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What Is Lyme Disease In Dogs

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If an infected tick has been on your dogs body for 24-48 hours, they have the ability to spread Lyme disease to your pup.

Once the bacteria makes its way into your dogs bloodstream, the clinical signs typically develop anywhere from 2-5 months after infection.

Some dogs have been known to develop symptoms years after their tick bite, proving just how varied this disease can be.

Not only can it take months for symptoms of Lyme disease to develop in dogs, but the clinical signs can come and go if the disease is left untreated.

For example, a dogs limp may disappear suddenly, only to return months later with a vengeance.

Natural Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme disease in dogs is the leading tick-borne disease in the United States.

And while Lyme disease may not be common and many dogs never develop any symptoms, it is something that you need to treat if your dog starts showing signs

But if your dog does get this infection, dont run to the vet for drugs without trying these natural alternatives first.

Tiny Deer Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease

Although the tick prefers certain creaturessuch as voles, white-footed mice, or deerupon which to feed during the various stages of its life cycle, it is quite willing to feed on people or dogs. Regardless of its stage of development , if the tick carries the bacteria in its body, people and dogs can become infected if bitten. Once a tick attaches, it takes 1-2 days for it to transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, so prompt removal of ticks is important. Risk of transmission is highest during periods when the nymphs and adults are actively seeking hosts.

Lyme disease in dogs has been reported in every state in the United States, but certain geographical areas are much more likely to harbor bacteria-carrying ticks than others. Infection rates of ticks vary, but can be as high as 50%. Areas in the United States where it occurs most often include the northeast , upper Midwest, and Pacific coast. The disease is actually named after the town Lyme, Connecticut, where an early outbreak was first described. Lyme disease is also seen in Europe and Asia. The risk of Lyme disease being transmitted to people is increasing. In the last 20 years, the number of cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control has about doubled, to around 30,000/year. Although the rate of occurrence of the disease in a geographic area is similar in both animals and people, animals, especially dogs, are at significantly higher risk because of their greater exposure to ticks.

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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.

Antibody Titers For Lyme Disease

Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Antibody titers can provide helpful diagnostic information, although antibodies cannot be detected for 4 to 6 weeks after the bacteria have entered the dog.3,6

Diagnostic tests for antibodies to B burgdorferi are available as immunofluorescence assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay , Western blot, and polymerase chain reaction. ELISAs are available for in-house screening.2 Western blot testing is the gold standard and can be used if the ELISA result and the clinical presentation are discordant .1

Because most infections in dogs are subclinical, infection must be differentiated from previous exposure.1,3 In the absence of clinical signs, a positive antibody test result does not indicate disease 1 rather, a positive test result indicates only previous exposure to Borrelia bacteria.

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How Common Is Lyme Disease

The Companion Animal Parasite Council’s interactive map shows Lyme disease activity in each Oregon county. As expected, it is more common in locations where there are woods that host the Western black-legged tick. During the past six years, 4050 human cases of Lyme disease have been reported each year. Most cases occur in the summer months.

Prevention Of Lyme Disease

  • Dogs should be treated regularly with a readily available, effective, tick-control product. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the best product for your pet.

  • In areas where Lyme disease is common, ask your veterinarian about whether vaccination is recommended.

  • Dogs should be routinely checked for ticks after they have been outside, especially if they have been in tall grass and brush during the spring, summer, or fall.

  • Remove any ticks by using fine-pointed tweezers to grasp the head of the tick . Pull the tick straight off, making sure not to grasp or squeeze its body.

  • Dogs should be brushed regularly. Watch carefully for any ticks that are removed and capture and dispose of them before they can either reattach to the dog or migrate to other pets or people in the household.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease is often based on the signs and history. For example, a veterinarian might suspect Lyme disease in a dog with recent lameness, a mild fever, and a history that includes possible exposure to ticks. Standard blood studies are not very helpful in diagnosis because the results tend to fall within normal ranges despite signs of infection. However, these tests may be important in order to rule out other causes of disease. Antibodies against the disease-causing bacteria can often be detected 4 to 6 weeks after the initial infection and help confirm the diagnosis.

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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.

Can Lyme Disease Be Transmitted From Pet To Pet

Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme disease is seen in dogs, cats, and humans but thankfully, no, Lyme disease is not contagious, as it can only be transmitted via a tick bite. However, if one of your dogs or cats develops it, youll want to get all of your pets checked for the illness, as they may all be at risk of exposure to the ticks that infected your sick fur baby. You may even want to get yourself checked as well, as people are usually in the same places as their pets.

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Lyme Disease In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment

Reviewed and updated on April 14, 2020 by Rania Gollakner, DVM

Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but it only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. So some dogs may have it, but never show symptoms.

Transmission of Lyme disease has been reported in dogs throughout the United States and Europe, but its most prevalent in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific coastal states.

However, the disease is spreading and becoming more common throughout the United States. Heres some info about the causes and prevention of Lyme disease, as well as the symptoms you should look for and treatment options.

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.

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If My Dog Tests Positive Does He Need To Be Treated

The decision to treat Lyme disease is somewhat controversial since many infected dogs show no signs of illness. Factors that would support treatment include:

a moderate to high value of QC6 signs of illness compatible with Lyme disease at the time of testing a history of illness compatible with Lyme disease within the past year the presence of abnormal levels of protein in the urine.

Your Veterinarian Will Decide If The Lyme Vaccine Is Right For Your Dog

Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Your veterinarian is your best resource for deciding if your dog is a good candidate for the Lyme vaccination for dogs. So, before you sign your pup up for this yearly shot, talk with your vet about your pets lifestyle and risk level for Lyme disease.

Pets whove been treated for Lyme disease in dogs should probably get the vaccine, but not if the disease caused kidney damage, says Dr. Brevitz. The vet will check the dogs urine to see if there are excessive amounts of protein before giving the vaccine.

If there are abnormal amounts that are thought to be caused by Lyme disease, your pup should skip the vaccine to theoretically prevent more kidney damage from occurring.

Most dogs wont have side effects with this shot, and if they do, they are mild ones, like feeling tired or sore at the site of the injection, says Dr. Mengel. But, if your dog has a history of severe reactions, bring it up with your vet.

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What Does The Lyme Multiplex Assay Measure

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.

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:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure to ease out the entire tick including the tick’s mouthparts. Don’t twist or jerk the tick this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin.
  • Be sure to wash the bite area and your hands.
  • Please seek the advice of your veterinarian if you were unsuccessful in removing the entire tick.
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    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.

    How Can I Tell If Treatment Is Working

    Tips for preventing lyme disease in dogs

    If joint lameness is the presenting sign, improvement may be noted after 3-5 days starting antibiotics. A dog’s response to therapy can be assessed by repeating the QC6 test six months after treatment is complete. Dogs that start with a moderate to high QC6 value typically show a 50% reduction or more in the QC6 at six months, indicating that treatment has been successful. Dogs that have a lower initial QC6 value may not show such dramatic reductions in the QC6 at six months, although the value should still be lower than the starting point if treatment has been successful.

    A persistently high QC6 suggests treatment may not have been complete or that the dog became reinfected after treatment was stopped.

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    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 monthly oral cheables such as credelio, or a topical Vectra 3D.

    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.

    We also carry a yearly vaccination protecting against Lyme disease if you know your dog enjoys going on hikes, or generally lives a lifestyle where their exposure may be higher.

    Where Are Ticks In Toronto Located

    Blacklegged ticks are found most often in forests and overgrown areas between wooded areas and open spaces. This makes for perfect breeding grounds in many parts of Toronto. Specifically,

    • The Rouge Valley, east of Toronto
    • Don Valley trail system

    The Public Health Agency of Canada works with provincial authorities to identify where populations of infected blacklegged ticks have been established or are spreading.

    This is the latest Ontario Lyme Disease Map from Public Health Ontario:

    More information can be found here:

    In other parts of Ontario, known endemic areas for Lyme disease are:

    • Point Pelee National Park

    Expansion areas of risk in Ontario include:

    • Kingston and surrounding areas along Lake Ontario
    • Along the St. Lawrence Valley to the border with Quebec and northeast towards Ottawa
    • Northwestern Ontario in the Lake of the Woods region
    • Pinery Provincial Park on the shores of Lake Huron

    For the most up-to-date information, visit canada.ca/LymeDisease

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    Using Cbd Oil In Your Dogs Treatment Plan

    There is anecdotal evidence that suggest 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.

    Recovery And Management Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

    10 things you need to know about Lyme disease in dogs

    You can expect to see improvement in mild cases of Lyme disease in dogs 3 to 5 days into antibiotic therapy. Severe cases may take longer and can be fatal if kidney damage is too advanced.

    Antibiotics do not always eliminate Lyme disease. Dogs infected with Lyme disease will be prone to recurrence of the infection in the future, but antibiotics can be used again to treat the condition.

    Owners can help manage their dogs condition by complying with their veterinarians advice and following the instructions on the medication. Learning to recognize the signs of Lyme disease will also help owners get their dogs started on medication as soon as possible to prevent serious side effects in the future.

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    Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian

    If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.

    Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.

    What Is A Tick

    • A tick is a parasite that is 3 to 5 mm in size. They are so small that it can be hard to spot them immediately.
    • They are the most common trouble for pets, especially the ones that roam outside more often.
    • They feed on animals blood. Often time they go unnoticed because of their small size and painless bites.
    • There are also different types of ticks. A deer tick is a common kind in the United States.

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    How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed In Dogs

    A diagnosis of Lyme disease is usually made based upon a history of being in an endemic area, signs of arthritis, and favorable response to treatment.

    A blood test can measure antibodies to the bacteria, but many dogs that live in endemic regions will have a positive result. A positive only confirms the dog was exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi, but not all exposed dogs show signs of disease.

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