Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium and spread by Ixodes ticks. The most frequent infection symptom is a spreading red rash that emerges about a week after the tick bite.
Lyme disease in dogs is common, and people often ask if Lyme disease is contagious in dogs?
No, Lyme disease is not contagious. Only tick bites can spread the disease from one pet to another or from people to pets. However, a carrier tick could come into your home through your dog’s fur and bite you.
Untreated Lyme disease can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on how long it has been there and how bad it is. Fever, rash, and facial paralysis are among the symptoms.
Read on as we discuss Lyme disease extensively.
Lyme Disease in Dogs
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by tick bites. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. While the tick feeds, bacteria enter the animal’s body and move through the tissue to the joint.
Thus, causing acute arthritis. The bacterium could harm the animal’s kidneys, neurological system, or heart.
In the United States, it is the most common tick-borne disease. It can cause kidney illness and nervous system issues in dogs, humans, and other animals.
However, to avoid long-term problems, prompt treatment is critical. Luckily, there are ways to keep dogs safe from Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Lyme Diseases
The symptoms of Lyme illness vary. Sometimes, it could come as fever, swollen lymph nodes, and loss of appetite in dogs. Some dogs will not move due to joint pain.
Also, Lyme disease affects the kidneys. Thus, causing vomiting, increased thirst and urination, and appetite loss. Kidney failure can make a dog unwell and resistant to therapy.
Nervous system disorders can cause facial paralysis and seizures in dogs. Secondary cardiac disease is rare but can induce collapse.
Lyme disease symptoms in dogs are distinct from those in humans. A Lyme disease infection can cause severe and long-lasting symptoms. However, only approximately 10% of dogs infected with B. burgdorferi will show signs.
Causes of Lyme Disease
Four types of insects spread Lyme disease. The black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick, is the most common to spread the disease (Ixodes scapularis).
There are a lot of these tiny ticks in tall grass, bushes, and wooded areas. As soon as a tick sees a host, it jumps on it and attaches its mouthparts to start a blood feast.
When a tick bites an infected mouse or another small animal, it gets infected. When the infected tick bites another animal, it passes the bacteria on to the new animal.
This is how it takes a tick that connects with its host to pass germs to the host. To stop the spread of Lyme disease, we must remove the ticks as soon as possible.
Lyme disease diagnosis involves a mix of history, symptoms, and tests. The C6 Test and the Quant C6 Test are two blood tests to determine if your dog has Lyme disease.
The C6 test looks for antibodies to a protein called “C6.” The presence of antibodies means that Lyme disease is still there. You’ll find C6 antibodies in the bloodstream three to five weeks after an infected tick bite a dog. Sometimes, the dog may not show any signs of being sick at the time.
Then, you’ll take the Quant C6 test for the dog. This, along with a urine test, will help you figure out if antibiotics are necessary.
Is Lyme Disease Contagious in Dogs?
Dogs do not pose a direct risk of infection to humans. Except through tick bites, Lyme disease cannot be passed from one pet to another or from people to pets.
However, a carrier tick could enter your home on your dog’s fur and bite you. But if your dog has Lyme disease, you and any other pets may also be at risk.
You should talk to your doctor and veterinarian about whether you should test other dogs or family members, too.
Vets give dogs suffering from Lyme disease some antibiotics for a long time, like a few weeks. Most dogs get better quickly when they start taking antibiotics.
Some don’t get rid of all the bacteria, but they might get to a point where they don’t have any symptoms.
To treat renal disease in dogs, they need to take more antibiotics for a longer time and more drugs and treatments. Dogs with their nervous system or heart problems may need more advanced treatment from a veterinarian.
Prevention of Lyme Disease
The best way to avoid Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses is to keep ticks in check. You should check for ticks every day.
Once you detect them, remove them as soon as possible, but this isn’t always possible. When ticks are most common in the spring and fall, this is especially important.
Keep your yard’s grass and brush cut short, so ticks have fewer places to hide. If you live where ticks are common, you should spray your yard with a tick killer.
Ticks like to live in woods and long grass. If you walk your dog in one of these places, check your dog right away. Remove the ticks and throw them away before they bite you or your dog.