Veterinarians are Working with Medical Doctors to Promote Early Detection of Lyme Disease

Does your dog play with your child in the backyard or woods? Of course! People and pets often spend time together hiking, walking or playing in the same environment, which can potentially put them at risk for common exposures to the same disease-transmitting ticks.

So, if your dog was just diagnosed with Lyme disease, this article is a must-read for you.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there has been a dramatic increase in the number of diagnosed human infection cases of Lyme disease per year – up from 30,000 to 300,000 recently1. Lyme disease has been found in every US State, and it would be dangerous to think that your dog is safe based on your location. People who live in these 13 states should know that the incidence of Lyme disease is especially great: CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, VT, VA, WI2.

Lyme disease, caused by a spiral-shaped organism called Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), can affect humans, dogs, horses and other species, and is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the world. Clinical signs of Lyme disease vary between humans and dogs.

Human symptoms of Lyme disease
Clinical signs of acute Lyme include:

  • Flu-like signs
  • A target-like rash

Chronic (long-lasting) signs of Lyme disease in humans include:

  • Arthritis
  • Skin changes
  • Neurologic signs (e.g., meningitis)
  • Cardiac signs (e.g., arrhythmias)

Dog Symptoms of Lyme disease
In dogs, three states of Lyme disease can be seen: acute, sub-acute and chronic. With acute Lyme disease in dogs, clinical signs include:

  • Transient fever
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Hesitance to move
  • Inappetence
  • Pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Acute arthritis (i.e., warm joints that are painful to touch)

Sub-acute clinical signs, like limping, may also be seen in dogs, and can last several weeks.

Chronic clinical signs in dogs include:

  • Cardiac changes (e.g., bradyarrhythmias such as heart block, etc.)
  • Neurologic signs
  • Arthritis
  • Changes related to Lyme nephritis (e.g., inflammation of the kidneys that can result in acute kidney failure, which is estimated to occur in 1-2% of dogs affected by Lyme disease)3.

What is being done to combat Lyme disease?
Based on the fact that Lyme disease can result in significant problems for both humans and dogs, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) teamed up on a new initiative to help increase awareness of Lyme disease and to promote the early diagnosis of it. Click here to learn how the AVMA/AAP Lyme partnership started out with a protest.

By teaming up to increase awareness, hopefully both veterinarians and medical doctors can work together to help diagnose illness sooner. Pet owners who have had a dog diagnosed with Lyme disease should consult with their medical doctor to discuss their own risk – or their children’s risk. Also, people who are diagnosed with Lyme disease should be advised to consult with their veterinarian to discuss testing, better preventive care for their dog and minimizing environmental exposures.

If your dog did test positive for Lyme disease (commonly tested for using an Laboratories, Inc. SNAP 4Dx® Plus Test), it means your dog has been exposed to Bb. While this may not necessitate treatment, it does mean that you need to improve your prevention methods – for you, your children and your pets!

Some dogs may spontaneously recover from Lyme disease without therapy at all. That said, the prognosis for chronic manifestations of Lyme disease (e.g., Lyme nephritis) is grave. Again, preventive care is imperative to help minimize the incidence of clinically symptomatic Lyme infection in both four-legged and two-legged family members.

Click here for more tips on how to prevent Lyme disease.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.


1. Goldstein RE. Managing the growing threat of canine Lyme disease. Western Veterinary Conference Proceedings, 2014.

2. Lyme Disease Data. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed May 5, 2014 at

3. Magnarelli LA, Anderson JF, Schrier AB et al. Clinical and serologic studies of canine borreliosis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1987;191:1089-1094.

Reviewed on:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

About Us:Meet the Team

Making Veterinary Visits Less Stressful for Pets

Feline veterinary visits have declined in recent years. Why? Stress – for cats and their owners. But cats and their owners aren't the only scaredy-cats. Veterinary visits can cause stress for dogs and other types of pets (and their people), too!

The good news is that you don't have to sacrifice your pet's care by skipping out on regular veterinary visits because of stress.

Our Fear Free Certified Team Members Can Help

Our team members have sucessfully completed the Fear Free Certification and have helped train the rest of our staff.

With this program we continually learn new ways to make your pet’s healthcare even better.

During a typical Fear Free veterinary visit, you will see our practice team using some of these techniques:

  • Offering tasty treats to distract your pet and make them happy
  • Providing comfortable, non-slip surfaces for your pet to stand on thus improving balance
  • Encouraging pets with a happy voice, smile and treats - We never handle them roughly to get them on a table or into a cage
  • Our exam tables for dog patients lift smoothly from the ground and weigh your pet. Most of our dog patients are happy to jump on them and go for a ride!
  • We are considerate about your pet’s comfort when holding them or performing procedures, such as nail trims, and we don't struggle with them.
  • Feeding birds right outside the cat exam room window to give kitties something interesting to watch.
  • Creating a calming environment with pheromone diffusers and sprays
  • Playing calming music to ease tension, promote relaxation, and reduce stressful noises
  • Prescribing anti-anxiety and calming medications to give prior to their visit
  • If your pet is showing excessive signs of fear, anxiety, or stress, the team may postpone the exam/procedure until a time when the pet is more relaxed - often sending home medication to give prior to the next visit.
  • Sedating a patient for a scary or painful procedure.

We see the benefits of a kind and considerate approach to pets when they are happy to come visit us and become calmer patients.

Please call us at 708-720-2400 for more information on the Fear Free environment we provide pets.

One Health Basics

One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

What is One Health?

One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment. One Health is not new, but it has become more important in recent years. This is because many factors have changed interactions between people, animals, plants, and our environment.

  • Human populations are growing and expanding into new geographic areas. As a result, more people live in close contact with wild and domestic animals, both livestock and pets. Animals play an important role in our lives, whether for food, fiber, livelihoods, travel, sport, education, or companionship. Close contact with animals and their environments provides more opportunities for diseases to pass between animals and people.
  • The earth has experienced changes in climate and land use, such as deforestation and intensive farming practices. Disruptions in environmental conditions and habitats can provide new opportunities for diseases to pass to animals.
  • The movement of people, animals, and animal products has increased from international travel and trade. As a result, diseases can spread quickly across borders and around the globe.

These changes have led to the spread of existing or known (endemic) and new or emerging zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can spread between animals and people. Examples of zoonotic diseases include:

Learn about zoonotic diseases, how they spread, and how to prevent them

  • Rabies
  • Salmonella infection
  • West Nile virus infection
  • Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii)
  • Anthrax
  • Brucellosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Ringworm
  • Ebola

Animals also share our susceptibility to some diseases and environmental hazards. Because of this, they can sometimes serve as early warning signs of potential human illness. For example, birds often die of West Nile virus before people in the same area get sick with West Nile virus infection.

What are common One Health issues?

One Health issues include zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and food security, vector-borne diseases, environmental contamination, and other health threats shared by people, animals, and the environment. Even the fields of chronic disease, mental health, injury, occupational health, and noncommunicable diseases can benefit from a One Health approach involving collaboration across disciplines and sectors.

How does a One Health approach work?

check solid icon Communication
check solid icon Coordination
check solid icon Collaboration

Among human, animal, environmental health, and other relevant partners.

One Health is gaining recognition in the United States and globally as an effective way to fight health issues at the human-animal-environment interface, including zoonotic diseases. CDC uses a One Health approach by involving experts in human, animal, environmental health, and other relevant disciplines and sectors in monitoring and controlling public health threats and to learn about how diseases spread among people, animals, plants, and the environment.

Successful public health interventions require the cooperation of human, animal, and environmental health partners. Professionals in human health (doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, epidemiologists), animal health (veterinarians, paraprofessionals, agricultural workers), environment (ecologists, wildlife experts), and other areas of expertise need to communicate, collaborate on, and coordinate activities. Other relevant players in a One Health approach could include law enforcement, policymakers, agriculture, communities, and even pet owners. No one person, organization, or sector can address issues at the animal-human-environment interface alone.

By promoting collaboration across all sectors, a One Health approach can achieve the best health outcomes for people, animals, and plants in a shared environment.

Our Services:Emergency Care

We see emergencies during our normal hospital hours. Please call us at 281-292-5000 for immediate assistance. If your pet has an after-hours emergency or if we determine that your pet requires overnight nursing care or a level of specialty we cannot provide here, we will co-ordinate your pet's referral to the appropriate critical care or specialty hospital.

We refer after-hours emergencies to:

North Houston Veterinary Specialists
1646 Spring Cypress Road, Spring, TX 77388
(P) 832-616-5000

Emergency Pet Care of Texas
7850 FM 1488, Magnolia TX, 77354
(P) 832-521-8521

Years in Review

#1 in QS World University Rankings for Veterinary Science - The School of Veterinary Medicine was recognized with the top spot in veterinary science in the QS World University Rankings.

Data showed UC Davis to be the best value in veterinary education.

Reaffirmed our commitment to social justice with the creation of a Community Council to promote diversity and inclusion.

Our emergency room treated a record number of cases — with some months seeing a 65% increase in caseload. Success stories include:

Miro, a 5-year-old German shepherd who worked as a patrol dog in the CA State Parks, recovered from myasthenia gravis thanks to a novel clinical trial using stem cell treatments.

Daisy, an 8-year-old female collie/terrier mix , with acute kidney injury who was saved with dialysis.

Ned, a semi-feral cat who was rescued after the LNU Lightning Complex Fire was finally discharged after being hospitalized for three months.

Emma, a tiny orphan kitten, was saved thanks to the efforts of a local university patron, four veterinary hospital services, a veterinary resident, a newly graduated Animal Science major, and dozens of faculty, staff, and student caregivers.

Unveiled the new Feline Treatment and Housing Suite as part of Phase I of the future Veterinary Medical Center.

Secured funding to investigate viral spillover through the launch of a new research center — the EpiCenter for Emerging Infectious Disease Intelligence.

The Center for Equine Health pioneered the 100 Horse Project, which will perform whole-genome sequencing of 100 horses.

Researchers licensed a new vaccine to prevent a deadly cattle disease and help California ranchers save millions of dollars.

The Veterinary Emergency Response Team responded to a record-breaking wildfire season, examining and treating more than 1,200 animals in the field while the UC Davis veterinary hospital cared for an additional 60 animals in critical condition.

We also established the Wildlife Disaster Network to aid wildlife injured in natural disasters.

Students expanded the Mercer Clinic for Pets of the Homeless with the PAW Clinic that provides veterinary care to the underserved.

Virtual Commencement and Diploma Drive-Through—During the midst of a global pandemic, the UC Davis veterinary medicine community held a virtual 69th Commencement Ceremony on May 22nd to honor 147 DVM graduates while observing physical distancing guidelines.

Organized and hosted the inaugural SVM Research Expo held on May 5, which was transitioned to a virtual event focused on resources for COVID-19 research available to SVM researchers. Approximately 210 faculty, staff and students participated.

Leading Innovation—The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (T32 GM136559) approved funding for the first DVM/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program in the country.

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory launched an updated and advanced website along with several new DNA tests for the veterinary community.

In total, $85,086,683 has been raised for the Veterinary Medical Center Campaign. Fundraising for the All Species Imaging Center is complete, and planning is moving forward.

The SVM Communications team launched Synergy, a new magazine published twice a year, to highlight feature stories, research breakthroughs, clinical advances and accomplishments of our vet med community.

Watch the video: Lets Talk Tailwaggers Dr Volz Ticks and Lyme Disease (June 2021).