Can Lyme Disease in Dogs Be Spread Through a Mother's Milk?

by Cindy Quarters
    Certain types of ticks can transmit Lyme disease.

    Certain types of ticks can transmit Lyme disease. Images

    Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. It can cause many symptoms including joint pain and inflammation, depression, poor appetite and sometimes kidney or heart damage. This illness is not limited to dogs and can infect other mammals such as humans, squirrels and deer. In the United States the only proven way to get Lyme disease is from the bite of the blacklegged tick, commonly called the deer tick.


    Although Borrelia burgdorferi has been found in breast milk in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control there has never been a single report of the transmission of the disease through breast milk. The only way to get Lyme is from the bite of an infected tick. The single exception to this rule is that Lyme can pass through the placenta if the mother has the disease and cause the death of the unborn in humans and animals. Puppies cannot get it from nursing, but it is possible for them to be exposed if their mother brings home an infected tick that ends up biting the pups.

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    About the Author

    Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. She writes travel, pet, gardening and technical articles, with work published in Radiance Magazine and the AKC Gazette, as well as online. Quarters earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington State University and a master's degree in management information systems from West Coast University.

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