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May 15, 2020 · Lyme Disease in Dogs: Get more information about prevention, symptoms, testing you can have done, and treatment if your dog is infected.
- Harriet Meyers
Dec 22, 2014 · Medication: Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice for treating Lyme disease. Other antibiotic options include amoxicillin and erythromycin. If your dog is very uncomfortable, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (e.g., carprofen or deracoxib) may also be given. What to Expect at the Vet’s Office
Lyme disease treatment includes Doxycycline, a form of the antibiotic tetracycline. Because tetracyclines discolor the teeth of growing pets, and of pets still developing within the uterus, we use a different antibiotic for nursing, pregnant, and young pets — Amoxicillin.
- Other animals
- Clinical significance
Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but it only causes symptoms in 10 percent of affected dogs. When infection leads to Lyme disease in dogs, the dominant clinical feature is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints, and a general feeling of malaise. There may also be depression and a lack of appetite. More serious complications include damage to the kidneys, and rarely, heart or nervous system disease.
Transmission of Lyme disease has been reported in dogs throughout the United States and Europe, but is most prevalent in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific coastal states. However, the disease is spreading and becoming more common throughout the United States.
Some dogs may also develop kidney problems. Lyme disease sometimes leads to glomerulonephritisinflammation and accompanying dysfunction of the kidney's glomeruli (essentially, a blood filter).
Eventually, kidney failure may set in as the dog begins to exhibit such signs as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination and thirst, and abnormal fluid buildups.
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health to give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are being affected. Your veterinarian may run some combination of blood chemistry tests, a complete blood cell count, a urinalysis, fecal examinations, X-rays and tests specific to diagnosing Lyme disease (e.g., serology). Fluid from the affected joints may also be drawn for analysis.
There are many causes for arthritis, and your veterinarian will focus on differentiating arthritis initiated by Lyme disease from other inflammatory arthritic disorders, such as trauma and degenerative joint disease. Immune-mediated diseases will also be considered as a possible cause of the symptoms. X-rays of the painful joints will allow your doctor to examine the bones for abnormalities.
If the diagnosis is Lyme disease, your dog will be treated as an outpatient unless their condition is unstable (e.g., severe kidney disease). Doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is prescribed for Lyme disease, but other dog antibiotics are also available and effective. The recommended treatment length is usually at least four weeks, and longer courses may be necessary in some cases. Your veterinarian may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory (pain medication for dogs) if your dog is especially uncomfortable. Improvement in sudden (acute) inflammation of the joints caused by Borrelia should be seen within three to five days of antibiotic treatment. If there is no improvement within three to five days, your veterinarian will want to reevaluate your dog.
Unfortunately, antibiotic treatment does not always completely eliminate infection with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Symptoms may resolve but then return at a later date, and the development of kidney disease in the future is always a worry. Proper use of antibiotics reduces the likelihood of chronic consequences.
If possible, avoid allowing your dog to roam in tick-infested environments where Lyme disease is common. Check your dogs coat and skin daily, and remove ticks by hand. Your veterinarian can prescribe a variety of prescription flea and tick collars, topical and oral products that kill and repel ticks. Such products should be used under a veterinarian's supervision and according to the label's directions. Lyme vaccines are available, but their use is somewhat controversial. Talk to your veterinarian to see if the Lyme vaccination is right for your dog.
- Other animals
Lyme disease presents very differently in dogs than it does in humans. While humans develop serious and sometimes long-lasting symptoms from a Lyme disease infection, only about 10 percent of dogs infected with Lyme will develop any symptoms that require treatment. When clinical signs of Lyme disease do develop in dogs, they can be hard to distinguish from other viruses or illnesses, and can include: Neurological disease (behavioral changes, seizures) and heart complications, which are sometimes seen in humans who contract Lyme disease, are rare in dogs.
There is no evidence that Lyme disease is spread to humans via direct contact with infected animals. However, keep in mind that ticks can hitch a ride home on your pets and move on to the humans in the household. Since Lyme disease is much more dangerous to humans than dogs, keeping an eye out for ticks on your dog can reduce the risk to you and your family. Since ticks can carry other diseases besides Lyme, be sure to check your dog's fur after it's spent a lot of time outdoors. It's especially important for long-haired dogs to have their fur brushed, and when appropriate, treated with anti-tick and anti-flea remedies. Tick control is extremely important for the prevention of Lyme disease (and many other diseases that can be transmitted by ticks). Check your dog daily for ticks and remove them as soon as possible, since ticks must feed for at least 12 hours (and possibly 24 to 48 hours) before transmitting the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. This is especially important in peak tick season and after your dog spends time in the bush or tall grass (consider avoiding these areas in tick season). Products that prevent ticks such as monthly parasite preventatives or tick collars can be used, but be sure to follow your veterinarian's advice when using these products. Keep grass and brush trimmed in your yard, and in areas where ticks are a serious problem, consider treating your yard for ticks. Vaccination against Lyme disease is a controversial topic and is something that should be discussed in depth with your veterinarian. Many specialists do not recommend routine vaccination because so few dogs develop symptoms of Lyme disease, and when Lyme disease does occur in dogs, it is usually readily treated. Additionally, because arthritis and kidney problems associated with Lyme disease are at least partly related to the immune response to the bacteria (rather than the bacteria itself), there is concern that vaccination may contribute to problems. Vaccination is also not 100 percent effective, and it's only helpful in dogs that have not already been exposed to B. burgdorferi. However, vaccination before exposure can help prevent dogs from getting Lyme disease and also prevent them from becoming a carrier of the bacteria. Where vaccines are used, it is usually recommended to start vaccinating dogs as young puppies (at around 12 weeks, with a booster two to four weeks later). The vaccine does not provide long-lasting immunity, so annual re-vaccination (ideally before tick season) is necessary.
Lyme disease is a condition caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that is spread by ticks. These ticks become infected with the bacteria by feeding on infected mice and other small animals. When an infected tick bites other animals, it can transmit the bacteria to these animals.
Infections occur during tick season (usually spring through early fall), but the time between infection and the appearance of Lyme disease symptoms can be two to five months. Lyme disease is seen across the U.S., with the exception of the southern and southwestern states, and in many other parts of the world.
As if Lyme disease wasn't enough, some dogs who contract Lyme may also suffer kidney problems. The symptoms of kidney problems, which are serious, include lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased thirst and urination (sometimes a lack of urination will develop). Dogs who develop kidney failure can become very ill and may not respond to treatment.
The diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on a combination of factors, including history (tick exposure), clinical signs, finding antibodies to B. burgdorferi bacteria, and a quick response to treatment with antibiotics. A positive antibody test is not enough to make a diagnosis on its own, because not all dogs that are exposed to B. burgdorferi get sick, and antibodies can persist in the blood for a long time after exposure. Other diagnostic testing, such as blood and urine tests, X-rays, and sampling of joint fluid, may be done to check for signs of kidney disease and to rule out other conditions with similar signs and symptoms.
Treatment with antibiotics usually produces rapid improvement in symptoms, though antibiotics will be continued for a few weeks. Treatment may not completely clear the bacteria, but produces a state where no symptoms are present (similar to the condition in dogs that don't have symptoms from infection).
If kidney disease is present, a longer course of antibiotics along with additional medications to treat the kidney disease is usually necessary.
May 02, 2019 · Use doxycycline as a prescribed antibiotic treatment. For many vets, doxycycline is the first-choice antibiotic for canine Lyme disease. They will typically prescribe a dose of 10 mg per kilogram of the dog’s weight, to be given in pill form twice a day for at least 30 days.
Jan 11, 2021 · Veterinarian Steven Tobin has reported that he has used Ledum (1M potency, three times daily for three days – yes, that is all, just three days) in treating hundreds of dogs for Lyme with very good success. Homeopathic remedies are very safe and generally inexpensive, so it does make sense to have some on hand and to use them for your pet.
Dec 25, 2017 · Is Lyme Disease in Dogs Curable? 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.
Canine lyme disease (borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. For the disease to be transmitted by the tick to a dog, it must be attached for 48 hours. It may take several weeks for the disease to manifest itself in the dog after exposure. The disease affects joint, muscle and heart tissues.