So My Dog Is Positive Now What
The big question to ask yourself is whether or not your dog is showing symptoms for Lyme. Do they have a fever? Are they eating? Are they limping? Hows their energy level? If the answers to all of these are good and normal then your dog is what we call an asymptomatic positive. And now the can of worms opens. Im going to lay out what Ive found in my research for this article. BUT this is where that disclaimer at the top bears repeating. This is my opinion and, as with any disease, you need to consult with your veterinarian before deciding on any treatment course.
Onward. Lets hit the easy one first, your animal is positive for Lyme and has symptoms. They should, and will, be treated by your veterinarian. First choice antibiotics are doxycycline or amoxicillin. Typically dogs are treated for a month, though no one knows how long it takes to truly clear a dog of the carrier state . There is a second C6 test that tests for the same antibodies as the SNAP test but it quantifies the level of antibody present. There is some use in using this test in dogs receiving treatment as you can test before and after to see if antibody levels falling which may give you an idea of if the treatment is working .
Preventing Lyme Disease And Other Tick
Inspect your dog. After walks through the woods or grassy settings, be sure to check your dog thoroughly. Take a careful look between toes, under the tail, and around their mouth, eyes, and ears .
Remove ticks immediately. Learn best practices for tick removal. The faster you find and remove a tick, the less likely it is that your dog will contract a secondary illness like Lyme disease from tick bites. To avoid tearing the tick and spreading possible infections into the bite area, use fine-point tweezers. Pull straight upward, in a slow and steady motion to prevent the ticks mouth from breaking off and remaining embedded in your pets skin. If you are unable to remove the tick yourself, consult with your veterinarian.
Use flea and tick preventives. Most flea and ticks medications dont prevent ticks from jumping onto or biting your dog, and they kill them once they bite. Since Lyme disease requires 24-48 hours, it prevents the spread of disease. Consult with your veterinarian about the most appropriate product for your dog.
Keep grass as short as possible and stay on paths. Refrain from walking into grassy patches, if possible. If hiking in the woods, try to keep on hike paths away from high-growth vegetation.
Get your dog vaccinated for Lyme disease. Vaccination could prevent your dog from getting Lyme disease however, the vaccine may not be appropriate for some dogs. Discuss the vaccine with your veterinarian to see what is possible for your pet.
Kidney Damage Caused By Lyme Disease
More serious complications, although uncommon, include:
Damage to the kidneys
Rarely, heart or nervous system disease 1,2
Lyme disease sometimes leads to glomerulonephritisthe inflammation and accompanying dysfunction of the kidney’s glomeruli .
Eventually, kidney failure may set in as the dog begins to exhibit signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination and thirst, and abnormal fluid buildups that can appear as swollen limbs.
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How Is This Condition Diagnosed
If you suspect your dog has Lyme disease, go to the vet as soon as possible. You must inform the professional about important details such as the area where the pet was bitten, how soon the first symptoms began to appear, as well as any signal that allows the professional to determine how far the infection has advanced.
Blood tests, urine tests, as well as the removal of joint fluid or x-rays will determine the presence of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria and thus diagnose this condition.
So How Do You Prevent Lyme Disease In Your Dog
If there is one thing you should take away today its this
The more toxic your dog is, the more likely he is to suffer an exaggerated response to Lyme disease.
Research shows it 95% of dog bitten by a tick, are likely to have either no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms.
For the 5% of dogs who get really sick, how can you blame the tick when the other 95% do fine?
The problem was already there before the tick came along the bacteria in the tick was just the final small blow to an already weakened immune system.
While conventional veterinarians would have you protect your dog with sprays and vaccines holistic vets know the secret is a healthy immune system.
They know that bacteria and parasites only prey on weak animals. And that a healthy immune system is what separates the 5% of dogs with Lyme disease from the healthy 95%.
Here are some tips to help bolster your dogs immune system:
- Feed a fresh, whole food species-appropriate diet.
- Avoid any and all unnecessary vaccines .
- Work with a holistic vet to replace any conventional drugs, vaccines and medications. Instead choose holistic, natural options that wont harm the immune system.
Its time to stop fearing Lyme disease and see it for what it is a signal that there was already something wrong with your dog.
So, take that worry and refocus it on improving your dogs immune health instead.
Do that and research shows youll likely never face the challenge of Lyme disease in your dog.
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Can I Catch Lyme Disease From My Dog
Dogs are not a direct source of infection for people. Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dogs fur and get on you.
If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, you and any other pets have probably been in the same outdoor environment and may also be at risk, so it is a good idea to consult with your physician and veterinarian to see whether you should test other pets or family members.
Discussing Symptoms And Treatments With Your Vet
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Lyme Disease From Tick Larvae
Ticks arent born with Lyme Disease. They too get it from another living organism.
In the spring, ticks lay their eggs. By late summer the larvae hatch and are ready to feed.
They wait on the ground for a small mammal or bird to arrive and brush up against it.
The larva will attach itself to the small animal and begin feeding over the next few days. If this animal has Lyme disease, the larva will carry the bacterium in its stomach.
Mice and ground-feeding birds often serve as spirochete hosts.
When the tick attaches to its next host, the bacterium transfers into the blood of the new host.
Larvae are very hard to detect as they are no larger than a period in a print magazine.
What To Do If Your Dog Tests Positive For Lyme Disease
Alex Vicente Updated on June 10, 2021 15minute read
If you find out your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, it can be frightening if you dont know much about the disease. The good news is that just because a dog tests positive for Lyme disease doesnt mean that they have a bad chance of recovering.
Dogs should be treated with antibiotics if they test positive for Lyme disease. Many dogs may test positive for Lyme disease without showing any symptoms if theyve been exposed. Some dogs may contract serious symptoms. Lyme disease is preventable by controlling a dogs exposure to infected ticks.
Even if your dog isnt showing Lyme disease symptoms, a positive test means they could potentially develop symptoms in the future. Read on to learn more about how Lyme disease presents in dogs and what you can do to keep your dog safe from it.
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Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Curable
- Fact Checked
You just found out that your furry companion has tested positive and been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Youre concerned about your dog and want to know everything there is to know about their condition. How long does it last?, What are the symptoms?, and Can Lyme disease in dogs be cured? are most likely the main questions that pet owners will ask.
If you find yourself in this position and are worried about your four-legged friend, stay calm. While it is critical that you learn everything about the condition, it is also important to understand the next necessary steps to take once they have been diagnosed to improve your dogs health.
One of the biggest concerns among pet owners is whether Lyme disease in dogs is curable. Just know that this disease can be cured as long as the dog has received proper treatment at an early stage. However, it is crucial that you as the dog owner understand the ins and outs of this disease in order to treat it and get your dog back to living his normal and happy life.
Lyme Disease In Dogs: What Your Vet Isnt Telling You
Lyme disease the mere thought of it is terrifying to pet owners everywhere.
Rashes, lameness, swollen joints these are all symptoms that you never want your dog to experience.
The good news is, the situation isnt as scary as you may have thought.
Before I tell you why, lets take a look at how dogs get Lyme disease in the first place.
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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.
How Do Dogs Get Lyme Disease
A spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. Its transmitted to your dog when an infected tick bites them.
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:
- recurrent arthritis/lameness that lasts 34 days
- loss of appetite
- reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait
- swollen joints that are warm to the touch
- pain in the legs or throughout the body
While there are many species of ticks, Lyme disease is usually carried by:
- Deer Ticks
- Western Black Legged Ticks
- Lone Star Ticks
Before I keep going, I want to emphasize that Lyme disease isnt caused by the tick itself. This is an important fact that I will discuss in more detail later.
But first, lets make sure you understand the ticks role in Lyme Disease.
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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.
What Is Lyme Disease How Do Dogs Catch It
Lyme disease is transmitted via ticks, most commonly a type of tick known as the deer tick. But it is not the tick itself that is responsible. A tick will become infected with offending bacteria from the Borrelia bugdoferi group when it feeds on infected mice or other rodents and then transmits the bacteria to an animal such as a dog when it bites the host in order to take blood for nourishment. Out comes the blood from the dog and into the ticks body and, in the process, in go the bacteria from tick to your pet.
Infection takes place anywhere from 18 to 36 hours after the tick attaches itself to the dog. But that doesnt mean the dog becomes ill right away. In fact, if your pet is going to show any signs of illness and remember, most pets dont its going to take some two to five months.
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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.
What To Expect At The Vets Office
If your pet has been diagnosed with uncomplicated Lyme disease, this is what you can expect to happen at your veterinarians office.
- Depending on the type of test used to screen for Lyme disease, a confirmatory test may be necessary.
- Urine protein screening — In general, only dogs who have symptoms of Lyme disease or protein in their urine should be treated with antibiotics.
- Dogs with protein in their urine should have regularly scheduled rechecks to monitor their condition.
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What Is A Tick
- A tick is a parasite that is 3 to 5 mm in size. They are so small that it can be hard to spot them immediately.
- They are the most common trouble for pets, especially the ones that roam outside more often.
- They feed on animals blood. Often time they go unnoticed because of their small size and painless bites.
- There are also different types of ticks. A deer tick is a common kind in the United States.
Cofactors That Increase The Risk Of Lyme Disease
You now know that your dog is more likely to develop symptoms of Lyme disease if there is a coinfection.
But I bet you want to know what these underlying cofactors are.
This is where it gets weird
Dr Rau discovered that certain vaccines were cofactors for Lyme disease. And that includes the tick-borne meningoencephalitis vaccine.
Now, it isnt known whether the Lyme vaccine for dogs is a cofactor. And that is because they conducted the research on the human population.
But, I can tell you that the LYMERix human Lyme disease vaccine was only used for 18 months between 1998 and 2000. After that thye pulled off the market amidst reports of serious adverse events. And because the vaccine may have caused Lyme-like arthritis.
And they have not developed a new Lyme vaccine for humans since.
Did you catch that?
They pulled the human Lyme vaccine from the market because of safety concerns. Yet vaccination for Lyme disease is still recommended for your dogs.
Evidence is mounting that it could be this very vaccine that acts as a cofactor. That it allows Lyme to progress from flu-like symptoms into a debilitating disease.
Dr Rau explains the relationship in this short video:
Its time to stop fear
Other important cofactors for Lyme disease include:
- chronic inflammation
- other bacteria and fungi
- heavy metals and toxins
Dr Rau Dr Rau also found that all the patients in his study who reached Stage 3 had unbalanced fatty acid profiles.
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Treating Dog Lyme Disease
If the diagnosis is Lyme disease, your dog will be treated as an outpatient unless their condition is unstable . Doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is prescribed for Lyme disease, but other antibiotics are also effective.
Treatment usually takes at least 4 weeks, and longer courses may be necessary in some cases. Your veterinarian may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory if your dog is especially uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, antibiotic treatment does not always completely eliminate the infection from Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Symptoms may resolve but then return at a later date, and the development of kidney disease in the future is always a concern.
Administering the antibiotics properly to your dog reduces the likelihood of chronic consequences.
Improvement in sudden inflammation of the joints caused by Borrelia should be seen after 3-5 days of antibiotic treatment. If there is no improvement within 3-5 days, your veterinarian will want to reevaluate your dog.