When To Contact Your Vet
If your pet is showing any of the signs of Lyme disease, book an appointment with your vet ASAP, especially if you have found a tick on them recently. You know your dog best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned, its always best to contact your vet.
Find out whether you are eligible for free or low cost PDSA veterinary treatment by using our online checker.
How To Remove Attached Ticks
Prompt removal of ticks decreases the chances of getting Lyme disease. Theproper and easiest method is to grasp the tick with fine tweezers, as near theskin as you can, and gently pull it straight out. Be careful not to squeezethe tick when removing it which could result in more bacteria being injected.Do not try to remove the tick with your fingers or attempt to remove withlighted cigarettes, matches, nail polish, or vaseline.
Once removed save the tick for identification. Accurate identificationbecomes very important if you or your animals develop disease symptoms. Proofof tick bite and the kind of tick doing the biting is especially important todocument in areas where Lyme disease is not considered prevalent and doctorsuspicion is low.
In most areas, ticks can be submitted for identification through local orstate health department offices. Many physicians and veterinarians will alsosubmit ticks.Put the tick in a tightly closed container with a small amount of alcohol. Mark it with your name, address and phone number,date collected, host collected from and recent travel history.
Thefollowing Are Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Thesesigns and symptoms may vary depending on the stage of infection:
Stage1: Early localized infection
Fever,headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and stiff neck are common early symptoms these are often referred to as flu-like symptoms. Some people develop a largered rash called erythema migrans ,which expands over time from the site of the tick bite. This rash occurs in 60to 80 percent of infected people and is the most characteristic symptom of Lymedisease.
Stage2: Early disseminated infection
Thisstage is also known as early neurological or neuro-borreliosis. Symptomsusually develop a few days to weeks after the initial tick bite. Commonsymptoms include: facial paralysis, Bell’s palsy, brain stem dysfunction withcranial nerve dysfunction , meningitis, encephalitis and arthritis.
Stage3: Late localized infection
Symptomsinclude fatigue, intermittent fever, muscle and joint pain and swollen joint orlymph nodes. Some people may experience neurological symptoms that can last for months after Lyme disease isdiagnosed. A rash called erythema migrans may develop inaddition to the flu-like symptoms of stage 1. In late stages, a tick bite maycause abnormalities in the heart rhythm or heart failure.
Stage4: Early disseminated infection
Thisstage usually starts with flu-like symptoms a few days to weeks after the tickbite. Symptoms may include swelling of the lymph nodes, facial palsy and opticneuritis. In severe cases, the infection spreads to joints and the heart.
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Testing For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease spread by ticks can be diagnosed with a simple blood tests in your veterinarian’s clinic. The C6 test is very sensitive and specific at diagnosing cases of Lyme disease and depending on clinical signs and concurrent results, treatment may be started immediately. If treatment has been successful, reductions in the QC6 at six months should be lower than the starting point.
What Do The Ticks Look Like
One of the problems with ticks is that they are difficult to see. Tick nymphs are tiny, just 2mm in length. However, as they feed, their bodies swell, and they become far more noticeable. This means that you will be able to find them on your dog’s skin if you look carefully. The issue is removing the tick.
You can remove a tick with a special device that you can get from your vet. Removing it without a tool like this may cause you to only get the body or could force partially digested blood back into your dog which could increase their risk of infection. Be careful and if in doubt, consult your vet.
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Can Lyme Disease Cause Low Platelets In Dogs
Many essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, wintergreen, and ylang ylang are straight up toxic to pets. These are toxic whether they are applied to the skin, used in diffusers or licked up in the case of a spill. Can lyme disease in dogs cause low platelets?
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Lyme Disease Isnt As Simple As A Bite From A Tick
I said earlier that Lyme disease is not caused by the tick itself.
While ticks can infect your dog with the Lyme disease researchers have found that infection alone isnt the cause of Lyme disease.
In most cases, Lyme disease only occurs when theres a coinfection.
Coinfection is when a host has one or more bacteria, viruses, or other infections at the same time.
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Can Lyme Disease Recur
Lyme disease is a serious disease caused by the spirochete bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. Certain ticks are hosts to this bacteria, primarily the deer tick, or Ixodes scapularis, also known as the black-legged tick. The disease affects animals and humans. It is much more difficult to diagnose in dogs than people. Unfortunately, the disease can recur, either from a new tick or from a previous infection.
How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted
Ticks usually live in woods or tall grasslands in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Ticks can become infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by feeding on infected wild animals, and then can spread the bacteria when they feed on blood from the host. Ticks cannot fly – they hang onto small bushes or tall grasses and are usually found close to the ground. They wait for an animal or person to pass near them and when the animal or person makes contact, the ticks attach themselves to the skin to feed.
In North America, Lyme disease is transmitted mainly by two species of ticks:
- Blacklegged tick , Ixodes scapularis.
- Western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus.
The Public Health Agency of Canada states that there no evidence that Lyme disease can spread from person-to-person. Pets, especially dogs, can get Lyme disease, but there is no evidence that pets can spread the infection directly to humans. They may, however, carry infected ticks into the home or yard which may increase the chance of transmission.
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Warning Signs Of Untreated Lyme Disease In Dogs
Both humans and dogs are susceptible to a bacterial illness known as Lyme disease. The illness, which is transmitted by certain species of ticks, can create a number of health complications throughout the body, especially when left undiagnosed and untreated.
Identifying the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs can be more complicated than with humans, though, due to the different ways the illness may affect your pets health and produce symptoms. But identifying Lyme disease is crucial to getting your dog effective treatment for this condition. Avoiding doing so may lead to rare but serious health complications that may affect your dogs quality of life or even put their life at risk. Take a few minutes to educate yourself on the common Lyme symptoms in dogs, and what you can do to treat and prevent this condition.
What Are Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
When it comes to Lyme disease, dogs are often asymptomatic . However, here are some common signs of Lyme disease in dogs:
- Lack of appetite and depression
- General discomfort or malaise
- Lameness due to inflamed joints
- Sensitivity to touch
- Difficulty breathing
If your dog is displaying symptoms of Lyme disease, contact your vet to schedule an examination. Left untreated, signs of Lyme disease in dogs can progress to kidney failure and even be fatal in severe cases. Serious neurological impacts and cardiac effects may also take place due to untreated Lyme disease.
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Using Cbd Oil In Your Dogs Treatment Plan
There is anecdotal evidence that suggest 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.
What Does The Lyme Multiplex Assay Measure
The Lyme Multiplex assay quantifies antibodies directed against specific proteins on the surface of B. burgdorferi at three different stages of the bacterial life cycle. This antibody profile can indicate whether an animal has been recently infected or is chronically infected with B. burgdorferi. It can also be used to monitor protective antibodies after vaccination.
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Can You Test My Dog For Lyme Disease
Absolutely. Diagnosis is made by a combination of history, physical signs, and diagnostics. For dogs, the test we incorporate at our animal hospital for diagnosing Lyme disease is called the 4DX test. Its a simple blood test that we run at our AAHA Accredited Cabbagetown animal hospital. This helps you get the answers you need in a timely fashion.
As the name implies, 4DX tests for four things: Heartworm, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Biological vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks, transmit all four of these diseases and may carry pathogens that can multiply within their bodies and be delivered to new hosts, usually by biting.
The test measures antibodies, meaning how your dog responds or reacts to an infection. A positive test result only indicates exposure to the bacteria. The infection could have occurred sometime in the past, and the immune system may have eliminated the bacteria without your dog ever showing symptoms.
If a positive test result is confirmed, our veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics and/or advise further, more specific testing.
How To Prevent Lyme Disease
People with pets should:
- Use reliable tick-preventive products. Speak with your veterinarian about what tick preventive product is right for your pet.
- Work with your veterinarian to decide whether to vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease. Your veterinarians advice may depend on where you live, your pet’s lifestyle and overall health, and other factors.
- When possible, avoid areas where ticks might be found. These include tall grasses, marshes and wooded areas.
- Check for ticks on both yourself and your animals once indoors.
- Clear shrubbery next to homes.
- Keep lawns well maintained.
As noted above, there are preventive Lyme disease vaccines available for dogs, but they aren’t necessarily recommended for every dog. Consult your veterinarian to see if the vaccination makes sense for your pets. If your veterinarian does recommend that your dog be vaccinated against Lyme disease, the typical protocol will involve an initial vaccination followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later and annual boosters after that.
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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.
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.
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Tiny Deer Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
Although the tick prefers certain creaturessuch as voles, white-footed mice, or deerupon which to feed during the various stages of its life cycle, it is quite willing to feed on people or dogs. Regardless of its stage of development , if the tick carries the bacteria in its body, people and dogs can become infected if bitten. Once a tick attaches, it takes 1-2 days for it to transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, so prompt removal of ticks is important. Risk of transmission is highest during periods when the nymphs and adults are actively seeking hosts.
Lyme disease in dogs has been reported in every state in the United States, but certain geographical areas are much more likely to harbor bacteria-carrying ticks than others. Infection rates of ticks vary, but can be as high as 50%. Areas in the United States where it occurs most often include the northeast , upper Midwest, and Pacific coast. The disease is actually named after the town Lyme, Connecticut, where an early outbreak was first described. Lyme disease is also seen in Europe and Asia. The risk of Lyme disease being transmitted to people is increasing. In the last 20 years, the number of cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control has about doubled, to around 30,000/year. Although the rate of occurrence of the disease in a geographic area is similar in both animals and people, animals, especially dogs, are at significantly higher risk because of their greater exposure to ticks.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
The most common sign of Lyme disease in dogs is arthritis, which causes sudden lameness, pain, and sometimes swelling in one or more joints. Other signs may include fever, lack of appetite, dehydration, inactivity, and swollen lymph nodes.
In severe cases, the infection can cause kidney failure and death, although this does not occur commonly in dogs.
Humans often show a skin rash that looks like a target, but this is rarely seen in infected dogs.
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How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease
One of the best ways of controlling and preventing the spread of Lyme disease is to avoid ticks as much as possible. Vaccines and oral tick prevention products are available for your pet which work best before your pet is exposed to bacteria that cause Lyme disease.Your vet may recommend Lyme vaccine and boosters if you live in or travel to areas where Lyme disease is common. You should promptly remove any ticks you find on your pet in order to prevent Lyme and other disease from spreading. Although our pets cannot directly infect us, they may bring infected ticks into our homes which themselves may attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. A spirochete is a type of bacterium.
“Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick.”
Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints or kidneys. The most common type of tick to carry Lyme disease is the deer tick . Deer ticks are distributed through the Midwest and eastern United States, as well as throughout Canada with the highest proportion in Ontario.
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Its All Across The Country
Likewise, the nonchalance of the past no longer applies to Lymes regional characteristics either.
It used to be kind of a Northeast, Midwest phenomenon, explains Dr. Goldstein, but when you look at the latest maps, its all over the country. Theres really almost no state without Lyme. We see quite a bit of Lyme in California, in Florida, in the states that used to be relatively low in the upper West Coast. So, yeah, its virtually everywhere and I believe very strongly that every dog in this country should be tested annually.
If youre wondering why its footprint is increasing, Dr. Goldstein says to look no further than global warming.
That has to do with the warming climate, he tells CBS News. It has to do with more deer that can transmit ticks from place to place, more mice. Mice are the main reservoir for Lyme and the mice population has exploded over the last few years again, possibly because of mild winters. Global warming is definitely manifesting itself in tick-borne disease in general and we see that in humans as well as in dogs. We see diseases that exist today in areas that we just didnt have five and ten years ago.
Lyme Disease In Pets Symptoms And Treatment
Pets infected with Lyme disease may not show any signs for 2-5 months. After that time, typical symptoms include:
- Joint swelling
Recurrent lameness also is possible, and the involved extremity may be tender. Inflammation of the joint can last from days to weeks, and may migrate from one extremity to another.
Horses with Lyme disease can develop lameness, joint pain, neurologic disease, eye problems and dermatitis.
Symptomatically, Lyme disease can be difficult to distinguish from anaplasmosis because the signs of the diseases are very similar, and they occur in essentially the same areas of the country. Lyme disease is diagnosed through a blood test that shows whether an animal has been exposed to the bacterium.
Antibiotics usually provide effective treatment for Lyme disease. However, its important to follow your veterinarians advice regarding follow-up care after your pet has been diagnosed with and treated for the disease.
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