Can Lyme Disease Be Cured In Dogs
The good news about Lyme disease in dogs is that it can be cured. Because Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium thats passed from ticks to your dog, it can be treated with antibiotics. In most cases, Lyme disease can be treated with 4 weeks of antibiotics, but some dogs may require additional treatment.
In addition to using antibiotics to get rid of Lyme disease, your vet may also recommend treatment for the complications caused by Lyme disease. In chronic cases of Lyme in dogs where the heart, kidneys, and nervous system have been affected, your vet may recommend long-term treatment to help provide relief from Lyme complications.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Dogs with lameness, swollen joints, and fever are suspected of having Lyme disease. However, other diseases may also cause these symptoms. There are a few blood tests that may be used for confirmation. The first is an antibody test, that your veterinarian can perform in the clinic setting using a special test kit. This test detects the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. A test can be falsely negative if the dog is infected, but has not yet formed antibodies, or if it never forms enough antibodies to cause a positive reaction. It is recommended to test no earlier than 4 weeks after a tick bite. Some dogs that have been infected for long periods of time may no longer have enough antibodies present to be detected by the test. Therefore, a positive test is meaningful, but a negative is not. A follow up test called a QC6 test can be done to assess the numerical antibody level as confirmation.
Other tests including PCR , ELISA , joint fluid analysis, and culture can also be done with varying degrees of sensitivity, but are done less commonly. General blood and urine tests are also often done to assess kidney function and look for loss of protein in the urine. See handout Testing for Lyme Disease in Dogs for further information.
Dog Lyme Disease Diagnosis
Your vet will diagnose the Lyme disease by reviewing your dogs medical history and the results of blood tests. Blood tests detect antibodies produced by the dogs system in response to the bacteria. Your veterinarian will run a combination of blood chemistry tests, a urinalysis, a complete blood cell count, fecal examinations, X-rays and other tests that are specific to diagnosing Lyme disease in dogs .
Your vet may also draw fluid from the affected joints for analysis. One of the most common blood tests used by veterinary hospitals is called the IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® Plus“. This test can be run in-house and provides quick results . Also, these tests screen for additional tick-related diseases and heartworm disease. Your veterinarian might recommend some further tests, mainly based on your dog’s signs and symptoms.
Some of these tests include:
Blood parasite screening to determine if your dog has tick-borne and other infections
Chemistry tests to assess liver, kidney, and pancreatic functions, as well as sugar levels
Quantitative Lyme antibody levels for monitoring treatment response
A few fecal tests to rule out the presence of intestinal parasites
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How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”
Lyme Disease Isnt As Simple As A Bite From A Tick
I said earlier that Lyme disease is not caused by the tick itself.
While ticks can infect your dog with the Lyme disease researchers have found that infection alone isnt the cause of Lyme disease. In most cases, Lyme disease only occurs when theres a coinfection.
Coinfection means a host has one or more bacteria, viruses, or other infections at the same time.
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Can Lyme Disease In Dogs Spread To Humans
The good news if your dog has Lyme disease is that it doesnt spread directly from dogs to humans. Like dogs, humans get Lyme disease as a result of a tick bite. Your dog isnt contagious when they have Lyme disease, so you dont have to worry about keeping your distance or catching Lyme. That being said, its important to keep in mind that there could be more Lyme-carrying ticks around if your dog is infected, so you should still practice good hygiene and watch out for ticks.
How To Test Your Dog For Lyme Disease
The diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs involves several factors such as history, physical symptoms, and diagnostic tests. When it comes to dogs, there are 2 kinds of blood tests that are able to diagnose Lyme disease. These tests are the C6 test and the Quant C6 test, which are both performed by veterinarians to be able to diagnose the disease.
What the C6 test does is to be able to check for antibodies against the protein named C6. If there are antibodies present, this suggests that your dog may be infected with Lyme disease. Detection of the C6 antibodies ranges from 3-5 weeks after a dog has been bitten by an infected tick, and it may be found in a dogs bloodstream even before they show any symptoms.
The next test to be performed by the vet is the Quant C6 test. Together with a urinalysis, this type of test will be able to determine whether antibiotics would be needed.
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What Is Canine Lyme Disease
The risk for you and your pet specifically dogs of contracting Lyme disease is increasingly on the rise across areas of Ontario.
Incidence of Canine Lyme Disease easily keeps pace with the increased incidence of the disease in humans, and probably more. Although likely true that the incidence of Lyme disease is higher in dogs than humans, there is no national or provincial system for capturing the incidence of Canine Lyme Disease.
Lacking a national or provincial system for tracking, reviewing the human data for Lyme disease is important as an indication of the exposure and potential infection in dogs.
A Ticks Life
Ticks dont fly, jump or blow around with the wind. They are sluggish and lumbering and can be as small as a poppy seed. Bites are usually painless, so you or your pet may not know that theres been a bite.
How Long Does It Take For Doxycycline To Work
6. Response and effectiveness. Doxycycline is almost completely absorbed after oral administration. Peak concentrations are reached within two to three hours after dosing however, it may take up to 48 hours before infection-related symptoms start to abate.
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Will My Dog Recover From Lyme Disease
Can my dog recover from Lyme disease? If you are able to detect the disease early, symptoms should disappear within the first 3 days of your pups treatment. However, while treatment is usually very effective at eliminating signs of Lyme disease, dogs with Lyme disease can remain positive for the rest of their lives.
Topic : Should Treatments Be Offered For Nonclinical Nonproteinuric Seropositive Dogs
This topic is still controversial 4/6 panelists do not routinely recommend treatment for such dogs ,96, 124 stating that: this practice potentially promotes overuse of antibiotics no data exists proving treatment of healthy dogs is associated with decreased risk of illness Bb may not be cleared from all tissues with treatment and, reinfection may commonly occur in dogs in endemic areas. Seropositivity indicates tick and wildlife exposure and possible coinfection. Tick control and possible vaccination should be readdressed . Panelists in North America recommend reevaluation for proteinuria at least 23 times per year, even if the dog is treated with antibiotics, because clearance may not occur, and because the pathogenesis of Lyme nephritis is unknown.
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Topic 2c: Considerations In Cats
Cats living in Bbendemic areas are sometimes seropositive.1, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73 Cats infested with I. scapularis containing Bb develop serum antibodies against the organism and DNA of Bb has been amplified from skin biopsy specimens taken from tick attachment sites.74, 75, 76 Ticks removed from cats in endemic areas have been positive for Bb.70 These studies suggest that cats can be infected by Bb and that Ixodes spp. are the likely vectors for Bb in cats in the United States.
Cats experimentally infested with Ixodes spp. have not developed detectable clinical signs of disease, even if infested twice.74, 75, 76 Cats in Bbendemic areas may have clinical signs potentially referable to Bb infection but to date, no published studies document the organism as the cause of illness.69 It is difficult to prove causation of illness associated with Bb in cats because Ixodes spp. also are the vector for A. phagocytophilum. Anaplasmosis has been documented in cats in 2 studies in a Bbendemic region.77, 78 Clinical signs of anaplasmosis and borreliosis are similar to each other in dogs and people, and this may be the case for cats as well.
Statement: Although cats may be Bbseropositive, it is unknown if Bb infection causes illness in cats .
Giving Your Dog Antibiotics
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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.
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.
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Lyme Disease Nursing Care Plan 3
Nursing Diagnosis: Fatigue related to prolonged infection secondary to Lyme disease as evidenced by general body discomfort and muscle weakness.
- The patient will verbalize improvements in fatigue after 72 hours of nursing interventions.
- The patient will be actively engaged with the daily activities independently.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Because the Lyme spirochete is a bacterium, it can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic of choice is doxycycline, followed by amoxicillin, then azithromycin. Treatment lasts for 4 weeks. Occasionally, the initial infection will recur, or the pet will become re-infected by being bitten by another infected tick.
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Average Cost Of Treatment
In recent years, the cost of antibiotics for dogs has increased. A 2-week dose of Doxycycline or Amoxicillin can cost about $400 in some areas. Blood tests typically cost around $80, depending mainly on the methods used.
As a dog owner, you also have to pay the vet exam fee, which ranges from $40 to $50 and isnt covered by pet insurance. The cost of modern veterinary care has increased in the country. This is why you can expect high vet bills if your dog is diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Fortunately, you can use veterinary crowdfunding to help with high and/or unexpected veterinary bills.
In comparison to typical crowdfunding websites, veterinary crowdfunding provides assurances to your donors that the money raised will in fact go to the pets healthcare needs. When you decide to start a campaign for your dog, have a bit of fun with it. You get to tell your dogs story, include and awesome picture, and share your needs with the community of pet lovers out there. Get social and post your campaign to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Pet lovers frequently visit these sites and you can capitalize on their big hearts by pulling at those heart strings to help your fury friend. There are a few sites that are solely dedicated to pet crowdfunding. Consider starting your campaign on a site like CoFund My Pet that is, as it may increase the looks you receive from other pet lovers.
Lyme Disease Nursing Care Plan 2
Nursing Diagnosis: Hyperthermia related to infectious process secondary to Lyme disease as evidenced by a temperature of 102.4 degrees Fahrenheit, weakness, and dehydration.
- The patient will be able to maintain a normal body temperature between 97.8 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit within 24 hours.
- The patient will display an increase in energy as evidenced by active participation in activities of daily living.
- The patient will display adequate tissue perfusion as evidenced by normal skin turgor.
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Is There A Vaccine That Will Protect My Dog From Lyme Disease
A safe and generally effective vaccine is available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine is initially given twice, at two- to four-week intervals.
“Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity.”
Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity. Vaccination against Lyme disease will be determined by your pet’s lifestyle and individual risk assessment. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian.
|Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM|
Lyme Disease In Dogs: Signs And Prevention
Kathryn E. Reif
Dr. Reif is an assistant professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. Her research interests revolve around ticks and tick-borne diseases of veterinary, agricultural, and medical concerns. Research in Dr. Reifs laboratory includes studies of antimicrobial strategies to control tick-borne pathogens, tick-borne pathogen vaccine development, tick control, and studies of tick-borne pathogen transmission.
In the United States, Lyme disease is the most commonly diagnosed tick-borne disease of dogs and humans the primary causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, is transmitted via the bite of an infected blacklegged tick . The predominant vectors of B. burgerdorferi in the eastern half of the United States are Ixodes scapularis ticks, and on the Pacific coast of the United States they are Ixodes pacificus ticks. The pathogen is maintained in endemic areas through an enzootic cycle between wildlife reservoirs and Ixodes ticks. In highly endemic regions, more than 70% of local adult blacklegged ticks carry B. burgdorferi, posing a significant risk to both canine and public health. This article discusses the basic epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Lyme disease in dogs in the United States.
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