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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme’s Disease In A Dog

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How To Prevent Lyme Disease

Dog & Cat Tips : Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

One of the best ways to treat Lyme disease is to prevent your dog from getting ticks. These are just a few ways that you can prevent your dog from getting Lyme disease.

Monthly Flea and Tick Medication

There are many great monthly flea and tick medications that your dog can take to help kill any ticks that they come in contact with. This helps decrease the time that the ticks are attached to your dog, thus preventing the ability to transmit Lyme disease to your dog.

Check Your Dog for Ticks

Any time that you take your dog for a hike or walk and live in an area with a high prevalence of Lyme disease is to check your dog for ticks each day.

Keep your grass cut short

If you have long grass in your backyard, it increases the chance of ticks being about to attach to your dog. Keeping your grass short will help decrease the tick population in your yard and help keep your dog from developing Lyme disease.

Vaccinate Your Dog for Lyme Disease

There is a vaccine that you can give your dog to help prevent them from getting Lyme disease. This vaccine is usually only given to pets in areas that have a high percentage of Lyme disease. This would be a vaccine that they would need 2 weeks apart then they will need a booster each year.

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

How To Treat Lyme Disease In Dogs

If you think your dog has Lyme disease, you should take your dog to the vet immediately. The vet will conduct a blood test to see if your dog tests positive for Lyme disease. If positive, your vet will prescribe antibiotics to help eliminate the bacteria from your dogs bloodstream.

Treatment is a long process, and sometimes your vet will have to alter the prescribed antibiotic because the bacteria can become immune to certain medications.

Be sure to follow your vets instructions with administering any medication to your dog. Most antibiotics require the full course of medication to ensure the infection clears from the dogs system.

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Most Dogs Never Get Sick

A study was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania. In the experiment, researchers infected Beagles with Lyme disease. Yet none of the adult dogs showed any symptoms of the disease.

Then they used Beagle puppies. This is because puppies would have weaker immune systems than adult dogs. The puppies showed about four days of transient symptoms such as fever and lameness in the same study. After those four days of on-and-off symptoms, the pups became asymptomatic. This means their bodies cleared the infection without any treatment.

Meryl P Littman was the lead reaearcher . She explains exposure to Lyme disease is common, but the disease isnt.

95% of exposed dogs dont get sick, but they become Lyme antibody-positive on tests, which may scare people into thinking they need to be treated, she says. In some areas in New England, 70 90% of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive. At PennVet, we found about 40% of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive in our area.

So, it seems that Lyme disease isnt all that common. Dogs arent that likely to get it, even when infected. In fact, the experts at the ACVIM {American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) dont recommend testing for lyme disease in dogs, or giving the Lyme vaccine .

What Does The Lyme Multiplex Assay Measure

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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.

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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:

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 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.

Also Check: How Do You Get A Tick Tested For Lyme Disease

Using Cbd Oil In Your Dogs Treatment Plan

There is anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD is a holistic solution that can improve your dogs overall mood and increase their appetite. The increase in appetite is important because Lyme disease in dogs can reduce their appetite. Although CBD oil is not a treatment for Lyme disease in dogs, it can help stimulate appetite and can help mitigate any pain or discomfort your dog may be feeling. If your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease you should speak with your trusted veterinarian to come up with a treatment plan that suits your dog.

The Following Are Some Excellent Best

Ask the Vet: Lyme Disease Signs
  • Dont 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 dogs skin. Pull the tick straight out. Do not twist or jerk, which can leave parts of the tick in your dogs 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 dogs 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.

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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.

Diagnosing And Treating Canine Lyme Disease

Testing for Lyme involves two blood tests called the C6 test and the Quant C6 test, A preliminary blood test used to detect protein antibodies in the animals blood, the C6 test determines whether a Lyme infection exists. Antibodies are detectable from three to five weeks after an animal is bitten. In addition, C6 tests are offered as one part of a testing package that can detect other tick-borne infections. When C6 tests are positive, the Quant C6 test is then ordered to find out if antibody levels are elevated enough to justify starting treatment for an active Lyme disease infection.

Blood tests for Lyme disease determine red and white blood cell counts. A low red cell count and high white cell count may indicate the presence of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. A veterinarian will also perform a thorough check of your dogs skin to determine if any ticks are still attached and alive. If Lyme disease is suspected, your dog will be placed on a regimen of antibiotics to eradicate Lyme disease bacteria.

Veterinarians may also want to do additional tests such as:

  • Blood chemistries to evaluate pancreatic, liver and kidney functioning
  • Quantitative bacteria antibody screenings to monitor treatment response
  • Electrolyte assessment to ensure your dog isnt dehydrated
  • ECG tests to detect abnormal heart rhythms
  • Urine tests to evaluate kidney functioning

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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.

Additional ReferencesKlingborg DJ, Hustead DR, Curry-Galvin EA, et al. AVMA council on biologic and therapeutic agents report on cat and dog vaccines. JAVMA 2002 221:1401-1407.

Dambach DM, Smith CA, Lewis RM, Van Winkle TJ. Morphologic, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural characterization of a distinctive renal lesion in dogs putatively associated with Borrelia burgdorferi infection: 49 cases . Vet Pathol 1997 34:85-96.

Signs And Symptoms Of Untreated Lyme Disease

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Pets

Seek medical attention if you observe any of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs.

Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis.

The appearance of the erythema migrans rash can vary widely.

  • Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
  • Erythema migrans rash :
  • Occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons
  • Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days
  • Expands gradually over several days reaching up to 12 inches or more across
  • May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
  • Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or bulls-eye appearance
  • May appear on any area of the body
  • Does not always appear as a classic erythema migrans rash

Swollen Knee

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord

Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.

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How Do Dogs Get Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by the transmission of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi through a tick bite. The most common tick in the United States to transmit the disease is the deer tick, also known as the black-legged deer tick.

The deer tick that carry Lyme disease are most common in the following regions of the country:

  • Southern New England states, which include Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island

  • Eastern mid-Atlantic states, which include New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

  • Upper Midwest states, specifically in Wisconsin and Minnesota

  • West-coast areas, particularly northern California

The CDC provides a map of cases of Lyme disease throughout the years. You can look at cases in your state to better understand your dogs risk.

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.

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Is My Dog At Risk Of Canine Lyme Disease

The short answer is a resounding yes. If you walk your dog in one of Torontos many wonderful series of wooded trail systems, you and your dog are susceptible. Canine Lyme Disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in the Toronto area, initiated by the bite of infected, Ixode scapularis, also known as Deer or Blacklegged ticks. While not all variations of ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of Blacklegged, Deer and American Dog ticks continue to expand in the GTA and other parts of Ontario.

Canine Lyme Disease Risk Assessment:
  • Have you seen or heard of ticks on people or pets in your area?
  • Is your dog likely to go into areas where ticks are found?
  • Do you live in an area with ticks and/or where there are cases of Lyme disease in animals or humans?
  • Are you likely to travel with your dog to areas where Lyme disease is present?
  • Have you forgotten to give monthly tick medication on time?
  • If you answered YES to any of these questions, protection against disease-carrying ticks a small, chewy and tasty treat for your dog is recommended.

    How Is The Lyme Multiplex Assay Different From The Assay My Veterinarian Can Perform

    Lyme Disease: Signs and Symptoms in Dogs and Humans

    Your veterinarian can perform a quick assay in-house that checks for antibodies against only one B. burgdorferi surface protein. The in-house assay cannot detect early infection, cannot determine vaccination status, and does not quantify the amount of antibodies your animal is producing. Quantifying antibodies is an important measure for successful treatment and to confirm cure from Lyme disease.

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    How Can I Treat My Dogs Lyme Disease At Home

    Unfortunately, there are no home remedies for Lyme disease. The disease can be difficult to treat, and even after a prolonged antibiotic course, symptoms can recur. Knowing when the dog has cleared the infection can be a challenge with available diagnostics.

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