Our 5 year old Brittany Spaniel was getting sick... was
limping on her front leg, acted tired and sore all over and just didn't
act right. We took her to three vets before one did a blood test for
Lyme Disease and she was positive.
We've never seen a tick on her
and she never leaves our yard so how could she get Lyme Disease?
Will the antibiotic we're giving her cure her for good?
View a video of a dog
The in-clinic blood test
for Lyme Disease is quite accurate and any positive reactor is presumed to
harbor the bacteria in their body tissues; so whenever a positive test is
seen, coupled with the physical exam and patient history, the doctor will
treat for this infection.
Many dogs that never act sick may have been
bitten by a tick capable of transmitting the bacteria; the dog may or may
not develop observable signs and some will generate their own protective
immunity. Other dogs become very sick with bacteria and their toxins
that invade the joints, heart, kidneys and central nervous system.
Treatment, started the sooner the better and
continued even after the patient seems "cured", often will
permit a full recovery. Some patients will relapse if not treated
long enough; some may become infected again someday and get sick again if
their immune systems are not capable of warding off the offending
bacteria. Some develop an immune mediated blood disorder months or
years later called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.
Treatment with antibiotics and pain medications
usually works well. Humans generally do not get infected with Lyme
Disease directly from their dogs, but because the dog and human inhabit
the same environment a disease causing tick may infect a human just as
easily as the family dog! And just because you've never seen a tick
on your dog has no bearing on the probability for infection. One
stage of the most common offending tick, called Ixodes, is no bigger than
these two commas ,, !
The major reason
topical flea/tick preventative seems to fail is due
to the owners bathing the pet just prior to applying the
There are no products or methods to
effectively and safely repel fleas and ticks; someday soon there may
be. DEET products that humans apply to clothing can be quite toxic
Safe anti-tick products are available from your
veterinarian but none actually repel/prevent ticks from getting on your
dog! They work only after the parasites contact the oil layer of
the dog's skin.
Always read the full instructions before applying
any pet flea or tick product. And never "double up" on different
products without consulting your veterinarian.