Lyme disease in dogs

Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease?

This study from the University of North Carolina reveals the extremely high prevalence of Lyme disease and various co-infections like Babesia and Ehrlichia in our canine friends.

The different prevalence of tick-borne canine infections in the South versus the Northeast is interesting. Southern ticks supposedly carry more Bartonella, while ticks in the northeast carry more Babesia. This study further validates the need to secure a progressive veterinarian who will not only test your dog for Borrelia and he/she will test your dog for Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, and Ehrlichia.

Regional Seroreactivity and Vector-Borne Disease Co-Exposures in Dogs in the U.S.

Abstract Vector-borne disease (VBD) pathogens remain an emerging health concern for animals and humans worldwide. Surveillance studies of ticks and humans have made substantial contributions to our knowledge of VBD epidemiology trends. Still, long-term VBD surveillance data of dogs in the United States is limited.

This seroreactivity study assessed US temporal and regional trends and co-exposures to Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Borrelia burgdorferi, Dirofilaria immitis, Ehrlichia spp., and spotted fever group Rickettsia in dogs from 2004-2010. Dog serum samples (N=14,496) were submitted to the North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Vector-Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for vector-borne pathogens diagnostic testing using an immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assays.
These convenience samples were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. The largest proportion of samples originated from the South (47.6%), with the highest percent of seroreactive samples observed in the Mid-Atlantic (43.4%), compared to other US regions.
The overall seroreactivity of evaluated VBD antigens were Rickettsia rickettsia (10.4%), B. burgdorferi (5.2%), Ehrlichia spp. (4.3%), Bartonella henselae (3.8%), Anaplasma spp. (1.9%), Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (1.5%), Babesia canis (1.1%), and D. immitis (0.8%).

Significant regional and annual seroreactivity variation was observed with B. burgdorferi, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia exposures. Seasonal seroreactivity variation was evident with Rickettsia.

Seroreactivity to more than one antigen was present in 16.5% of exposed dogs. Nationally, the most prevalent co-exposure was Rickettsia with Ehrlichia spp. (5.3%), and the highest odds of co-exposure was associated with Anaplasma spp. and B. burgdorferi (odds ratio=6.6; 95% confidence interval 5.0, 8.8).
Notable annual and regional seroreactivity variation was observed with specific pathogens over seven years of study, suggesting canine surveillance studies may have value in contributing to future VBD knowledge.

Dr. Rick Sponaugle


Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2014 Oct;14(10):724-32. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2014.1592.

by Yancey CB1, Hegarty BC, Qurollo BA, Levy MG, Birkenheuer AJ, Weber DJ, Diniz PP, Breitschwerdt EB

2014 Oct;14(10):724-32. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2014.1592.

Medical Director at Sponaugle Wellness Institute | 1-877-737-1959 | Meet Dr. Sponaugle | + posts
Dr. Rick Sponaugle, MD, is a licensed medical doctor in Florida, integrative physician, and board-certified anesthesiologist. With an emphasis on Environmental Medicine, Dr. Sponaugle specializes in treating brain and neurological disorders derived from Mold Toxicity, Industrial Toxicity, Gut Toxicity, Neurological Lyme disease, and five additional stealth infections that attack the Brain and Neurological system of most patients. Our Medical Director, Rick Sponaugle, MD, is an integrative physician who attempts to prioritize treatment through quality forensic medicine. Performing an analysis of 400 numerical bio-markers in his initial consultation, Dr. Sponaugle's goal is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your multiple symptoms.
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