Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease In Dogs
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Lyme disease is a fairly common illness in dogs, just as it is in humans. And cases continue to rise in both species every year. Despite widely available preventative measures for dogs, the Companion Animal Parasite Council reported that confirmed cases in the U.S. rose over 43% between 2017 and 2021.
Heres everything you need to know about spotting the symptoms, preventing, diagnosing, and treating this expensive tick-borne illness. Symptoms can take months to develop so its important to keep an eye on your pup long after a tick bite.
How Long Do Symptoms Take To Present Themselves
Like many medical conditions affecting dogs, Lyme disease isnt always apparent early on. In fact, it can take 2-5 months for your dog to begin showing symptoms of Lyme disease, and it may take even longer for some animals.
Another thing to keep in mind is that 5-10% of dogs who have Lyme disease dont actually show any signs of it.3 While you might notice behavioral changes and other symptoms that indicate your dog has Lyme disease, theres a good chance that you wont notice any symptoms at all. This is one of the reasons its so important to take your dog to the vet for a checkup every once in a while.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Dog Lyme Disease
As a pet parent, its your job to keep your dog tick-free and healthy. However, you cant always spot ticks on your dog, so its also important to know how to spot the symptoms of Lyme disease. Here are some of the symptoms you may notice with dog Lyme disease2:
- Fever: Dogs with Lyme disease often present a mild fever, although its important to note that there are several other medical conditions that can cause a low-grade fever.
- Loss of appetite: If youve noticed your dog has suddenly stopped eating, thats a sign that they may have Lyme or another similar medical condition.
- Painful, irritated, or swollen joints: You may not notice this symptom until the later stages of chronic Lyme disease.
- Swollen lymph nodes: You may also notice swollen lymph nodes in your dogs neck, chest, and groin area.
- A lack of energy: Dogs who have Lyme disease typically lack energy, so you should take your dog to the vet if theyve been especially lazy.
- Intermittent lameness: Lameness, or the inability to use one or more limbs, is another symptom that dogs with Lyme may experience.
While these symptoms are common in dogs with Lyme disease, its important to remember that symptoms vary from animal to animal. Some dogs may not show any signs of Lyme disease. If you suspect your dog has Lyme disease, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible for a diagnosis. Your vet can help you determine if your dog has Lyme disease, dog dermatitis, or some other medical condition.
Treatment Options For Canine Lyme Disease
Four weeks of doxycycline is recommended at either 10 mg/kg once daily or divided twice daily. CS of Lyme Arthritis should rapidly improve within one to three days. Treatment of pain is best with gabapentin rather than NSAIDs to avoid the need for a washout period in case corticosteroids are needed for a persistent immune mediated polyarthritis. Although considered beyond the scope of this article, treatment of Lyme Nephritis includes doxycycline along with the standard treatments for glomerulonephritis, (including a low protein diet, ace-inhibitors, aldosterone receptor blockers, antithrombotics, antihypertensive agents, omega-3 fatty acids, and immunosuppressive agents.
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Transmission Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
B. burgdorferi is transmitted through the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. In the United States, the primary tick vector of B. burgdorferi is I. scapularis, the blacklegged or deer tick . Over the past 20 years, the geographic distribution of I. scapularis ticks has more than doubled, and ticks of this species are now found throughout the eastern half of the United States .1 Expansive white-tailed deer populations in this area provide an ample supply of hosts favored by adultI. scapularis ticks. However, although white-tailed deer support local I. scapularis tick populations, they do not serve as a transmission reservoir for B. burgdorferi. Lyme disease also occurs in the western United States, where the primary vector of B. burgdorferi is the I. pacificus tick.
Figure 1. Adult female Ixodes scapularis tick. Photo courtesy Dr. Michael Dryden.
Figure 2. Estimated distribution of Ixodes scapularis tick populations, United States.3
B. burgdorferi is rarely transmitted from an adult female tick to her offspring. Ticks most commonly become infected as juveniles after a bloodmeal on an infected wildlife host . Because ticks typically feed only one time per life stage, the next opportunity for B. burgdorferi transmission is during the next bloodmeal in the ticks next life stage.
How We Eliminate Lyme Symptoms
Dr. Stephen Tobin is a holistic vet out of Connecticut who treated thousands of cases of dog lyme disease using homeopathy. He has treated over 1,000 dogs with Lyme disease.
He discovered that Ledum palustre in a 1M potency given three times daily for three days is about as close as you can get to a specific cure.
According to Dr. Tobin, this method has cured cats, dogs, and horses with recent and established infections, some of which were first treated with antibiotics. In addition, he uses the Lyme disease nosode, a homeopathic preparation of Borrelia burgdorferi 60x as a preventive, giving one dose daily for one week, then one dose weekly for one month, and one dose every six months indefinitely.
We used his protocol of 1M Ledum 3 times a day for 3 days and our girls symptoms completely disappeared.
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Is There A Way To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
The best cure for Lyme disease in dogs is prevention!
Keep your dog on a tick prevention medication year-round, and talk to your vet about getting your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease. It’s also a good idea to avoid walking through long grass or brushing up against shrubs and to check your dog for ticks daily.
It’s a good idea to check your dog for ticks when you get home if you’ve been walking through areas where ticks may be present. Tick removal, on the other hand, isn’t as simple as you might think. For instructions on how to properly remove ticks from your dog, contact your veterinarian.
Lyme disease in humans is far more severe than it is in dogs! If you go for a walk in an area with long grass or shrubs, make sure to check your skin for ticks regularly. If you find a tick attached to your skin, talk to your doctor about how to get rid of it.
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.
Summary Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease is transmitted via tick bites, and can cause lameness, swollen joints and even kidney failure. While it can be treated if the case is not too severe, prevention is best. The best way to prevent an infection is to reduce your dogs exposure to ticks and stay up-to-date on monthly preventatives and Lyme vaccinations.
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What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
The most common Lyme disease in dogs treatment is a course of antibiotics to help your dog fight off the infection. Symptoms typically go away quickly when the dog responds well to antibiotics. Your vet may also give you further instructions to care for your dog as it recovers.
The standard antibiotic to treat Lyme disease in dogs is doxycycline at a dose of ten milligrams per kilogram. Your dog will have to take this medication orally every 24 hours for 30 days. Some dogs may need a longer course of antibiotics to fight off the infection.
If left untreated, Lyme disease in dogs can be fatal. While antibiotics help relieve symptoms, dogs may still feel some lingering effects of the infection. Some dogs may even experience chronic joint damage.
How To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
While protecting your dog from Lyme disease may seem difficult, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your dogs risk of developing Lyme. Preventing Lyme is all about being a more attentive owner, so you can do it as long as youve got the time.
The first thing you need to do is use a preventative tick treatment to keep ticks away from your dog. You should be using flea and tick treatments on a regular basis as a pet parent, so talk to your vet if youre not using medication to prevent ticks. Most of these medications last for a few months, so youll need to administer a new dose every 12 weeks or so.
You should also check your dog for ticks regularly, especially after theyve spent time outside or in an area where ticks may be present. Tall grass, brush, and forests are common hiding spots for ticks, so take some time to comb over your dog after youve gone for a hike. All you have to do is run your hands over your dogs coat until you feel a lump. A closer look at the lump should tell you whether its a tick or some other problem.
If you do find a tick, you should remove it with tweezers, being careful not to break the tick and leave the mouthparts burrowed in your dog. If youre not sure how to remove a tick, there are plenty of videos online.
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Lyme Disease Nursing Care Plan 2
Nursing Diagnosis: Hyperthermia related to infectious process secondary to Lyme disease as evidenced by a temperature of 102.4 degrees Fahrenheit, weakness, and dehydration.
- The patient will be able to maintain a normal body temperature between 97.8 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit within 24 hours.
- The patient will display an increase in energy as evidenced by active participation in activities of daily living.
- The patient will display adequate tissue perfusion as evidenced by normal skin turgor.
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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.
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Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian
If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.
Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.
Can Lyme Disease Be Transmitted From Pet To Pet
Lyme disease is seen in dogs, cats, and humans but thankfully, no, Lyme disease is not contagious, as it can only be transmitted via a tick bite. However, if one of your dogs or cats develops it, youll want to get all of your pets checked for the illness, as they may all be at risk of exposure to the ticks that infected your sick fur baby. You may even want to get yourself checked as well, as people are usually in the same places as their pets.
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Topic 4b: Treatment For Bbseropositive Dogs With Pln
For clinically stable seropositive dogs with mild changes of PLN recommendations include antimicrobial treatment, evaluation for evidence of other possible causes of proteinuria , and management of proteinuria, hypertension, and hypercoagulopathy based on established standardofcare guidelines including a reninangiotensinaldosterone system inhibitor blocker), antithrombotics, protein and phosphorusrestricted diets based on IRIS staging, omega3 fatty acids, and antihypertensives if needed., , For dogs with more severe, persistent, or progressive glomerular disease, or complications such as vomiting, dehydration, edema, effusions, or worsening azotemia, additional recommendations include antiemetics, crystalloids or colloids, aldosterone antagonist diuretics, phosphate binders, and treatments for chronic kidney disease as needed., , In addition, immunosuppressive agents are indicated if there is biopsyconfirmed evidence of an active immunemediated pathogenesis ,, or even without biopsy confirmation in nonresponders or those with rapid progression, severe azotemia or severe hypoalbuminemia ., ,
How Do I Remove A Tick From My Dog
Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. The deer tick is a small tick and only about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but is a little more obvious in the adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly and place it in rubbing alcohol or crush it between two solid surfaces. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with fine tweezers or your finger nails near the dog’s skin and firmly pull it straight out. There are also tools available called Tick Twister® or Tick Key® which can be useful. However, take care to use them cautiously as twisting or jerking the tick may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. See your veterinarian if you are unsure or unable to remove the tick from your dog.
Make sure you protect your fingers from exposure by using a tissue or a disposable glove.You may need another person to help restrain your dog. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease does not appear to be transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately 12 hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the tick’s contents, including blood, on your skin.
Note: The bacterium that causes Lyme disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin.
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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.
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”
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What Should I Do If I Suspect My Dog May Have Lyme Disease
If your dog is showing symptoms of Lyme disease, contact your veterinarian or the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital at .
This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. Washington State University assumes no liability for injury to you or your pet incurred by following these descriptions or procedures.
How To Test Your Dog For Lyme Disease
The diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs involves several factors such as history, physical symptoms, and diagnostic tests. When it comes to dogs, there are 2 kinds of blood tests that are able to diagnose Lyme disease. These tests are the C6 test and the Quant C6 test, which are both performed by veterinarians to be able to diagnose the disease.
What the C6 test does is to be able to check for antibodies against the protein named C6. If there are antibodies present, this suggests that your dog may be infected with Lyme disease. Detection of the C6 antibodies ranges from 3-5 weeks after a dog has been bitten by an infected tick, and it may be found in a dogs bloodstream even before they show any symptoms.
The next test to be performed by the vet is the Quant C6 test. Together with a urinalysis, this type of test will be able to determine whether antibiotics would be needed.
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