Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Signs Your Dog Has Lyme Disease

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It is a recombinant vaccine based on Osp A. Vaccinated animals should develop high antibody levels to OspA and maintain negative antibody levels to the remaining two antigens. Infected/non-infected animals can be identified based on OspC and OspF antibody values. Detection of the early Lyme infection stage is possible after using this vaccine.

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 arent 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 youre 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.

Diagnosing And Treating Your Dog

Diagnosing your dog for Lyme disease requires the veterinarian to run an antibody test. This test takes a closer look at the bodys immunity. The response of the immune system is measurable by the test.

The experts can see whether the antibody for Lyme disease is present for making a correct diagnosis. This will show that the dogs body has been fighting the disease. If the blood reports show a high volume of antibodies then your veterinarian can make a diagnosis. Once the experts confirm the presence of the infection, they will then start the treatment.

Fortunately, the treatment of Lyme disease is straightforward and includes taking antibiotics and painkillers. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available. Scientists continue to work on developing a vaccine to prevent Lyme disease.

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How Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Diagnosed

Your veterinarian will assess your dogs symptoms, give them a physical, and typically also do bloodwork to determine their diagnosis. Bloodwork is necessary to confirm a Lyme diagnosis because many symptoms of Lyme disease can be mistaken for any number of other conditions.

Lyme disease in dogs is diagnosed through a blood test, Dr. Margit Muller, veterinarian and , tells Pumpkin. She further explains, This test detects the presence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria strain that causes Lyme disease.

A combination of two blood tests is typically done: the C6 Test and the Quant C6 Test. The C6 Test detects antibodies, and is a preliminary blood test that can be run in most veterinary hospitals. If that test is positive, then a secondary test, the Quant C6 test, can be run to confirm infection and if treatment is needed. It takes a while for antibodies to show up in the blood after a dog is infected, so it is not recommended to test dogs earlier than four weeks after a tick bite.

Treating Lyme Disease In Pets

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After the condition has been confirmed, the vet will often recommend antibiotics. This is the first line of defense when dealing with the condition. The prognosis is much better if the condition is treated early. Antibiotics tend to work more effectively if the infection is caught early. Most dogs with Lyme disease can easily be treated at home unless the condition worsens.

During treatment, the dog should be kept warm and dry and should rest as much as possible. In some cases, the symptoms may not go away completely. Joint pain can continue even after the infection has been eliminated.

To learn more about signs & symptoms of Lyme disease, contact Community Pet Outreach in Lewisville, Texas at 848-8930 to book an appointment.

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What Exactly Is Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, or Borreliosis, is a very infectious disease in dogs that comes from exposure to ticks. It has many dominant symptoms that you can quickly notice in your dog, mainly lameness in the joins. Its one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases, but despite that, it still only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. The ticks get into the dogs bloodstream through a bite and once in the bloodstream, the bacteria travels to different parts of the body and cause stiffness in specific joints and overall illnesses.

When a dog has Lyme disease, it suffers from inflammation in the joints, which means recurring lameness. This is a horrible sensation for dogs to feel and alongside it, they can also suffer from loss of appetite and depression, just to name a few. You dont want your furry friends to suffer from Lyme disease since its a very uncomfortable disease that can escalate into something fast, so its good to spot any red flags as early as possible.

When not detected on time, complications can arise from Lyme disease such as kidney problems, heart diseases, and nervous system failures. These are very rare but Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs, or Bernese Mountain Dogs are unfortunately more at risk for kidney-related problems caused by Lyme disease.

Prevention Of Lyme Disease

  • Dogs should be treated regularly with a readily available, effective, tick-control product. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the best product for your pet.

  • In areas where Lyme disease is common, ask your veterinarian about whether vaccination is recommended.

  • Dogs should be routinely checked for ticks after they have been outside, especially if they have been in tall grass and brush during the spring, summer, or fall.

  • Remove any ticks by using fine-pointed tweezers to grasp the head of the tick . Pull the tick straight off, making sure not to grasp or squeeze its body.

  • Dogs should be brushed regularly. Watch carefully for any ticks that are removed and capture and dispose of them before they can either reattach to the dog or migrate to other pets or people in the household.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease is often based on the signs and history. For example, a veterinarian might suspect Lyme disease in a dog with recent lameness, a mild fever, and a history that includes possible exposure to ticks. Standard blood studies are not very helpful in diagnosis because the results tend to fall within normal ranges despite signs of infection. However, these tests may be important in order to rule out other causes of disease. Antibodies against the disease-causing bacteria can often be detected 4 to 6 weeks after the initial infection and help confirm the diagnosis.

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Lyme Disease In Pets Symptoms And Treatment

Pets infected with Lyme disease may not show any signs for 2-5 months. After that time, typical symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Joint swelling

Recurrent lameness also is possible, and the involved extremity may be tender. Inflammation of the joint can last from days to weeks, and may migrate from one extremity to another.

Horses with Lyme disease can develop lameness, joint pain, neurologic disease, eye problems and dermatitis.

Symptomatically, Lyme disease can be difficult to distinguish from anaplasmosis because the signs of the diseases are very similar, and they occur in essentially the same areas of the country. Lyme disease is diagnosed through a blood test that shows whether an animal has been exposed to the bacterium.

Antibiotics usually provide effective treatment for Lyme disease. However, its important to follow your veterinarians advice regarding follow-up care after your pet has been diagnosed with and treated for the disease.

Are Humans At Risk

How to Tell if Your Dog or Pet Has Lyme Disease

Can you catch Lyme disease from your dog? No. Dogs cannot directly infect people and Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another pet or from pets to humans. The only way Lyme Disease is spread is through tick bites. That being said, if a tick is on your dogs fur and it then comes into your house, theres a possibility that it could get on you as well.

In order to avoid exposure to tick bites, as a dog owner, you can also avoid the woods, tall grasses, and bushes, wear long pants, and check you and your dog for ticks each time you leave the outdoors.

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What Is Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme disease is also referred to as Lyme borreliosis, a bacterial illness that certain species of infected ticks can transmit to humans, dogs and other animals.

Since ticks dont fly or jump, they make contact with their host by lurking on the tips of long grass or bush, then quickly grabbing onto your dog when he walks by. He then crawls on to his body to look for a place to bite.

An infected tick carries the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, then bites a dog or person, transmitting the virus through the bloodstream.

Once its entered the bloodstream, the bacteria can reach different parts of the body and result in problems with specific areas or organs, including joints, as well as general illness. The disease can be transmitted after a tick has been attached to a dog for 24 to 48 hours.

Can You Test My Dog For Lyme Disease

Absolutely. Diagnosis is made by a combination of history, physical signs, and diagnostics. For dogs, the test we incorporate at our animal hospital for diagnosing Lyme disease is called the 4DX test. Its a simple blood test that we run at our AAHA Accredited Cabbagetown animal hospital. This helps you get the answers you need in a timely fashion.

As the name implies, 4DX tests for four things: Heartworm, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Biological vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks, transmit all four of these diseases and may carry pathogens that can multiply within their bodies and be delivered to new hosts, usually by biting.

The test measures antibodies, meaning how your dog responds or reacts to an infection. A positive test result only indicates exposure to the bacteria. The infection could have occurred sometime in the past, and the immune system may have eliminated the bacteria without your dog ever showing symptoms.

If a positive test result is confirmed, our veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics and/or advise further, more specific testing.

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How To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs

The best way to prevent Lyme disease in dogs is to prevent ticks from ever using your dog as a meal. The best way to do that is:

  • Know whether you live in or visit areas where Lyme disease is prevalent. The Companion Animal Parasite Council has excellent maps that you can use to check your area so you can stay extra vigilant if you fall into one of the zones.
  • Always check your dog for ticks after forays into wilderness areas. Ticks are common in tall grasses, and love to hide on dogs under armpits, in ears, in between the shoulder blades, and in other hard-to-reach areas . A flea comb is an excellent tool to use for tick hunting. You can learn more about flea grooming here.
  • Use a quick-kill, long-lasting flea-and-tick product on your dog during tick season .
  • If you notice any ticks, remove them promptly .

For your dogs flea and tick prevention, use veterinarian-recommended products: A few of my personal favorites that I recommend are Bravecto, Simparica Trio, NexGard, Seresto collars, Frontline and K9 Advantix II. You can learn more about your flea and tick prevention options here.

If you live in a heavy tick area or if your dog swims frequently, you will need to reapply or administer tick prevention more often than the label indicates: Ask your vet for a frequency that will keep these blood suckers off your dog.

What Happens If Lyme Disease Goes Untreated

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Treating Lyme disease in a timely manner is absolutely crucial to your dogs health, otherwise its complications can cause even more severe problems. Dr Muller further warns, Lyme disease can lead to serious damage of the heart, nervous system, and kidneys.

Dogs who are not treated for Lyme disease may find themselves with any of the following conditions:

  • Inflammation of the kidneys, and in severe cases, kidney failure. Symptoms of this kidney failure include increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of extremities, and lack of appetite. This can be fatal.
  • Chronic pain from arthritis
  • Heart problems
  • Seizure disorders or facial paralysis as a result of damage to the nervous system

Many of these issues, if left untreated, can be potentially fatal, so the answer is clear. If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, take care of it as soon as you possibly can.

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Other Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

Dogs are more resilient against Lyme disease than other animals. According to an experimental study, only a few percentage of pet dogs that test positive for this disease develop symptoms.

Dog Lyme disease can also result in intermittent arthritis, similar to humans, and rarely results in a kidney infection. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain in Joints and leg
  • Signs of rash in areas such as the leg or the limb
  • Signs of fever and illness
  • Joint pain or

All of these symptoms are indicative of a tick bite.

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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What Does The Lyme Multiplex Assay Measure

The Lyme Multiplex assay quantifies antibodies directed against specific proteins on the surface of B. burgdorferi at three different stages of the bacterial life cycle. This antibody profile can indicate whether an animal has been recently infected or is chronically infected with B. burgdorferi. It can also be used to monitor protective antibodies after vaccination.

Payment Options For Lyme Disease Treatment In Pets

What should I do if my dog is exhibiting signs of lyme disease?

Pets undergoing Lyme disease treatment will likely require several follow-up appointments, and severe cases may require an extended hospital stay. This long-term care can result in a large veterinary bill. Fortunately several payment options are available to cover treatment costs including pet health insurance like Trupanion. Trupanion will pay your veterinary clinic directly which eliminates the need to submit paperwork and wait for your reimbursement. Other payment options include pet health savings accounts, Care Credit, Scratch Pay, and short-term loans.

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What Should I Do If I Suspect My Dog May Have Lyme Disease

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 509-335-0711.

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.

Lyme Disease Symptoms In Dogs

One of the main symptoms of Lyme disease is limping in dogs, which can be alarming when first spotted. With Lyme disease, lameness is ongoing and can last anywhere from three to four days but sometimes, even goes on for weeks on end. It can worsen in the same leg or move on to other legs. If it jumps to other legs, then its often called shifting-leg lameness.

This lameness causes extreme discomfort, because lameness often causes a dogs legs to feel swollen, warm, and painful. If you see your dog suddenly limping, dont assume that they injured their paw or got tired from running too much at the park. It might be something more serious, like Lyme disease.

How can you tell whether they injured themselves or if its Lyme disease? If your dog is consistently lifting the same leg, then hes probably just injured it. But if the leg pain is shifting around and shifts from one leg to the next, it could be a sign of shifting-leg-lameness and actually a result from Lyme disease.

Lyme disease can also cause kidney problems in dogs. Dog kidney disease comes with a host of other problems like diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination and thirst, and fluid build-ups.

Some general symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs include:

  • Stiff walking with an arched back
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Nervous system complications

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Preventing Lyme Disease In Dogs

Luckily, there are many ways that you can prevent Lyme disease from getting to your dog. The CDS has tips on how to prevent Lyme disease carrying ticks from biting your dog.

These include:

  • Checking your dog for ticks on a daily basis, especially if they are spending time outdoors
  • Remove ticks right away if you do spot one
  • Ask your veterinarian to conduct tick checks at each exam just in case, even if they dont have any symptoms
  • Know what tick-borne diseases are more common in your area
  • Get rid of tick habitats in your yard by clearing out tall grasses and bushes
  • Use tick and flea preventative measures recommended by your vet
  • Vaccinations are also an option and prevent dogs from getting Lyme disease, but first talk to your vet to see if this is a good option for your dog

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