Primary Lyme disease is caused by a bite from an infected tick irrespective of your being a human being or a dog. In 1984 it developed in canine population and since then it has been skyrocketed. It is a severe and fatal disease if not treated on time.
According to studies released by a pet insurance provider (Veterinary Pet Insurance) in 2008, this disease is the most general canine infectious ailment for a consecutive third year. 47% of all the claims Veterinary Pet Insurance registered were for tick born infectious ailments. Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are among the common infectious tick diseases.
Source of Disease
It is a disease spread by the bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi which is injected into the bloodstream by the saliva of the infected tick by means of a bite. It cannot be transmitted from dog to dog or from dogs to humans. It is occurred by the tick bite itself and responds differently in dogs and humans.
Ticks Causing Lyme Disease
If the studies of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to be believed, there are only two ticks which are known to transmit this bacterium, the blacklegged deer tick, found all over the United States and the Western blacklegged tick found only the Western states. Although there are other ticks that carry
several kind of bacteria, but only these two ticks are found to be carrying Lyme disease.
Cause of Lyme Disease - Primary
- Hot climates, urbanization and acceleration in the deer and rodent populations are the basic causes.
- A female tick can lay almost 3,000 eggs per season and once the tick population is established it is very difficult to remove them.
How is Lyme Disease Diagnosed in Humans
If you live in a region where Lyme disease is prevalent, you are more prone to having infected by Lyme disease. If you have been bitten, just don’t hide it from your doctor. In most incidents without your doctor knowing whether you have been bitten or if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common, they will look into your history and try to eliminate certain other diseases.
Treatment of Lyme Disease in Humans
- In most cases Lyme ailment is treated with antibiotics that really work well in the primary stages of the disease.
- If the ailment has developed undetected for some time it maybe imperative to take some intravenous medications and pain-relieving drugs can also be advised.
- Blood tests cannot be suggested in the early stage of the disease, though it can be helpful in the advance stages.
- Currently the recommended test is called the Western Blot assay antibody test.
Protection from Lyme Disease
- Since dogs bring ticks into the home, it is advisable to check your dog every time it comes from outside. A tick check is conducted by scanning your dog's fur and parting it with your fingers. Begin at the head and ears and while bringing your hand down, use a flashlight to enable you see the ticks. If you find one do not stop to find some more, ticks grow in company. Use some sticky tape to remove the tick or use tweezers to ensure you remove the entire tick, legs and everything. Do not try to burn them off with a match or cigarette.
- Keep your grass trimmed; trim bushes in the proximity of your house to enable them get some sun. Ticks love damp dark spaces. If you stay near a wooded location keep the surrounding area free from the growing brush; a mulch or stone path surrounding the area is a good choice.
- Use year round tick and flea preventatives. If you live at a place where Lyme disease ticks is common there must be vaccines available to enable prevent the disease. A vaccine shot along with the flea and tick preventative will help you out in protecting your dog. Though it is believed that vaccines are often not effective, don’t hesitate to give them a try. The vaccines are generally given half yearly, a few weeks apart and then annually and are recommended if you are residing in the areas notorious for the disease.
- As we wear protective long pants, full sleeves and boots if you are strolling into the woods and if you happen to pick up a tick be sure to discard it immediately. Spraying an insect repellent containing DEET can also be of help. If you pick up a tick and discard it, keep it in a jar so that it can be identified as all the ticks do not carry Lyme disease. It takes almost 48 hours for a tick to transmit the bacteria, that is the reason checking yourself and your dog is so necessary. The faster you remove them the safer you both are.