Causes OCD to become paralyzed
Lyme disease - a disease of the dog
Lyme disease is a tick-borne general disease that first appeared in 1976 in the Lyme area, Connecticut, USA. In 1982 the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, of which various so-called subspecies exist, was identified as the cause of the disease. Shield ticks (Ixodes species) are carriers of Lyme disease. In Germany it is mainly Ixodes ricinus, the common wood tick.
The dog is the most receptive of the domestic mammals. The symptoms of canine borreliosis can have many, very different symptoms. The infectious disease runs in different stages and can lead to the death of the animal. It is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in dogs. In Germany, especially in our regions, there is a high risk of Lyme disease in dogs and people.
The typical reddening (erythema) around the tick bite site in humans, which is often visible for weeks, rarely occurs in dogs. After Borrelia has entered the bloodstream and spreads in the various organ systems, damage can occur in the nervous system, joints, heart, liver, kidneys and skin changes, for example. Borrelia can infect and damage practically every organ system in the dog's body.
Borreliosis, which is usually associated with fever, malaise, apathy, unclear lameness and pain, can only be clinically noticeable weeks or months after the tick bite. Signs of joint inflammation or symptoms of paralysis, such as after a herniated disc, are often predominant. Some animals simply lose weight and develop a shaggy coat or suffer from chronic skin infections.
Pronounced Lyme disease also causes anemia in the patient. The toxins of the bacteria, so-called toxins, damage the nerve cells of the infected dog and cause ascending paralysis. Depending on how well the patient's immune system copes with the Lyme disease pathogen, the symptoms of the disease can decrease or even worsen. The chronically active borreliosis can lead to severe, incurable joint damage, cardiac muscle weakness or kidney failure.
If a dog is presented to the veterinary practice with one or more signs of illness that lead to the suspicion of Lyme borreliosis, a blood test should be carried out, which determines the defensive reaction of the dog to the pathogen in the form of the antibody titer.
The detection of Borrelia antibodies in the dog's blood can be carried out using various test methods. Some veterinary practices offer a rapid test (ELISA) with which the Borrelia infestation can be reliably detected or excluded within approx. 30 minutes after the blood sample has been taken. Special tests in veterinary laboratories can detect various antibody titers (IgM and IgG titers) in the blood of the animals. This allows a statement to be made as to whether the infection is fresh, i.e. acute, or chronic. A second titer check shows whether the infection is progressing or whether it can be contained or eliminated by the dog's immune system. For the very early detection of borreliosis there is a special test (immunoblot), with the help of which the first IgM antibodies circulating in the dog's blood are measured. The IgG titer rises only after the fever phase, i.e. approx. 4 weeks after the infection, and often remains high for months.
Since Borrelia remain in the host's cells, a once infected dog often has Borrelia in its body for life. In some patients, the disease relapses when the pathogen can spread again despite treatment.
Even clinically healthy animals can develop boronreliose infection, so that the result of a Lyme disease test is always evaluated by the veterinarian in connection with the existing or missing signs of illness in the dog.
Borreliosis is mainly treated with antibiotics. There are various antibiotics that are effective against Borrelia, most of which are well tolerated by dogs, but must be administered in high doses for 2-3 weeks. Comorbidities often have to be treated as well. Some dogs experience severe pain, so anti-inflammatory and pain reliever medications are given. Eight to 12 weeks after the end of antibiotic therapy for borreliosis, the success of the treatment can be checked with a new blood test.
The prevention of Lyme disease in dogs is mainly based on a successful defense against ticks. Products in the form of ampoules that are drizzled onto the fur (spot-on treatment) are effective and easy to use; they spread through the animal's subcutaneous tissue and prevent the tick biting from transmitting the pathogen. There are also pump sprays and tick collars.
Regular use of the active ingredients to repel ticks is important, as is the correct dosage depending on the dog's weight. Especially in large, long-haired dogs, ticks can appear sporadically despite tick protection, but these cannot transmit the pathogen. They should be carefully removed with special tick pliers, a tick hook or suitable tweezers. When quickly removing a tick that is already anchored in the animal's skin, pressure on the tick's body should generally be avoided, so that borrelia does not get into the bloodstream when the tick saliva escapes again.
A Lyme disease vaccine has been approved for dogs for a number of years. The vaccination is usually well tolerated. However, according to the latest findings, a blood test of the patient should be carried out before each first Lyme disease vaccination in order to rule out an existing, clinically inconspicuous Borrelia infection. No Borreliosis vaccination protects 100% against Borrelia infection! Once sick dogs can only be vaccinated for a long time after consultation with the treating veterinarian and after titer control.
The basic vaccination consists of 2 vaccinations at an interval of 3-5 weeks, which are best given before the start of the tick season. Revaccinations are due every 8-12 months, depending on the density of infestation and the distribution area of the ticks (= risk regions!) And depending on the season. It is advisable to also carry out the (three-quarter) annual booster vaccination before the start of the tick season, i.e. in January or February.
Vaccinated dogs also need tick protection in order to be protected against other tick-borne diseases and tick bite allergies.
1st + 2nd vaccination 3-5 weeks apart
every 6-12 months, depending on
Blood test, tick protection, travel tourism
1st year: autumn vaccination for
Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is a degenerative joint disease that is based on growth disorders and early breakdown processes in the joints of young animals. Genetic and dietary factors of the disease are known.
Scientifically speaking, it is a chondrodysplasia, i.e. a disturbance in the differentiation of cells in the growing cartilage. A lack of cartilage build-up or premature cartilage breakdown leads to various changes in the joints.
The OCD develops during the growth phase. However, it is not only discovered in young animals, but also at a later age. It is often an incidental finding on x-rays.
One or more joints of the animals are affected. The clinically visible signs of illness (lameness, joint swelling, etc.) vary greatly. It is not just a congenital disease, but a disease influenced by various external factors (e.g. feeding: nutritional deficiencies, insufficient or excessive nutrition), growth processes, an unbalanced hormone balance, joint trauma). Rapid growth of the animals is also predisposing.
Since the OCD lesions do not develop until the young animals are growing up, the disease is often insidious in the course and initially associated with small attacks of mild lameness. Clinically, the OCD often only becomes noticeable when the animals are used later, i.e. when the physical strain is more intensive. Most of them are 6 months to 2 years old.
If a joint disease such as OCD is suspected, an x-ray is taken of the clinically affected, often also the comparative joints. The treatment is different depending on the age of the animal, degree of stress, breed and size. There are many ways to treat OCD lesions. Sometimes surgery (arthroscopy / arthrotomy) is necessary. Various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as herbal substances and cartilage-bone regeneration agents are used as medication. Substances for storage in the damaged joint are important helpers in reducing the intra-articular inflammatory processes.
The most important thing is to prevent OCD in growing puppies and young dogs. Balanced food, adapted to the breed and size development of the dog, with sufficient minerals and trace elements. A suitable calcium-phosphorus ratio in the diet is important. Likewise the raw protein content, the fat content and the amount of available energy. The optimal ration is calculated from a lot of data as well as the growth process and the stress on the young dog.
Certain dog breeds are not suitable, even at a young age, e.g. for jogging or cycling with the owner.
If you have any questions about this degenerative disease, the oseochondrosis dissecans, including the feeding and rearing of puppies and young dogs, our practice team will be happy to help.
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