Etiology And Transmission Of Lyme Borreliosis In Animals
Lyme borreliosis is caused by infection with spirochetal bacteria belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex. Within this complex, the following spirochete species are well-established causes of Lyme borreliosis in people: B burgdorferi sensu stricto , B mayonii , B afzelii , B bavariensis , and B garinii . The predominant species responsible for Lyme borreliosis in animals is B burgdorferi sensu stricto . It is unclear whether other Borrelia species within the sensu lato complex can cause Lyme borreliosis in animals. Tick vectors of B burgdorferi sensu lato are hard-shelled Ixodes ticks Ixodes spp Ixodes spp, the largest genus of the family Ixodidae, contains approximately 245 species and is highly specialized both structurally and biologically. So far as is known, all Ixodes spp have read more . In the USA, I scapularis is the predominant vector in the Northeast and Midwest, whereas I pacificus is the predominant vector on the Pacific coast. In Europe and Asia, I ricinus and I persulcatus are the primary vectors.
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.
The Following Are Some Excellent Best
- Don’t let your dog run free in areas where ticks are prevalent.
- Keep your dog on a leash and stay on the trails.
- Check yourself and your dog after every outing.
- Ticks like to hide between toes, in ears, on heads, on bellies or under tails.
- If you find a tick, remove it right away. Remember, it can take over 12 hours before a disease-carrying tick can infect your dog.
- Use tweezers and grasp the tick close to your dog’s skin. Pull the tick straight out. Do not twist or jerk, which can leave parts of the tick in your dog’s skin.
- Take your dog to your vet for a tick examination or removal.
- Ask your vet for an appropriate flea and tick guard product.
- You can put chewable tick preventatives in your dog’s food.
- If you live in a tick-infested area, ask your veterinarian about getting your dog a Lyme disease vaccine.
Now you know the importance of recognizing the symptoms of Lyme disease in your dog. This disease can be fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, Lyme disease is curable with antibiotics, but you must get your dog to your vet if they show any symptoms. Finally, practice preventative measures to make sure your dog never contracts Lyme disease.
Recommended Reading: How You Get Lyme Disease
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.
Tick Borne Diseases In Dogs: How To Spot And Prevent These Potentially Dangerous Diseases
Many people think that ticks can only affect humans, but, in fact, dogs are more commonly used as a host than humans. Not only can ticks be shocking and disturbing to find feeding on your pet, but they can also pass serious diseases.
Here at Prairie View Animal Hospital we use the 4dx test to screen our dogs annually for an immune respose to three common tick-bourne diseases, lyme, ehrlichia, and anaplasma. Unfortunately, all three diseases have been diagnosed in patients in our hospital just this year.
Also Check: Dr Nader Soliman Lyme Disease
What The Research Says About Lyme Disease In Dogs
Swiss researcher Dr Thomas Rau went to areas where Lyme was common. There he studied groups of farmers who were likely exposed to Lyme. And he found something interesting
80% of the farmers had Lyme disease, but of that 80%, only 2% showed any symptoms. That means the vast majority of the farmers with Lyme disease were able to fight it off on their own. But why was that?
Dr Rau decided to find out. And this is where it gets interesting
Dr Rau discovered that 100% of the people with full blown Lyme symptoms had other viruses viruses that had already stressed the immune system.
This is in line with current research published in 2012 that looked into cases of Lyme disease . It revealed a link between existing health issues and Lyme disease symptoms.
How Do Dogs Act With Ticks
If you start seeing the following symptoms, your dog may have a tick somewhere on their body: Licking and chewing: Your dog may lick and chew at a particular area on its body where the tick is located. Red, inflamed skin: Sometimes, the skin around the embedded tick can become swollen, inflamed, and red.
Also Check: Can Lyme Disease Cause Headaches
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 .
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.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed In Dogs
The diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on a few different things. These may include a history of tick exposure, the symptoms that are currently present, and the overall health of your dog. Your veterinarian will then do a variety of tests. These may include blood and urine samples, synovial samples and x-rays may be done to diagnose Lyme disease in dogs and secondary infections such as kidney disease.
Don’t Miss: Lyme Disease Test Turnaround Time
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.
What Are Lyme Disease Symptoms In Dogs
- Fact Checked
If you are familiar with Lyme disease in dogs, then you are aware of its ramifications, which are an ugly, horrible thing. The nature of the disease does not differ from dog to human. It is relentless in its pursuits. Thus it is imperative that you as a dog owner understand the symptoms a canine shows once afflicted. The sooner its caught, the better chance the dog has of beating it.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial illness that tends to, once it has entered the bloodstream, localize in a canines joints. However, once its in, the bacteria can also travel the length of their bodies and shoehorn themselves into certain organs or specific areas.
Being that dogs have a propensity to tumble around in the outdoors, they are more at risk for contacting ticks, which are the sole carriers of this disease.
Read Also: Best Lyme Disease Doctors In Ny
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.
Meet the Team
How Can Pet Parents Prevent Canine Lyme Disease
Testing is required to diagnose a case of Lyme disease in dogs. Your veterinarian will use a blood test to confirm the presence of antibodies associated with the disease. Keep in mind that it takes at least four weeks for these antibodies to show up on a test. If your dog has recently suffered a tick bite, a test administered in the first four weeks wont offer any indication of whether your dog has Lyme disease or not.
Veterinarians will combine this test with their own physical evaluation of your dog when making a diagnosis. Once a positive test is confirmed, your dogs vet will likely prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria at the root of their condition, although specific treatment protocols may depend on the health of your dog.
Even if your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease in the past, your veterinarian may recommend vaccination to prevent additional cases of Lyme disease in the future. This vaccination is performed in two phases, with an initial vaccination and another booster administered several weeks later. It is recommended that dogs receive an annual booster to maximize the efficacy of the vaccination. Beyond a vaccine, you can take other preventative measures by giving your dog preventative tick medications, as well as checking them regularly for ticks latched onto their skin. The risk of contracting Lyme disease increases the longer a tick is attached, so prompt identification and removal will reduce the likelihood of canine Lyme disease.
Don’t Miss: How To Test For Lyme
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:
- 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.
Can Lyme Go Away On Its Own
Can Lyme Disease Go Away on Its Own? It is possible a person with Lyme disease can clear the infection on their own, but its better to be treated because complications that can arise are very serious. For most people, the disease and its symptoms do not resolve without treatment.
Recommended Reading: Red Light Therapy For Lyme Disease
What Happens If You Have Lyme Disease In Your Dog
Although not commonly occurring in dogs, Lyme disease can lead to kidney failure and death in severe cases. The most common sign of Lyme disease in dogs is arthritis, which causes sudden limping, pain, and sometimes swelling of one or more joints.
Are there diseases that can kill a dog?
When you adopt a dog, you expect to face certain health issues that will arise. While most common ailments dogs suffer from are mild and often easily treated, some others can be serious and cause irreparable organ damage. The most serious health problems in dogs can be fatal.
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.
You May Like: Can You Have Lyme Disease For Years
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.
Lyme Disease In Dogs: What Your Vet Isnt Telling You
Lyme disease the mere thought of it is terrifying to pet owners everywhere. Rashes, lameness, swollen joints these are all symptoms that you never want your dog to experience.
The good news is, the situation isnt as scary as you may have thought.
Before we look at why, lets take a look at how dogs get Lyme disease in the first place.
Also Check: Cottages For Rent In Old Lyme Ct
Arthritis Caused By Lyme Disease
There are many causes for arthritis, and your veterinarian will focus on differentiating arthritis initiated by Lyme disease from other inflammatory arthritic disorders, such as trauma and degenerative joint disease.
Immune-mediated diseases will also be considered as a possible cause of the symptoms. X-rays of the painful joints will allow your doctor to examine the bones for abnormalities.
How To Remove A Tick From Your Dog
If you find a tick on your dog, pull it off either using a tick remover tool or you can just use your hands and a tissue. You want to avoid any twisting or crushing, as this may force material out of the tick and into the bite wound.
Gently clean the area with soap and water and see your vet if it appears inflamed, swollen, infected, or concerning in any way. Avoid applying any ointments or oils to the area, as these can actually seal in any bacteria that tick may have been carrying.
Recommended Reading: Can Lyme Disease Make Your Liver Enzymes Off