Does my Dog have Lyme Disease
Does your dog have Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is rapidly spreading across this country among animals and humans. I have a dog myself who is sick with it and I am too. So I thought I would share the knowledge I have learned along the way to help others about to embark on this journey. I hope that is helps you. I want to dedicate this page to my little guy Tuffy.
"Things that upset a terrier may pass virtually unnoticed by a Great Dane." - Smiley Blanton
Cause & Symptoms
In the United States, Lyme disease was first recognized in humans in 1975 and first reported in dogs in 1984. It was discovered in Europe in the 1800s. Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, spiral shaped bacteria that live in the gut of deer ticks and western black-legged ticks. When an infected tick feeds on a dog, person or other mammal, the bacteria are transmitted and can cause an infection. Once the infection is in you, it spreads throughout your body and can cause numerous symptoms.
Lyme Disease is the most reported vector borne disease in the United States. I am not going to quote statistics because I don't believe any of them to be right. It is under reported , but it has now been found in every state. The best way to find out how bad it is in your area is to talk to your vet. Veterinarians know more about Lyme Disease then most physicians do in my experience. They are very knowledgeable.
Loss of Appetite
Reluctance to move
Stiff and painful gait
Swollen joints that are warm to the touch
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Symptoms of Lyme disease may come and go, vary from mild to severe and mimic other conditions. In many dogs, the signs may not appear for several months after infection. In severe cases, dogs may also develop heart disease, central nervous system disorders or fatal kidney disease.
*Some dogs may never show any outward signs of Lyme disease.
Does your dog have Lyme Disease?
Can I test my dog for Lyme Disease?
If your dog has symptoms your vet should test him. Tests are fast, with results while you wait . The blood test tests for Lyme and other infections that ticks pass, canine ehrlichiosis, canine anaplasmosis, and heartworm, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes should be perfromed annually to be safe. Regular screening is not only important for disease identification, it's necessary so that a treatment program can begin as quickly as possible.
*Note- Erlichiosis and other tick borne diseases have similar symptoms to Lyme Disease so it's best to test for all infections a tick can pass at once.
What is the treatment for Lyme Disease for my dog?
If your dog does have Lyme Disease treatment your veterinarian will put him on some kind of treatment. Usually it will be a month worth or more of Doxycyclene. Then they may retest to see if longer treatment is needed. Some dogs, like people, will have to be on treatment for the rest of their lives. Your vet will have options available, some will treat with antibiotics and some natural treatments also.
2007 Canine Lyme Disease Map
The best way of dealing with Lyme Disease is to prevent getting it in the first place. There are many tick prevention medications available both over the counter and from your veterinarian. Some veterinarians suggest putting flea and tick drops on your do. . Nothing offers 100 percent protection. Annual screenings and prevention with topical tick meds are the best way to protect your dog and yourself. Take any symptoms seriously. The sooner you treat Lyme Disease the better the chances of recovery.
If you do find a tick attached to you or your dog, remove it with a pair of tweezers. Pull the tick out as close to your skin as you can and pull gently outwards. Do not squeeze or put petroleum, nail polish, or any chemicals on the tick. Do not burn it with a match either. This will just make them regurgitate their stomach contents into you and increase your chances of infection. If you get the tick out and want it tested, you can send it to Igenex Labs. Read directions on their website on how to save the tick for testing.
Tick Kits, For Easy Removal of Ticks from Humans and Dogs
Adventure Medical Kits Splinter Picker / Tick Remover
The Tick Key
(TickKey) Tick Remover
Your Key to Reliable, Safe & Effective ...
The Original TICKED OFF
What Is Lyme? - Check out this great website!
- What Is Lyme?
A website with all the basic information about Lyme Disease and all other tick borne diseases. Check it out to find a local support group or activism event in your area.
"Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies." - Gene Hill
Doggie Memorial - RIP Our LIttle Furry Friends
Tick Repellent Clothes
And I will start a RIP section for our fallen friends.