Protect Your Dogs From Lyme Disease
More often than not, dogs who have been infected with Lyme Borreliosis experience kidney disease as well and this is more prevalent in Golden retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Labrador Retrievers and Bernese Mountain dogs. While dogs may appear to be more prone to Lyme disease because of how ticks often stick o them, there are still areas of the world where dogs are not much experiencing Lyme Disease or tick bacteria effects.
Dogs that develop Lyme disease displays a recurring lameness and laziness because of the inflammation of joints. This usually lasts for about three to four days and can recur in the following weeks ahead either in the same leg or other legs. This symptom is called shifting-leg lameness where more than a joint becomes swollen and painful.
Lyme disease, for infected dogs, can also lead to glomerulonephritis which is an inflammation of the kidney that may eventually result to organ failure. The usual symptoms for this is vomiting, lack of appetite, weight loss, frequent urination, thirst, diarrhea and abnormal fluid build ups. Moreover, there are other symptoms associated with Lyme disease which can occur to dogs and these include:
- Arching of the back
- Complications on the nervous system
- Sensitivity to touch
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.
Can Lyme Disease Cause Low Platelets In Dogs
Many essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, wintergreen, and ylang ylang are straight up toxic to pets. These are toxic whether they are applied to the skin, used in diffusers or licked up in the case of a spill. Can lyme disease in dogs cause low platelets?
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How Is Lyme Disease Prevented
Its not comforting to understand that such a small insect can have so much control when it comes to Lyme disease. A vector is an organism that transports and delivers an infectious organism from one host to another. In this case, the vector of Lyme disease is the deer tick in the Northeastern United States. Female ticks lay about 2,000 eggs in the spring. The tick will transmit the disease to a new mammal host. However, this process requires a minimum of 48 hours, and if the tick can be removed within that time frame, the dog or human will not get Lyme disease. This gives us control in the fact that we can vaccinate our dogs against Lyme disease and take preventative measures such as checking them for ticks after being outdoors.
Do Antibodies To B Burgdorferi Determine Active Infection
In untreated animals, antibodies to OspC and/or OspF are indicators of infection with B. burgdorferi. Many infected animals dont show clinical signs and maintain constant antibody levels to the pathogen. It is believed that many animals can control the persistent infection. However, increasing antibody values indicate re-activation of or re-infection with the pathogen.
In treated animals, antibody levels decrease slowly and are usually still detectable for several months if treatment was successful.
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How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
Pets are more likely to get Lyme disease in certain areas and during specific times of the year. The last weeks of summer often see more cases of Lyme disease in dogs, but dogs are exposed to ticks all year. You should also avoid tick-infested areas with your dogs, especially during the spring when young ticks become most active. Ticks can be found in grassy, sandy, and wooded areas. Keep your dogs away from thick underbrush and stay on the trails. If you do visit a tick-infested area, follow the following steps:
- Work with your veterinarian to ensure your pets are fully protected from tick exposure and consider vaccinating your pet
- Practice proper tick prevention techniques such as checking for ticks on yourself and your dogs once indoors
- Keep your lawn well maintained
- Clear shrubbery next to your home
- Use a reliable tick-preventive product
- Avoid areas where ticks might be found
Can My Animal Get Infected Despite Being Vaccinated
Yes. Some animals have been infected despite vaccination. The most common reasons are low or short-lasting vaccine antibodies in the individual animal. It is advisable to monitor the vaccine response annually to ensure the animal develops sufficient antibodies in response to vaccination. Vaccine antibodies can be quantified with the Lyme Multiplex assay as early as two weeks following vaccination or anytime afterwards.
What Is Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
If you suspect your dog may have contracted Lyme disease, it is important to remove the tick as soon as possible. Once this is done, you need to monitor your dogs behavior and keep an eye out for any possible symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs.
Treatment is not for Lyme disease itself, but for the Borrelia bacteria that could attack your dogs system. Depending on how severe the infection is will depend on the amount of treatment and the type of medication that may be prescribed.
How Can You Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
Vaccinations Vaccinations can be given to dogs and puppies to help prevent Lyme disease. It is not required, because it is not a common disease. Vaccinations for Lyme disease are given to puppies at about 12 weeks of age, and then they will be given a booster shot again about 4 weeks later. An annual vaccination before tick season begins is also recommended if you are concerned about Lyme disease.
It is important to note that vaccinations are not 100% effective, and they do wear off after a certain amount of time. These vaccinations only work when your dog has not been exposed to the Borrelia bacteria.
It is important to note that once your dog has contracted Lyme disease, the Borrelia bacteria will be in his system forever. Although it remains quiet and usually does not resurface, re-infections could occur. The best way to treat a case of Lyme disease in dogs is to prevent it altogether. The following tips will help to prevent the spread of ticks and Lyme disease in dogs.
Have your dog vaccinated if your area is prone to ticks. This should be done when he is a puppy. Talk to your vet for more information when you are considering vaccinations.
If you walk in the woods, stick to trails or cleared areas. Avoid letting your dog play in the dense, grassy areas.
Keep your lawn tidy. Mow your lawn regularly, pluck weeds, and keep grass and woodpiles out of your yard. Clear your yard of any dead vegetation or shrubbery.
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How Does A Dog Get Lyme Disease
Because these deer ticks are so small, they often go unnoticed. You may be wondering where your dog could have gotten these ticks that cause Lyme disease from. These ticks are usually found in grassy areas, including long grass in the yard, in bushes, areas with lots of grass debris, or wood debris, and they thrive in moist areas. They can be found at any time of year, but mostly in the spring and summer months.
If your dog has recently been walking through wooded areas or your lawn has gotten a little out of control, your dog could contract these ticks from the long grass. Once a tick has attached itself to your dog, there is a possibility it could transfer the Lyme disease-causing bacteria.
Although not all ticks carry these bacteria, it is important to treat ticks on dogs as soon as possible to avoid illness and serious health problems.
Some breeds that contract Lyme disease develop severe reactions to the disease and it is often fatal. These breeds include Shetland Sheepdogs, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers.
It is also known that puppies are more prone to Lyme disease because they have weaker immune systems and cannot fight off infection as well as a full-grown dog. To prevent Lyme disease in puppies, be sure to have them vaccinated at 12 weeks of age.
Is Lyme Disease Curable
Although most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with a 2- to 4-week course of oral antibiotics, patients can sometimes have symptoms of pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that last for more than 6 months after they finish treatment. This condition is called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome .
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How Likely Is It That Your Dog Will Get Lyme Disease
The Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria found in ticks causes flu-like symptoms.
Dr Raus research shows that about a third of ticks carry Borrelia. So, if a tick bites your dog, its only 33% likely to carry the Borrelia bacteria.
If the bite is from an infected tick, then your dog may develop flu-like symptoms. He may also develop a rash at the site of infection.
This is the first stage of Lyme disease.
Dr Rau and other researchers estimate that only 10 20% of tick bites will lead to Stage 1 Lyme Disease.
But if left untreated, 30% of Stage 1 cases will lead to Stage 2. This is where bacteria can infect the skin, joints, kidneys and sometimes the heart.
So that means your dog has about a 1% to 2% chance of Stage 2 Lyme Disease the kind of Lyme disease that can make him very sick.
Stage 3 Lyme is the chronic stage. This stage can begin months or even years after infection.
The most common symptoms are joint and muscle pain. Only 1% of stage 2 cases of Lyme progress to Stage 3.
This mirrors research done in dogs.
Treatment For Tick Borne Diseases In Dogs
Dogs with tick borne diseases are typically treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Probiotics may also be recommended while your dog is on antibiotic treatment to help prevent gastrointestinal issues. Recurring tick borne conditions can be particularly challenging to beat. Even after your pup appears to have recovered, regular blood work may be recommended to help detect recurrences early so that treatment can prevent the condition from becoming more serious.
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.
Is your dog suffering from a serious, chronic or recurring tick borne disease? Contact our Tucson internal medicine vets today to book an appointment for your dog. At Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, our veterinary internal medicine specialist offers advanced care for pets suffering from tick borne diseases and more.
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Can Lyme Disease Cause Kidney Failure In Dogs
Kidney failure: A less common but more serious consequence of Lyme disease is sudden kidney failure, with protein loss in the urine. In some dogs, kidney involvement appears at the same time as lameness but in other dogs, it appears 3-6 weeks after an episode of lameness.
Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Veterinarians treat dogs with Lyme disease through a combination of medical therapy and supportive care. A 4-to 6-week course of antibiotics will be prescribed for dogs with clinical signs of Lyme disease, as well as for dogs that have a high antibody level, even if they are asymptomatic. Many owners see improvement within a few days. However, a second round of antibiotics is often required, as the infection may persist through the first round of treatment.
Severe cases of Lyme disease will acquire additional therapy to treat affected kidneys, heart, or nerves, along with supportive care like intravenous fluids. Re-checking blood work is recommended six months after completing antibiotic therapy to determine if treatment has been successful.
There is some debate within the veterinary community as to whether dogs should be treated if they test positive for Lyme disease but are asymptomatic and have a low antibody level. Your veterinarian will speak to you about different options so that you can come up with the best treatment plan for your dog.
Lyme disease can stay in your dogs body even with antibiotics. In these cases, the disease often flares up when a dogs immune system is suppressed or weakened, such as during periods of stress. The same antibiotic can be used to treat repeated recurrences of Lyme disease. Unlike other types of infections, the lingering infection is not a direct result of antibiotic resistance.
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Lyme Disease Isnt As Simple As A Bite From A Tick
I said earlier that Lyme disease is not caused by the tick itself.
While ticks can infect your dog with the Lyme disease researchers have found that infection alone isnt the cause of Lyme disease.
In most cases, Lyme disease only occurs when theres a coinfection.
Coinfection is when a host has one or more bacteria, viruses, or other infections at the same time.
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.
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What Happens If Lyme Disease Goes Untreated
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.
It’s All Across The Country
Likewise, the nonchalance of the past no longer applies to Lyme’s regional characteristics either.
“It used to be kind of a Northeast, Midwest phenomenon,” explains Dr. Goldstein, “but when you look at the latest maps, it’s all over the country. There’s really almost no state without Lyme. We see quite a bit of Lyme in California, in Florida, in the states that used to be relatively low in the upper West Coast. So, yeah, it’s virtually everywhere and I believe very strongly that every dog in this country should be tested annually.”
If you’re wondering why its footprint is increasing, Dr. Goldstein says to look no further than global warming.
“That has to do with the warming climate,” he tells CBS News. “It has to do with more deer that can transmit ticks from place to place, more mice. Mice are the main reservoir for Lyme and the mice population has exploded over the last few years — again, possibly because of mild winters. Global warming is definitely manifesting itself in tick-borne disease in general and we see that in humans as well as in dogs. We see diseases that exist today in areas that we just didn’t have five and ten years ago.”
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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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What Is The Prognosis Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Like other dog health issues, there are a few factors that determine your pets prognosis. The prognosis depends on the time of detection of the disease, Dr. Muller says. In the case of early treatment without manifest symptoms, the prognosis is good. However, if clinical symptoms are already present that have caused damage to the kidneys, heart, and nervous system, then the prognosis is poor.
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Causes Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease has been diagnosed in people and dogs across all states. But the infection rates vary from one state to another. In the US, the Upper Midwest, Northeast and Pacific Coast report the highest annual cases of Lyme disease in dogs.
This disease is contracted through the bite of an infected tick. These external parasites are often found in grassy or wooded areas, from farm fields to forests
Since ticks can’t jump or fly, they find prey by resting on the tips of leaves or blades of grass and wait for direct contact with pets or people.
Lyme disease isn’t contagious, but an infected tick that bites one dog may make its way to another pet or person to spread the disease further.