Where Do Ticks Live And How Do They Get On Dogs
Ticks that carry Lyme disease are especially likely to be found in tall grasses, thick brush, marshes, and woods especially where deer populations are high. Ticks do not jump but only crawl and in seeking a host, will latch onto your dog when they pass by.
Lyme disease was named after a high number of cases that occurred in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975, but cases in dogs have been reported in every state in the United States. However, Lyme disease is more common in some geographical locations specifically, the Northeast, upper Midwest, and northern Pacific coast. Dog owners who live or spend time in these areas should be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs, as well as the preventative measures available.
Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. A spirochete is a type of bacterium.
“Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick.”
Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints or kidneys. The most common type of tick to carry Lyme disease is the deer tick . Deer ticks are distributed through the Midwest and eastern United States, as well as throughout Canada with the highest proportion in Ontario.
Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
Keeping your dog on a tick prevention medication year-round is the easiest way to help prevent Lyme disease. Other ways to keep this condition from infecting your dog include avoiding long grass or bush during walks, doing a daily tick check and learning how to safely remove them from your pet, and vaccinating your dog against Lyme.
If your dog is showing signs of Lyme disease, contact our Greensboro vets as soon as possible.
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.
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What To Expect At The Vets Office
If your pet has been diagnosed with uncomplicated Lyme disease, this is what you can expect to happen at your veterinarians office.
- Depending on the type of test used to screen for Lyme disease, a confirmatory test may be necessary.
- Urine protein screening — In general, only dogs who have symptoms of Lyme disease or protein in their urine should be treated with antibiotics.
- Dogs with protein in their urine should have regularly scheduled rechecks to monitor their condition.
Lyme Disease In Dogs: Treatment & Cure
Lyme disease is a common tick-transmitted disease seen in people and pets across North America. Although Lyme disease in people often leads to chronic symptoms such as joint pain, Lyme disease in dogs is treatable. Here our Alpharetta vets explain some causes, symptoms, and treatments for Lyme disease in dogs.
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Hallmark Signs And Symptoms Of Infection
Chronic infection with any stealth microbe is associated with nonspecific symptoms . Even the symptoms that are considered classic for a particular microbe do not always occur. There are numerous species and strains of all of the different microbes, each of which have slightly different characteristics. If a classic symptom is present, however, it may help with diagnosis and treatment.
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How To Protect Your Pets
Tick-check and wash. Pets who roam freely in the woods are more likely to pick up ticks. Be sure to perform daily tick checks and remove any and all ticks. Washing your pet frequently can help remove ticks you cant see.
Minimize exposure. Fencing systems can help confine a pet in an area where the animal is less likely to pick up ticks or where other tick control measures have been implemented. Do not allow your pet to roam freely in tick-infested areas.
Vaccinate. There are Lyme vaccinations available for animals. Check with your vet. Vaccination early will provide better protection. But vaccination even after treatment can help reduce future infection. Be sure to use the right medication for your animal. DO NOT use a dog vaccine or tick repellent intended for dogs on a cat.
For more information about recognizing Lyme symptoms in your pet, also see Pet Infections.
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How Is The Lyme Multiplex Assay Different From The Assay My Veterinarian Can Perform
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.
Can An Animal Get Infected Despite Being Vaccinated
Yes. This has been observed that some animals can still get infected after Lyme vaccination. This can be due to a low immune response of the respective animal and/or a very high exposure rate or Lyme prevalence in the area where the animal lives. A yearly check of the OspA titer is recommended for a vaccinated animal to ensure that the animal responded with high OspA antibodies to vaccination. Please indicate the name of the vaccine and when it has been last applied on the accession form.
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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.
The Damage Lyme Disease Can Do
Lyme disease can damage all of the bodys systems. Specifically, the illness can wreak havoc on:
- The heart and circulatory system
- The central nervous system
- Gastrointestinal system
So, can Lyme disease cause damage to the renal system? Yes. Lets get to the bottom of how that occurs, and what can happen if it does.
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What Causes Lyme Disease In Dogs
Dogs contract Lyme disease through the bite of infected ticks. These ticks contain the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is a type of organism known as a spirochete.
There are at least four species of ticks in the world known to carry Lyme disease:
In the United States, the most common source of transmission is the Deer Tick or Black-Legged Tick, scientifically known as Ixodes pacificus on the West Coast and Ixodes scapularis on the East Coast. In Europe, the Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus ticks carry Lyme disease.
These ticks are tiny, which can make them hard to see or feel on your dog, and all stages of the tick can carry and spread the disease, although adult ticks tend to be the most infectious. It typically takes 24 to 48 hours after attaching to a host for the tick to spread the Lyme-causing bacteria, although transmission of disease can sometimes occur much more rapidly.
Certain areas are more prone to ticks than others. Wooded or grassy areas and areas with large tick populations pose the highest risk of infection. Ticks tend to be most active in the spring and fall when they are actively seeking hosts, which increases the risk of Lyme transmission. However, recent evidence indicates that ticks are also active in winter, as long as the temperature is above freezing.
Determining The Source Of Your Symptoms
Again, its important to note that symptoms of tick-borne diseases in humans can vary greatly from person to person and can change over time if diseases are not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
The presence of any one of the symptoms above does not alone guarantee that you have a tick-borne disease, but if you do experience them alongside any other potential symptoms, its important to talk to a trusted doctor and get tested immediately.
IGeneX is proud to offer highly accurate, highly sensitive diagnostic testing for all major tick-borne diseases in the U.S., including Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonellosis, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. Learn more about IGeneX testing today.
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What Are The Stages Of Lyme Infection
There are three stages:
- Early localized Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye or is round and red and at least 2 inches long
- Early disseminated Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms and legs, changes in your vision, heart palpitations and chest pain, a rash , and a type of facial paralysis known as Bellâs palsy
- Late disseminated Lyme: This can happen weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. Symptoms might include arthritis, severe fatigue and headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and confusion.
About 10% of people treated for Lyme infection donât shake the disease. They may go on to have three core symptoms: joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss or confusion. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. It can be hard to diagnose because it has the same symptoms as other diseases. Plus, there isn’t a blood test to confirm it.
Experts arenât sure why Lyme symptoms donât always go away. One theory is that your body keeps fighting the infection even after the bacteria are gone, like an autoimmune disorder.
Signs Of Lyme Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:
- Recurrent arthritis/lameness that lasts 34 days
- Loss of appetite
- Reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait
- Swollen joints that are warm to the touch
- Pain in the legs or throughout the body
While there are many species of ticks, Lyme disease is usually carried by:
- Deer Ticks
- Western Black Legged Ticks
- Lone Star Ticks
Its important to understand that that Lyme disease isnt caused by the tick itself. Well get into detail about this later. But first, lets make sure you understand the ticks role in Lyme Disease in different stages of development larvae, nymph and adult.
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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.
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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Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
It has been suggested that in dogs, neurologic manifestations and myocarditis may be associated with Lyme disease, but these manifestations are uncommon and poorly understood. In dogs co-infected with other tick-borne pathogens , overall clinical signs can be worse and treatment complicated. Although cats in Lyme disease-endemic areas are commonly seropositive for B. burgdorferi, findings of associated clinical disease are rare or unclear. In cats experimentally infected with B. burgdorferi, no signs of clinical disease were observed 14 however, some practitioners in highly Lyme diseaseendemic areas report having seen cats displaying clinical signs of Lyme disease.15,16
Prevention Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Monthly tick prevention is very important if you live in an endemic area. There are several oral and topical prescription tick preventions that your vet can prescribe for your pets. There is also a Lyme vaccine that is recommended for dogs in endemic areas or those who hunt or spend a lot of time outdoors and in nature. This is an annual vaccine that your regular vet will carry.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Dogs can display several forms of Lyme disease, but the most common symptoms are lameness, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In addition, serious kidney complications have been associated with Lyme disease in dogs.
Clinical signs of Lyme disease in horses include shifting-leg lameness, generalized stiffness, hypersensitivity to touch, weight loss, and poor performance. Sometimes, the bacteria can infect the central nervous system, leading to neurologic symptoms.
How Long After Treatment Should The Horse/dog Be Re
Antibodies decrease slowly but gradually after the pathogen is cleared from the hosts circulation. Re-testing should not be performed too early. For horses/dogs with positive values for antibodies to OspF but negative values for antibodies to OspC , retesting should be done 3 months after the treatment was started. For horses with a positive OspC antibody value retesting can be done 6-8 weeks after the treatment started. At the time of retesting, a decrease of antibody levels can be expected in successfully treated animals. Serum antibodies may not have completely disappeared at this time. However, they should have dropped by about 40% of the original positive value.
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How Do I Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
After your dog walks through areas with long grass or thick underbrush where ticks might be hiding, it is a good idea to check them for ticks. Removing ticks can be a tricky process, if you spot a tick on your dog, contact your vet for detailed instructions.
Lyme disease is much more serious in humans than dogs, so it is doubly important that you check yourself for ticks too.
You dog cannot give you Lyme disease, they are not a risk to you or your family. However, if they bring an infected tick into your home, it might be able to transmit the disease to you.
Finally, make sure you follow good tick prevention practices all year long. Avoid areas with tall grass or brushing through undergrowth. Ask your vet about vaccinating your dog against Lyme and check your dog for ticks every time you take them outside.
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
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