Can We Test Fluids Other Than Serum
Yes, CSF samples can be submitted from horses with neurological signs. The CSF sample needs to be submitted together with a serum sample from the same animal and taken at the same time. The relative increase of antibodies in CSF can indicate local production of antibodies in the CNS. Typically, one or two antibody values are increased more than 2-fold if B. burgdorferi contributes to the neurologic condition.
For other samples, contact the lab first .
Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease
Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dogs condition.
- Some dogs who take antibiotics can develop loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Once infected, a dog will always have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in his or her body. Therefore, relapses are possible, and owners should be on the lookout for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, and/or lameness.
- A small percentage of dogs develop kidney failure as a result of Lyme disease. Clinical signs include vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal accumulations of fluid within the body.
Is There A Vaccine That Will Protect My Dog From Lyme Disease
A safe and generally effective vaccine is available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine is initially given twice, at two- to four-week intervals.
“Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity.”
Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity. Vaccination against Lyme disease will be determined by your pet’s lifestyle and individual risk assessment. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian.
|Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM
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Dog Lyme Disease Symptoms
For the first week we had Taylor I noticed he was slow to get up from sleeping on his dog bed, his back legs would appear to have fallen asleep. He was not able to jump up onto our couch, which at first I figured he never learned how.
I continued to notice slight weakness in his legs and so I decided mentioned it to the vet. Never did I imagine his diagnosis would come back with Lyme disease!
Unfortunately, Lyme Disease symptoms are not always very obvious, and some dogs wont show any signs. Some symptoms to watch for would be:
Our Taylor didnt have any symptoms other than the lameness in his legs. So if I hadnt been paying close attention to him and if I hadnt mentioned it to the vet, he may have gone undiagnosed!
I highly recommend paying close attention to your dog, he will give you clues on how he is feeling. Your dog cant speak like you and me, so its our job to listen to his body language!
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If My Animal Is Positive On The Assay Should He/she Be Treated For Lyme Disease
If your animal is displaying clinical signs of Lyme disease and is positive on the Lyme Multiplex assay, it is advisable to discuss treatment options with your veterinarian. If your animal appears healthy, discuss the risks and benefits of treatment and develop a monitoring plan with your veterinarian.
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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.
My Child Had Lyme Disease Got Treated And Is Now Depressed Could This Be A Sign Of A Relapse
Depression is a word that encompasses physical, cognitive, and emotional components. The physical would be poor sleep, fatigue, low energy, lack of sex drive. The cognitive would include poor concentration and trouble making decisions. The emotional would include feeling guilty, hopeless, suicidal, and being unable to enjoy life in any aspect. Chronic symptoms triggered by Lyme disease are most often associated with insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue, headaches, pain, and, not uncommonly, problems with cognition as well. In other words, chronic Lyme symptoms are most often associated with the physical and cognitive parts of the depressive picture and less often with the emotionally despairing part. When a person presents with the emotional part that is sustained for at least 2 weeks, it may be that a full syndrome depression has emerged related to the Lyme disease or that it is a concurrent but unrelated illness. The emotional aspects of depression might occur secondarily to being sick with a physical illness or directly from an infection affecting the brain or from chemicals affecting the brain that were released by infection outside of the brain. When a person has Lyme encephalitis , the emotional part of depression can be very dramatic. The person might be suddenly tearful for no apparent reason, have very poor frustration tolerance, become paranoid or angered at the least provocation, and appear to have a personality change.
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How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Tick control and prevention methods significantly reduce the likelihood of infection. Maintaining antibodies against B. burgdorferi through vaccination can further protect your animal. Antibody amounts and duration of vaccine antibodies can vary in individuals. Verifying your animals antibody response to vaccination helps to assure durable protection.
Does Lyme Disease Treatment With Antibiotics Affect Antibody Levels
Antibiotic treatment affects the pathogen . It does not directly influence antibody titers. However, if the treatment is successful and bacteria are removed from the host, the B-cells are not further triggered to produce new antibodies. As a consequence antibodies levels decrease after treatment. Thus, antibody levels are indicators of treatment success .
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Is It Possible For Dogs To Be Reinfected
Since Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, its possible for a dog to re-contract Lyme disease from another infected tick after being treated for it for a previous infection. Even if a dog has contracted Lyme disease in the past, this does not protect them from being infected in the future. This is why preventing infected ticks from biting your dog is so important.
What The Research Says About Lyme Disease In Dogs
Swiss researcher Dr Thomas Rau went to areas where Lyme was common. There he studied groups of farmers who were likely exposed to Lyme. And he found something interesting
80% of the farmers had Lyme disease, but of that 80%, only 2% showed any symptoms. That means the vast majority of the farmers with Lyme disease were able to fight it off on their own. But why was that?
Dr Rau decided to find out. And this is where it gets interesting
Dr Rau discovered that 100% of the people with full blown Lyme symptoms had other viruses viruses that had already stressed the immune system.
This is in line with current research published in 2012 that looked into cases of Lyme disease . It revealed a link between existing health issues and Lyme disease symptoms.
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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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Key Points To Remember
- Most Lyme disease tests are designed to detect antibodies made by the body in response to infection.
- Antibodies can take several weeks to develop, so patients may test negative if infected only recently.
- Antibodies normally persist in the blood for months or even years after the infection is gone therefore, the test cannot be used to determine cure.
- Infection with other diseases, including some tickborne diseases, or some viral, bacterial, or autoimmune diseases, can result in false positive test results.
- Some tests give results for two types of antibody, IgM and IgG. Positive IgM results should be disregarded if the patient has been ill for more than 30 days.
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Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease In Humans
In human medicine, diagnosis of Lyme disease centers on:
Treatment is indicated only when all 3 criteria have been documented.
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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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.
Canine Lyme Disease: How Real Is The Threat
Canine Lyme disease, also called canine Lyme borreliosis, is among the most familiar tick transmitted infections known to occur in humans and dogs residing in North America.
Despite being the subject of review articles,1,2 research studies, scientific proceedings, and symposia, canine Lyme borreliosis continues to generate considerable controversy in clinical practice, particularly as it pertains to exposure risk, diagnosis, consequences of infection, and even prevention. This article addresses key controversies and current recommendations regarding management of dogs at risk for canine Lyme borreliosis.
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What Causes Lyme Disease In Dogs
Dogs contract Lyme disease through the bite of infected ticks. These ticks contain the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is a type of organism known as a spirochete.
There are at least four species of ticks in the world known to carry Lyme disease:
In the United States, the most common source of transmission is the Deer Tick or Black-Legged Tick, scientifically known as Ixodes pacificus on the West Coast and Ixodes scapularis on the East Coast. In Europe, the Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus ticks carry Lyme disease.
These ticks are tiny, which can make them hard to see or feel on your dog, and all stages of the tick can carry and spread the disease, although adult ticks tend to be the most infectious. It typically takes 24 to 48 hours after attaching to a host for the tick to spread the Lyme-causing bacteria, although transmission of disease can sometimes occur much more rapidly.
Certain areas are more prone to ticks than others. Wooded or grassy areas and areas with large tick populations pose the highest risk of infection. Ticks tend to be most active in the spring and fall when they are actively seeking hosts, which increases the risk of Lyme transmission. However, recent evidence indicates that ticks are also active in winter, as long as the temperature is above freezing.
The Role Of Lyme Disease Tests
The purpose of the most common type of Lyme disease testing is to determine whether you have developed antibodies as a result of past exposure to the Borrelia bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Antibodies are proteins created by the immune system that target specific threats like bacteria and viruses.
Blood testing alone cannot determine whether you have Lyme disease. Instead, testing can provide helpful information that your doctor can consider along with other factors, such as any symptoms youve had and whether youve been exposed to ticks that can carry Borrelia, to determine if a diagnosis of Lyme disease is appropriate.
Beyond blood testing, it is possible to analyze fluid from the central nervous system for signs of the Borrelia bacteria.
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Is It Possible For Lyme Disease To Be Misdiagnosed As Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Are There Similarities In Symptoms Between These Two Diseases
The question of a relationship between Lyme Disease and ALS first received significant academic attention when Dr. John Halperin who was then a neurologist at Stony Brook conducted a study in which he compared the frequency of blood test positivity to the agent of Lyme disease among patients with ALS to community controls. The results indicated a higher percentage of the ALS patients were seropositive for Lyme Disease. Since then, there have been isolated case reports both in the media and one or two in the academic literature indicating that a patient had been misdiagnosed with an ALS-like illness only later to be re-diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease with good clinical response. Although we suspect that there may be rare individuals who have symptoms similar to ALS but actually have proximal motor neuropathy caused by Lyme disease, the vast majority of patients with ALS are not thought to have Lyme disease as the cause of their serious disease. Clinical trials have been underway using antibiotics for ALS not because there is belief that ALS is caused by a microbe but because these antimicrobial agents have other properties as well, such as decreasing inflammation or decreasing glutamatergic excitotoxicity. The studies examining intravenous ceftriaxone as a treatment for ALS were not successful.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
The traditional blood tests for diagnosing Lyme disease have been replaced by two new tests called the C6 test and Quantitative C6 test .
The C6 test is a preliminary blood test that detects antibodies against a very specific protein called C6. This protein is unique to the Borrelia bacteria, and the presence of antibodies to C6 suggests exposure to Borrelia and infection. The C6 antibodies can be detected as soon as four weeks after a dog is bitten by an infected tick, and may be found in the blood stream even before the dog shows signs of illness. The C6 test is often offered as part of a special test kit that looks for other tick-borne diseases. The test can be done by your veterinarian in-clinic or the blood sample can be sent to an outside laboratory for testing.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease is, unfortunately, a relatively common canine illness.
The most common symptom is arthritic pain, accompanied by fatigue and fever. If youre unsure if your pet has been exposed, contact our Cabbagetown veterinary team to discuss appropriate measures to protect or treat your pet.
Left untreated, symptoms can last for years and include recurring arthritis and neurological problems, kidney failure, numbness and paralysis. We are often asked if Lyme disease can be fatal to a dog? Although uncommon, fatalities from Lyme disease have been reported.
Typical symptoms in dogs include:
- generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain
- swelling of joints
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 we look at why, lets take a look at how dogs get Lyme disease in the first place.
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