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 Happens If My Dog Has Lyme Disease
Finding and diagnosing this disease is key to making sure your dog has the best possible chances. If left untreated or even undiagnosed it can damage the heart, kidneys, and nervous system of your dog.
In some cases, Lyme diseases affecting the kidneys can be fatal for dogs. The form of Lyme disease that affects your dogs heart is less common.
Thankfully, there are treatment options for dogs that are diagnosed with Lyme disease. Usually, vets will prescribe a course of antibiotics for about 4 weeks, although in some cases a second round of antibiotics may be needed for your dog.
Of course, always follow the advice of your veterinarian to make sure youre doing the best thing for your dog.
Some dogs will have long-term, chronic joint pain, which is from the damage caused by the bacteria in the body. In some cases, dogs will need additional treatment for organ systems like the kidneys if your dog has contracted a kind of disease that affects additional organ systems.
The treatment for Lyme disease in dogs will often resolve the symptoms very quickly, but in certain cases, it will take longer for specific symptoms to disappear.
It is important to keep in touch with your vet for the ongoing care of your dog during this time to make sure the symptoms your dog is experiencing arent getting worse.
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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.
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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.
The Best Protection Is Prevention
You may think of ticks as being prevalent in the woods, and thats true. Yet, they can even be in suburban backyards. Ticks prefer long grass and shrubbery so keep your grass cut short and shrubs trimmed back to minimize their hiding places.
For tick protection, your veterinarian may suggest a tablet that lasts 3 months called Bravecto. It kills fleas and ticks for 3 months. There are also some topicals and a few tick collars which will kill ticks.
The best prevention is avoidance. Ticks are attached to grasses and shrubs and low hanging tree limbs. When humans and animals brush against these, the ticks will attach to hair and clothing. When these areas are wet, the ticks are much more likely to attach.
Youll also want to know that ticks can thrive year-round especially in warmer climates like the Southeast. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendations on tick protection.
Also, give your dog a thorough check when you come in after a walk especially, if your dog was near grass or shrubs where ticks like to hide. When it comes to your pet, ticks enjoy burrowing at the base of the tail, around the ears, and in between the paws.
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Arthritis And Lyme Disease Symptoms In Dogs: How To Distinguish Them
Arthritis and Lyme Disease Symptoms in Dogs: How to Distinguish Them
Lyme disease symptoms in dogs can be similar to the symptoms of arthritis. However, there are some crucial differences in the symptoms of the two illnesses.
Symptoms of Arthritis
A dog with arthritis may become less active due to the soreness of his joints. He may favor one leg over the other. He may move stiffly and slowly when sitting, standing, and lying down.
Arthritis commonly affects older dogs. Arthritic symptoms in dogs come on slowly and never improve on their own they only get worse with time.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs can include soreness in the joints, similar to that of arthritis. However, in Lyme disease the soreness comes on suddenly, and may move from one leg to another. If left untreated, the soreness may disappear, only to recur later.
Lyme disease symptoms in dogs can include hot, swollen joints, which is similar to rheumatoid arthritis. In Lyme disease, hot swollen joints are accompanied by high fever and swollen lymph glands.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease
Your vet will use an exam and blood tests to make a diagnosis of Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics, but the course of treatment may be quite long. With early detection, however, your dog can experience relief from Lyme disease symptoms within twenty-four hours.
The Best Way To Remove A Tick
Upon discovering a live tick on your pet, your first instinct might be to pull it off immediately. But rather than doing so with your bare hands, experts caution that patience is the safer route.
“The best way to take off every tick is with a sharpened tweezers and to kind of grab them as far down by the head as you can and pull them off,” explains Goldstein. “People ideally should wear gloves when they’re doing it, if they can, or just be careful. Theoretically, if you have a cut on your finger and you squish a tick and get the blood from the tick, you could get infected with something. So be careful not to do that.”
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Dogs With Lyme Disease Are Not Protected Against Future Lyme Disease
This is sometimes a hard concept for clients to understand because its unlike diseases which play by traditional rulesonce youve had it, you are immune. Think chickenpox.On the contrary, infection with Lyme does not create protective immunity, so a dog can contract Lyme disease more than once. This is called superinfection.
Therefore, if your dog has tested positive for Lyme disease in the past, you are not off the hook. Talk with your vet about protecting your dog against another Lyme infection.
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 The Cost Of Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs
The cost of treating Lyme disease depends on the severity of the disease. If caught early, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics along with a follow-up appointment and regular blood work to monitor the condition. If the infection is severe at the time of diagnosis, on the other hand, your dog may require hospital care with supportive treatments , which will be more expensive. Expect to pay for the initial office visit, diagnostic tests, medications, hospitalization, and any follow-up visits.
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 .
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Dogs All Over The World Contract Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is not just a U.S. problem. According to Dr. Marconi, there are three variants of Lyme that are rapidly spreading into Canada and Europepossibly due to migratory birds carrying the infected ticks to far-off places and across the ocean.
Lyme is named for Lyme, Connecticut, and while we typically think of the northeast as being a hotbed for Lyme cases, every state in the country has reported documented cases.
There is a misnomer that because I live in X state, my dog cant have Lyme disease. People make the same mistake, assuming they are safe based on geography. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth for both dogs and their human owners.
Ive heard horror stories of humans having a tough time getting a diagnosishaving to go for a second, and third, and even fourth opinionbecause a doctor may think, We dont see tick-borne disease in this area, so its pointless to test for it. The reality is that Lyme is rapidly becoming a serious problem throughout the United States and worldwide.
Lyme disease in dogs: the statistics
The Companion Animal Parasite Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the number of parasites in dogs and cats and reducing the risk of transmitting these parasites and diseases to humans.
Based on research from the CAPC, Dr. Marconi shared there are around 915,000 antibody-positive Lyme disease tests in dogs annually. Let that sink in. There are almost a million positive Lyme tests in dogs every year!
How Do Dogs Get Lyme Disease
Like humans, dogs can contract Lyme disease from ticks, specifically the deer tick, which carry the bacteria that causes the disease. The American Kennel Club notes that the ticks most likely to carry Lyme disease are typically found in forests and woods , marshes, tall grass, and areas with thick brush. In terms of geographical locations, ticks carrying Lyme have been expanding their reach across the United States in recent years, but are most prevalent in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest regions.
Dr. Sarah Wooten, veterinarian and American Society of Veterinary Journalists member, tells Pumpkin, When your dog spends time in the woods, marshes, grass, or bushy areas without adequate tick protection on board, these monstrous little bugs can latch on and bite. Those bites can transmit bacteria into your dogs bloodstream that cause Lyme disease, and thats when we have a real problem.
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Hope For A World Without Lyme Disease In Dogsand People
Im delighted and grateful that scientists, veterinarians, and doctors are making progress in the fight against Lyme.
I hope that in the next decade, the same technology were using for Lyme vaccination in dogs will be available and effective in people. I truly believe the stage is set. Wouldnt it be wonderful if, in just a few short years, Lyme disease is an illness of the past for both dogs and humans?
Diagnosis Of Monocytic Ehrlichiosis Bacterialinfection
Lab tests are used to diagnose this type of lyme disease.Testing often shows a decrease in your dog’s platelet count, the bloodcells that cause clotting , low red blood cell counts and lower white blood cell count . Yourveterinarian may also find enlarged lymph nodes and higher than normalliver enzyme counts.
Treatment of Ehrlichiosis Bacterial Infection
Antibiotics are used to treat this type of lymedisease for 3 weeks. If your dog has asevere case then treatment can last 1 year. If your dog has a severecase then your veterinarian may recommend a blood transfusion. Dogswith this problem are expected to make a full recovery. In some casesthe prognosis is not as good if all parts of the blood are affected.Similar concerns exist if your dog has a heart deformity or bone marrow disease .
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Lyme Is Not Transmitted Animal
I briefly touched on this last week, but its worth revisiting: once Lyme infects your dog, your furry companion cannot transmit it to other animals or people .
However, if your dog is positive, you are also at risk because you and your dog live and play in the same places. So if your dog tests positive, its a red flag to indicate that you should be concerned about exposure for you and your family as well.
If you are experiencing symptoms of the human form of Lyme disease, make an appointment to talk with your doctor as soon as possible.
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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Symptoms Of Tick Bite And Lyme Disease In Dogs
Only around 5-10% of dogs show symptoms of Lyme disease. Even if your dog carries Lyme disease, they might not show signs of having it. This is why its important to check your dog for ticks and take measures towards preventing ticks.
When checking your dog for ticks, run your hand over their coat looking for any bumps or irregularities. Ticks can hide in between paws and in ears, so be sure to look for small, round, reddish-brown bugs.
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs includes:
- Drawing fluids from swollen joints
If your dog develops symptoms of Lyme disease or develops a tick infestation, you may want to get yourself and other family members tested as well. Households can develop co-infections with other tick-borne diseases if the tick has more than one disease-causing bacteria. This can also put both you and your dog at-risk of further infecting your household and becoming sick.
What Does A Tick Look Like
A tick that just attached itself to your dog will look like asmall gray dot on the skin of the dog. As the tick grows it looks likea mark that just happens to appear such as a mole. The tick will attachitself for 5 to 7 days. You can tell it is a tick by the scales at itshind legs. As the tick drinks the dogs blood it gets enlarged. Whenthe tick is done drinking, it will fall off, consume the blood itdrank, and then look for a new host such as another animal or person.
See our guide to tick and tickbite pictures.
It is important to distinguish between the Black Legged Tick and theDog Tick. The Black Legged Tick carries Lyme disease and can attach toboth humans and dogs. The Dog Tick, , prefersto attach to dogs and DOES NOT carry Lyme disease. Pictures of bothtypes of ticks are below:
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Are Humans At Risk
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.