Lyme: Lyme disease is diagnosed on a weekly basis here at the clinic. A blood test that checks for Lyme Disease, Heartworm Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis can be done at your pets visit and results will be read the same day. We also have an option to send off a blood sample to our lab and results will be back in the following 24 – 48 hours. While there are monthly preventatives that we recommend year – round, there is also a vaccine that may be offered to you to help protect your pet from Lyme Disease. For more information, talk to your veterinarian at your pet’s next visit.
What it is: Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, which is a type of bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints. The most common type of tick to carry Lyme disease is the Deer Tick.
Symptoms: fever, loss of appetite, swelling of joints, sudden onset of generalized pain, lameness (may shift from one leg to the other)
- Clinical signs are typically not seen for two months and may not show up for as many as six months, or not at all.
- Dogs do not appear to exhibit acute signs of Lyme disease infection, such as the classic “bull’s eye” rash at the site of the bite like us as humans do.
- Lyme disease is not spread by contact with infected animals (or people). Infection occurs only when a tick carrying Lyme disease bites an animal or person.
How we can test it: A blood can be done at your pets visit and results will be read the same day. That test takes about 10 minutes to run. We also have an option to send off your pet’s blood sample to our lab and results will be back in the following 24 – 48 hours. If chosen to send off to our lab, we do have options to bundle it with wellness bloodwork and/or your pet’s fecal sample.
If you believe that your pet has been bitten and infected by a tick, an examination and blood test should be scheduled with a veterinarian. If you remove any ticks from your pet, save them in a bottle – your veterinarian may want to examine them in order to determine what type of ticks they were.
*Procedure for In House Testing of Lyme, Heartworm, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma*
- Prepare the test.
- Draw blood from the patient.
- Combine the patients blood sample with the conjugate.
- Place the blood and conjugate combination into the test well.
- Wait a few moments and watch as the blood/conjugate combination flow down the test, covering the visible blue dots (which will ONLY reappear once the test is processed and complete, IF the patient is positive for a certain disease. Each dot indicates specifically, heartworm, Lyme, Ehrlichia, or Anaplasma disease).
- Once the blood/conjugate combination has flowed and covered the middle of the test, push down on the end of the test to then start the analyzing process.
- Let the test sit on a flat surface for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, a negative test will show the control blue dot in the upper left corner of the test indicating that the test worked. No other blue dots will be showing if the patient is negative for all four diseases, Heartworm, Lyme, Ehrlichia, or Anaplasma. If the patient comes up positive, The control dot will be present as well as another dot(s). Depending on the location of any other blue dot, they tell us specifically which disease(s) the patient tested positive for.