Where Are Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Found
Though Lyme disease occurs in every state, risk of infection varies. The vast majority of cases are from the Upper Midwest, the Northeast, and the Pacific case, though recent changes in deforestation, and migrating bird and deer populations have impacted these statistics. Ticks are most often found in farm fields, wooded areas, shrubs and long grass.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated In Dogs
Breathe easy: if caught in time, Lyme disease can be easily treated in dogs. The treatment includes antibiotics for a duration of usually for at least 30 days, as well as supportive medication if needed, Dr. Muller tells us. In order of use, those antibiotics are typically doxycycline, amoxicillin, followed by azithromycin. At times, dogs may need longer durations or more rounds of antibiotic treatments. Depending on how long they were ill, your pooch may also need therapy and treatments for individual organs or systems that have been affected by Lyme, especially the heart, nerves, joints, and kidneys.
How Do Dogs Get Lyme Disease
Like humans, dogs can contract Lyme disease from ticks, specifically the deer tick, which carry the bacteria that causes the disease. The American Kennel Club notes that the ticks most likely to carry Lyme disease are typically found in forests and woods , marshes, tall grass, and areas with thick brush. In terms of geographical locations, ticks carrying Lyme have been expanding their reach across the United States in recent years, but are most prevalent in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest regions.
Dr. Sarah Wooten, veterinarian and American Society of Veterinary Journalists member, tells Pumpkin, When your dog spends time in the woods, marshes, grass, or bushy areas without adequate tick protection on board, these monstrous little bugs can latch on and bite. Those bites can transmit bacteria into your dogs bloodstream that cause Lyme disease, and thats when we have a real problem.
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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.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever In Dogs
Rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs is caused by the infectious basterium Rickettsia rickettsii, which are parasites the size of bacteria that live inside cells. This tick-borne disease is zoonosis which means that it is transmissible to humans.
Rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs symptoms include apathy, fever, anorexia, coughing, conjunctivitis, respiratory problems, leg joint and muscle inflammation and pain, an unsteady gait, seizures,arrhythmias
In extremely serious cases, rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs can cause hemorrhaging and blood in the urine and stool.
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Is There A Lyme Disease Vaccine For Dogs Can All Dogs Take The Vaccine
There are 4 Lyme vaccines available in the United States for dogs. Lyme vaccination is considered a lifestyle vaccine, i.e. not all dogs need it, and the decision to vaccinate is an individual one and is not for all dogs.
The Lyme vaccine works by sterilizing the bacteria in the gut of the tick, preventing transmission of bacteria to the dog if they are ever exposed. Lyme vaccines appear to prevent illness in 60%86% dogs that are vaccinated, but not consistently in all dogs, and not for a very long duration of immunity.To ensure the vaccine provides optimum protection Dr. Wooten notes, your dog will receive two initial injections of the vaccine, two-four weeks apart, and then either annual or biannual boosters to maintain immunity.
While most dogs are tolerant of the Lyme disease vaccine, all dogs are different and may need another form of prevention. According to an article in Todays Veterinary Practice, Golden Retrievers should not receive the Lyme vaccine because of a genetic predisposition to develop Lyme nephritis, an inflammatory kidney disease. Fortunately, if proper tick prevention is utilized, vaccination should not be necessary. However, your veterinarian will help you determine the best form of Lyme disease prevention based on your dogs age, breed, size, any potential pre-existing conditions, and their overall health.
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.
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Tick Diseases In Dogs: Treatment
Treatment for the above mentioned diseases are usually intensive and may include support therapy, corticosteroids to stop hemolytic anemia and antibiotics or specific drugs to fight against causative parasites. Although most of the above can be cured if treated in time, prevention is key. Hepatozoonosis, for example, can be treated with antiprotozoals but has no definite cure.
Knowledge Is Your Friend
With the prevalence of ticks, its a good idea to know what to look for and how at risk your dog is for developing the disease.
Your veterinarian will recommend a good tick prevention treatment for your dog. Ticks transfer many diseases so avoiding and preventing are the best option. Lyme disease in humans is a serious disease. If you or your family members are exposed and show any signs of rash or illness, see your doctor immediately. Treatment of the acute form of the tick-borne disease has a much higher success than treatment of the chronic form.
If you suspect your dog has Lyme disease, book an appointment with us today.
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Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Veterinarians treat dogs with Lyme disease through a combination of medical therapy and supportive care. A 4-to 6-week course of antibiotics will be prescribed for dogs with clinical signs of Lyme disease, as well as for dogs that have a high antibody level, even if they are asymptomatic. Many owners see improvement within a few days. However, a second round of antibiotics is often required, as the infection may persist through the first round of treatment.
Severe cases of Lyme disease will acquire additional therapy to treat affected kidneys, heart, or nerves, along with supportive care like intravenous fluids. Re-checking blood work is recommended six months after completing antibiotic therapy to determine if treatment has been successful.
There is some debate within the veterinary community as to whether dogs should be treated if they test positive for Lyme disease but are asymptomatic and have a low antibody level. Your veterinarian will speak to you about different options so that you can come up with the best treatment plan for your dog.
Lyme disease can stay in your dogs body even with antibiotics. In these cases, the disease often flares up when a dogs immune system is suppressed or weakened, such as during periods of stress. The same antibiotic can be used to treat repeated recurrences of Lyme disease. Unlike other types of infections, the lingering infection is not a direct result of antibiotic resistance.
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.
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What Is The Cost Of Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs
The cost of treating Lyme disease depends on the severity of the disease. If caught early, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics along with a follow-up appointment and regular blood work to monitor the condition. If the infection is severe at the time of diagnosis, on the other hand, your dog may require hospital care with supportive treatments , which will be more expensive. Expect to pay for the initial office visit, diagnostic tests, medications, hospitalization, and any follow-up visits.
What Should I Do If I Find A Tick On My Dog
You may not notice them at first as they are small when not engorged. They look like large pips and you wont see the head and legs as they will be buried into your dogs skin.
The most urgent and important thing to do is remove the tick. Protect your hands by wearing gloves and capture the tick as close to the skin as possible with a tick twister.
Dont use tweezers as this can crush the tick and push the bacteria into your dog. There are spays around that suggest they freeze the tick and make it drop off, but my research suggests that this can make the tick panic and again push all the bacteria into the dog.
The easy way to remove them is to use a tick twister. They are as cheap as chips and available on Amazon or any good pharmacy. You slide the fork part between your dogs skin and the body of the tick and twist. Of all the options I have used these are the best.
Twist and pull the body of the tick away in a smooth motion, so you pick up all of the tick and throw the tick away. Avoid crushing the tick as this may release the bacteria. there are plenty of videos on YouTube that show you how to remove them.
Wash your hands and clean the bite site with an alcohol wipe then put some antibacterial cream on it.
From then on, keep an eye on your dog for Lyme disease symptoms and if any are prevalent, visit your vet urgently.
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How Is The Lyme Multiplex Assay Different From The Assay My Veterinarian Can Perform
Your veterinarian can perform a quick assay in-house that checks for antibodies against only one B. burgdorferi surface protein. The in-house assay cannot detect early infection, cannot determine vaccination status, and does not quantify the amount of antibodies your animal is producing. Quantifying antibodies is an important measure for successful treatment and to confirm cure from Lyme disease.
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.
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I Found A Tick On My Dog What Do I Do
If the tick is still attached, and your veterinarian is open and able to squeeze you in, prioritize this appointment. If you cannot get in to your vet right away, removing the tick yourself is your next best option. Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as close to the dog’s skin as possible. It’s most important to remove the tick at the head, as this is where they can transmit the disease from. It takes at least 24 hours for an infected tick to transmit the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease, which makes removing the tick promptly so important.
If possible, take a clearly focused picture of the tick before removal to show your vet and then save the tick in a zip-lock bag. If the species of tick can be identified, then your vet will know what diseases the tick can potentially transmit.
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.
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Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease
There is a myriad of clinical signs which may or may not be present in dogs. Some dogs may exhibit no clinical signs whatsoever. Unfortunately, this does not mean the body isnt being affected negatively by the bacteria. Be sure to contact your vet if your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Painful and/or swollen joints
- Intermittent and/or limb-shifting lameness – Example: lame on the right front leg one day, lame on the left rear leg the next day, not lame at all the following day
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Untreated, Lyme disease can cause significant damage to the kidneys , heart , and nervous system .
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting A Tick
At Park Pet Hospital, we carry a full line of parasite prevention products to protect your pet from ticks and other common parasites.
However, no method is 100 percent effective, so diligence is always a must when considering outings, ensuring your dog is on a tick prevention product, and checking your pooch for ticks once you get home.
Check your dog for ticks daily during tick season, which lasts through spring, summer, and fall . Ticks are usually dark brown or black in colour, and can transmit diseases within three to six hours of biting your pup.
To avoid infection, ticks should be removed promptly. If a tick is discovered, consider bringing your dog to our veterinary clinic where a vet can safely remove a tick and identify the type.
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.
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Things You Need To Know About Lyme Disease In Dogs
May 4, 2017 / 4:49 PM / CBS News
The arrival of springtime means Lyme disease is again resurfacing as a concern on the radar screens of people across the country. So, if you go for a hike or take a walk through long grass, chances are that you’ll check yourself for ticks afterward.
But our pets are constantly lounging and playing in conditions conducive to tick exposure, and how often do we thoroughly check them? If the answer to that question isn’t “every day,” then experts say it’s not enough.
“The most important thing is to stress prevention,” explains Dr. Richard Goldstein, chief medical officer at New York City’s Animal Medical Center. “This is something that we want to prevent from happening the first time. Once you’re infected with these organisms, the chance is you might be infected for life. So, you just have to really go through hair by hair. Look at the paws. Look at the ears. Look around the muzzle, the face. If you do it every day, you’re not going to get a big accumulation.”
Occasionally, however, a dog can pick up hundreds of ticks on a single outing and the result can be disgusting, to say the least.
“Sometimes if a dog walks through a place where ticks were molting into nymphs, you might find 200 tiny ticks on your dog,” explains Dr. Goldstein. “That’s scary when that happens.”
But that’s not the only scary reality of Lyme that pet owners should heed.