How To Protect Your Property And Your Pets
On this last topic, Bloom commented that the majority of flea and tick control medicines on the market work fairly well. He, however, cautioned against using more than one of them in tandem.
In my opinion, it would be overly cautious to use more than one, he says. In other words, I wouldnt use both a collar and a topical prevention, or an oral preventionand a topical. I think thats kind of too much poison for the dog.
You can, however, combine one of the topical or oral preventatives with the Lyme vaccine. So there is a way you can further protect your pet from contracting the disease if you live in an area where deer are prevalent.
If youre looking for an additional way to protect your yard, Bloom recommends having the perimeter sprayed by a pest control company.
Goldstein also recommended treating the perimeter of your property, but his recommendation came in the form of a physical barrier, rather than one of pesticides.
If youre up against woods in your yard, a barrier of wood chips of pebbles will prevent at least the ticks from going across, explains Goldstein. They can be carried across it by an animal, but at least they wont cross a barrier like that.
What Are The Causes Of Migratory Arthritis
Migratory arthritis is an uncommon condition where arthritis symptoms travel from one joint to another. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, redness, warmth and stiffness. In most cases, the cause of migratory arthritis is an underlying medical condition. Keeping track of any symptoms that are occurring, along with what makes them better and what makes them worse, can help in the diagnostic process.
What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
The first-line standard of care treatment for adults with Lyme disease is doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic. Other antibiotics that have activity against borrelia include the penicillin-like antibiotic, amoxicillin, and the second generation cephalosporin, Ceftin. The mainstay of treatment is with oral antibiotics, but intravenous antibiotics are sometimes indicated for more difficult to treat cases of neurologic-Lyme disease, such as meningitis, and cases of late Lyme arthritis.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Most tests for Lyme disease look for antibodies the body makes in response to infection. Since it takes time for the immune system to produce these antibodies, an early test may come back negative, but your child could still have Lyme disease. Also, if your child has had Lyme disease in the past, the test may remain positive.
While currently available tests work in most cases, a clinical evaluation should take into account exposure to ticks, as well as the timing and nature of symptoms in making a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing Lyme disease. Learn more.
Effects Of Untreated Lyme Disease
When left untreated, Lyme disease can be debilitating. When it isnt treated early, it can spread and go into hiding in different parts of your body. Weeks, months, or years later, it can cause problems with your brain, nervous system, heart and circulation, digestion, muscles or joints, reproductive system, or your skin. While symptoms may disappear randomly, other ones may appear at different times. This is known as post-treatment Lyme disease or chronic Lyme disease.
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Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Because Lyme disease may not cause any obvious clinical signs but can still be fatal, its important to test your dog every year for Lyme disease if you live in an endemic area, and 4-6 weeks after a known tick bite . Most testing is done based on clinical signs or history.
In the clinic, your vet will test for the presence of antibodies to the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. This is just a quick positive-or-negative snap test. If the result is positive, this means antibodies are present, and your vet may send a more specific test to the lab to determine the approximate number of antibodies. A high number indicates an active infection is likely, whereas a low number may indicate that your dog was previously exposed . Some dogs may retain antibodies to tick-borne bacteria for several years after being exposed.
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Who’s At Risk And Where Are Ticks Found
The risk of getting Lyme disease is higher:
- for people who spend time in woodland or moorland areas
- from March to October because more people take part in outdoor activities
Ticks are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America. There are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands.
It’s thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be infected. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk and speak to a GP if you start to feel unwell.
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How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Show Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Early symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs can appear anywhere from two to five months after being bitten by an infected tick. Their long incubation period contributes to the confusion that often surrounds diagnosis, as pet parents dont always recall when their dog may have been exposed to areas with ticks. This is another reason to consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice any symptoms.
Once they show symptoms, what happens to a dog with Lyme disease? And how does this disease progress? Left untreated, Lyme disease can be fatal. Advanced Lyme disease in dogs spreads throughout the body. Once it reaches the kidneys, your dog may experience vomiting, weight loss, lethargyand, frequently, death.
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Hunting For Alternative Drug
Frustrated by the lack of treatment options for Lyme disease patients with lingering symptoms, Rajadas and his team began hunting for a better alternative in 2011. In 2016, they published a study in Drug Design, Development and Therapy that listed 20 chemical compounds, from about 4,000, that were most effective at killing the infection in mice. All 20 had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for various uses. One, for instance, is used to treat alcohol abuse disorder.
In this most recent study, azlocillin, one of the top-20 contenders, was shown to eclipse a total of 7,450 compounds because it is more effective in killing B. burgdorferi and causes fewer side effects. Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can affect various organs, including the brain, skin, heart, joints and nervous system, and cause heart problems and arthritis if untreated. Symptoms include fever, headaches, chills, and muscle and joint pain.
Traditional antibiotics, such as doxycycline, are effective as an early course of treatment for the infection in the majority of patients, but it remains unclear why these drugs fail to treat 10% to 20% of patients, Rajadas said.
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Reducing The Risk Of Complications
If you develop symptoms of meningitis, its vital to get early medical attention. Timely diagnosis and treatment with antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, or any needed treatments will prevent the infection from progressing. Similarly, noninfectious meningitis can be treated more effectively at an early stage.
Steps to prevent complications include:
- Seizure prevention and treatment during the acute stage of meningitis can help reduce the chances of a post-meningitis seizure disorder.
- Management of inflammation and monitoring changes in intracranial pressure during the early stage can prevent long-term problems with hydrocephalus.
- Systemic effects, such as blood clots and sepsis, must be treated effectively to reduce the risk of permanent neurological issues or death from meningitis.
What Is Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Post Treatment Lyme Disease represents a research subset of patients who remain significantly ill 6 months or more following standard antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease. PTLD is characterized by a constellation of symptoms that includes severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, depression, and cognitive problems such as difficulty with short-term memory, speed of thinking, or multi-tasking. In the absence of a direct diagnostic biomarker blood test, PTLD has been difficult to define by physicians, and its existence has been controversial. However, our clinical research shows that meticulous patient evaluation when used alongside appropriate diagnostic testing can reliably identify patients with a history of previously treated Lyme disease who display the typical symptom patterns of PTLD.
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Risk Factors For Post
Youre at a greater risk for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome if youre infected by the bite of a diseased tick. If the infection progresses to the chronic stage, your symptoms might continue for weeks, months, or even years after the initial tick bite.
You may also be at a higher risk for these long-term symptoms if youre not treated with the recommended antibiotics. However, even people who receive antibiotic therapy are at risk. Because the cause of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is unknown, theres no way to determine whether it will progress to the chronic stage.
Typically, the symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome resemble those that occur in earlier stages. People with persistent symptoms often experience lingering episodes of:
A Reasonable Approach To Post
If you are being treated for PTLD, there is no magic bullet to treat this problem, but here are some important steps to consider:
- Choose a doctor you trust and who can work closely with you.
- If your doctor agrees to start antibiotics for several months, make sure you talk about the risks and cost, as this can be dangerous and expensive.
- Make sure not to rely solely on antibiotics. The evidence for a benefit from antibiotics is weak, and we rely mostly on physicians clinical experience and interest in the disease to design a personalized therapeutic plan. For some, a more holistic approach may be the way to go.
- If you try supplements, ask about their source and purity, as they are not FDA-regulated.
- Consider looking for services in medical school hospitals or clinics where they may have programs with ongoing research on how to diagnose and treat Lyme.
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Current Challenges And Future Priorities
Patients with PTLD represent a substantial burden to the United States health care system. In a large, health insurance claims analysis of 47 million members, estimated total direct medical costs from Lyme disease were between $712 million and $1.3 billion per year, with a significant portion of these specifically due to PTLD-related costs . The same study found that the adjusted odds of any PTLD-related symptom diagnosis following Lyme disease was 4.77 higher than age-, sex-, enrollment year-, region- and payer type-matched controls without Lyme disease, and that those patients with Lyme disease who went on to have at least one PTLD symptom had over twice the average total health care costs as those who did not . These cost estimates do not reflect additional indirect, non-medical, and lost productivity costs to patients, which may be substantial in a population with a chronic and significant illness impact on quality of life . Novel preventative approaches to reduce incidence of new Lyme disease cases, as well as physician and community educational interventions to increase awareness and reduce diagnostic delays and misdiagnosis, are needed to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.
Long Term Effects Of Lyme Disease In Humans
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Sometimes It Can Produce Complications
Meningitis usually improves when treated in a timely manner, but it can cause long-term effects and complications. Viral and bacterial infections are the most common causes of meningitis.
Bacterial meningitis is more dangerous and more likely to cause persistent effects than other types of meningitis. However, all types of meningitis can become severe and life-threatening, potentially producing lasting consequences.
Meningitis is an inflammatory condition of the meninges and the cerebrospinal fluid that usually causes head pain, fevers, and fatigue. Seizures, neurological deficits, and systemic effects can occur with severe meningitis.
The condition can result from infections, inflammatory disease, or as a side effect of certain medical treatments .
Chronic Lyme Disease Patients Profoundly Debilitated
Many patients with chronic Lyme disease are profoundly debilitated. Investigators of the four NIH-sponsored retreatment trials documented that the patients quality of life was consistently worse than that of control populations and equivalent to that of patients with congestive heart failure. Pain levels were similar to those of post-surgical patients, and fatigue was on par with that seen in multiple sclerosis.
An LDo published survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease found that patients suffer a worse quality of life than most other chronic illnesses, including congestive heart failure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Over 70% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported fair or poor health. Similar results have been found in other studies. Many of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease are common in other diseases. The CDC surveillance criteria for confirmed cases specifically exclude most of the symptoms that patients report, including fatigue, sleep impairment, joint pain, muscle aches, other pain, depression, cognitive impairment, neuropathy, and headaches. However, these common symptoms can be severe and may seriously affect quality of life.
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Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage Lyme disease symptoms crop up within 3 to 30 days after exposure and can include but are not limited to:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Erythema migrans , a bulls-eye-shaped rash that appears at the site of the tick bite
Early Lyme disease does not always appear the same in all patients. For example, up to 30% of patients dont remember experiencing a bulls eye rash.
Long Term Symptoms Lyme Disease
After the first stage with immediate symptoms, a phase follows in which the bacteria spreads through the body.
When an infection with the Borrelia bacteria is not treated, it can lead to a multisystem disease in the long term. This means that bacteria affects multiple parts of the body. The longer the infection goes untreated, the more damage the bacteria can do.
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Symptoms Of Untreated Lyme Disease
Most patients experience flu-like symptoms of untreated Lyme disease. Other common symptoms of Lyme disease include:
Bullseye pattern rash that slowly expands
Memory or concentration problems
Most of the time, your symptoms occur a few days or weeks after being bitten by an infected tick. Dr. Kotsanis uses the western blot test and other specialty tests to detect the presence of Lyme disease. However, this can take several weeks to detect after your initial bite in Grapevine, TX.
Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Ptlds
The terms chronic Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably. However, PTLDS is slightly more restrictive, referring to patients who have received treatment for Lyme disease but go on to experience Lyme disease symptoms. It does not include those who received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and have developed chronic symptoms of Lyme disease before receiving any kind of treatment.
The CDC defines PTLDS as generalized and/or recurring pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that last for more than 6 months after treatment. These mirror symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, with or without treatment.
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How Long Does Lyme Disease Last
Lyme disease symptoms can begin anywhere from three to 30 days after transmission of the infection from a tick. If treated early on with antibiotics, most people feel better within a few weeks, says Dr. Zemel.
According to the CDC, its not uncommon for people to experience lingering symptoms like fatigue and joint or muscle pain for a few weeks or months after treatment. Additional antibiotics wont help these symptoms, however, and most people improve on their own over time.
In a small percentage of cases, people continue to experience symptoms for more than six months after their recommended course of antibiotics is completed. This is sometimes referred to as chronic Lyme diseasebut that name is misleading, says Dr. Kuritzkes, because there is no evidence that the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is still present in the body. Instead, the CDC refers to this condition as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .
As with many other kinds of infectious diseases, some people are left with some debilitating symptoms that dont go away, says Dr. Kuritzkes. I like to compare it to polio: Some people who had polio are left paralyzed, but that doesnt mean they have chronic polio they have permanent damage from the infection, even after its gone away.
Its possible that Lyme infection leads to some damage that we dont fully understand yet, Dr. Kuritzkes adds. But we do know that long-term or repeated courses of antibiotics have no benefit in these cases.
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.
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