What is Lyme disease in dogs?
Can dog ticks transmit Lyme disease? Even though Lyme disease is among the most common tick-transmitted diseases, only 5-10 percent of dogs affected exhibit any signs at all. As a result, some dogs may be infected but exhibit no signs of illness. They are carriers and could be a potential threat. One of the most common dog diseases transferred to people, other animals, and dogs is Lyme borreliosis, commonly known as Lyme disease. Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete (Bacterium) causes Lyme disease. Lyme disease is spread to dogs by ticks bite.
Quick note: Do not get confused; tick has bacterium, upon sucking the blood from host bacteria transfers to host causing Lyme disease in dogs.
How do dogs get Lyme disease?
My dog has Lyme disease; from where did he get it? Dogs get infected with Lyme disease via tick bites. As soon as Lyme disease organism enters the bloodstream, it spreads throughout the body, eventually settling in joints or kidneys. The deer ticks are the most frequent vector of Lyme disease (known as black-legged tick). There is a widespread distribution of deer ticks in the eastern United States, Midwest, and Canada, with the greatest concentration in Ontario. Ticks can cause several dog tick diseases.
But, notwithstanding the tick’s desire for animals to feed on at some point of its life cycles—along with voles or white-footed mice—it may feed on humans or dogs.Any tick, whether larva, nymphs, or adult Ixodes tick, can transmit disease to humans and dogs through the bite of an infected tick. When a tick attaches, the germs that cause Lyme disease can be transferred within 1-2 days. As a result, quick eradication of ticks is critical. At their most active stages, nymphs (in the spring) and adults (in the spring and fall) are most likely to spread an infection during these seasons.
What Is the Habitat of Ticks?
As your dog walks through long grass, heavy shrubs, marshes, and forest, you’ll find ticks that carry Lyme disease eager to adhere to him. When the tick is linked to the dog for 24 or 48 hours, it can spread the illness. Lyme disease, which was first discovered in a few cases in 1975 in Connecticut’s Lyme township, is a difficult-to-diagnose dog illness that can have long-term effects on dog health and the health of humans.
The risk of contracting Lyme disease varies from state to state. The Upper Midwest, Northeast, and Pacific Coast account for most instances. Still, the percentages in these regions are continually fluctuating due to changes in deforestation and the movements of migrating deer and birds. Lyme disease has been found across every state in the US, although some places are far more likely to be infested with ticks that carry the causative bacterium. Tick-borne diseases in dogs’ transmission rates can range from 0% to 50%. The Northeast (particularly New England states), the upper Midwest, and the Pacific coast are the most frequently infested regions. Because of an early epidemic in the Connecticut town of Lyme, the illness was given its name. Europe and Asia are also home to cases of Lyme disease.
Epidemiology of LD:
Lyme disease transmission is becoming more likely. Between 1990 and 2010, CDC cases rose from roughly 15,000 to over 30,000 per year, an increase of about 50% in that time. Both dogs and people are equally susceptible to canine diseases in the same geographic region. Still, dogs are at greater risk than humans because of the more considerable exposure from ticks. In endemic locations, about 75 percent of unvaccinated dogs will test positive at some point, and each year, a small percentage of those dogs get Lyme disease.
An inflamed tick can spread Lyme disease and other dog infections 50-100 instances greater without problems to puppies. In locations where Borrelia burgdorferi is an endemic illness, up to half of all dogs are thought to be affected. The West Coast, particularly Northern California, sees a modest number of instances each year. Most Lyme-positive dogs in Canada reside in southern Ontario and the province of Manitoba. In Southern Quebec and Maritime Provinces, the number of cases recorded each year is much lower.
How Does My Dog End up with Ticks?
Ticks can only crawl, neither jump nor fly. Their method of attack is to wait for their prey after creepy stalking. A tick may latch onto a dog when it brushes against a shrub, crawling for a suitable area to bite. Smallness, patience, and an uncanny ability to discover their host or prey are the three determining factors in their success. Propagating their species while unwittingly passing on illnesses to their mark is their primary goal in life. Sickness dealers like bacterial infections in canine or canine virus may be acquired from one host by using ticks and then surpassed directly to any other host throughout a tick meal.
Can Humans Get Lyme Disease?
Yes, but Can dogs transmit Lyme disease to humans? Well, it isn’t transferred from canines to humans. Ticks, which carry the disease to dogs, bite them, and they get it. Keeping your dog and yourself safe from ticks is essential. There are more B. burgdorferi-caused Lyme borreliosis cases in the US than other dog tick diseases or infectious diseases in dogs. People who have Lyme disease will have an itchy, red, and sometimes bull’s eye-shaped skin rash, as well as a high temperature, myalgia (muscle pains), arthralgia (joint pains), and headache. Recurring arthritis, neurologic illness, and myocarditis may all be signs of long-term Lyme disease in a person.
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs:
It’s sad, but Lyme disease is one of the most common dog diseases. What does Lyme disease do to dogs? Lyme illness can cause a typical bulls-eye rash 3-30 days after the bite. Signs of Lyme disease in dogs are widespread discomfort and anorexia, prompting owners to seek medical attention. Most of the time, these animals develop fevers.
You might have heard of the “walking on eggshells” term. The onset of limping in dogs is also possible. This abrupt and excruciatingly painful numbness might affect one or both legs simultaneously. Leaving it untreated might cause it to go away for weeks or months, but it will relapse. Inflamed joints are common in dogs with Lyme disease, and this causes them to limp from time to time. Hence, the eggshells!
If you notice your dog limping, it’s called “shifting-leg lameness.” Inflammation and discomfort may be felt in one or more joints.Before displaying any signs, a few dogs are infected with Lyme sickness organisms for a year.The sickness may have spread to other parts of the body by then. Dogs commonly exhibit the following signs:
- Appetite loss
- No or less energy
- Lameness (can be shifting, intermittent, and recurring)
- Generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain
- Joints Inflammation
The Lyme disease spread to the kidney is rare, yet it can be fatal. Glomerulonephritis (an inflammation and malfunction of the kidney’s glomeruli) can occur because of it. Swollen limbs and other abnormal fluid buildups can also be seen. Lyme disease kidney failure in dogs was also reported. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, weight loss, and increased urine and thirst. Rare, but yes, Cardiac and neurological symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are also reported.
Diagnosing Lyme disease in dogs:
My dog has Lyme disease; what do I do to make it go away? Lyme disease is suspected in dogs with lameness, inflamed joints, and fever. But similar symptoms might also be caused by other illnesses. It is possible to employ a few blood tests to confirm the diagnosis. Antibody testing can be done in the clinic environment by your veterinarian using a particular test kit. This test identifies antibodies that are a response generated due to an antigen (a foreigner in blood territory). An infected dog may have a false-negative test result if it never develops enough antibodies to trigger a positive reaction. No sooner than four weeks following a tick bite should you begin testing for Lyme disease? The test may not identify antibodies in dogs that have been affected for a long time. Because of this, a positive test is significant, yet the opposite is true; a negative test has no importance. Doctors use history, physical symptoms, and testing to diagnose. Your dog’s veterinarian will use several tests to make a diagnosis because positive findings can take up to 4-6 weeks after exposure. Lyme disease test for dogs is as follows:
- Blood chemistry tests
- Complete blood cell count
- urine analysis
- Fecal examination
- X-rays and tests relevant to the diagnosis of Lyme disease (e.g., serology)
- Fluid from the afflicted joints may also be collected for analysis
Diagnosing Lyme disease in dogs is done with the C6 and Quant C6 tests. Veterinarians carry out both tasks. The C6 test detects antibodies to a protein known as “C6”. The presence of antibodies indicates an active Lyme disease. It is possible to identify antibodies to C6 3 to 5 weeks after an infected tick bites a dog before even the dog displays any sickness symptoms. Take the Quant C6 test as the next stage. QC6 and a urinalysis will help decide if antibiotics are present.
The sensitivity of other procedures such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), joint fluid analysis, and culture varies, although they are less frequently performed. Kidney characteristic may be assessed by using blood and urine tests, which look for protein within the urine to look if it has been lost.
Arthritis Triggered by Lyme Disease diagnosis:
My canine has Lyme ailment and may’t walk; what should I do? Lyme disease-induced arthritis is distinct from other forms of arthritis, such as those caused by trauma or degenerative joint disease, that your veterinarian will concentrate on diagnosing. An immune-mediated disorder might potentially cause the symptoms. Your doctor can check the bones in your aching joints using X-rays.
Lyme disease in dogs treatment protocol:
Doxycycline, amoxicillin, and azithromycin are the most often prescribed antibiotics for Lyme disease in dogs. Four weeks are named for the course of treatment. An infected tick can infect the same animal repeatedly, or the animal might be infected for the first time by another tick.
Unfortunately, Borrelia burgdorferi bacterial infection can’t always be treated with antibiotics. Concerns about kidney illness are constantly present even though symptoms may go away and then reappear later. Antibiotic therapy should relieve the sudden (acute) joint inflammation caused by Borrelia after 3-5 days. Your veterinarian will need to review your dog if there is no progress in 3-5 days.
Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs other than Lyme disease:
Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis are two more dangerous bacterial infections that ticks may transmit to dogs. The symptoms of anaplasmosis might be like those of Lyme illness. One of the most common symptoms in Babesiosis is acute shock and high fever, but it can also be a limping illness with more mild clinical indications. Testing for both infections includes the same blood tests used to detect Lyme disease. When a tick bites, it spreads more than one tick-borne disease that can cause illness in both canines and humans. Diagnosis and treatments might be difficult to come by in this circumstance, making it more difficult.
What happens if dogs don't get treatment for Lyme disease?
Quick treatment of Lyme disease is vital for your dog’s health since its consequences can create much more severe difficulties. Lyme infection can also motive catastrophic harm to the coronary heart, neurological machine, and kidneys. Without treatment for Lyme disease, a dog’s health may deteriorate and will show chronic Lyme disease in dogs as follows:
- Renal inflammation and kidney failure might occur in extreme situations. Extreme thirst, urination, nausea, diarrhea, swelling of the limbs, and a lack of appetite are signs of renal failure. It might be fatal.
- Arthritis-related chronic pain
- Heart problems
- The neurological system is damaged, resulting in seizure disorders and facial paralysis.
Is Lyme disease fatal to a dog? Yes, if left untreated!
Since many of these problems are potentially lethal if neglected, the solution is obvious. Take care of your dog’s Lyme illness as soon as possible if it has been identified.
Is there a vaccination for Lyme disease that will guard my dog?
A safe and effective Lyme disease vaccine for dogs is available now commercially. For the first few weeks after receiving this vaccination, they will receive it twice, two to four weeks apart. “Immunity must be maintained by regular re-vaccination.” Immunity must be re-established annually by re-vaccination. Your pet’s activity and risk assessment will decide whether they need a Lyme disease vaccination.
Lyme disease dogs' prevention:
Tick prevention begins with keeping your dog out of tick-infested areas. Ticks may be found in grassland, woodlands, and sand. Climbing a leaf, a grass blade, or even a tiny tree (particularly a cedar tree) allows them to get access to a host animal. They stay here until their senses detect an approaching animal. Ticks are less likely to bite an animal if kept from dense underbrush. Keeping your dog on a designated path is best when strolling in woodland or grassy regions. Lyme disease immunization is highly advised for pets who reside or travel to locations where the disease is common.
Tick-killing treatments are also on the market to prevent the spread of illness from infected ticks to people. Many over-the-counter medications are accessible, while some are only available from your local veterinarian. It’s easy to keep these external parasites under control with a monthly application of an efficient prophylactic that’s typically placed to your neck’s back skin. Both Frontline Plus® and Advantix® are included in this product series. Topical Bravecto®, created in the last several years, has a three-month shelf life when administered topically. There are also monthly chewable like Nexgard® and Simparica®, and Bravecto® prescribed for three months. Pet parasite control is the responsibility of a veterinarian! Consult your vet.
Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club, offers the following advice for keeping ticks at bay:
- Check for ticks every day after walking in the woods or grassy areas. Look for fleas on dogs’ paws (and between toes), lips, eyes, ears (as well as inside ears), anus, and tail.
- Ticks should be removed from the stat. If you find ticks promptly, your dog is less likely to become ill. Learn how to remove ticks properly. Invest in a pair of delicate tweezers. If you can’t, call a vet.
- Check for ticks at every appointment with your veterinarian. They’ll find any you’ve missed.
- Use one of the several veterinary-approved flea and tick medicines on the market to keep ticks away from your dog. In case you’re now not satisfied which product is right for your canine, take it to the medical doctor for recommendation.
- Keep grass cut short. If possible, avoid grassy areas in tick-endemic areas.
- Vaccinate your dog. Vaccination may help your dog avoid Lyme illness. Discuss with your vet about the vaccine if they are suitable for your dog.
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Risk assessment for canine Lyme disease
- The last time you saw a tick on someone or something was a long time ago.
- Does your dog spend time in regions where ticks are common?
- What is likely to reside in an area where ticks and Lyme disease cases are prevalent?
- Do you plan to take your dog on vacation to a region where Lyme disease is prevalent?
- Is it possible that you haven’t given your pets their monthly tick medication?