Facts On Human Vaccination
There is a race to bring a new human Lyme disease vaccine to market, with some vaccines already in advanced stages of development.4, 5 A previous Lyme disease vaccine for humans had been approved for use in the U.S., but was removed from the market. The observation that this vaccine was unsuccessful due to lack of sales is often misused as an argument against canine Lyme disease vaccination.
The University of Pennsylvanias world renowned vaccinologist, Stanley Plotkin, described the human vaccine situation in 2011: A vaccine against Lyme disease was licensed in the United States in 1998 but was subsequently removed from the market because of lack of sales. I believe that the poor acceptance of the vaccine was based on tepid recommendations by the CDC, undocumented and probably nonexistent safety issues, and insufficient education of physiciansThe fact that there is no vaccine for an infection causing 20,000 annual cases is an egregious failure of public health.6
Does Your Dog Need A Lyme Vaccine
Reviewed for accuracy on May 8, 2019 by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
There are two kinds of dog vaccinescore vaccinations and noncore.
Noncore, or lifestyle vaccines, may be recommended by a veterinarian based on your dogs individual lifestyle or health status.
One of these so-called noncore vaccinations is the Lyme vaccine for dogs.
With Tick Control & Vaccination In Endemic Areas Lyme Disease Is Preventable
Richard E. Goldstein, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM & ECVIM
Lyme disease, its causative tick-borne agentBorrelia burgdorferi, and Ixodes ticks are all on the rise. In August 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased their estimate of the number of new human cases of Lyme disease from 30,000 to 300,000 annually.1
Tick removal and control is an important part of prevention of Lyme disease, but so is Lyme disease vaccination. No vaccine is completely without risk, but when weighing the risks versus the benefits, I believe the evidence strongly supports the following:
Read Also: How Long Lyme Disease Last
Testing For Kidney Disease
Tests to diagnose kidney disease include complete blood count, serum biochemistry, and urinalysis. These blood tests will determine if your pet is anemic, determine white blood cell counts, measure blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and electrolytes. A urinalysis is essential for the proper interpretation of the urea and creatinine values in the serum biochemistry profile and may also provide important clues to the possible underlying cause of kidney disease. A urinalysis will also determine the specific gravity, pH, presence of blood in the urine, and the amount of protein in the urine. An evaluation of the urine sediment will determine the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, crystalline material, and cellular casts all of which provide information to determine the underlying cause of kidney disease in your pet. Further diagnostic tests may be recommended based on the results of these initial screening tests.
What Is The Lyme Disease Vaccine
Although the syndrome now known as Lyme disease was first identified in human patients in 1975, Borrelia burgdorferi was not identified until 1981. The first canine Lyme vaccine was introduced in 1992 .
The Lyme vaccine for dogs is available at most veterinary clinics, especially in areas where Lyme disease poses a significant threat. Even in low-risk areas, many veterinarians carry this vaccine in order to protect dogs traveling to Lyme-endemic areas. If your veterinarian does not carry this vaccine, they may be able to obtain it for you or direct you to another clinic where you can receive it.
This vaccine does not require a specialist visit and can often be administered with your dogs other vaccinations at a routine wellness visit.
Don’t Miss: Monastery Of Herbs Lyme Disease
Does My Dog Need A Lyme Disease Vaccine
Unfortunately, the answer isnât straight forward. The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine states that Lyme disease vaccines are not considered part of the core group of vaccines necessary for all dogs. Lyme disease vaccine is primarily recommended for dogs that live or frequently visit areas known for Lyme disease as well as for those living in areas with high potential for tick exposure.
Vaccinating for Lyme disease in sick dogs or those who have urinary protein issues is not recommended. Veterinarians and researchers also debate whether vaccinating a dog that already has Lyme disease is necessary. Some say it will help prevent the dog from becoming infected again, while others worry that the vaccine could cause a serious reaction, making the dog even sicker.
You Probably Wont See The Tick That Infects You
After hatching out of an egg, the deer tick passes through three stages: larva, nymph, and adult. At each stage, the tick must find a new host and feed. Since when they hatch they are uninfected by Borrelia, larva cant cause Lyme disease. And adult ticks are easy to feel and spot when they crawl on you, so theyre also unlikely to latch on and pass along the disease. The really dangerous vectors are the nymphs, about 15 percent of which carry Borrelia and which are so tiny less than a tenth of an inch long, about the size of a poppy seed that its very difficult to see them. Most people who come down with Lyme disease dont notice that theyve been bitten.
Tick nymphs are active in the spring, lurking in tall grass or shrubbery, waiting for a host to drop down onto. Since this time of year is also when human beings are most likely to be frolicking amid the greenery with lots of tasty exposed flesh, Lyme disease cases spike around now.
Don’t Miss: Antibiotics For Lyme Disease In Humans
If You Have Lyme Disease You May Have Another Illness Too
Ticks have been called the dirty syringes of the animal kingdom, swapping infected blood indistriminately amongst their hosts. So if Lyme disease were the only thing we could get from these vermin, wed be lucky. And were not. There are a half dozen or more other tick-born pathogens that can get passed on along with Borrelia, including Babesia microti and Anaplasma phagocytophila . When someone is diagnosed with Lyme disease they should at least be tested for other pathogens, Telford says.
While waiting for new treatments to come along, your best bet is to take some simple precautions to avoid encountering Borrelia in the first place: wear long-sleeved clothes when in tick habitat, apply DEET insect repellent, and check yourself for embedded ticks. And if worse comes to worse and you come down with symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting tested. Antibiotics like doxycycline are highly effective against the disease even in its more serious later stages.
After all, says Telford, Lyme disease is a drag, but you shouldnt let the fear of it ruin your life: People should enjoy the outdoors, he says.
The Lyme Vaccination For Dogs Isnt Foolproof
The shot isnt 100 percent effective, says Dr. Mengel.
But, Dr. Mengel adds, anecdotally, many practices report seeing lower numbers of dogs testing positive for exposure to the bacteria that causes Lyme since using the vaccine in practice over several years.
The Lyme vaccine cannot replace good tick control, because it is not completely effective at preventing Lyme disease, and it does nothing to protect against the many other tick-borne diseases, such as ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, says Dr. Brevitz.
Don’t Miss: Claritin Protocol For Lyme Disease
Will Vaccination Make My Dog Sick
Some dogs develop mild lethargy or soreness 1 to 2 days after vaccination. In the case of killed vaccines containing an adjuvant, lump formation may occur at the vaccination site. If this is painful or persists for more than a few weeks with no decrease in size, consult your veterinarian. A few dogs will develop more severe reactions that are forms of hypersensitivity . These will usually occur within minutes, but may be delayed for a few hours. The dog may salivate, vomit, develop diarrhea, hives, or have difficulty breathing. Should this occur, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Bordetella And Canine Parainfluenza
Bordetella and canine parainfluenza virus are two agents associated with a highly contagious cough commonly known as “kennel cough,” or canine infectious respiratory disease complex .
Diseases from these agents typically resolve on their own but sometimes can lead to pneumonia or more severe respiratory disease. Because Bordetella is so contagious, boarding and doggy day care facilities across the US require your pet to have this vaccine.
Parainfluenza may or may not be included in a combination vaccine with Bordetella or the DAP.
You May Like: Where Did Lyme Disease Come From
How Long Does It Take A Vaccine To Produce Immunity
Within a few hours of vaccination, the earliest phases of the immune response are being stimulated. It usually requires ten to fourteen days before a reasonable level of protection is established. Killed vaccines may not provide adequate protection until after the second dose. In young puppies, maternal antibodies may hinder protection until later in the vaccine series.
Therefore, it is advisable to keep even a vaccinated pup away from dogs or pups of unknown vaccination history until it has finished its vaccination course.
How To Prevent Lyme Disease
People with pets should:
- Use reliable tick-preventive products. Speak with your veterinarian about what tick preventive product is right for your pet.
- Work with your veterinarian to decide whether to vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease. Your veterinarians advice may depend on where you live, your pet’s lifestyle and overall health, and other factors.
- When possible, avoid areas where ticks might be found. These include tall grasses, marshes and wooded areas.
- Check for ticks on both yourself and your animals once indoors.
- Clear shrubbery next to homes.
- Keep lawns well maintained.
As noted above, there are preventive Lyme disease vaccines available for dogs, but they aren’t necessarily recommended for every dog. Consult your veterinarian to see if the vaccination makes sense for your pets. If your veterinarian does recommend that your dog be vaccinated against Lyme disease, the typical protocol will involve an initial vaccination followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later and annual boosters after that.
Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Ticks Have Lyme Disease
Otc Vs Prescription Flea And Tick Medicine
So, what constitutes good tick control? A product recommended by your vet, says Dr. Mengel, who also practices at the University of Pennsylvanias M. J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital.
Many flea and tick preventatives require a prescription, so vets can make sure your dog is getting the right medication and dosage, she adds.
While some over-the-counter dog flea and tick treatment products work well, tell your pets providers what you use so they can ensure it is an appropriate choice.
No matter what type of preventative flea and tick medicine for dogs you choose, whats very important is that it is used year-round when Lyme disease is a concern.
Deer ticks can remain active through the winter months, so it very important to keep your pet protected all year.
Also, dont be surprised if you still see a tick on your furry friend even with protection. Some products cant repel every single tick but still do kill the bugs before they have a chance to infect your dog.
If, however, you are finding significant numbers of live, attached ticks on your dog, talk to your veterinarian about more aggressive tick control methods.
Types Of Lyme Disease Vaccine Available For Dogs
Two types of Lyme disease vaccines are available for dogs:
Both work to prevent transmission of Borrelia bacteria from the tick to the dog during a tick bite. Lyme disease vaccines do not cause Lyme disease, and they do not prevent disease development in dogs already infected.
It is important to know that both types of vaccines are only about 80% effective in preventing Lyme disease. In other words, about 20% of vaccinated dogs can still become infected with Lyme disease. Some scientific studies indicate that Lyme disease vaccines for dogs may only last about six months, although many more studies are needed to determine if this is true.
Recommended Reading: How To Test For Lyme Disease Years Later
First Do No Harm: Lyme Disease Vaccination May Present More Risks Than Benefits
Meryl P. Littman, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM
When veterinary clinicians decide whether to recommend a particular vaccine for a particular patient, risks and benefits are weighed. The vaccinometer tool, developed by Larry Glickman, was designed to help practitioners determine whether or not to recommend a vaccine.1
As we investigate Lyme disease vaccination, the questions posed by the vaccinometer help highlight many unanswered questions and potential risks related to this vaccine. With these concerns in mind, I choose first do no harm. In other words, if we use proper tick control, vaccination is unnecessary.
Question:What is the prevalence and risk of exposure/infection in your area ?
Answer: Risk of Lyme disease exposure/infection is high in my area, but proper tick control lowers the risk greatly.
The CDC website2 shows that 95% of human Lyme disease is found in 12 endemic states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest U.S. In some endemic areas, seroprevalence in healthy dogs is as high as 70% to 90%.3 In high-risk areas, risk of exposure can be lowered dramatically with adequate tick control, which also decreases the risk for other tick-borne diseases, such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Question:How great is the risk of severe disease once the dog is infected ?
Answer:Risk of Lyme disease becoming severe is low, but possibly somewhat higher in retriever dogs.
Question:How effective is the vaccine?
What Does The Lyme Vaccine Do
I tell owners the Lyme vaccine is belt-plus-suspenders for dogs with heavy exposure to deer ticks. The belt is a spot-on product that kills deer ticks, and the Lyme vaccine is the suspenders, says Dr. Betsy Brevitz, DVM, a vet in Fanwood, New Jersey and author of The Complete Healthy Dog Handbook.
You May Like: Lyme Disease And Joint Pain
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.
Why Is The Same Amount Of Vaccine Given To A Small Dog And A Large Dog
Vaccination doses are the same for all dogs, regardless of size. When these vaccines are tested, all dogs in the test group receive the same dose of vaccine and have been proven safe for dogs of all sizes at the recommended dosage. Smaller doses of vaccine may not adequately protect small pets. In addition, there is no evidence that smaller doses of vaccinations are associated with a decreased likelihood of vaccine reactions.
Don’t Miss: Cvs Minute Clinic Lyme Disease Test
When Will There Be A Tick Vaccine
. A new laboratory-stage mRNA vaccine that teaches the immune system to recognize the saliva from tick bites could prevent these bugs from feeding on and transmitting tick-borne diseases to people, according to a recent study my colleagues and I conducted in the Fikrig Lab at the Yale School of Medicine.
The Decision On Whether To Vaccinate Dogs Against Lyme Disease Remains An Ongoing Debate Two Veterinarians Present Differing Viewpoints
Meryl P. Littman, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM, University of Pennsylvania, & Richard E. Goldstein, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM & ECVIM , The Animal Medical Center, New York City
Despite availability of a consensus statement and up-to-date canine vaccination guidelines , the decision whether or not to vaccinate dogs against Lyme disease remains an ongoing debate among many veterinary professionals.
Todays Veterinary Practice has gathered 3 experts to discuss this topicDr. Meryl Littman and Dr. Richard Goldstein evaluate the benefits and risks of vaccination, while Dr. Richard Ford outlines the current vaccination recommendations.
You May Like: Lyme Booster Shot For Dogs
Your Veterinarian Will Decide If The Lyme Vaccine Is Right For Your Dog
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.