recommended but longer treatments are sometimes advised.
What lameness can look like with Lyme disease :
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What Are The Three Stages Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
While there is only one type of Lyme disease in dogs, the illness usually progresses through three stagesearly localized Lyme, early disseminated Lyme and late disseminated Lyme. Early localized Lyme is very difficult to detect in dogs, as it typically manifests as fatigue, fever and joint and muscle pain. An infected dog may not actively show any of those signs.
Similar symptoms characterize the next stage but on a more aggressive level. This stage is when your dog may start limping or losing their appetite. Late disseminated Lyme disease in dogs can affect the organs, brain and spinal cord.
Dog parents may also mistake other illnesses as Lyme disease. Tick-borne ailments with similar symptoms to Lyme include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis. All these illnesses can cause fever, loss of appetite and lethargy identical to Lyme disease.
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.
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Can Dogs Cats Get Lyme Disease
How Do Dogs and Cats Get Lyme Disease? Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a bacteria species called Borrelia burgdorferi, and can affect humans as well as animals. Transmitted by infected deer ticks and the Western black-legged ticks , Lyme disease can be contracted by pets when bitten by one of these infected ticks. Once bitten, the bacterial infection moves through the ticks mouth and into the pets bloodstream.
Blood Tests To Diagnose Lyme Disease
To be sure that a dogs symptoms are of Lyme disease, a veterinarian will likely administer two blood tests:
- Quant C6
The C6 test is used to determine if your dog has produced antibodies to protect itself from a protein called C6. If they have created these antibodies, then it is indicative of an active Lyme disease infection.
The animal does not necessarily need to be showing symptoms to receive a positive C6 test. It generally takes three to five weeks after a bite causing infection for the test to be accurate because it takes time to build up the antibody levels necessary to trigger a positive test. If you administer the tests too early, your dog may have the infection but not the required antibody levels to make the test come back positive yet.
After the C6 test comes back positive, the next test is the Quant C6 test. This second test, along with an analysis of its urine, will allow the veterinarian to determine what kind of treatment your dog will need.
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Prevention Of Lyme Disease
The diagnosis of Lyme disease is often based on the signs and history. For example, a veterinarian might suspect Lyme disease in a dog with recent lameness, a mild fever, and a history that includes possible exposure to ticks. Standard blood studies are not very helpful in diagnosis because the results tend to fall within normal ranges despite signs of infection. However, these tests may be important in order to rule out other causes of disease. Antibodies against the disease-causing bacteria can often be detected 4 to 6 weeks after the initial infection and help confirm the diagnosis.
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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What Is The Cost Of Treating Lyme Disease In 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.
Do I Have To Worry About Catching Lyme Disease From My Dog
The answer to this question is no. There is no evidence that dogs can spread Lyme disease to their owners. However, your dog could bring an unattached, infected tick into your home where it may then bite you or another pet and spread tick borne Lyme disease. Being diligent about finding these arachnids on your dog and disposing of them will help to keep you safe as well as your pet.
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How Long After Treatment Should The Horse/dog Be Re
Antibodies decrease slowly but gradually after the pathogen is cleared from the hosts circulation. Re-testing should not be performed too early. For horses/dogs with positive values for antibodies to OspF but negative values for antibodies to OspC , retesting should be done 3 months after the treatment was started. For horses with a positive OspC antibody value retesting can be done 6-8 weeks after the treatment started. At the time of retesting, a decrease of antibody levels can be expected in successfully treated animals. Serum antibodies may not have completely disappeared at this time. However, they should have dropped by about 40% of the original positive value.
Diagnosing And Treating Your Dog
Diagnosing your dog for Lyme disease requires the veterinarian to run an antibody test. This test takes a closer look at the bodys immunity. The response of the immune system is measurable by the test.
The experts can see whether the antibody for Lyme disease is present for making a correct diagnosis. This will show that the dogs body has been fighting the disease. If the blood reports show a high volume of antibodies then your veterinarian can make a diagnosis. Once the experts confirm the presence of the infection, they will then start the treatment.
Fortunately, the treatment of Lyme disease is straightforward and includes taking antibiotics and painkillers. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available. Scientists continue to work on developing a vaccine to prevent Lyme disease.
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Topic 2c: Considerations In Cats
Cats living in Bbendemic areas are sometimes seropositive., , , , , Cats infested with I. scapularis containing Bb develop serum antibodies against the organism and DNA of Bb has been amplified from skin biopsy specimens taken from tick attachment sites., , Ticks removed from cats in endemic areas have been positive for Bb. These studies suggest that cats can be infected by Bb and that Ixodes spp. are the likely vectors for Bb in cats in the United States.
Cats experimentally infested with Ixodes spp. have not developed detectable clinical signs of disease, even if infested twice., , Cats in Bbendemic areas may have clinical signs potentially referable to Bb infection but to date, no published studies document the organism as the cause of illness. It is difficult to prove causation of illness associated with Bb in cats because Ixodes spp. also are the vector for A. phagocytophilum. Anaplasmosis has been documented in cats in 2 studies in a Bbendemic region., Clinical signs of anaplasmosis and borreliosis are similar to each other in dogs and people, and this may be the case for cats as well.
Statement: Although cats may be Bbseropositive, it is unknown if Bb infection causes illness in cats .
Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease From Ticks
Can dogs get lyme disease from ticksLyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial illness that can be transmitted to humans, dogs, and other animals by certain species of ticks. It.
Lyme Disease Test in Dogs. Lyme disease is transmitted by an infected tick and can be deadly, if not treated. Positive results from a Lyme disease test may not necessarily indicate that a dog is currently infected, as the antibody can stay in the dogs bloodstream for life.Additionally, a Lyme disease vaccination can indicate positive results.
Although dogs and cats can get Lyme disease, there is no evidence that they spread the disease directly to their owners. However, pets can bring infected ticks into your home or yard. Consider protecting your pet, and possibly yourself, through the use of tick control products for animals.
Diseases : American dog ticks are the major carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which is less common than Lyme disease, but a potentially more serious illness.This tick has also been known to transmit tularemia, and to cause tick paralysis.It cannot transmit the spirochetes responsible for Lyme disease.
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Lyme Disease In Dogs: What Concerned Pet Parents Need To Know
Lyme disease in dogs: Four very scary words for a pet parent. When a pup is bitten by an infected tick and contracts Lyme disease, they can get very sick, becoming feverish, tired and experiencing pain from arthritis, which can be a result of this disease attacking collagen-rich body tissue. The very good news is that with the right tools and knowledge, Lyme disease in dogs is treatable and completely preventable.
From the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs to watch out for to possible treatments, heres what pet parents need to know.
Is There A Vaccine That Will Protect My Dog From Lyme Disease
A safe and generally effective vaccine is available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine is initially given twice, at two- to four-week intervals.
“Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity.”
Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity. Vaccination against Lyme disease will be determined by your pet’s lifestyle and individual risk assessment. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian.
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Remedy: Aurum Arsenicum 200c
Aurum arsenicum is a capital choice for when a poisonous infection arises, and this is one of those times.
- Dose twice daily for one week
- After the first week, dose twice weekly for a month
- Then once per week for another month
For older cases in which it is critical to take all precautions because illness has set in, follow Step 3 along with the previous remedies.
Note: Aurum arsenicum can be very hard to find in the US. Joette Calabrese recommends this alternative.
If My Animal Is Positive On The Assay Should He/she Be Treated For Lyme Disease
If your animal is displaying clinical signs of Lyme disease and is positive on the Lyme Multiplex assay, it is advisable to discuss treatment options with your veterinarian. If your animal appears healthy, discuss the risks and benefits of treatment and develop a monitoring plan with your veterinarian.
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Whats The Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Antibiotics for Lyme disease in dogs are often required when testing shows a positive result. Typically, at least a four-week course of treatment is given. Options include doxycycline, amoxicillin and cefovecin. All are powerful antibiotics and should be given according to your veterinarians instructions. Sometimes treatment is required for longer than four weeks.
Unlike for humans, there is a Lyme vaccine for dogs. Its a preventive measure and not a cure or treatment. While some pet parents have reported a reaction to the Lyme disease vaccine in their dogs, reactions are rare and it is a great option for any dog who is at risk, especially active dogs who are frequently outdoors in high-risk areas.
Antibiotics are currently the only treatment, but they dont always get rid of the disease completely. There is no guaranteed cure for Lyme disease in dogs, and as we discussed above, your dog may display recurring symptoms that may need to be managed with other medications or remedies.
Treatment For Lyme Disease
Your local veterinarian can perform blood tests on your dog that can detect Lyme disease antibodies. If the antibodies are present, your dog will receive a positive result. The two blood tests are called the C6 Test and Quant C6 test.
The C6 test detects antibodies against a protein called C6 that can be detected three to five weeks after a tick infects your dog and before it shows signs of Lyme disease.
The next step is to do a Quant C6 test performed with a urinalysis to detect infections and if they have affected your dogs kidneys.
If your dog tests positive for Lyme bacterial infection, the vet will prescribe a strong dose of antibiotics to treat the Lyme disease.
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