Lyme Disease

 

Lyme Disease

(Commonly mis-spelt as Lime, Lymes or Limes Disease)

Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi.

Dog Health Issues - Description of Canine Lyme Disease Bacteria
Lyme disease is an illness caused by a spirochete bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is transmitted to animals and man through the bite of an infected tick. The Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria is passed into the animalís bloodstream when the tick bites.

 

 

The tick must remain attached to the animalís skin for at least one day before the bacteria can be transmitted. Approximately 90% of all cases of Lyme Disease occur on the East Coast of the USA. Infected dogs do not transmit the disease to people.

Dog Health Issues - Description & Transmission of the Canine Lyme Disease Tick
The Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis) transmits Lyme disease. These ticks are the small, wingless, external parasites. The carrier of Lyme Disease is the white-footed mouse which in turn infects the tick.  This particular species of tick, the Deer Tick, that transmits Lyme disease is a Hard Shell tick.

Ticks - Blood Suckers
Ticks feed by sucking the blood of their hosts (our dogs). They have a device in their mouth which allows them to anchor themselves firmly in place while sucking blood. Forcefully pulling a tick out from under the skin can leave the head behind.

Tick Removal
Quick removal of the tick will help prevent canine Lyme Disease because the tick must remain attached to the dogís body for at least one day before the disease can be transmitted. Care must be taken to remove a tick because forcefully pulling a tick out from under the skin often leaves the head behind. Careless squeezing of the tick may also force any bacteria from the tick into the bloodstream. The application of irritants such as lighted cigarettes, matches, alcohol, nail polish, or vaseline can also have the same effect. The recommended process to remove a tick is as follows:

  • Do not use your fingers to remove a tick
  • You can use tweezers but preferably use special tick removal instruments
  • Grasp the tick as near to the skin as possible
  • Pull firmly, steadily and straight - no jerking or twisting movements
  • To kill the tick place it in alcohol
  • Save the tick for identification
  • Clean the bite wound with an antibiotic ointment

After removing a tick there may be some swelling, due to the tick's toxic saliva, which can take up to one week to disappear. In some instances permanent scarring may also occur.

Dog Health Problems - Symptoms of Canine Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is marked by a variety of symptoms which can include the following:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Lameness
  • Inflamed Joints
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes

Heart disease, Kidney disease and disorders of the nervous system may result from the disease.

Lyme Disease Control - The Human Hazard
Lyme disease is far more serious for people than for dogs. It is therefore important to eliminate ticks by removing them from the dog and the environment by using appropriate insecticides. Understanding more about the 'enemy', such as its anatomy and life cycle, will help you to combat the threat of ticks.

Hard Shell Ticks that transmit Lyme Disease
Hard Shell Ticks are named Ixodidae and possess the hard outer covering, or shells, made of chitin.  Hard ticks embed themselves underneath the skin of a host for long periods of time. Hard, or Ixodid ticks, have three hosts, one for each stage of the life cycle (larvae, nymph and adult), but in some species this has been reduced to just one. Hard ticks need several days to feed, and once the female is engorged she drops from the host to lay many thousands of eggs. Studies have shown that Hard ticks have amazing longevity and have been observed to live for many years and through long periods of starvation.

The Anatomy of Lyme Disease Ticks
Young Ticks have three pairs of legs the adult tick has four pairs of legs. They are wingless and so they crawl but cannot fly. Ticks possess a sensory pit called Haller's organ situated on the first tarsus (toe). This structure senses odor, heat and humidity. Haller's organ enables ticks to locate their food source.

The Habitat of Lyme Disease Ticks
Ticks are at their most prevalent in the Spring. They climb upon tall grass and when they sense an animal is close by (by use of the Haller's organ, they crawl on. They will often drop off of the host when full, but the feeding process may take several days.

The Life Cycle of Lyme Disease Ticks
All Ticks have four stages to their Life Cycle:

  • Egg - Eggs are laid on the ground until they hatch into larvae
  • Larvae (seed tick) - sense an animal, its first host, and attaches itself to begin feeding  and when full they fall to the ground. The larvae then 'molts' into the next stage
  • Nymph - it senses an animal, its second host, and attaches itself to begin feeding. When full they fall to the ground. The Nymph then 'molts' into the final adult stage of its life cycle
  • Adult - attaches itself to its third host begins feeding when full they fall to the ground. The male ticks then die. The female ticks lay eggs in the Spring
 

Dog photograph

 

Lyme Disease Tick Control - Outdoor Environment
The control of ticks is a two sided process - controlling the ticks on a dog and controlling the environment - the yard and the kennel:

  • Clear any tall grass from the yard
  • Remove leaves and clear brush
  • Spray insecticides over area monthly
  • Treat kennel with insecticide

Lyme Disease Ticks - Control & Treatment - Indoor Environment

  • Frequently wash the dog's bedding
  • Apply insecticide to likely areas
  • Remember that ticks can only crawl so apply insecticide to the edges of wall and flooring / carpets in order to deal with them as they try to crawl higher
  • Spray insecticides over any cracks in windows or doors
 

Lyme Disease Ticks -  Control & Treatment - The Dog

  • Tick control sprays for selected areas
  • Dips can be applied to the entire animal
  • Tick shampoo can be applied to the entire animal
  • Tick Collars
  • Vaccinations for Lyme Disease

Dog Health Advice
We hope that the canine health information and dog health advice has been of some assistance. But please remember that if you are in doubt about your Dog's Health please consult your Canine Health Specialist.

 

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems
The sole purpose of the Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems is as a reference manual to provide useful information to dog and puppy owners. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat sick dogs or as a substitute for obtaining professional veterinary advice. Please remember that if you are in any doubt about your Dog's Health please consult your Canine Veterinary Specialist immediately.

 

Lyme Disease
(Commonly mis-spelt as Lime, Lymes or Limes Disease)

 

Dog Breeds Alphabet

Dog Names & Breeds Site Index Canine Health
Canine Lyme Disease - Tick - Ticks - Blood Suckers - Transmission - Removal - Control - Life Cycle - Eggs - Egg - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease - Facts - Common Canine Dog Health Problems - Dog Sickness Symptoms Sorter - Health Care Checklist - Questions - Advice - Preventing - Prevention - Issues - Description - Symptoms - Causes - Treatment - Canine - Dog - Dogs - Puppy - Symtoms - Origins - Description - Living conditions - Exercise Requirements - Life Expectancy - Information - Facts - Origins - Info - Pups - Puppys - Puppies - Breeds - Online Encyclopaedia - Canine Lyme Disease - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease - Canine Lyme Disease - Tick - Ticks - Blood Suckers - Transmission - Removal - Control - Life Cycle - Eggs - Egg - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease - Facts - Common Canine Dog Health Problems - Dog Sickness Symptoms Sorter - Health Care Checklist - Questions - Advice - Preventing - Prevention - Issues - Description - Symptoms - Causes - Treatment - Canine - Dog - Dogs - Puppy - Symtoms - Origins - Description - Living conditions - Exercise Requirements - Life Expectancy - Information - Facts - Origins - Info - Pups - Puppys - Puppies - Breeds - Online Encyclopaedia - Canine Lyme Disease - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease -  Canine Lyme Disease - Tick - Ticks - Blood Suckers - Transmission - Removal - Control - Life Cycle - Eggs - Egg - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease - Facts - Common Canine Dog Health Problems - Dog Sickness Symptoms Sorter - Health Care Checklist - Questions - Advice - Preventing - Prevention - Issues - Description - Symptoms - Causes - Treatment - Canine - Dog - Dogs - Puppy - Symtoms - Origins - Description - Living conditions - Exercise Requirements - Life Expectancy - Information - Facts - Origins - Info - Pups - Puppys - Puppies - Breeds - Online Encyclopaedia - Canine Lyme Disease - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease -  Canine Lyme Disease - Tick - Ticks - Blood Suckers - Transmission - Removal - Control - Life Cycle - Eggs - Egg - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease - Facts - Common Canine Dog Health Problems - Dog Sickness Symptoms Sorter - Health Care Checklist - Questions - Advice - Preventing - Prevention - Issues - Description - Symptoms - Causes - Treatment - Canine - Dog - Dogs - Puppy - Symtoms - Origins - Description - Living conditions - Exercise Requirements - Life Expectancy - Information - Facts - Origins - Info - Pups - Puppys - Puppies - Breeds - Online Encyclopaedia - Canine Lyme Disease - Lime - Lymes - Limes - Desease - Written By Linda Alchin