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Ask the Vet About Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease
Symptoms & Diagnosis
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Ask the Vet About What Causes Lyme Disease in Dogs and Cats?
Dr. Michael Dym
Dr. Michael Dym
VMD, Veterinarian
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DoctorDym.com

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: 11/12/16
Category: Urinary Tract/Kidneys
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lymes Disease With Incontience

Question:My Dog Has Been On Antibiotics For About 3 Weeks For Lymes Disease And Is Now Starting To Pee On The Bed While She Is Sleeping. Is There Anything We Can Do To Pervent/help This?

Answer:I Would Return To Vet For Exam, As This Does Not Sound Like Symptom Due To Lyme Disease. May Be Separate Incontinence Issue Or Possibly A Different Infection

Date: 09/29/16
Category: Bone & Joint Care
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lyme Disease

Question:Our Dog Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease About 1 1/2 Years Ago. Ever Since That His Back Legs Seem To Be Weak. Ive Read That Lyme Causes Arthritis. What Is Best To Give Him To Make Him Feel A Little Better. He Is 15 Years Old He Doesn't See Or Hear Very Well So We Don't Want To Keep Taking Him To The Vets He Gets Very Stressed Out And Has A Hard Time Getting In And Out Of The Car.

Answer:I Would Try Some Excellent Supplements Such As Super Joint Enhancer And Proanthozone From 1800petmeds. I Would Also Give Good Quality Fatty Acid Like Nordic Naturals Pet Omega 3 As Well. Also Consider Yucca Intensive. Consider Vet Exam As There Are Many Prescription Arthritis And Pain Meds That May Be Of Help Here.

Date: 08/25/16
Category: Antibiotics/Anti-Infectives
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lyme Disease

Question:Hi Doctor, I Am Writing In To Ask For Your Advice. When We Were Visiting The Washington Dc Area In The Beginning Of July, Our Two 10lb Chinese Crested Dogs Each Got Approximately 30 Or So Ticks On Them. We Tried As Best We Could To Remove All Of Them Within 24 Hours, But Some Were Probably On For 48. We May Have Missed Some. (one Dog Is Hard To Check As She Is Super Sensitive.) Because They Each Had So Many Ticks On Them, We Gave Them Doxycycline (i Think It Was 20mg Two Times Per Day) For Two Weeks. It Has Been About A Month Since They Were Off The Doxy And About A Month And A Half Since The Initial Incident Happened. We Now Live In Dc And Have Been Checking Every Night For Ticks. Luckily, We Haven't Found Any Ticks On The Dogs. I Am Writing To Ask Several Things: (1) First Of All, Should The Dogs Be Tested For Lyme And Various Other Tick Bourne Illnesses Even Though They Were On The Antibiotic? (2) They Are Due For Revaccination Of Lyme About A Month From Now. If We Take Them To The Vet In The Next Few Days To Have Them Tested For Lyme, Is It Ok If We Vaccinate Them For Lyme A Month Early? (3) If Their Initial Lyme Vaccine, The Booster, And The Next Years Vaccine Were All A Form Of The Killed Virus, Is It Ok That Their Vaccine Isn't A Killed Virus But Instead An Antibody Based Vaccine? (we Moved And The Vet That We Are Thinking Of Going To Has A Different Vaccine.) (4) I Keep Being Nervous That My Dog Is Limping, But I Really Can't Tell. If She Were Limping Or Having Stiff Joints Due To The Lyme, Would It Be Apparent? She May Just Be Walking Oddly Because Our New Apartment Has Wood Floors And She Slips. I Really Appreciate Your Time And Feedback.

Answer:Thank You For Your Questions. All Of These Questions Are Quite Variable In Their Answer, Depending On The Particular Veterinarian You Consult With, Etc As There Is No Black Or White Traditional Answer For These. Most Allopathic Veterinary Experts Dont Even Recommend Lyme Vaccination, Including Renowned Lyme Disease Expert And My Former Professor At Penn Meryl Littman, Vmd, Who Is Against Lyme Vaccination, Because Of The Potential Autoimmune Nature Of This Disease In Animals, As Well As The Fact That The Vast Majority Of Dogs Who Are Exposed To Lyme Disease Never Get Sick, Even Though They May Test Positive On In House Vet Lab Quick Lyme/heartworm Checks. In Fact, As You May Read, Lyme Disease Is Way Overdiagnosed By My Traditional Veterinary Colleagues. Treatment With Doxycycline Can Never Hurt, Accept For Rare Digestive Upset. Doxycycline Can Also Help Limping Through Its Anti Inflammatory Effect On The Bone As Well, Which Does Not Mean It Is Helping By Killing Lyme Bacteria. I Am A Conservative Veterinarian When It Comes To This Lyme Vaccination, And Dont Recommend It, As There Have Been Chronic Complications From The Old Lyme Vaccination In People, And In My Experience And Opinion, Even In The Animals I Have Seen In Practice Over 25 Years, And From My Experience Of Practicing In Lyme Hot Bed Of The Northeast Much Of That Time. You Could Consider More Accurate Clinical Testing That Has Recently Developed Including Pcr Testing And/or C6 Antibody Testing Which Most Vets Can Send Off To An Outside Laboratory. More Importantly In Animals Exposed To Lyme Disease, It Is Probably A Better Use Of Your Money To Have A Urine Protein/creatinine Ratio, As That A Unique Form Of Kidney Disease, Where Protein Is Lost Through The Urine Is Truly The Only Really Very Rare Complication Of Lyme Exposure, And Most Of These Cases Are In Certain Breeds Such As Retrievers Or Shelties, Which May Have A Genetic Predisposition To This Very Rare Lyme Exposure Condition. So Please Try And Have Peace Of Mind, And Not Get Caught Up In The Scare Of Testing And Overtreating For This Condition. I Hope This Helps Good Luck

Date: 08/24/16
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lymes Disease

Question:My Friends Pup Was Recently Diagnosed With Lymes Disease And The Vet Treated It With Antibiotics But It Had An Allergic Reaction To The Antibiotics And Went Into Seizures. I Am Wondering What Other Treatments Could Be Used On A Dog That Can't Take Antiobiotics As Treatment For Lymes?

Answer:I Would Not Assume This Is From Lyme Disease Or That Diagnosis Is Correct As Many Vets Overdiagnose Lyme Disease Based On An Inhouse Blood Test. Pet Needs Vet Recheck And Full Workup For Seizures. May Needs Other Specific Seizure Meds Here Based On Workup

Date: 08/21/16
Category: Urinary Tract/Kidneys
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Licking Area Where She Urinates

Question:Our Lab Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease And Has Been On Anitibiotics For Last Month. Finished Script. Notice That She Is Licking Area Where She Urinates And Seems To Be Leaking Urine.

Answer:Sounds Like Possible Secondary Un Related Urinary Tract Infection. Take Her Back For Vet Recheck

Date: 08/14/16
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: 12week Old Pit Bull Mix

Question:Hes Acting Like Hes Got Lyme Disease But I Can't Afford Vet Costs To Do All The Tests And Stuff. I Don't Want Him To Die Nor Do I Want Him To Suffer! Please Help Me!!!!!

Answer:I Doubt He Has Lyme Disease At This Age, Which In Fact Is A Very Rare Clinical Disease In Dogs, Inspite Of All Of The Fear And Hype Out There. I Would Recommend Vet Exam And Evaluation For Other Possible Causes, As Lyme Disease Likely Not One Of Them

Date: 08/08/16
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Second Opinion

Question:I Have A 5 Year Old Pitbull/lab Mix Who My Vet Just Recently Told Us He More Than Likely Has A Nose Tumor. Back In December He Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease And Was Treated For It. In January Henry Started Having Head Seizures Which Came On Very Quickly. He Was Treated With Phenobarbital And Prednisone And To All Of Our Amazement Henry Made A Complete Recovery. Not One Seizure And Was His Crazy Happy Self. 7 Months Later And He's Still The Same. The Vet Gradually Cut Down His Prednisone And About 2 Weeks Ago We Noticed Mucus Coming Out Of His Right Nostril, A Droopy Right Eye, And Muscle Loss On The Top Right Of His Head. That Is When She Came To The Conclusion He Had A Nose Tumor. She Upped His Prednisone Back And No More Mucus Of The Nose Or Droopy Eye. He Still Has Muscle Loss On The Right Side And Has Started Pawing On That Side Of His Face. I Was Looking On Here To See If I Could Hear Other Opinions, Hopefully It Could Be Something Else Besides A Tumor? ..

Answer:I Would Recommend A Consultation With A Veterinary Internist Or Specialist In Internal Medicine In Your Area. I Would Ask Your Vet For A Referral Who Can Review The Complex Case History And Workup To Date. Nasal X Rays Under Sedation And/or Scoping Of Nasal Passages And/or Biopsy Of Affected Tissues May Be Needed For Diagnosis In Case Like This. I Would Not Keep Just Going Up And Down On Prednisone Like This, Until You Get Definitive Diagnosis From A Specialist

Date: 08/08/16
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lyme Disease

Question:We Have A Bassetthound Who Has Been Recently Diagnosed With Lyme Disease. He Has Been On Doxycycline For Over A Week. His Clinical Symptoms Have Improved Significantly. However, Not His Limpness In The Rear Legs. We Still Have To Carry Him To Go Outside. He Has Approximately 36 Pills Left. When Should We See Him Progress To Be Able To Walk Independently Again?

Answer:Usually Dogs With Lyme Disease Respond Rapidly Within Several Days. If He Is Still Having Problems Within A Few Days, I Would Return To Vet For Recheck. He May Have Separate Problem As Many Vets Over Diagnose And Overblame Positive In House Lyme Tests On Patients' Clinical Symptoms

Date: 07/27/16
Category: Antibiotics/Anti-Infectives
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lyme Disease

Question:My Dog Was Diagnosed With Lyme. She Took Antibiotics For A Few Days And Was Supposed To Be On For 30 Days. Now She Has Missed 2 Days Because The Vet Ran Out Of Medicine And Still Waiting... Now What?

Answer:Your Vet Should Prescribe An Alternative Antibiotic To Doxycycline If Needed Such As Amoxicillin Or Cephalexin, Both Which Are Effective Against Lyme Disease

Date: 06/13/16
Category: Vaccines
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Bordetella And Antibiotics

Question:Hi I Have A 2 Yr Old Pit Bull, She Is Being Treated For A Lymes Disease Flare Up And She Has Been On Doxycycline For About 2 Weeks. I Need To Board Her For Our Vacation And She Needs That Vaccine. Can She Stop Taking The Antibiotic So She Can Get Her Shot Then Resume Treatment After The Shot Is Given? Thanks!

Answer:I Would Not Recommend The Lyme Vaccination In A Dog Recently With Clinical Infection. This Vaccination Has Not Been Proven To Be Safe And/or Effective And Because Of The Autoimmune Tendency Seen In Lyme Disease, Vaccinating For This Condition Can Potentially Lead To Immune Mediated Joint And Other Diseases. Most Experts On Lyme Disease Dont Recommend The Vaccination. Finish The Antibiotic

Date: 06/04/16
Category: Vaccines
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lyme Disease Vaccine

Question:Hi, My 11 Month Old Poodle/maltese/ Peekanese Mix Just Had His Second Lyme Disease Shot This Morning At Approximately 11:30 Am. He Was Fine After The Shot Playing Eating Etc. It's Several Hours Later (it's Almost 8pm) And He Doesn't Want To Play, He Is Lethargic, Cries When Picked Up Or The Injection Site Is Touched. This Was Not Happening Earlier. He Doesn't Have A Fever. He Ate And Drank Water Earlier And Utinated And Dedicated As Well. He Seems Uncomfortable.

Answer:I Would See Vet Asap As Could Be Vaccination Reaction. I Am Not Fan Of This Vaccination, Especially In Small Breed Like This And Would Consider Not Getting This Again In Future

Date: 06/01/16
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Is My Cat Misdiagnosed

Question:Can Lyme In Cats Couse High Blood Sugar And Be Mistaking In Diabetes

Answer:I Have Not Seen Clinical Lyme Disease A Problem In Cats.

Date: 05/20/16
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lymes

Question:Which Doxycycline And What Is Dose For Lymes...my Dog Has Had It Before And Is Showing Same Symptoms

Answer:I Would Not Simply Redose Your Dog On Your Own, As It May Not Be Indicated And/or There May Be Another Clinical Explanation For Your Dog's Symptoms. Typical Dose Of Doxycycline For Dogs Who Are Suspected To Have Clinical Lyme Disease Is 5 Mg Per Pound Once To Twice Daily For 30 Days. Any Form Of Doxycycline Is Acceptable If Your Vet Prescribes It

Date: 03/17/16
Category: Vaccines
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lyme Vacine Reaction

Question:My 7 Lb Three Year Old Maltese Received The Second Dose Of The Lyme Disease Vaccination Today.this Is The First Time He Has Received This Vaccination. The First Dose Was Given Two Weeks Ago. He Had No Issues With The First Vaccine But About Two Hours After This Injection, He Is Showing Signs Of Soreness, Stiffness, No Energy, Wants To Be Held, No Appetite. I Gave Him 35 Mg Of Aspirin. Is There Anything Else I Can Do?

Answer:If Signs Persist Or Worsen, See Your Vet. In My Opinion, This Vaccination Has Not Been Shown To Be Effective Or Safe, Especially In A Toy Breed Like This That Is So Prone To Reactions To Vaccination. In Humans, A Lyme Vaccination Was Yanked Off The Market Years Ago Due To Side Effects On Patients. To Learn More About This Small Breed's Immune Sensitivity, See Www.truth4dogs.com

Date: 03/12/16
Category: Flea & Tick
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lyme Disease

Question:I Think My Dog Might Have Been Bit Earlier Today & He Has A Bullseye Wound On His Inner Thigh. So I Am Assuming That It Could Be Lyme Disease! How Quick Do I Need To Take Him To The Vet? Today Is Saturday And I Just Want To Make Sure That It Can Wait Til Monday. Thank You

Answer:No Problem With Waiting Until Monday. One Tick Bite Is Hardly Going To Transfer Lyme Disease In Most Cases, However I Would Have Vet Exam And Evaluation When You Can

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