Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease
In Lyme diseaseendemic areas, seroprevalence rates of up to 90% indicate high levels of exposure.1 However, for most dogs exposed to B burgdorferiinfected ticks, the developing disease is subclinical few, if any, signs are noticed.3 Unlike humans, a skin rash in the typical bulls-eye pattern does not develop when dogs are bitten by an infected tick.1
If clinical signs do appear, they can include abrupt onset of lethargy, fever, lameness, and warm and swollen joints. The lameness may be confined to 1 joint, or it may shift from 1 joint to another.1,2 Physical examination may reveal peripheral lymphadenopathy, thin body condition , dehydration, peripheral edema, pleural effusion, or ascites.1
Dogs with advanced Lyme disease may experience chronic intermittent arthritis, renal disease, heart disease, and/or neurologic disease. The 2 main clinical manifestations of Lyme disease are arthritis and nephritis. The resulting renal changes are called Lyme nephritis and can include glomerulonephritis and protein-losing nephropathy.1-3 Renal failure resulting from Lyme disease is usually fatal.4,6 Lyme diseaseassociated heart conditions may be pericarditis, endocarditis, or conduction disorders. Lyme diseaseassociated neurologic conditions can produce behavioral changes or seizures.
How Do You Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
To prevent Lyme disease in dogs, try to avoid tick-infested areas, especially during peak season. When you come in from the outdoors, check your dogâs body and carefully remove any ticks with tweezers.
Year-round tick control helps in prevention. You can also ask your vet about tick-preventive products. These products kill ticks on your dogâs body before they have a chance to spread an infection. Vaccines can also help prevent Lyme disease in dogs, but vets warn against them unless you live in an area that is prone to ticks.
Topic 4b: Treatment For Bbseropositive Dogs With Pln
For clinically stable seropositive dogs with mild changes of PLN recommendations include antimicrobial treatment, evaluation for evidence of other possible causes of proteinuria , and management of proteinuria, hypertension, and hypercoagulopathy based on established standardofcare guidelines including a reninangiotensinaldosterone system inhibitor blocker), antithrombotics, protein and phosphorusrestricted diets based on IRIS staging, omega3 fatty acids, and antihypertensives if needed.2, 3, 117 For dogs with more severe, persistent, or progressive glomerular disease, or complications such as vomiting, dehydration, edema, effusions, or worsening azotemia, additional recommendations include antiemetics, crystalloids or colloids, aldosterone antagonist diuretics, phosphate binders, and treatments for chronic kidney disease as needed.2, 3, 117 In addition, immunosuppressive agents are indicated if there is biopsyconfirmed evidence of an active immunemediated pathogenesis ,4, 120 or even without biopsy confirmation in nonresponders or those with rapid progression, severe azotemia or severe hypoalbuminemia .2, 5, 121
You May Like: What Are Symptom Of Lyme Disease
What To Expect At Home
Home care for dogs with Lyme disease is relatively straightforward. Doxycycline is usually given by mouth twice daily for at least 30 days. Improvement in the dogs symptoms should be noted within 24-48 hours. If the dogs condition fails to improve in 72 hours or worsens at any time, call your veterinarian.
What Is Lyme Diease
It is the most common disease carried by ticks, and it is also the most contagious. Although the severity of the consequences of this bacterial infection varies, it can result in serious health complications such as renal failure and even death. Prepare yourself and your dog for the possibility of Lyme disease by becoming familiar with the condition, its signs and symptoms, treatment options, and the areas where it is most likely to occur.
You May Like: Lyme Disease Antibiotics Side Effects
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.
Is Lyme Disease Likely
The chances that your dog will contract Lyme disease after one tick bite is impossible to say. Most tick species don’t carry the causative bacteria, but how long the tick is attached is also a factor in the disease transmission.
Dogs can serve as a meal for many different species of ticks, but according to National Geographic, it is black-legged deer ticks that transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. If you’re unsure if your home area is native to the black-legged deer tick , consult this map provided by the CDC.
Read Also: Scotts Apple Orchard East Lyme Ct
Remove The Tick Safely
The best way to remove a tick is with a pair of tweezers or a tick remover. Wear gloves and using sterile tweezers grab the tick near the head and pull straight back and remove. This may take patience and help from a friend to keep the dog calm and steady. There can be one or many ticks, and it can take time to ensure they are all removed.
Be sure to kill all all ticks after removing them. If you have a cut on your finger or hand, and you squish the tick and get blood on your open wound, there is a risk of transmission of Lyme disease to you. It’s best to wear gloves while removing the tick, and submerse it in rubbing alcohol to kill it instead of squishing it with your fingers.
Where Is Lyme Disease Most Common
Although the illness may be found all over the world, it was called after the town of Lyme, Connecticut, when a massive epidemic occurred in the towns eponymous site in 1975.
It is still widely used in this region of the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95 percent of all confirmed Lyme disease cases originated in 14 states:
- Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are among the states represented.
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are among the states that have ratified the Constitution.
Recommended Reading: How Soon Can You Get Tested For Lyme Disease
Prognosis For Dogs With Lyme Disease
If your dog’s Lyme disease is treated swiftly and successfully, the prognosis is good. However, the prognosis is more guarded if Lyme disease has gone undiagnosed and untreated, spreading to the kidneys, heart, or nervous system. Untreated Lyme disease can cause kidney failure, subsequent vomiting, and increased thirst and urination. Often, dogs that develop kidney failure face a terminal prognosis.
Even after all other symptoms are resolved, dogs with Lyme disease may still likely develop chronic arthritis in their lifetime. Dogs that have had Lyme disease could potentially become prone to developing chronic kidney disease.
Zoonotic Risk Of Lyme Disease
Dogs cannot directly transmit Lyme disease to people however, they can carry unfed infected ticks into a household where they might feed on humans. In addition, people are often in the same Lyme diseaseendemic areas as the dogs and can independently become infected.1 Increased incidence of dogs with Lyme disease can be used as an indicator for human risk in the same area.6
Also Check: Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Horses
Is There A Lyme Disease Vaccine For Dogs Can All Dogs Take The Vaccine
There are 4 Lyme vaccines available in the United States for dogs. Lyme vaccination is considered a lifestyle vaccine, i.e. not all dogs need it, and the decision to vaccinate is an individual one and is not for all dogs.
The Lyme vaccine works by sterilizing the bacteria in the gut of the tick, preventing transmission of bacteria to the dog if they are ever exposed. Lyme vaccines appear to prevent illness in 60%86% dogs that are vaccinated, but not consistently in all dogs, and not for a very long duration of immunity.To ensure the vaccine provides optimum protection Dr. Wooten notes, your dog will receive two initial injections of the vaccine, two-four weeks apart, and then either annual or biannual boosters to maintain immunity.
While most dogs are tolerant of the Lyme disease vaccine, all dogs are different and may need another form of prevention. According to an article in Todays Veterinary Practice, Golden Retrievers should not receive the Lyme vaccine because of a genetic predisposition to develop Lyme nephritis, an inflammatory kidney disease. Fortunately, if proper tick prevention is utilized, vaccination should not be necessary. However, your veterinarian will help you determine the best form of Lyme disease prevention based on your dogs age, breed, size, any potential pre-existing conditions, and their overall health.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
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.
Also Check: How To Cure Lyme Disease
Can An Animal Get Infected Despite Being Vaccinated
Yes. This has been observed that some animals can still get infected after Lyme vaccination. This can be due to a low immune response of the respective animal and/or a very high exposure rate or Lyme prevalence in the area where the animal lives. A yearly check of the OspA titer is recommended for a vaccinated animal to ensure that the animal responded with high OspA antibodies to vaccination. Please indicate the name of the vaccine and when it has been last applied on the accession form.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Dogs can display several forms of Lyme disease, but the most common symptoms are lameness, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In addition, serious kidney complications have been associated with Lyme disease in dogs.
Clinical signs of Lyme disease in horses include shifting-leg lameness, generalized stiffness, hypersensitivity to touch, weight loss, and poor performance. Sometimes, the bacteria can infect the central nervous system, leading to neurologic symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Diseases Similar To Lyme Disease
What Happens If Lyme Disease Goes Untreated
Treating Lyme disease in a timely manner is absolutely crucial to your dogs health, otherwise its complications can cause even more severe problems. Dr Muller further warns, Lyme disease can lead to serious damage of the heart, nervous system, and kidneys.
Dogs who are not treated for Lyme disease may find themselves with any of the following conditions:
- Inflammation of the kidneys, and in severe cases, kidney failure. Symptoms of this kidney failure include increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of extremities, and lack of appetite. This can be fatal.
- Chronic pain from arthritis
- Heart problems
- Seizure disorders or facial paralysis as a result of damage to the nervous system
Many of these issues, if left untreated, can be potentially fatal, so the answer is clear. If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, take care of it as soon as you possibly can.
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.
Recommended Reading: Royall Lyme All Purpose Lotion
So How Do You Prevent Lyme Disease 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.
Research shows it 95% of dog bitten by a tick, are likely to have either no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms.
For the 5% of dogs who get really sick, how can you blame the tick when the other 95% do fine?
The problem was already there before the tick came along the bacteria in the tick was just the final small blow to an already weakened immune system.
While conventional veterinarians would have you protect your dog with sprays and vaccines holistic vets know the secret is a healthy immune system.
They know that bacteria and parasites only prey on weak animals. And that a healthy immune system is what separates the 5% of dogs with Lyme disease from the healthy 95%.
Here are some tips to help bolster your dogs immune system:
- Feed a fresh, whole food species-appropriate diet.
- Work with a holistic vet to replace any conventional drugs, vaccines and medications. Instead choose holistic, natural options that wont harm the immune system.
Its time to stop fearing Lyme disease and see it for what it is a signal that there was already something wrong with your dog.
So, take that worry and refocus it on improving your dogs immune health instead.
Do that and research shows youll likely never face the challenge of Lyme disease in your dog.
Read Also: Lyme Disease Doctor San Diego
How To Prevent Lyme Disease In Your Dog
Lyme disease would be much scarier if we did not have any tools to prevent it.
You can help your dog lower his risk of developing Lyme disease by helping him repel ticks.
Many insect repellent sprays, collars, and ointments are available to help your dog fight off ticks.
Vaccinations are also available to help your dog prevent Lyme disease, but some skeptics claim these could make the symptoms of Lyme disease worse.
For safe recommendations on tick and Lyme disease prevention, you should consult your dogs veterinarian.
Your four-legged pal will be glad you did!
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease In Humans Left Untreated
Treat The Environment For Ticks
Immature and mature ticks are most highly concentrated in wooded areas on low brush and leaf litter.2 Therefore, environmental control includes cutting back any brush and grass around the yard that could be used by questing ticks looking for a blood meal.2,4 Chickens and guinea hens may also help decrease tick populations, thereby decreasing potential exposure in the dogs environment.
Prevent Lyme Disease In Your Dog
The Honorable Dr. Rau. The results of Dr Raus investigation revealed that all of the patients who progressed to Stage 3 had imbalanced fatty acid profiles, according to him. Not surprisingly, this is true. Because low omega-3 levels induce an imbalance, inflammation can occur, which is one of the several cofactors mentioned above.
- The Honorable Dr. Rau The results of Dr Raus investigation also revealed that all of the patients who progressed to Stage 3 had imbalanced fatty acid profiles. This is hardly a surprise. Because low omega-3 levels induce an imbalance, inflammation can occur, which is one of the several cofactors described above.
Furthermore, the negative impacts of traditional remedies such as.
Also Check: How Can You Tell If A Tick Has Lyme Disease
Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian
If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.
Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.
Keep The Dog’s Breed In Mind
Some breeds are affected more than others by Lyme disease. These breeds or mixes of these breeds should be treated immediately if they test positive for Lyme or are suspected of having Lyme disease.
Lyme can cause serious complications and destroy the dog’s kidneys. Kidney disease and related renal complications are often found in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs and Burmese Mountain dogs.
These dog breeds should be seen by the vet for a treatment immediately. Doxycycline or another antibiotic should be started as soon as possible.
Read Also: Natural Treatment For Lyme Disease In Humans
How Do Ticks Infect Dogs With Lyme Disease
Ticks need to find a blood host in order to survive, and dogs are often the easiest hosts to attach to because theyre so low to the ground. When your dog is out in the yard playing or youre taking them on a walk through the woods, ticks may climb up on your dog and attach to them. These ticks then burrow into your dogs skin and suck its blood, which is how they spread Lyme disease. However, ticks need to be attached for a minimum of 12 hours before they can transmit disease.
Keep in mind that a tick bite is different from other insect or arachnid bites. Ticks burrow into the skin and stay there for periods of up to two weeks, although most ticks detach in a few days. When a tick attaches to a blood host, it will remain attached until its full. You can manually remove ticks from your dog to help minimize the likelihood of them spreading the disease.
When you attempt to remove a tick from your dog, the mouthparts of the tick may stay burrowed in your dog. You can prevent this by avoiding twisting while removing ticks, but the mouthparts will fall out on their own after a while. If youre not comfortable removing ticks, you can simply take your dog to the vet when you find a tick.