False Sense Of Security
He advises, Dont get a false sense of security with any flea or tick control product. You still need to watch for symptoms. If I were going hiking or camping where I knew my dog were going to be exposed to more ticks, I would use a topical spray or collar that both repels and kills ticks.
Dr. Bell says many of the tests for tick-borne diseases are prone to false negatives, especially in the early stage of illness. For instance, with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the dog may have a fever and get very sick. Whether I see the tick or not, if the dog has symptoms, I give it doxycycline.
Used by permission.
While Lyme is the most common tick-borne disease, we also have a fair amount of tick paralysis in my part of California . Tick paralysis is a potentially fatal disease that occurs when certain species of ticks inject neurotoxins from their salivary glands into a warm-blooded animal or human.
Dr. Bell explains, with tick paralysis, the dog will be weak, wobbly and will quickly progress to the point it cant walk. Eventually, paralysis will affect the dogs respiratory system, if you dont get the tick off. Products like NexGard offer good protection against tick paralysis.
What You Should Do
Your parent or another responsible adult should check you for ticks after youâve been playing or hiking in the woods, especially on your head , back, neck, armpits, and groin area. If you ever find a tick on you, ask for an adultâs help in removing it. Using tweezers, an adult should grab the tick as close as possible to your skin, and pull the tick off in one motion. Donât cover the tick with petroleum jelly, fingernail polish, or any other substance, since these donât help the tick come out and can make things more complicated.
If part of the tick stays in your skin, donât worry it will eventually come out. But you should tell a parent if you notice any irritation in the area. Once the tick is removed, your parent may want to put the tick in a small container or zip-locked bag to show to your doctor.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is one of the more commonly known tick-borne diseases to affect dogs and humans. It is carried by the American Dog Tick and the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, as well as the Brown Deer Tick. This disease has been found in much of North, South, and Central America. Signs include fever, poor appetite, swollen lymph nodes, and joint pain. Low platelets, which help in blood clotting, are often found. On occasion, neurological signs such as wobbliness can also occur.
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What Is Chronic Lyme Or Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome
- This is when someone has lasting symptoms of fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches at the time they finish treatment. Flu-like symptoms may also occur.,,
- Some people have symptoms lasting more than 6 months.,
- The exact cause is not known. Most medical experts believe that the lingering symptoms are the result of residual damage to the tissues and the immune system that occurred during the infection.
How Is Canine Lyme Disease Treated And Prevented
Because Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics, once an animal has been examined and tested positive. The antibiotic of choice for canines is doxycycline. Treatment lasts for up to 4 weeks.
The Cabbagetown Pet Clinic offers a comprehensive Cabbagetown Care Program, which includes a canine Lyme vaccination. This is the only way to assure dogs in endemic and expansion areas, such as Toronto, are protected.
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Do I Need To Take My Dog To The Vet After A Tick Bite
Most vets will say that you do not need to take your dog to the vet after a tick bite, but you should monitor your dog for signs or symptoms of Lyme disease for the next several weeks or months. Rest assured knowing that only 10% of dogs that contract Lyme disease will develop symptoms of the illness. But if your dog develops a fever, lethargy, lameness, or swollen lymph nodes, contact your vet. They can conduct a test to see if antibodies specific to the Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme disease are present. The test may need to be repeated in 4 weeks as it can take some time before these antibodies begin to develop in response to infection.
If a test comes back positive, the vet will likely conduct a more precise test to determine the level of antibodies. They may also check the blood and urine to assess kidney function. Once all the results are back, it can still be a wait-and-watch situation before the vet proceeds with treatment, as treatment isnât always recommended if the dog isnât symptomatic.
Impawtant Stuff To Know About Lyme Disease In Dogs
This Blog was originally published on:
Reviewed by Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM.
Lyme disease has become increasingly common in humans, and as a result, many pet owners have become concerned about Lyme disease in dogs. While this tick-borne illness is serious, it doesnt have to be a deadly one for our canine companions. That said, dog owners still need to be quite vigilant and responsible about taking proper precautions to prevent and treat Lyme disease in their pets. Heres everything you need to know about Lyme disease in dogs so you can stay informed and prepared.
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What Is Canine Lyme Disease
The risk for you and your pet specifically dogs of contracting Lyme disease is increasingly on the rise across areas of Ontario.
Incidence of Canine Lyme Disease easily keeps pace with the increased incidence of the disease in humans, and probably more. Although likely true that the incidence of Lyme disease is higher in dogs than humans, there is no national or provincial system for capturing the incidence of Canine Lyme Disease.
Lacking a national or provincial system for tracking, reviewing the human data for Lyme disease is important as an indication of the exposure and potential infection in dogs.
A Ticks Life
Ticks dont fly, jump or blow around with the wind. They are sluggish and lumbering and can be as small as a poppy seed. Bites are usually painless, so you or your pet may not know that theres been a bite.
Thorough And Frequent Tick Checks
The war on ticks cant take place on just one front you have to devote time and constant vigilance to prevent sneak attacks on your dog. Practice these anti-enemy missions on a regular basis:
Check for ticks during and after every outdoor venture. Especially examine your dogs legs, armpits, belly, neck, and face. Ticks naturally travel toward dark and/or warm, blood-rich areas of the dog. Remember: The goal is to find the ticks when they are still tiny, before they are engorged with blood. The transmission of the Lyme-causing spirochete does not happen until 24 hours after the tick begins feeding.
Take extra time to examine your dog for the presence of ticks when the pests are at their most active. Ticks increase their movements in mid-morning, from about 8am until about 11am the largest number of ticks emerge on sunny days. Ticks are also most active from April through October.
Using a flea comb helps detect and remove tiny ticks. Drop the ticks you find into a container of tick-killing solution. Do not squish them or toss them away the tiny creatures can survive this treatment.
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Treatment Of Erythema Migrans Rash
People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease can help prevent late Lyme disease. Treatment regimens listed in the following table are for the erythema migrans rash, the most common manifestation of early Lyme disease. These regimens may need to be adjusted depending on a persons age, medical history, underlying health conditions, pregnancy status, or allergies. Consult an infectious disease specialist regarding individual patient treatment decisions. For treating other manifestations, see www.cdc.gov/Lyme/treatment.
|30 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses||500 mg per dose||14|
*When different durations of antibiotics are shown to be effective for the treatment of Lyme disease, the shorter duration is preferred to minimize adverse effects, including infectious diarrhea and antimicrobial resistance.
NOTE: For people intolerant of amoxicillin, doxycycline, and cefuroxime, the macrolide azithromycin may be used, although it is less effective. People treated with azithromycin should be closely monitored to ensure that symptoms resolve.
Can Infection Be Spread Directly From One Dog To Another Dog Or From My Dog To My Family
Direct spread of Lyme disease from one dog to another dog has not been reported, even when infected and uninfected dogs have lived together for long periods.
Spread of Lyme disease from dogs to people has not been reported either, but people are equally at risk for Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected tick.
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Where These Ticks Are Found
Lyme disease ticks can be found in leaf litter, woodpiles, stone walls, tall grass, beach grass, bushy areas, areas planted with ground covers, and lawn edges that meet forests, woodlots, and gardens. Essentially, Lyme disease ticks can be found anywhere their hosts live, though they tend to prefer moist and shady areas. The deer tick is infected by vertebrate animals like white-footed mice, chipmunks, shrews, ground-feeding birds, and other small mammals that have Lyme disease bacteria themselves.
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Reducing The Number Of Ticks
Other methods help reduce the number of ticks in your immediate environment.
Regularly maintain your property and buildings to limit the number of rodents, which often carry the bacterium and cause immature ticks to become infected.
Manage the vegetation around the periphery of your home and in play areas. Keep your grass cut, and clear away any leaf litter that accumulates on the ground.
Installing a fence to keep white-tailed deer at a distance is recommended. Adult blacklegged ticks prefer these deer, as they provide an appropriate environment for ticks to mature and reproduce.
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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.
Zoonosis And Human Transmission
Lyme disease can infect both dogs and humans. Humans do not get Lyme directly from dogs, but rather from the same deer-ticks that can infect people. Limit the opportunities for your pet to bring ticks into your spaces by implementing tick control measures.
Make sure to check both of your bodies for ticks after being in areas with a high prevalence, as well as after being in tall grass, forest litter and brushing against other vegetation.
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How Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Treated
Treatment for Lyme disease consists of at least 4 weeks of antibiotics. Your vet will prescribe these if your dog shows signs of Lyme disease or has a high level of antibodies, even without any symptoms.
A second round of antibiotics might be required if the infection persists, Richardson says.
In severe cases, further medical treatment of the kidneys, heart, or nerves may be needed, along with supportive care like intravenous fluids. To manage your pets pain, a veterinarian may prescribe NSAID pain relievers or steroids and restrict exercise.
Yikes You Found A Tick On Your Dog How Can You Remove It
The biggest key here is to be very careful and very quick, Dr. Wooten advises. This is because your dog is most likely to contract Lyme disease from a tick thats been feeding for 12 hours. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Protect your hands from potential bacteria and bites with a tissue or disposable gloves.
- Get a great set of tweezers dedicated exclusively to this purpose. Use these to remove any moving ticks you find immediately by pulling it straight up and off of your dog.
- If the tick isnt moving and is stuck on your dogs skin, get your tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight up and off of your pet. Be careful not to twist your tweezers, as this may rip off only part of the tick and leave its mouth on your pet and leave your dog at risk of infection.
- If necessary, ask someone to help restrain your dog while you remove the tick.
- Place the tick in rubbing alcohol or crush it. If you crush the tick, be sure not to get any of it on your skin.
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Lyme Disease From Tick Larvae
Ticks arent born with Lyme Disease. They too get it from another living organism.
In the spring, ticks lay their eggs. By late summer the larvae hatch and are ready to feed. They wait on the ground for a small mammal or bird to arrive and brush up against it.
The larva will attach itself to the small animal and begin feeding over the next few days. If this animal has Lyme disease, the larva will carry the bacterium in its stomach. Mice and ground-feeding birds often serve as spirochete hosts. When the tick attaches to its next host, the bacterium transfers into the blood of the new host.
Larvae are very hard to detect as they are no larger than a period in a print magazine.
What Should I Do If I Find A Tick On My Dog
If you find a tick on your dog, it may be preferable to have your veterinarian remove the tick because identification of the tick species requires an undamaged specimen. The tick’s head and mouthparts may become a source of inflammation and infection if they remain buried in your dog’s skin. If you decide to remove the tick yourself:
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How Much Does It Cost To Treat Lyme Disease
A long treatment course sounds pricey, doesnt it? The initial bloodwork for the Lyme disease test costs around $80. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, you must focus on treatment for your dogs Lyme disease.
Antibiotics arent cheap, and in some areas, a two-week supply can cost $400 or more. Blood tests are also needed, which cost about $80, and an exam fee can be $40 or more. How can you reduce these costs?
Consider pet insurance for this or any potential emergency you and your pet may happen upon. So long as it was not a pre-existing condition, pet insurance companies will pay for treatment medications, blood tests and potentially exam fees.
Can I Catch Lyme Disease From My Dog
Dogs are not a direct source of infection for people. Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dogs fur and get on you.
If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, you and any other pets have probably been in the same outdoor environment and may also be at risk, so it is a good idea to consult with your physician and veterinarian to see whether you should test other pets or family members.
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Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs
One way to help prevent your dog from contracting Lyme disease is to keep your pet on a tick prevention medication year-round and speak to your vet about vaccinating your dog against Lyme.
Whenever your dog has been walking through areas where ticks may be hiding, it is a good idea to check your pet’s skin when you get home. It’s important to remove ticks as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
That said, removing ticks isn’t as straightforward as you may think. Contact your vet for instruction on how to properly remove ticks from your dog. .
Remember – Lyme disease is much more severe in humans than it is in dogs! If you walk in areas with long grass or shrubs be sure to check your skin regularly for ticks. Contact your doctor for advice on removing ticks if you find one latched onto your skin. Lyme disease in humans can cause a host of painful chronic symptoms.
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.