Testing of dogs: Borrelia sp.

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Test of ticks or biological samples of dogs for the presence of Borrelia

Laboratory testing of ticks

Sample taking and sending the sample to the laboratory for testing

Tick removal

Lyme disease (Borreliosis) in dogs

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Laboratory testing of ticks

You can have a removed tick/ticks tested in a laboratory. If the test on Borrelia is positive, it is not possible to determine, whether the dog has been infected or not. The antibodies are formed no sooner than 3 weeks after the tick bite.  It is recommended immediate preventive treatment by antibiotics, most often by doxycycline.  Early treatment prevents almost certainly the development of the infection.   If the dog has not been treated by antibiotics, it is possible to test the blood for antibodies after 3-6 weeks since the tick bite.

Sample taking and sending the sample to the laboratory for testing

For Borrelia testing in dogs it is possible to send the following sample types to the laboratory:

  • Synovial liquid
  • Bioptic sample taken from the site of the tick bite
  • Removed tick

Remove the tick in a recommended manner. Do not apply a disinfectant to the tick prior to its removal. The tick can be alive or dead for Borrelia testing. Put the tick in a medicine bottle, a test tube or a ziplock bag.

Insert a moist paper sheet to the tick to prevent the tick from getting dry.  Send the tick as soon as possible to the address of the laboratory.

It is possible to test more than one tick in one testing procedure.  In such case, put the ticks from one host together in a suitable jar. From one host, 3 ticks can be analysed as maximum.  All the ticks are analysed together as one sample and the tests are invoiced by the number of dogs tested and not by the number of ticks.

Tick removal

If you find a tick, it is important to remove it as soon as possible. Removing the tick may help you to avoid the infection. To remove the tick, use a special Tick Removal Card that you can buy at any pharmacy. You can also use fine-tipped tweezers - grab the tick as close to its mouth as you can and do not squeeze the swollen belly; otherwise you could push the infected fluid from the tick into your body. It is recommended to pull the tick by "shaking it loose".  After the tick has been removed, wash the tick bite with iodine disinfection.

Lyme disease (Borreliosis) in dogs

Lyme disease also poses a severe threat to animals, but it is often underestimated. The clinical form of Borreliosis was described in particular in dogs, horses and livestock.

The Borreliosis in dogs affects most often the dog´s joints. The clinical symptoms are arthritis (joint inflammation) and arthralgie (painful joints). Other associated symptoms can be nausea, fever, loss of appetite and limping. It is more difficult to identify the signs of the disease in dogs than in humans and many dogs with the Lyme disease never show the signs of illness.  For example, the skin changes occur very seldom. A unique disease that may occur in dogs affected by Lyme disease is a severe progressive renal disease that may result in kidney failure and death of the dog.  In some dogs, cardiac or neurological abnormalities may occur that result in seizure or behavioural changes, e.g. aggression.

The clinical signs in affected dogs usually occur 2 to 5 months after the tick bite. The dogs affected by the disease can be asymptomatic and the disease can progress to the next stage, when severe complications occur and the disease requires long and complicated treatment by antibiotics. It also applies to animals that early and effective treatment and prevention is necessary.

Do not underestimate the disease even in your four-legged friends and have the ticks found tested in a laboratory, so that early treatment can be started. In one test, more ticks can be tested together.

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Reference:

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Usual turnaround time: 4 business days
1 test price: 26.00 $ without VAT