Lyme disease test for dogs
There are many factors in your dog’s life that can contribute to the development of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. A bite from a deer tick is the main vector of the disease. Once inside the body, the disease can be passed on by an infected tick to another person, another animal or to your dog. There is an increasing number of cases in pets, particularly dogs.
Early detection and treatment of Lyme disease can be the difference between lifelong discomfort and good health. Your dog can get bitten by a tick while playing in the woods, on the beach or even when going for a stroll. Once the tick is attached and the saliva begins to penetrate the dog’s skin, he or she may develop a tick bite. The tick may also be carrying a dormant stage of the bacteria that will later be transmitted. If the tick is removed before it has had time to transmit the disease, it will be a simple matter to kill the tick and wash the area of the dog’s skin with an antibacterial.
Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Early symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to those of other infectious diseases:
loss of appetite
swelling of the lymph nodes under the dog’s jaw
In some dogs, Lyme disease may also present with other symptoms. It is important to note that most dogs will experience fever and lameness before the skin is infected.
It is important to get a test from your veterinarian to determine if your dog is affected by Lyme disease. If your dog has a tick bite and you are aware of the symptoms, then it is possible that your vet will be able to test your dog for Lyme disease, or you can be tested yourself.
The two most common tests for Lyme disease are a blood test, and an ELISA test. Both tests will give a negative result until you have reached at least the early stages of Lyme disease. Early tests for Lyme disease are less than perfect, so it is important to get your dog’s blood tested, and to get it repeated if the initial test shows an invalid result. It can be difficult to get your dog tested. In some parts of the country, Lyme disease is so prevalent that tests are performed routinely on the dogs in your area. It is important to get a test at your local veterinary clinic. If you know that your dog was bitten by a tick and your veterinarian is familiar with Lyme disease, it is possible that you will get the test ordered without having to call and make the appointment yourself.
Your dog’s blood will be tested by a laboratory using a method called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The ELISA is done to confirm that your dog’s blood is infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Your vet will take a blood sample and send it to the lab. The blood sample will be centrifuged and then used in a test that will show whether your dog has Lyme disease. The ELISA is not considered a standard test for Lyme disease, but rather a test for a component of the bacteria that may have invaded the blood stream. This test will be repeated at least once until it gives a positive result. The ELISA will also be performed to detect exposure to other bacterial diseases such as Babesia, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. The ELISA test is considered to be more sensitive and less expensive than the blood culture. A blood culture is the traditional test for Lyme disease and is the standard against which the ELISA is measured. A blood culture will show whether the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria are present in the blood, while the ELISA will show whether or not your dog has the disease.
If your dog tests positive on the ELISA, you will be contacted by your veterinarian’s staff to discuss treatment options.
The best way to protect your dog from Lyme disease is to keep your dog on a regular schedule for tick control. A tick will remain attached to your dog for a relatively short period of time, and can therefore be removed in a short period of time. If your dog is out in the woods, or at a park, it is possible that your dog will be exposed to a tick. To reduce the risk of exposure, you should check your dog’s coat regularly and remove any ticks from your dog immediately.
If you find a tick on your dog, and there is no danger of it being transmitted to a human, there are ways to remove the tick. If you have a lice comb and a nail clipper, it is possible to use these tools to remove the tick. It is best to remove the tick as close to the area where the tick was originally attached to your dog as possible. To remove a tick from your dog’s ears, have your vet clip the tick off near the head. It is also possible to get a small tweezers or a pair of needle-nose pliers.
The American Animal Hospital Association reports that it is difficult to remove the tick with a needle-nose pliers, and it is best to remove it with a lice comb and nail clipper.
If you decide to remove the tick yourself, it is best to apply some sort of antiseptic before doing so. Some antiseptics that you can use are:
the anti-tick dip,
a topical antibiotic ointment,
a product that dries and prevents ticks from attaching, or
a product that destroys the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
The antiseptic should be applied to the tick with a cotton swab, and left to dry for a minimum of 20 minutes.
After removing the tick, the area should be disinfected with an anti-microbial product. To disinfect the area, you can use one of these products:
There are some other products that are available for disinfecting the area of your dog’s skin where the