How Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Diagnosed
Your veterinarian will assess your dogs symptoms, give them a physical, and typically also do bloodwork to determine their diagnosis. Bloodwork is necessary to confirm a Lyme diagnosis because many symptoms of Lyme disease can be mistaken for any number of other conditions.
Lyme disease in dogs is diagnosed through a blood test, Dr. Margit Muller, veterinarian and , tells Pumpkin. She further explains, This test detects the presence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria strain that causes Lyme disease.
A combination of two blood tests is typically done: the C6 Test and the Quant C6 Test. The C6 Test detects antibodies, and is a preliminary blood test that can be run in most veterinary hospitals. If that test is positive, then a secondary test, the Quant C6 test, can be run to confirm infection and if treatment is needed. It takes a while for antibodies to show up in the blood after a dog is infected, so it is not recommended to test dogs earlier than four weeks after a tick bite.
Interpretation Of Lyme Multiplex Results910
The Lyme Multiplex Assay is a fully quantitative test. It results in a numeric antibody value for each of the three B. burgdorferi antigens tested. An interpretation of each value is submitted with the test report. In addition, the antibody profile gives an advanced interpretation on the infection and vaccination status of the dog. Antibodies to OspA serve as markers for vaccination and those to OspC and OspF as markers for infection . In infected dogs, quantitative antibody values can then be used to follow-up on treatment success.
First Do No Harm: Lyme Disease Vaccination May Present More Risks Than Benefits
Meryl P. Littman, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM
When veterinary clinicians decide whether to recommend a particular vaccine for a particular patient, risks and benefits are weighed. The vaccinometer tool, developed by Larry Glickman, was designed to help practitioners determine whether or not to recommend a vaccine.1
As we investigate Lyme disease vaccination, the questions posed by the vaccinometer help highlight many unanswered questions and potential risks related to this vaccine. With these concerns in mind, I choose first do no harm. In other words, if we use proper tick control, vaccination is unnecessary.
Question:What is the prevalence and risk of exposure/infection in your area ?
Answer: Risk of Lyme disease exposure/infection is high in my area, but proper tick control lowers the risk greatly.
The CDC website2 shows that 95% of human Lyme disease is found in 12 endemic states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest U.S. In some endemic areas, seroprevalence in healthy dogs is as high as 70% to 90%.3 In high-risk areas, risk of exposure can be lowered dramatically with adequate tick control, which also decreases the risk for other tick-borne diseases, such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Question:How great is the risk of severe disease once the dog is infected ?
Answer:Risk of Lyme disease becoming severe is low, but possibly somewhat higher in retriever dogs.
Question:How effective is the vaccine?
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Does Your Dog Need A Lyme Vaccine
Reviewed for accuracy on May 8, 2019 by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
There are two kinds of dog vaccinescore vaccinations and noncore.
Core vaccinations, like rabies and distemper, are required to keep your dog protected from some serious and potentially lethal diseases.
Noncore, or lifestyle vaccines, may be recommended by a veterinarian based on your dogs individual lifestyle or health status.
One of these so-called noncore vaccinations is the Lyme vaccine for dogs.
Dog Vaccinations Cost: The Shots To Expect And How To Budget Accordingly
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Cost of Additional Vet Services
Low-Cost Vaccination Clinics
You’re tickled pink about your new pup and naturally want to keep them healthy for life. You probably also have an inkling about the overall costs of owning a dog, but one primary aspect to always budget for is your dog’s vaccination cost and their annual veterinary exams.
In general, the highest fees you’ll incur for dog vaccinations are in the first year, during which you could pay anywhere from about $100 to more than $200 depending on your puppy’s needs and the prices in your area. After that, individual boosters will cost approximately the same but could be administered on a different cadence, depending on your dog’s needs. Let’s break out what you can expect to pay.
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Otc Vs Prescription Flea And Tick Medicine
So, what constitutes good tick control? A product recommended by your vet, says Dr. Mengel, who also practices at the University of Pennsylvanias M. J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital.
Many flea and tick preventatives require a prescription, so vets can make sure your dog is getting the right medication and dosage, she adds.
While some over-the-counter dog flea and tick treatment products work well, tell your pets providers what you use so they can ensure it is an appropriate choice.
No matter what type of preventative flea and tick medicine for dogs you choose, whats very important is that it is used year-round when Lyme disease is a concern.
Deer ticks can remain active through the winter months, so it very important to keep your pet protected all year.
Also, dont be surprised if you still see a tick on your furry friend even with protection. Some products cant repel every single tick but still do kill the bugs before they have a chance to infect your dog.
If, however, you are finding significant numbers of live, attached ticks on your dog, talk to your veterinarian about more aggressive tick control methods.
The Amount Of Time Your Dog Spends Outdoors
Dogs that spend more time outside or are regularly exposed to wooded areas are at higher risk of exposure. Dr. Brevitz says that dogs with higher potential for exposure will benefit from the Lyme vaccination for dogs.
That doesnt mean that city or suburban pets shouldnt get the vaccine, but they probably have a lower riskas long as theyre on prescription flea and tick prevention, she adds.
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Four Safe And Effective Vaccines
Compared to humans, dogs are lucky. There are currently 4 extremely safe, effective, and reliable vaccines7-9 on the market that have all been through the United States Drug Administration licensing requirements for safety, efficacy, purity, and potency.
All available canine Lyme disease vaccines produce borreliacidal antibodies in the dog in response to vaccinal outer surface protein A . These antibodies work in the ticks gut to bind the bacteria during the blood meal, sterilizing the gut of the tick and preventing transmission of bacteria into the dog.
OspC is the main immunogenic protein exhibited by Borrelia in the ticks salivary glands and in the dogs body during natural infection. Three of the current Lyme disease vaccines contain 2 strains of inactivated Borrelia isolates1 OspA producing strain and 1 unique OspC producing strain, which perhaps adds an additional layer of protection.
Most Dogs Dont Get Lyme Disease Symptoms Even When They Have Lyme Disease
In 2006, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania infected beagles with Lyme disease. None of the adult dogs showed any signs of Lyme disease even though they had Lyme disease.
The only dogs in the group that showed any signs of Lyme disease were the puppies and after four days of on and off symptoms, every puppy showed no signs of Lyme disease.
This is likely because puppies have immature immune systems. So while Lyme is common, the disease isnt.
But what about dogs who already test positive for Lyme?
Meryl Littman was the lead researcher and explains 95% of exposed dogs dont get sick, but they become Lyme antibody-positive on tests, which may scare people into thinking they need to be treated.
In fact, 70% 90% of dogs in some areas of New England test positive for Lyme. About 40% of dogs in Pennsylvania test positive.
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How Many Vaccinations Can Be Administered At Once
Giving a dog too many vaccinations at once can increase the probability of side effects. A vet recently told me she would not recommend giving a healthy dog more than five vaccines on any given day. This is why its important to space your vaccinations out. Your vet may wait to administer any non-core vaccines due to the core vaccines given at your annual checkup.
Are Vaccinations Necessary
As a dog owner, youll always wonder if a particular vaccination is truly needed. You dont want to put your dog through any unnecessary discomfort. Some say that vaccinations simply put your mind at ease, while others believe you should protect your dog from everything harmful. Do whats best for your dog.
Consult your vet for advice if you find yourself overwhelmed or questioning a vaccine. You and your vet should be able to make the appropriate decision for your dog to be happy and healthy. If cost is a factor for you, consider a wellness plan to help cover the expense of vaccinating your dog.
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Why Not Immunize Everyone
The risk of acquiring Lyme disease is so low in Canada that universal immunization with Lyme disease vaccine is not advisable. In fact, it would not be cost beneficial to immunize everyone even in highly endemic communities in the United States . Therefore, a risk assessment that analyzes the likelihood of exposure to Lyme disease provides the most cost effective method of using this vaccine.
Heres What You Can Expect
The list of dog vaccinations available to pups is pretty lengthy, and, as a practical pet parent, youre probably wondering what itll cost to keep your dog safe and healthy.
And you dont just have the cost of the shot itself to consider. Often, there are additional expenses that vary depending on whether you go to your vets office or a low-cost clinic.
Plus, knowing which vaccines your pup needs and which ones he can do without will help you figure out what to expect financially.
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon and veterinary consultant for Five Barks, and Dr. Aliya McCullough, a veterinarian for Fetch by The Dodo pet insurance, to break down dog vaccination costs.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, primarily, and sometimes Borrelia mayonii. The Merck Veterinary Manual says that in the United States, these spiral-shaped bacteria are most often transmitted to dogs through the saliva of deer ticks , also called black-legged ticks, in the Northeast and upper Midwest. The western black-legged tick is the primary type of tick that transmits Lyme on the West Coast.
Merck explains that dogs infected with Lyme disease may not show any signs of illness but can experience symptoms like:
Noncore vaccines are recommended based on a dog’s exposure risk due to their geographic location and lifestyle.
The Lyme vaccine belongs to the latter category, and with infections on the rise across the U.S. , this noncore vaccine is an important consideration for every dog owner. “Because this disease is spread by ticks, dogs that encounter these insects are the most likely to contract the disease,” explains Laura Bailey, DVM, co-owner of Bridges Professional Park Animal Hospital in Morehead City, N.C. “For this reason, farm dogs, hunting dogs, and dogs who go with their owners on hikes are the obvious candidates for this vaccine.” However, she adds that dogs can encounter tick-transmitted diseases in their own backyard or on a walk through the neighborhooda reality that is especially true in areas where Lyme is endemic, like the Northeastern region of the U.S.
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Does Treatment Immediately After A Tick Bite Negate Signs Of Early Infection
Not every tick carries B. burgdorferi. The infection rate of ticks also varies with geographic region. Therefore, treatment should not be performed based on a tick bite alone. If the tick was found on the animal it can be sent in for B. burgdorferi PCR. PCR for Anaplasma can be performed simultaneously if requested. If the tick was infected, early treatment can be considered. However, a tick must feed for at least 24 hours on an animal or human for B. burgdorferi transmission to occur. Only a serological test will confirm whether transmission of B. burgdorferi occurred and the animal was infected. Antibodies can be detected in infected animals as early as 3-4 weeks after infection. Lyme Multiplex testing is recommended after that time. Treatment can be initiated immediately afterwards if antibody levels are positive. Treatment during this early infection phase is generally very effective.
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Are Vaccinations Required For A Dog
Most states require dogs to get the rabies vaccine. However, rules around the administration of the vaccine may vary. For example, California requires the rabies vaccine once your dog is three months of age, but Texas requires the rabies vaccine once the dog is four months of age.
Vaccination requirements aside, there are other reasons why vaccinating your dog is a good idea, including:
- Preventing your dog from catching certain illnesses
- Avoiding costly treatment for diseases that are preventable with a vaccine
- Preventing the spread of disease among animals or to humans
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.
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What Is Canine Influenza Virus
In the U.S., canine influenza is caused by two viral strains, H3N2 and H3N8. These are two highly contagious respiratory viruses that can be spread between dogs and cats, but theres no evidence that canine influenza spreads to people. Its typically recommended for dogs that have frequent exposure to other dogs in kennels, daycare, grooming facilities, etc.
Canine influenza typically causes a low fever, cough, nasal and eye discharge, lethargy, and reduced appetite, but some dogs dont exhibit symptoms. The severity can range from no signs to severe illness leading to pneumonia, serious respiratory problems, and even death .
For mild to moderate cases, treatment is supportive, making sure your pup stays hydrated and eats a healthy diet. However, many dogs develop a secondary bacterial upper respiratory infection which requires antibiotic therapy. Dogs who develop pneumonia usually require intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and other medications and may require hospitalization.
Most dogs recover within two to three weeks. It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment. Because canine influenza is so contagious, exposed dogs should be isolated from other dogs and cats for at least four weeks.
Canine Influenza Vaccination
The canine influenza shot is administered as an individual immunization and not as a combination vaccine. The price is typically around $25 to $35.
Should You Get The Lyme Vaccine For Your Dog
I cant tell you what to do although there are a lot of folks who try to
If you visit the Pets & Parasites website, theyll do their best to scare you about the prospects of your dog getting Lyme disease.
Yet, how can Lyme disease be that scary when most dogs will never get sick? Even when they test positive for Lyme.
Why all the fuss about Lyme if it doesnt really affect dogs? Companion Animal Parasite Council publishes The Pets & Parasites website. And this council is sponsored by companies who make tick products they want you to buy.
You might think Im biased when it comes to vaccines and that would be true but Im nowhere near as biased as the huge corporations that make billions of dollars off dogs and cats each year! And dont think theyll share my little secret that 95% of dogs with Lyme disease will NEVER develop any symptoms theres no money in that message.
But they will try to scare you and your vet every year, so youll run out and get their spot ons and vaccines.
But now I hope you know better than to get caught up in the propaganda.
So, will you vaccinate your dog for Lyme this year?
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Is Lyme Disease Vaccine Safe
In the prelicensure efficacy study , LYMErix recipients had more frequent reports at the injection sites than placebo recipients of soreness , erythema and swelling . Systemic adverse events were less commonly reported, and they were more common after the use of LYMErix than placebo . Adverse events usually were reported in the first 48 h after immunization, and lasted a median of three days.