How Do Dogs Get Ticks
Ticks are sensitive creatures. They sense the carbon dioxide exhaled by your dog and the heat it emanates. This would alert them that there is a host nearby.
Perhaps, you and your Border Collie or whatever breed you have loved the outdoors. Indeed, this is a wonderful experience to bond together. Unfortunately, this experience also makes you two more prone to getting ticks. This is why it is important to be extra careful before going out.
When To See A Doctor
A person should see a doctor if they have recently received a tick bite. It is not possible to know whether a tick is carrying Lyme disease, and the symptoms may take weeks to appear.
The earlier a person receives a diagnosis and treatment, the higher the likelihood of a quick and complete recovery.
It is not always possible for a person to tell if a tick has bitten them. As such, people should also see a doctor if they experience any Lyme disease symptoms. A doctor will ask about the persons symptoms and duration and whether the person has spent time in tick-infested areas.
Lyme Disease Signs & Symptoms
Lyme disease is medically described as occurring in three phases, each with distinctive symptoms. The first phase is early localized disease, which occurs three to 30 days after the tick bite that transmitted the infection. This stage is characterized by skin inflammation. The rash that occurs is referred to as erythema migrans. It develops in about 70% of people who get Lyme disease. It starts at the site of the tick bite and expands over the next several days. It can eventually cover an area up to about 12 inches across. Some of the area may clear, giving the rash at times a bull’s-eye appearance.
Recommended Reading: Medical Treatment For Lyme Disease
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Signs and symptoms of early Lyme disease typically include:
- A reddish rash or skin lesion known as erythema migraines . The rash starts as a small red spot at the site of the tick bite anywhere from one week after to four weeks after the bite. The spot expands over a period of days or weeks, forming a circular, triangular or oval-shaped rash. The rash may look like a bulls eye because it appears as a red ring that surrounds a clear center area. The rash can range in size from that of a dime to the entire width of a person’s back. As infection spreads, several EM rashes can appear at different sites on your body.
Signs and symptoms of the second stage of Lyme disease may include:
- Multiple areas of rash.
- Paralysis of facial muscles .
- Heart block or an interruption of the electrical system of the heart.
- Areas of numbness or abnormal feelings .
Signs and symptoms of untreated late Lyme disease, which may happen from months to a year after infection, may include:
- Recurring episodes of swollen joints . This typically affects large joints like the knee.
- Difficulty concentrating, known as brain fog. This is a form of encephalopathy or damage to the brain.
- Damage to nerves all over your body, including your skin, muscles and organs .
Can Vaccinated Dog Get Lyme Disease
The vaccine doesnt make your dog immune to Lyme disease. Though it provides an extra layer of protection to help them fight the bacteria carrying this disease. Lyme disease vaccines provide additional protection to dogs from the bacterial infection brought by deer ticks. These vaccines are grouped into core and non-core.
With a core vaccine, it is suggested for all dogs, regardless of breed, and usually includes canine parvovirus, distemper, rabies, and dog hepatitis.
For the noncore vaccine, this is recommended as per the exposure risk of dogs as a result of their lifestyle and geographic location.
Between the two groups, Lyme vaccine belongs to Noncore. In the US, the reports of infection for Lyme disease keep on growing. This is why it becomes a vital consideration among dog owners to have their dogs vaccinated.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease And Weight Loss
What Are Risk Factors For Developing Lyme Disease
Lyme disease occurs most frequently in children 5-14 years of age and adults 40-50 years of age. The most substantial risk factor for Lyme disease is
- exposure to the ticks located in the high-risk areas of the country listed above,
- particularly in the New England states,
- as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Additional risk factors include recreational and occupational exposure to ticks and outdoor activities, including
- gardening, in woods, and
- fields in the high-risk areas.
No transplacental transmission of Lyme disease from the mother to the unborn child has ever been described. Again, Lyme disease is not contagious from one person to another.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A circular or oval shape rash around a tick bite can be an early symptom of Lyme disease in some people.
The rash can appear up to 3 months after being bitten by an infected tick, but usually appears within 1 to 4 weeks. It can last for several weeks.
The rash can have a darker or lighter area in the centre and might gradually spread. It’s not usually hot or itchy.
The rash may be flat, or slightly raised, and look pink, red, or purple when it appears on white skin. It can be harder to see the rash on brown and black skin and it may look like a bruise.
Some people also get flu-like symptoms a few days or weeks after they were bitten by an infected tick, such as:
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- tiredness and loss of energy
Some people with Lyme disease develop more severe symptoms months or years later.
This is more likely if treatment is delayed.
These more severe symptoms may include:
- pain and swelling in joints
- nerve problems such as pain or numbness
- trouble with memory or concentration
Also Check: First Signs Of Lyme Disease
How To Remove Tick From A Dog
Removing a tick is a rather straightforward process. However, it must be done with care. Before you begin, see to it that you have worn a pair of gloves. Ticks on your dogs are master carriers. They can easily transmit the virus they carry to another host. So wear your gloves, its better safe than sorry.
The next thing you must do is get a pair of tweezers. This is so common, yet effective approach in tick removals. When using tweezers, make sure to use the one with fine point. This will reduce the possibility of tearing the tick.
Tick removal is delicate. Not being able to pull the tick entirely could spread the infection in the bite area. When pulling the tick from your dog, try to get as close to the skin as you can. Then, in a slow and steady motion, gently pull the tick straight up using your tweezers. That should do the trick.
Effective Medications For Lyme Disease
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating Lyme disease. The best course of treatment will depend on the individual case and the severity of symptoms. In some cases, oral antibiotics may be enough to clear the infection. In other cases, intravenous antibiotics may be necessary.
To be specific, there are a variety of antibiotics that can be prescribed, including doxycycline, amoxicillin, doxycycline, azithromycin and cefuroxime.
Doxycycline is a common oral antibiotic prescribed to treat lyme disease in humans. It is a tetracycline antibiotic that works by inhibiting the production of bacteria. Doxycycline is effective against a variety of bacteria, including the bacteria that causes lyme disease. When taken orally, doxycycline is absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body. It reaches high concentrations in the tissues that are infected with bacteria, including the tissues that line the joints and spinal cord. This allows doxycycline to effectively treat lyme disease by killing the bacteria that cause the infection.
On the other hand, amoxicillin is a type of antibiotic that is used to treat a variety of infections, including Lyme disease. It works by killing the bacteria that cause the infection. Amoxicillin is usually taken as a tablet or capsule, but can also be given as an injection.
Read Also: Select Physical Therapy Old Lyme
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Benefits
The bacteria that cause Lyme disease in humans is anaerobic, like most bacteria. This means it does not use oxygen and dies off in a high oxygen environment. The way that hyperbaric therapy works is a person is put into a chamber that seals. The air pressure is increased and the air is made up of pure oxygen. With the added high pressure, blood oxygen levels are increased.
Since the bacteria that cause Lyme disease cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment, it dies off. Together with antibiotics, the bacteria are completely killed off and the toxins left behind are removed too. Lyme disease treatment in humans is more than just killing the bacteria though. This is when the hyperbaric oxygen therapy becomes even more beneficial.
People who contract Lyme disease often have lingering symptoms, including muscle and joint pain, chronic inflammation, and nerve damage. The earlier that someone seeks treatment for Lyme disease, the better. When the bacteria, metals, and toxins that accompany Lyme disease bacteria sits in the body for too long, the symptoms and conditions get worse.
Other benefits of highly oxygenated blood from hyperbaric oxygen treatments includes:
- Stimulated tissue repair
- More white blood cells to boost the immune system
- Repair and restore brain function
- Heal damaged organs
Some patients are finding relief after suffering for years with these symptoms.
What to Expect During Treatment
Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
If stage 1 Lyme disease remains undiagnosed and untreated, it can progress to stage 2, or early disseminated, Lyme disease. This stage occurs 312 weeks after the initial tick bite.
The term disseminated indicates that the bacteria have spread throughout the body. At this stage, the infection may affect the following tissues:
A person who has progressed to stage 2 Lyme disease may develop new symptoms alongside those from stage 1. These new symptoms may include:
- new rashes across the body
- conjunctivitis or vision problems
- poor memory and concentration
Don’t Miss: Lyme Center Of New England
What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Tick
If you experience a tick bite, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:
- Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the head of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on the skin.
- Avoid crushing the ticks body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could exposure yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- DO NOT use kerosene, petroleum jelly , or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- DO NOT squeeze the ticks body with your fingers or tweezers.
Also Check: How To Fight Lyme Disease
What Foods Should Be Avoided With Lyme Disease
There are a lot of foods that should be avoided if you have Lyme disease. Any food that cant be cooked or eaten raw should be avoided because it could make the symptoms worse and might not be properly cooked. One example is sushi.
Ingredients like raw seafood, unpasteurized dairy and raw eggs increase the risk for getting sick with Lyme disease, so those foods should also be avoided.
Recommended Reading: Do Lyme Disease Symptoms Come And Go
Read Also: Lyme Regis Apartments Virginia Beach
Why Are Antibiotics The First Line Of Treatment For Lyme Disease
The use of antibiotics is critical for treating Lyme disease. Without antibiotic treatment, the Lyme disease causing bacteria can evade the host immune system, disseminate through the blood stream, and persist in the body. Antibiotics go into the bacteria preferentially and either stop the multiplication of the bacteria or disrupt the cell wall of the bacteria and kill the bacteria . By stopping the growth or killing the bacteria the human host immune response is given a leg up to eradicate the residual infection. Without antibiotics, the infection in Lyme disease can evade the host immune system and more readily persist.
What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
The first-line standard of care treatment for adults with Lyme disease is doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic. Other antibiotics that have activity against borrelia include the penicillin-like antibiotic, amoxicillin, and the second generation cephalosporin, Ceftin. The mainstay of treatment is with oral antibiotics, but intravenous antibiotics are sometimes indicated for more difficult to treat cases of neurologic-Lyme disease, such as meningitis, and cases of late Lyme arthritis.
Don’t Miss: When Was Lyme Disease Discovered
False Negatives And Positives
Since early treatment is crucial to prevent complications, accurate diagnosis is essential. Those who have a history of tick bites and a bullseye rash do not need to be tested and should be treated as if they have Lyme disease. However, when the picture is less clear but Lyme disease is suspected, laboratory testing is recommended. False negative results are common in early Lyme disease because the standard test detects antibodies to the Borrelia bacteria and these take several weeks to develop. In addition, some people who receive antibiotics within the first few weeks of a tick bite may not develop antibodies or may only develop them at levels too low to be detected by the test.
In line with this, the NHS Highland National Lyme Borreliosis Testing Laboratory advises that patients with a clinical history consistent with early Lyme disease who have a negative test should be retested six to eight weeks after symptom onset. It is also possible for the antibody test to give a false positive result, so positive tests are confirmed using a second test, called a Western Blot.
Dont Miss: Can You Have Lyme Disease Without A Rash
Ongoing Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A few people who are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease continue to have symptoms, like tiredness, aches and loss of energy, that can last for years.
It’s not clear why this happens to some people and not others. This means there’s also no agreed treatment.
Speak to a doctor if your symptoms come back, or do not improve, after treatment with antibiotics.
The doctor may be able to offer you further support if needed, such as:
- referral for a care needs assessment
- telling your employer, school or higher education institution that you require a gradual return to activities
- communicating with children and families’ social care
Page last reviewed: 05 July 2021 Next review due: 05 July 2024
You May Like: Getting A Tick Tested For Lyme Disease
How Lyme Disease Is Diagnosed In Dogs
If your vet believes that your pet could be suffering from Lyme disease they will review a full medical history of your dog health, discuss with you any instances when your dog may have come into contact with ticks, examine your petâs body for ticks, then perform a number of tests which may include, blood tests , urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays. If painful joints is one of your pupâs symptoms, your vet may draw fluid from the affected joints to be analyzed.
Treating Lyme Disease In Humans
Lyme disease is a type of bacteria that infects people, making them very sick. Treating Lyme disease in humans is tricky because the symptoms come and go since toxins are left behind. To complicate matters, in 2013, scientists from the Mayo Clinic discovered another type of bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Antibiotics changed to kill multiple types of bacteria.
Johns Hopkins did a study that found even with antibiotic treatments, not all symptoms subside. While some antibiotics work at killing off bacteria, there are toxins and metals left behind in the body. Treatment is difficult because conditions can develop that are not treated with antibiotics.
For this reason, doctors have started treating patients with more than just antibiotics. It is becoming more common to recommend that patients use hyperbaric chamber therapy with medications to attack the bacteria and symptoms from multiple angles. This is especially important if the person has a type of bacteria that becomes resistance to traditional antibiotic therapy.
Recommended Reading: Mms Protocol For Lyme Disease
What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin
Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.
Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.
Does Immediate Treatment After Bite Negate Lyme Disease
Sadly, immediate treatment doesnt negate Lyme disease. The treatment must not be solely based on the tick bite. Perhaps, you may think that ticks are the main source of Lyme disease. Actually, they are not. Truth is, the infection rate of ticks would vary as well on their location.
Say that the tick was infected, then it is essential to perform treatment right away. Though the tick should feed for a minimum of 1 day on its host for it to successfully transmit the Borrelia burgdorferi virus.
But if antibody levels are present, then the treatment can be performed almost immediately. In this stage, the treatment works effectively in negating Lyme disease in dogs.
Also Check: Places To Stay In Old Lyme Ct