Full Recommendations For The Prevention Diagnosis And Treatment Of Lyme Disease
I. Which measures should be used to prevent tick bites and tick-borne infections?
Personal Protective Measures
Summary of the Evidence
Rationale for Recommendation
Although there is little systematic evidence supporting some of these measures for the prevention of Lyme disease, they may offer potential benefits with little effort, risk, or cost.
Properly designed studies performed with human subjects under realistic conditions are required to test the efficacy of personal protection measures. Similarly, research is needed to inform how to motivate the adoption and continued use of best practice personal protection measures.
Repellents to Prevent Tick Bites
Summary of the Evidence
In laboratory and field experiments involving human subjects, the use of DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus , p-methane-3,8-diol , 2-undecanone, and permethrin reduced the number of ticks detected crawling on or attached to subjects compared with controls . Other commercially available products, including botanical agents and essential oils cannot be recommended due to insufficient evidence.
Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease
Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dogs condition.
- Some dogs who take antibiotics can develop loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Once infected, a dog will always have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in his or her body. Therefore, relapses are possible, and owners should be on the lookout for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, and/or lameness.
- A small percentage of dogs develop kidney failure as a result of Lyme disease. Clinical signs include vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal accumulations of fluid within the body.
Recent Progress In Lyme Disease And Remaining Challenges
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States with an estimated 476,000 cases per year. While historically, the long-term impact of Lyme disease on patients has been controversial, mounting evidence supports the idea that a substantial number of patients experience persistent symptoms following treatment. The research community has largely lacked the necessary funding to properly advance the scientific and clinical understanding of the disease, or to develop and evaluate innovative approaches for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Given the many outstanding questions raised into the diagnosis, clinical presentation and treatment of Lyme disease, and the underlying molecular mechanisms that trigger persistent disease, there is an urgent need for more support. This review article summarizes progress over the past 5 years in our understanding of Lyme and tick-borne diseases in the United States and highlights remaining challenges.
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Why Are Antibiotics The First Line Of Treatment For Lyme Disease
The use of antibiotics is critical for treating Lyme disease. Without antibiotic treatment, the Lyme disease causing bacteria can evade the host immune system, disseminate through the blood stream, and persist in the body. Antibiotics go into the bacteria preferentially and either stop the multiplication of the bacteria or disrupt the cell wall of the bacteria and kill the bacteria . By stopping the growth or killing the bacteria the human host immune response is given a leg up to eradicate the residual infection. Without antibiotics, the infection in Lyme disease can evade the host immune system and more readily persist.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In A Child
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They usually appear within 3 to 30 days after a tick bite. Lyme disease has early and late-stage symptoms. Early stage Lyme disease is more easily cured with antibiotics than late-stage disease. Most cases of late-stage disease occur when early stage disease is not treated.
One of the most common symptoms is a ring-shaped rash that looks like a bulls-eye. It may be pink in the center and have a darker red ring around it. The rash does not occur in every case of Lyme. If it does occur, the rash may:
- Appear several days after infection
- Last up to several weeks
- Be very small or very large, up to 12 inches across
- Look like other skin problems such as hives, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, or flea bites
- Itch or feel hot, or not be felt at all
- Go away and come back several weeks later
Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, your child may have multiple ring-shaped rashes on the body and flu-like symptoms such as:
Months to a few years after a bite, these symptoms may occur:
- Inflammation of the joints
- Nervous system symptoms such as numbness in the arms and legs, tingling and pain, and trouble with speech, memory, and concentration
The symptoms of Lyme disease can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Supplements For Lyme Disease
Some people may choose to use natural or home remedies in addition to taking prescribed antibiotics. Natural remedies for Lyme disease include, but are not limited to, taking natural supplements, using essential oils, reducing stress, and living a healthier lifestyle. However, there is no solid evidence for the use of natural remedies. Many of the natural supplements for Lyme disease such as vitamin B-1 and C are not regulated by the FDA. A medical professional can give informed opinions on all Lyme disease treatment options.
What Should I Do If I Find A Tick On My Child
Don’t panic. First Lyme disease is spread by the black-legged tick, not by the larger and more-common dog tick. The risk of developing Lyme disease after a black-legged tick bite is low, especially if the tick has been attached for a short time.
If you find a tick on your child, remove it using a fine-tipped pair of tweezers. Grasp the body of the tick and pull in an upward motion until the tick comes out. Do not squeeze or twist the ticks body. Take note of the ticks size and color, and how long you think it has been attached to your child.
If your child has been bitten by a black-legged tick that has been attached for more than 24 hours and you are in a Lyme disease endemic area, consult with your pediatrician. In some cases, your child may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease from developing.
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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.
The Following Are Some Excellent Best
- 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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What Are Some Common Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Medication
As with any medication, there are always potential side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if your side effects persist or worsen.
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat Lyme disease and may cause allergic reactions that result in hives, difficulty breathing, or dry eyes, throat, and mouth. Some people may experience diarrhea, headaches, or chest pain as well. You should seek immediate medical care if you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction.
This list of side effects is not comprehensive. Ask a healthcare professional for more details regarding the possible side effects of a particular medication.
How Lyme Disease Is Diagnosed In Dogs
If your vet believes that your pet could be suffering from Lyme disease they will review a full medical history of your dog health, discuss with you any instances when your dog may have come into contact with ticks, examine your petâs body for ticks, then perform a number of tests which may include, blood tests , urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays. If painful joints is one of your pupâs symptoms, your vet may draw fluid from the affected joints to be analyzed.
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How You Get Lyme Disease
If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, the tick can become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.
Ticks can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.
Theyre common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.
Ticks dont jump or fly. They climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something theyre on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.
Generally, youre more likely to become infected if the tick is attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.
What Is The Best Test For Chronic Lyme Disease
If you think you have the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease, you may be considering testing. But what is the best test for chronic Lyme Disease?
There are lots of different kinds of testing, and in recent years a lot of new companies have come on to the market.
A big difference between other chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and Lyme disease is that Lyme is triggered by a specific bacteria. With Lyme disease, we are looking for a microbe known as Borrelia.
There are many different species of Borrelia, which can make things very confusing. Some tests are looking only for Borrelia Berfdorferi, the most commonly associated with Lyme Disease, while other tests are looking for many species of Borrelia.
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Herbal And Prescription Antimicrobials By Function
Be aware the doses I provide below are for adults. These same prescriptions can be used with children but have lower doses. For pediatric dosing, talk with your family physician or pediatrician. Tetracyclines can be used in children under eight, but there is a risk of tooth staining. This staining seems not to be an issue if they are used for a month or less.
How Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Diagnosed
When a vet performs a diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs, they make their decision based on history and signs.
Your vet will perform close observation of your dog. This is to verify clinical signs of the infection. In the event that the clinical signs turned out positive, your vet will request a serologic test. Traditionally, the diagnosis of Lyme disease is carried out via PCR, joint fluid analysis, Western Blot, and ELISA. But now, more modern tests are performed. These tests are referred to as QC6 or C6 Test as well as Quantitative C6 Test.
The purpose of the C6 test is to detect any antibodies against a specific protein known as C6. C6 is a protein thats unique to Borrelia burgdorferi. If there are antibodies present to C6, it confirms that the dog has been exposed and that theres a possible infection already.
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Video Answer: Lyme Disease: Diagnosis And Treatment For People And Pets
In the past, it may have been difficult for dogs to survive Lyme disease due to the inability to diagnose the disease.
If your dog does contract Lyme disease, however, they are likely to exhibit the symptoms listed above.
These symptoms are caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium in the bite of an infected tick.
Lyme disease in dogs is curable, however, this may depend on each case and at what stage of the disease the dog receives treatment during.
Most dogs that are diagnosed with Lyme disease will be given a prescription of doxycycline, which is the most common type of antibiotic used to treat this condition.
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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How Lyme Disease In Dogs Transmitted
Borrelia burgdorferi spreads Lyme disease through a single bite of an infected tick. As for the transmission in domesticated pets like cats and dogs, theres no concrete evidence of its transmission.
What veterinarians and other experts are convinced though is, to protect your pets by all means. Use tick control products to prevent potential transmission.
What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin
Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.
Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.
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Treatment Of Lyme Disease
Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease is important and can help prevent late Lyme disease. The following treatment regimens reflect CDCs interpretation of the most current data for four important manifestations of Lyme disease. These regimens are consistent with guidanceexternal icon published by the by the Infectious Disease Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American College of Rheumatology.
Some patients report persistent symptoms of pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking even after treatment for Lyme disease. The state of the science relating to persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease is limited, emerging, and unsettled.
Additional researchexternal icon is needed to better understand how to treat, manage, and support people with persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease. In light of these research gaps, recommendations for treatment of persistent symptoms in people previously treated for Lyme disease are not provided here.
If you are interested in information on chronic Lyme diseaseexternal icon, see NIHs website.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
What Are The Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Treatments
Antibiotics, like all medications, have the potential for side effects. Any antibiotic can cause skin rashes, and if an itchy red rash develops while on antibiotics, a patient should see their physician. Sometimes symptoms worsen for the first few days on an antibiotic. This is called a Herxheimer reaction and occurs when the antibiotics start to kill the bacteria. In the first 24 to 48 hours, dead bacterial products stimulate the immune system to release inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that can cause increased fever and achiness. This should be transient and last no more than a day or two after the initiation of antibiotics.
The most common side effect of the penicillin antibiotics is diarrhea, and occasionally even serious cases caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile. This bacterial overgrowth condition occurs because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in our gut. It can be helpful to use probiotics to restore the good bacteria and microbiome balance.
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