What Do You Do If You See A Tick On Your Dog
If you spot one of these pesky buggers on your pup, you should remove it ASAP. âVery carefully, go under the head of the tick with tweezers and just pull out the mouth of the tick, which is embedded in the skin,â instructs Dr. Brian Fallon, who directs the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research at Columbia University Medical Center. To avoid tearing the tick and spreading possible infections into the bite area:
Use fine-point tweezers.
Pull straight upward, in a slow and steady motion, to prevent the tickâs mouth from breaking off and remaining embedded in your dogâs skin.
Donât squeeze the tickâs body which will transfer possible infection into the skin.
If you are unable to remove the tick yourself, consult with your veterinarian.
Is There A Way To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
The best cure for Lyme disease in dogs is prevention!
Keep your dog on a tick prevention medication year-round, and talk to your vet about getting your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease. It’s also a good idea to avoid walking through long grass or brushing up against shrubs and to check your dog for ticks daily.
It’s a good idea to check your dog for ticks when you get home if you’ve been walking through areas where ticks may be present. Tick removal, on the other hand, isn’t as simple as you might think. For instructions on how to properly remove ticks from your dog, contact your veterinarian.
Lyme disease in humans is far more severe than it is in dogs! If you go for a walk in an area with long grass or shrubs, make sure to check your skin for ticks regularly. If you find a tick attached to your skin, talk to your doctor about how to get rid of it.
Note:The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Lyme Disease Treatment In Dogs
There are two tests currently available to determine how long your dog is suffering from this disease-inflicted infection. If a positive result comes out from the screening test, you take the dog to a vet.
The veterinarian will give you suitable advice regarding treatment for your dog, if needed or not. Generally, vets advise annual screening tests for detecting this disease to people who live in high-risk areas like Massachusetts.
Based on researches, many dogs seem to have entirely recovered after undertaking treatment with antibiotic medicines like Amoxicillin or Doxycycline. The earlier the treatment is given to a dog it can be cured quickly.
In severe cases, dogs can suffer from kidney disease that can turn critical, become incurable, and cost its life. Other high-risk disorders like heart disease and damage to the central nervous system also could occur.
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Lyme Disease Vaccination Controversy
Few holistic veterinarians recommend the Lyme disease vaccine, even in dogs that live where Lyme disease is widespread. Its side effects are so severe, says Beverly Cappel, DVM, that I would much rather treat the disease itself. I dont recommend the vaccine, dont carry it, and never use it. When it first came out, we treated dogs for seizures, kidney failure, paralysis, stiff neck, and autoimmune bleeding disorders. Some dogs died and some were permanently damaged. Vaccines dont always work, so a dog thats supposedly protected may get the disease anyway. The newer vaccine causes fewer side effects, but it still has some. No matter how you look at it, I think the risks of vaccination far outweigh the benefits.
Even the traditional veterinary medical community has some issues with the Lyme vaccine.
At the University of California at Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital , the routine vaccination of household dogs for Lyme disease is not recommended. According to the UCD VMTH Vaccination Protocol for Dogs and Cats, Lyme Disease is not a proven problem in California, therefore, most dogs are at low risk. Moreover, there is no evidence at this time that infection leads to any significant chronic disease problem in dogs or that infected dogs are public health risks. Vaccine reaction problems occur occasionally and may outweigh health benefits. We do not stock Lyme Disease vaccine.
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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Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease
Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dogs condition.
- Some dogs who take antibiotics can develop loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Once infected, a dog will always have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in his or her body. Therefore, relapses are possible, and owners should be on the lookout for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, and/or lameness.
- A small percentage of dogs develop kidney failure as a result of Lyme disease. Clinical signs include vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal accumulations of fluid within the body.
What Is The Best Way To Prevent Canine Lyme Disease
- Prevent ticks from transmitting disease with one of our veterinary-approved flea and tick medications.
- Get your dog vaccinated.
- Inspect your dog for ticks after walks through wooded trails. Check your dog under their collar, under their tail, between their toes, under their legs and elbows.
- Remove ticks immediately. The quicker you find them the less likely your dog will be infected. Invest in a pair of fine tweezers and learn the proper method of tick removal.
- At your next vet visit, ask our veterinarian to conduct a tick check during the exam. Well be able to find any you may have missed.
- Keep your grass mowed and refrain from walking into grassy patches in endemic tick areas.
Meet the Team
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Prevention Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
There are things you can do to keep your dog from developing Lyme disease, which includes:
2). Remove ticks as soon as possible. The earlier the tick is removed, the likelihood of your dog developing Lyme are reduced. Learn how to properly remove a tick. You can use a pair of fine tweezers, a special tool that is used to remove ticks, or take your dog to the veterinarian if youre unable to remove the tick. Removing the tick as soon as possible is key.
3). Have the vet also check your dog for ticks at every checkup. The vet may even find some ticks that you may have missed.
4). Near your home, keep the grass mowed as short as possible. Avoid walking through grassy areas, as these are usually infested with ticks.
5). Vaccinate your fur baby against Lyme disease. The vaccine may not be appropriate for all dogs check with your vet to see if this is a good option for your canine companion.
6). Ask the vet to prescribe flea and tick collars, topical or oral products that work to repel and kill ticks. Be sure to ask for a product that kills the nymphs , too.
7). When hiking, stick to the trails and avoid allowing your fur baby to walk in the grass. Also keep him away from any thick underbrush and other areas that ticks live.
What Happens To A Dog With Lyme Disease
When a dog gets Lyme disease, they may not show any symptoms for a while. Symptoms of Lyme disease tend to present after a few months, but only 5-10% of dogs who have Lyme disease will show symptoms. Treating Lyme disease early on is important because it minimizes the complications that result from Lyme.
While dogs with Lyme disease typically experience symptoms such as fever and lameness, these are just some of the complications that can arise from Lyme. Left untreated, Lyme in dogs can eventually cause issues with the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. These complications can lead to death in rare cases. Some dogs may also experience lifelong complications after contracting Lyme disease. However, most of the time dogs with Lyme are fine as long as you take them to the vet and get them started on antibiotics early on.
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Using Cbd Oil In Your Dogs Treatment Plan
There is anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD is a holistic solution that can improve your dogs overall mood and increase their appetite. The increase in appetite is important because Lyme disease in dogs can reduce their appetite. Although CBD oil is not a treatment for Lyme disease in dogs, it can help stimulate appetite and can help mitigate any pain or discomfort your dog may be feeling. If your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease you should speak with your trusted veterinarian to come up with a treatment plan that suits your dog.
Is It Possible To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
Fortunately, Lyme disease in dogs are preventable. Assuming that you invest in tick preventive products. Though you must know that dogs are vulnerable to tickborne diseases and tick bites. Hence, the use of tick preventive products.
Ticks are very small. Thus, making their bites almost undetectable. Add the fact that the signs of tickborne disease have a delay rate of 1 to 3 weeks. Therefore, you must be monitoring your dog closely if they show any changes in appetite or behavior, especially if you have a gut feeling that theyve been bitten by a tick.
Luckily, there are other ways to protect your dog from tick bites as well as tickborne diseases aside from tick preventive products like:
- Steering clear of grassy or wooded areas
- Sticking to trails when outdoors
- Perform tick checks daily
- Discuss Lyme vaccine with your vet
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How Is Canine Lyme Disease Treated And Prevented
Because Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics, once an animal has been examined and tested positive. The antibiotic of choice for canines is doxycycline. Treatment lasts for up to 4 weeks.
The Cabbagetown Pet Clinic offers a comprehensive Cabbagetown Care Program, which includes a canine Lyme vaccination. This is the only way to assure dogs in endemic and expansion areas, such as Toronto, are protected.
What Is A Tick
- A tick is a parasite that is 3 to 5 mm in size. They are so small that it can be hard to spot them immediately.
- They are the most common trouble for pets, especially the ones that roam outside more often.
- They feed on animals blood. Often time they go unnoticed because of their small size and painless bites.
- There are also different types of ticks. A deer tick is a common kind in the United States.
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How To Prevent Dogs From Having Ticks
While it is healthy to bring your dog out often to play, keeping them indoors most of the time is still the best way to avoid ticks. After a fun walk outside, thoroughly check them for any signs of ticks or itching as the longer a tick stays attached to your dog, the higher risk of developing a disease.
Ticks attach to grass, shrubs, etc., and latch on to nearby animals so it would be best to maintain a clean environment to avoid harboring ticks.
What Are Some Potential Health Complications Of Untreated Canine Lyme Disease
Untreated Lyme disease in dogs can lead to health complications in your pet’s critical organs, including permanent damage to your pet’s kidneys, heart or nervous system. According to veterinary experts, kidney damage is the most common complication of untreated Lyme disease and is often fatal for dogs suffering from this complication.
In some cases, dogs may also experience nervous system disorders such as seizures or facial paralysis. The severity of these complications can vary and may not be life-threatening but could affect your pet’s quality of life.
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Treatment For Lyme Disease
There is no one treatment for Lyme disease. Typically a vet will recommend a course of antibiotics that will likely last for 4 weeks or longer. If your canine companion is also experiencing a lot of pain in addition to other symptoms, your vet may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication to minimize joint pain and swelling.
You should rest easy knowing that if Lyme disease is caught in time, it can be easily treated. The most common antibiotics that are prescribed to combat Lyme disease in dogs are doxycycline, amoxicillin, and azithromycin. In some cases, dogs need a longer course of antibiotic treatment if they are not responding as well to the treatment. Depending on how long the dog had Lyme disease, other more severe symptoms may have developed. If that is the case, they may require additional therapy and treatment to target individual organs or systems that were damaged by the 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.
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Transmission Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
B. burgdorferi is transmitted through the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. In the United States, the primary tick vector of B. burgdorferi is I. scapularis, the blacklegged or deer tick . Over the past 20 years, the geographic distribution of I. scapularis ticks has more than doubled, and ticks of this species are now found throughout the eastern half of the United States .1 Expansive white-tailed deer populations in this area provide an ample supply of hosts favored by adultI. scapularis ticks. However, although white-tailed deer support local I. scapularis tick populations, they do not serve as a transmission reservoir for B. burgdorferi. Lyme disease also occurs in the western United States, where the primary vector of B. burgdorferi is the I. pacificus tick.
Figure 1. Adult female Ixodes scapularis tick. Photo courtesy Dr. Michael Dryden.
Figure 2. Estimated distribution of Ixodes scapularis tick populations, United States.3
B. burgdorferi is rarely transmitted from an adult female tick to her offspring. Ticks most commonly become infected as juveniles after a bloodmeal on an infected wildlife host . Because ticks typically feed only one time per life stage, the next opportunity for B. burgdorferi transmission is during the next bloodmeal in the ticks next life stage.
What Happens If Lyme Disease Goes Untreated In Dogs
How does Lyme disease affect a dog? If left untreated, Lyme disease may cause renal, neurological system, and heart problems.
Avoidance is the best form of prevention. Ticks attach themselves to grasses, bushes, and tree branches close to the ground. Ticks are much more likely to adhere in these locations than in dry ones in moist conditions. And they will most likely attach themselves to people and animals hair and clothes if they contact them. So keep an eye on your surroundings to ensure that you and your pup are in no danger.
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Cofactors That Increase The Risk Of Lyme Disease
You now know that your dog is more likely to develop symptoms of Lyme disease if there is a coinfection. So of course, you want to know what these underlying cofactors are.
This is where it gets weird. Dr Rau discovered that certain vaccines were cofactors for Lyme disease. And that includes the tick-borne meningoencephalitis vaccine.
Now, it isnt known whether the Lyme vaccine for dogs is a cofactor. And thats because they conducted the research on the human population. But, we can tell you that the LYMERix human Lyme disease vaccine was only used for 18 months between 1998 and 2000. After that they pulled it off the market amidst reports of serious adverse events and because the vaccine may have caused Lyme-like arthritis.
And they have not developed a new Lyme vaccine for humans since. Did you catch that?
They pulled the human Lyme vaccine from the market because of safety concerns. Yet vaccination for Lyme disease is still recommended for your dogs.
Evidence is mounting that it could be this very vaccine that acts as a cofactor allowing Lyme to progress from flu-like symptoms into a debilitating disease.
Dr Rau explains the relationship in this short video:
Other important cofactors for Lyme disease include:
- Chronic inflammation