Lyme Disease In Dogs: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Several diseases can be transmitted to dogs by external parasites, including ticks.
Lyme disease or borreliosis is potentially fatal if not treated on time. It is common to humans and various mammals including dogs.
In this article, we will explain what causes Lyme disease in dogs, its symptoms and treatment.
Lyme Disease: A Pet Owner’s Guide
Lyme disease is an illness that affects both animals and humans what is known as a zoonotic disease and is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Transmitted through tick bites, the disease can be difficult to detect and can cause serious and recurring health problems. Therefore, it is best to prevent infection by taking appropriate measures to prevent tick bites and, for dogs, possibly vaccinating against the disease.
The bacterium that causes Lyme disease a worm-like, spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi is carried and transmitted primarily by the tiny black-legged tick known as the deer tick. Deer ticks are found in forests or grassy, wooded, marshy areas near rivers, lakes or oceans. People or animals may be bitten by deer ticks during outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, or even while spending time in their back yards.
Named after numerous cases were identified in Lyme, Conn., in 1975, the disease has since been reported in humans and animals across the United States and around the world. Within the U.S., it appears primarily in specific areas including the southern New England states eastern Mid-Atlantic states the upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin and Minnesota and on the West Coast, particularly northern California. The CDC maintains a map detailing confirmed cases of Lyme disease throughout the years.
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 .
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Can We Test Fluids Other Than Serum
Yes, CSF samples can be submitted from horses with neurological signs. The CSF sample needs to be submitted together with a serum sample from the same animal and taken at the same time. The relative increase of antibodies in CSF can indicate local production of antibodies in the CNS. Typically, one or two antibody values are increased more than 2-fold if B. burgdorferi contributes to the neurologic condition.
For other samples, contact the lab first .
How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted To Dogs
The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease in dogs, is transmitted by a tick of the genus ixodes ricinus. When ixodes ricinus ticks attach themselves to the dogs coat, they feed on the dogs blood and transmit the bacteria.
For contamination to occur, the tick must be attached to the dogs skin for at least 48 hours. It is therefore not possible to see the tick because it is small. It will be more visible when it is full of blood.
Dogs at risk are those that are often outdoors, especially in wooded areas.
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Keep Your Dog On Trails
If you live in an area that has tall grass around, sand or wood, make sure you keep your dog with you on a trail.
Remember that ticks can wait in those areas for even a year, waiting for a dog or any other mammal -including you- to pass so they can attach to it.
So it´s better to avoid these zones and be safe.
Control And Prevention Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread through the bite of an infected tick. The infection can cause serious health problems in dogs, including lameness, fever, and even death. There are several steps that pet owners can take to protect their dogs from Lyme disease, including using tick prevention products and checking for ticks after outings in wooded areas.
Fortunately, This disease can be prevented and controlled with proper diagnosis and treatment. Most cases of Lyme disease in dogs occur in the spring and summer when the weather is warm and sunny. These conditions favor dog ticks, which are responsible for transmitting the disease. Infected ticks can be found on grassy areas, parks, wooded areas and even sandy beaches. Ticks are also capable of surviving for many years without feeding. If you live in a region where ticks are prevalent, it is important to be vigilant and check your dog regularly for ticks. Keep in mind that dogs can get the disease even if they have not been exposed to the tick.
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How Much Does Lyme Disease Treatment Cost
The basic treatment for Lyme disease in dogs consists of antibiotics.
The length of the treatment and the type of antibiotic, as well as the city where you live, will affect the cost of the overall treatment.
Antibiotics can cost from $20 to $85, depending on the brand and presentation -chewable, tablets, or oral suspension-.
Regular treatment will cost from $200 to $400.
If your dog has severe symptoms or its kidneys are affected, hospitalization might be necessary, which will increase the price.
Preventing Ticks On Your Pets
Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for most of the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they dont keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, its important to use a tick preventive product on your dog.
Tick bites on dogs may be hard to detect. Signs of tickborne disease may not appear for 7-21 days or longer after a tick bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behavior or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick.
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- The best tick prevention products for your dog
- Tickborne diseases in your area
To further reduce the chances that a tick bite will make your dog sick:
- Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors.
- If you find a tick on your pet, remove it right away.
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Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs Month
As we transition from winter to spring and summerand since April is Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Monthits a good time to talk about ticks and tick-borne diseases. As the weather warms up and we begin to spend more time outdoors, its important to remember that ticks are also transitioning from their winter dormant phase, hidden in the leafy debris, to their active feeding phase.
Deer ticks become active as soon as the temperatures rise to 4°C and they remain active all through the spring, summer, fall, and can still be active on warm winter days. Deer ticks carry the bacteria that causes Lyme diseasea tick-borne disease that causes painful lameness in dogs.
Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a deer tick. Once in the blood stream, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is carried to many parts of the body and commonly localizes in the joints and kidneys. Deer ticks range from the Midwest to the Eastern United States and throughout Canada with the highest numbers found east of Manitoba. Not all deer ticks carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, but certain areas have been identified as higher risk areas for Lyme disease. Check with your veterinarian to find out if your area is a high-risk area.
Dogs cannot transmit Lyme disease to one another or to humans. The infection always comes directly from a tick bite.
You can help protect your pet from becoming infected with Lyme disease by:
Impawtant Stuff To Know About Lyme Disease In Dogs
This Blog was originally published on:
Reviewed by Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM.
Lyme disease has become increasingly common in humans, and as a result, many pet owners have become concerned about Lyme disease in dogs. While this tick-borne illness is serious, it doesnt have to be a deadly one for our canine companions. That said, dog owners still need to be quite vigilant and responsible about taking proper precautions to prevent and treat Lyme disease in their pets. Heres everything you need to know about Lyme disease in dogs so you can stay informed and prepared.
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Can Lyme Disease In Dogs Be Cured
And now for your sigh of relief: Yes, Lyme disease in dogs can be cured if the treatment is applied in time. Thats why its super important to take your dog for a checkup if you suspect they were bitten by a tick, even if they dont show any active symptoms.
Lyme disease in dogs is serious, but it is well within your power as a pet parent to help your dog steer clear of this condition. Some pet insurance providers, like Pumpkin, provide optional preventive care benefits that can help cover the costs of the Lyme disease vaccine, as well as a yearly vector-borne disease test. With proper preventive care, as well as treatment if your dog becomes infected, those ticks dont have to be so terrifying! Dr Wooten assures us. And you and your pooch can enjoy plenty of happy, healthy days ahead.
For Animals That Have Not Been Vaccinated Can Osp A Values Be Positive How Should This Be Interpreted
Antibodies to OspA have previously been interpreted as markers for vaccination. Non-vaccinated animals usually have low values for antibodies to OspA, while vaccinated animals develop these antibodies. OspA antibodies have been shown to protect from infection with B. burgdorferi.
However, there is accumulating evidence that antibodies to OspA can occur without vaccination. First, residual OspA is present on the bacterial surface at the time of transmission to an animal. This causes a low and transient OspA antibody response early after infection. Second, antibodies to OspA have also been associated with treatment-resistant Lyme arthritis and with development of autoimmunity in human patients. Similarly, OspA antibodies in non-vaccinated dogs or horses can be considered as markers of chronicity and disease severity.
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What Is Lyme Disease
The name Lyme comes from Old Lyme, Connecticut. A city where this disease was first reported and described by the medical community. The disease itself has been around for much longer, but most people could not specify it. The prevalence of this illness in humans and dogs continued to increase every year. Since there is no vaccine yet, there is no ultimate cure for this condition.
This is because the symptoms of this disease are rather inconsistent and the organism that causes it is entirely difficult to detect. Solving the Lyme disease history was like putting the missing pieces of the puzzle together to find some type of correlation.
Today, we have a better understanding of this condition. Doctors know that the cause of Lyme disease comes from bacteria. The name of this bacterium is Borrelia in scientific terminology from the Borrelia genus of bacteria.
The more graceful name of this disease is Lyme Borreliosis. The species, Borrelia Burgdorferi has been the culprit for Lyme disease in the past. However, as time progressed, experts found other species that cause the disease apart from the Borrelia Burgdorferi
In a much broader sense, you can refer to the rest of the diseases as, Borrelia Burgdorferi. This bacterium thrives in the northern hemisphere, and on moderate climate. Furthermore, the only natural way this bacteria enters your bloodstream is by ticks.
Where Is Lyme Disease Most Often Found
Lyme disease can be found throughout the country, but it is most commonly reported in the Northeast, the Pacific coast, and the upper Midwest.
Over 90% of Lyme disease cases in dogs come from these regions, but it has been found in every state.
It is important to note that changes with deforestation and wild animal populations have caused shifts in these numbers, leading to an increase of Lyme cases in other regions.
Because of this, its important to be aware of Lyme disease no matter where you and your pup are located.
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Arthritis Caused By Lyme Disease
There are many causes for arthritis, and your veterinarian will focus on differentiating arthritis initiated by Lyme disease from other inflammatory arthritic disorders, such as trauma and degenerative joint disease.
Immune-mediated diseases will also be considered as a possible cause of the symptoms. X-rays of the painful joints will allow your doctor to examine the bones for abnormalities.
Topic 4a: Treatment Of Lyme Arthritis In Dogs
The classical presentation of LB is an acute monoarticular or polyarticular lameness with joint swelling, fever, lethargy, and mild local lymphadenopathy, usually in young, often large breed dogs with an active/outdoor lifestyle, but depending upon geographical location, is seen in other types of dogs. Treatment is based on treating infection and managing pain. Experimentally, the illness is selflimiting, and in the field typically a rapid response to antibiotics occurs within 12 days.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
“Dogs may not show symptoms for weeks or even months after an infected tick bites them and many dogs that are infected never show signs of illness,” Dr. Muller says, noting that the symptoms of Lyme disease depend on the progression of the initial infection. Clinical signs can include:
- Limping or lameness
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive Salivating
- Kidney problems
If you live in an area where ticks are prevalent and your pup spends time outdoors, you should see your veterinarian right away if they experience any of these symptoms ! Its always better to err on the safe side.
Can You Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
The best way to prevent Lyme disease in your dog is by protecting them against infected ticks.
Adequate flea and tick prevention is essential in preventing tick-borne illness, as an approved tick repellent will prevent the tick from attaching long enough to spread disease.
You can speak with your vet about which tick prevention is best for your furry friend at your next wellness exam.
Not only is flea and tick prevention essential in preventing tick-borne illness, but so is avoidance of areas that are known to harbor a large amount of ticks.
Some of the most high risk areas include any regions with tall foliage, as this is the easiest way for a tick to come in contact with your dogs fur.
Not only should you avoid these areas when possible, but you should always search your dogs fur for any ticks after your outdoor adventures.
If you live in an area with a high rate of Lyme disease infections, you can speak with your veterinarian about the Lyme disease vaccine for dogs.
The vaccine is not 100% effective, meaning its important to have your dog on tick prevention in addition to administering the vaccine.
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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.
Topic 2a: Considerations For Dogs In North America
Most Bbseropositive dogs show no clinical signs. The 2 main clinical manifestations of Bb infection in dogs, Lyme arthritis and Lyme nephritis , were extensively reviewed previously and are not presented in detail here., , , Subclinical histologic evidence of mildtomoderate synovial changes and tick bite site perivasculitis and perineuritis are consistent findings in dogs experimentally infected with Bb after tick exposure the changes seen are milder in 18week old versus 6week old exposed puppies., , , Although neurologic signs were described in a few seropositive dogs in the past, recent field studies showed no association of neurologic signs in seropositive dogs, thus neuroborreliosis as seen in human and equine patients is not welldocumented in dogs., , , Fatal myocarditis was described in Boxer pups with Bbpositive immunohistochemistry, for which no other cause was found there may be a genetic predisposition for autoimmune myocarditis triggered by a Lyme antigen which mimics cardiac myosin. Lyme carditis, although uncommon in people, typically is manifested as atrioventricular block this disease presentation also is poorly documented in dogs. Orbital myositis is a rare finding in infected people and has been reported in 1 dog.
Statement: Neurologic and cardiologic manifestations of LB in dogs are not welldocumented .
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