Lyme Disease in Dogs


Ticks cause a host of health problems, including Lyme disease, which impacts dogs and individuals alike. A bite from an infected tick can imply exhaustion, fever, joint pain, and loss of appetite. Antibiotics typically supply remedy for Lyme disease, but regressions can occur. Spot-on tick-control items can kill or push back ticks that bring Lyme disease, as can some tick collars. There is a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs, however it’s not constantly part of a dog’s routine vaccination protocol.

Lyme Disease Definition

Lyme disease is among a variety of frustratingly typical tick-borne illness that are concerned by both veterinarians and human physicians as persistent, insidious, and simply plain troublesome in a number of methods.

An infection triggered by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium, Lyme disease is transferred through the bite of an infected tick and can impact lots of species, consisting of dogs and human beings.

Ticks of the Ixodes species (called deer ticks) are understood to send Lyme disease when they attach to a host and feed. Since the tick should be attached for at least 50 hours to send Lyme disease, regular examination for ticks (and fast elimination) can decrease the risk of disease transmission.

Lyme disease is more common in certain areas of the United States, consisting of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwest.

Symptoms and Identification of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Clinical signs may not stand for a number of months after a dog is infected with Lyme disease. In fact, numerous dogs fail to show any obvious scientific signs at all. When signs of infection are noted, they might include the following:

  • Lethargy (manifested as tiredness or exercise intolerance).
  • Fever.
  • Painful joints.
  • Anorexia nervosa.

canine lyme disease

Signs may seem to fix by themselves just to reappear later on. Lyme disease has also been linked to long-lasting complications involving the joints, kidneys, heart, and nervous system.

Lyme disease is normally diagnosed based upon a medical history that consists of the possibility of tick direct exposure, suspicious scientific signs, and results of diagnostic screening.

Several tests can recognize the Borrelia burgdorferi organism in blood or tissues. In addition, a test (called a quantitative C6 antibody test or QC6 antibody test) can measure the level of antibodies to assist veterinarians identify whether treatment is advised. However, many veterinarians test for Lyme disease utilizing an in-hospital SNAP test. BREEZE tests are a group of fast, convenient, blood tests that can be performed at your veterinarian’s workplace. There are various SNAP tests for various purposes:.

  • SNAP Heartworm RT Test: screens for heartworm infection.
  • SNAP 3Dx Test: at the same time screens for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis (another tick-borne disease that can affect dogs).
  • SNAP 4Dx Test: all at once screens for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis (likewise a tick-borne disease that can cause health problem in dogs).

SNAP testing is extremely precise and is a good way to recognize dogs that might be infected with one or more of these diseases. SNAP screening is also extremely convenient because it uses a really small amount of blood and takes just a few minutes to perform. However, sending blood to an outside laboratory for screening can be every bit as reliable as an in-hospital SNAP test.

Sometimes, vets may advise extra testing to subsequent a test outcome or search for other evidence of disease associated to heartworm disease or one of the tick-borne infections. Testing may involve sending out additional blood samples to a lab for more analysis or performing other diagnostic tests to get more information about a dog’s condition.

Impacted Breeds

All types of dogs are equally susceptible to this contagious disease, though dogs used for searching or other outside sporting activities are at greater risk for exposure to ticks.

Treatment for Lyme Disease

Treatment of Lyme disease typically includes administration of antibiotics and (if necessary) other medications to temporarily help manage joint pain and other scientific signs. Some dogs reveal dramatic improvement after just a few days of receiving antibiotics, however many vets now recommend a 28- to 30-day course of treatment. Regressions are not unusual, so pet owners are advised to monitor their dogs thoroughly for signs of disease.


Tick-borne illness such as Lyme disease position a risk to dogs in numerous areas of the people. Due to the fact that clinical signs are not always obvious, periodic screening is a good way to identify dogs that have actually been infected. Even dogs that receive year-round tick control products and do not spend a lot of time outside are at risk for direct exposure to tick-borne illness. Checking assists identify dogs that need treatment for one of these infections or an adjustment in the type of tick control being used.

Tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain found fever, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis (among others) may or might not prevail in your area. Nevertheless, travel practices of owners and their dogs, and altering patterns of tick migration may drive vets to advise testing for tick-borne diseases.

Numerous vaccines are readily available to help avoid disease brought on by Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease organism. A preliminary vaccination is followed by a booster vaccine two to four weeks later (in accordance with label recommendations) and yearly boosters, as long as the risk for disease exposure remains.

The Lyme vaccine is not always advised for all dogs. Ask your vet about the risk of Lyme disease where you live and whether the Lyme vaccine is recommended for your dog.

There are currently no vaccines to secure dogs from other tick-borne diseases, such as ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Appropriate tick-control approaches combined with routine testing might be the best ways to help secure dogs from these diseases. Being “tick smart” can also help safeguard dogs from Lyme disease exposure. Here are some pointers:.

  • Check dogs (and humans) regularly for ticks. They must be removed without delay.
  • Use a trusted approach of tick control (numerous spot-on items kill and move away ticks).
  • If possible, prevent tall turf or woody areas where ticks are most likely to hide.
  • If owners consistently take dogs camping or walking in wooded areas, they ought to apprise their vets of this possible methods of exposure.



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