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Old 12.01.2020, 13:54
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Tick disease and dogs

Does anyone know if tick borne encephalitis is a problem for dogs? And if so is there a vaccine?

Planning on getting the human vaccine myself ready for the summer, wondering if I should do the same for the hound. Of course will ask the vet next time I'm there too.
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Old 12.01.2020, 15:07
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Re: Tick disease and dogs

One thing to be aware of with TBE (FSME auf Deutsch) is that a positive blood test result does not necessarily mean that a dog has the disease. The test measures the presence of antibodies. However, those antibodies successfully fight off the infection in most dogs. When I discussed this with the neurologist from the Tierspital years ago, he said that he would expect 50% of all dogs in Switzerland to test positive, but cases of the active disease are actually rare.

I bring this up because it was an elimination factor on the way to diagnosing Hooligan's epilepsy. When she started having seizures the general practice vet did the FSME blood test, saw the positive result, hit the panic button, and off we went after a red herring, wasting time. Despite her positive test result, Hooligan did not have FSME.

Sooo - a long winded way to say that if your dog tests positive for FSME antibodies, speak to a neurologist. The Tierspital in ZH and UniBe in Bern are good resources. Diagnosing the infection can be complicated, you really need the experts involved if FSME is suspected.

So with that tangent:

The 'Zeckenimpfung' that one hears of for dogs protects against Borreliose or Piroplasmose. To my knowledge, there still is no vax against FSME for dogs. (There is for people.) However, do ask your vet if there have been any new developments, as it has been a few years since I last discussed this with my vet.

https://www.svk-asmpa.ch/hund/impfung/impfung7.htm


ETA:

While FSME is (currently) rare in dogs in Switzerland, I don't want to downplay the seriousness in cases where the dog is indeed ill with the infection. FSME is a frickin' terrifying disease. There is no real cure, rather you treat the various symptoms to support the dog. All the more reason to get to a neurologist if FSME is suspected - if your dog is one of the relatively rare cases you need to be in expert hands.

Last edited by meloncollie; 12.01.2020 at 15:26.
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