Testing For Kidney Disease
Tests to diagnose kidney disease include complete blood count, serum biochemistry, and urinalysis. These blood tests will determine if your pet is anemic, determine white blood cell counts, measure blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and electrolytes. A urinalysis is essential for the proper interpretation of the urea and creatinine values in the serum biochemistry profile and may also provide important clues to the possible underlying cause of kidney disease. A urinalysis will also determine the specific gravity, pH, presence of blood in the urine, and the amount of protein in the urine. An evaluation of the urine sediment will determine the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, crystalline material, and cellular casts all of which provide information to determine the underlying cause of kidney disease in your pet. Further diagnostic tests may be recommended based on the results of these initial screening tests.
Lyme Disease In Dogs And Cats
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world.
The bacteria borrelia is carried by deer ticks and causes infectious Lyme disease, which is transmitted when ticks feed on infected animals such as deer, birds, and mice. This infection is then passed to other animals when the infected tick bites them.
Tiny Deer Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
Although the tick prefers certain creaturessuch as voles, white-footed mice, or deerupon which to feed during the various stages of its life cycle, it is quite willing to feed on people or dogs. Regardless of its stage of development , if the tick carries the bacteria in its body, people and dogs can become infected if bitten. Once a tick attaches, it takes 1-2 days for it to transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, so prompt removal of ticks is important. Risk of transmission is highest during periods when the nymphs and adults are actively seeking hosts.
Lyme disease in dogs has been reported in every state in the United States, but certain geographical areas are much more likely to harbor bacteria-carrying ticks than others. Infection rates of ticks vary, but can be as high as 50%. Areas in the United States where it occurs most often include the northeast , upper Midwest, and Pacific coast. The disease is actually named after the town Lyme, Connecticut, where an early outbreak was first described. Lyme disease is also seen in Europe and Asia. The risk of Lyme disease being transmitted to people is increasing. In the last 20 years, the number of cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control has about doubled, to around 30,000/year. Although the rate of occurrence of the disease in a geographic area is similar in both animals and people, animals, especially dogs, are at significantly higher risk because of their greater exposure to ticks.
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Lyme Disease And Kidney Function In Dogs And Kidney Failure
Dogs that have Lyme disease are said to be at a much higher chance of getting acute kidney injury which can develop into chronic kidney disease , a new study shows.
A recently published study in November 2020 from Physicians Weekly states that if your dog has Lyme disease, theyre now at a greater rate of getting CKD. Initially, it plays out as acute kidney injury which happens when all of sudden, it develops kidney damage. If your dogs AKI lasts more than 25 days, its now considered chronic kidney disease which actually happens to a lot of these dogs.
Surely, youd want to take all suggested treatments from your vet but you can complement to make sure you protect those kidneys as much as you can. Chinese skullcap is a herb that has shown to benefit in these conditions. It has an antiviral Lyme activity to it. Including it with other medications/foods will ensure added protection and help get rid of Lyme disease.
Besides that, you can put them on a temporary renal diet, include high dose probiotics, and other kidney supporting supplements like Omega 3s, curcumin, vitamin E, etc.
Kidney Restore for Cats & Dogs is an amazing supplement to help support normal kidney function in pets with kidney disease. You can find it here.
Kidney Shield for Cats & Dogs is for those looking for a strong dose of Omega 3s for pets with kidney disease. You can click the link here to purchase it.
Dealing With A Lyme Disease Diagnosis
When a dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, quick treatment is important, because Lyme disease can lead to further health complications such as joint, heart, kidney, and nervous system problems. The long-term effects of Lyme disease can be just as dangerous, or even more dangerous, than the disease itself.
Treatment of Lyme disease generally includes a round of antibiotics and possibly other medications to help relieve joint pain or other symptoms. Antibiotics for Lyme disease may be required for up to a month, while many other diseases or infections require antibiotics for just a few days.
Relapses are common for Lyme disease, so pet owners of dogs who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease should always be on the lookout for signs of Lyme disease symptoms.
If you live in one of the areas where Lyme disease is most common, speak to your veterinarian about the Lyme disease vaccine. While there is a vaccine, it isnt usually included in the group of typical vaccines dogs are given. You will also want to keep up with booster shots for Lyme disease. The vaccine may not be an option for all dogs, so be sure to discuss it with your veterinarian.
If you plan on traveling with your dog to an area where Lyme disease is common, you may also want to consider the vaccine. Since ticks migrate and move around, you can request a Lyme disease test if you see your dog presenting any of the symptoms listed above.
A few tips for preventing Lyme disease include:
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Should I Have My Dog Tested
Antibodies can take weeks to develop. Because of this, tests for Lyme disease that are performed before the antibodies have evolved may show up as negative even if your dog is infected. If your dog is infected and is retested four to six weeks later, they should have a positive test. If you do decide to have your dog tested, you should also keep in mind that just because they test positive for antibodies does not automatically mean they have the disease. This simply means that at some point in their life they were exposed and their body mounted a response. In many cases, this makes it difficult to determine the importance of positive test results because unfortunately, there aren’t reliable tests that can identify the presence of the infecting bacteria in your dogs body.Whether or not they should be cause for concern depends on many factors, including whether or not your vet feels your dog is showing symptoms that may be consistent with lyme disease. Ultimately, you should rely on your veterinarian to decide whether or not testing for lyme disease is appropriate and should your dog test positive, what should be done with that information.
If you’re concerned about how long the testing process takes and how it may affect you or your family, keep in mind that humans cannot contract Lyme disease from an infected dog. The Ixodes tick is the primary means of transmission in people, as well as dogs.
Chronic Effects Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
If your dog’s case of Lyme disease isn’t promptly identified and treated, the condition can become life-threatening.
Lyme disease, if left to run its course or treated too late, Lyme disease can cause kidney failure, serious heart problems, neurological issues and long-term joint pain and arthritis in your pup.
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Signs & Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
The symptoms of Lyme disease vary. While many dogs infected with Lyme disease may not exhibit any symptoms, others may show severe signs, including:
Bruising or unexplained bleeding
Lameness, painful or swollen joints, fever, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and lethargy are the most common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs and can range in severity. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to more serious symptoms, like damage to the kidney or the heart and nervous system.
Lyme disease commonly affects the kidneys more than the nervous system or heart. Unfortunately, it is often fatal. In cases of Lyme disease that affect the nervous system, seizure disorders and facial paralysis can occur.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Because the Lyme spirochete is a bacterium, it can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic of choice is doxycycline, followed by amoxicillin, then azithromycin. Treatment lasts for 4 weeks. Occasionally, the initial infection will recur, or the pet will become re-infected by being bitten by another infected tick.
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Lyme Disease In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment
Reviewed and updated on April 14, 2020 by Rania Gollakner, DVM
Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but it only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. So some dogs may have it, but never show symptoms.
Transmission of Lyme disease has been reported in dogs throughout the United States and Europe, but its most prevalent in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific coastal states.
However, the disease is spreading and becoming more common throughout the United States. Heres some info about the causes and prevention of Lyme disease, as well as the symptoms you should look for and treatment options.
What If I Find A Tick On My Dog
After playing at the park or going for a long walk with your dog through infested areas, you should do a once over of your dog. Of course, your dog will love getting scratches, so you can use this as a distraction for checking them out.
If you find a tick on your dog, it should be removed from the dog as soon as possible. Since ticks bite, it will be firmly attached to the dog as it will try to burrow into your dog.
You can purchase a tool that looks like a little comb with very fine teeth. As you comb this tool through your dogs fur, the teeth are so close together they will pick up the tick and pull it from your dog. You can also remove the tick with a pair of tweezers if needed.
After you remove the tick, you should put it in a bag or sealed container and take it to your vets office. Your vet can test it for Lyme disease, and that way determine if your dog was more at risk for infection.
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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.
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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History Of Dogs Living Through Lyme Disease
In the past, it may have been difficult for dogs to surviveLyme disease due to the inability to diagnose the disease. Now, there arenumerous tests for vets to use to determine whether or not your pooch has Lymedisease. Fortunately, this means that fewer dogs die from Lyme disease now.
To prevent Lyme disease, you can have your dog vaccinatedand use flea and tick preventatives. If your dog does contract Lyme disease,however, they are likely to exhibit the symptoms listed above. These symptomsare caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium in the bite of an infectedtick.
Since ticks can live in many outdoor settings, it isimportant to be diligent about prevention and removal of any ticks. It takes morethan two days for ticks to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease to theirhosts, so if you think your pet may have been exposed to ticks, you should checkthem out and remove any ticks that you do find.
Luckily for dogs, modern medicine has made diagnosing andtreating Lyme disease much easier than it was just a couple decades ago. Withdifferent treatments available, more dogs make a full recovery after contractingthe disease, but it can also cause further health complications.
Can I Give My Dog Lyme Disease Or Vice Versa
You cant give your dog Lyme disease, nor can your dog infect you. However, if either one of you has a tick, you should both be checked out by a medical professional. Its entirely possible that the tick may have traveled from your body to your dogs, or vice versa, without you realizing it. If you have an open wound, there is alsoa slight chance that the bacteria from the tick can pass through it, so make sure to be extra vigilant to keep yourself safe in those cases.
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Lyme Disease: A Pet Owner’s Guide
Lyme disease is an illness that affects both animals and humans what is known as a zoonotic disease and is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Transmitted through tick bites, the disease can be difficult to detect and can cause serious and recurring health problems. Therefore, it is best to prevent infection by taking appropriate measures to prevent tick bites and, for dogs, possibly vaccinating against the disease.
The bacterium that causes Lyme disease a worm-like, spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi is carried and transmitted primarily by the tiny black-legged tick known as the deer tick. Deer ticks are found in forests or grassy, wooded, marshy areas near rivers, lakes or oceans. People or animals may be bitten by deer ticks during outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, or even while spending time in their back yards.
Named after numerous cases were identified in Lyme, Conn., in 1975, the disease has since been reported in humans and animals across the United States and around the world. Within the U.S., it appears primarily in specific areas including the southern New England states eastern Mid-Atlantic states the upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin and Minnesota and on the West Coast, particularly northern California. The CDC maintains a map detailing confirmed cases of Lyme disease throughout the years.
Is My Dog At Risk Of Canine Lyme Disease
The short answer is a resounding yes. If you walk your dog in one of Torontos many wonderful series of wooded trail systems, you and your dog are susceptible. Canine Lyme Disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in the Toronto area, initiated by the bite of infected, Ixode scapularis, also known as Deer or Blacklegged ticks. While not all variations of ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of Blacklegged, Deer and American Dog ticks continue to expand in the GTA and other parts of Ontario.
Canine Lyme Disease Risk Assessment:
If you answered YES to any of these questions, protection against disease-carrying ticks a small, chewy and tasty treat for your dog is recommended.
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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.