Lyme borreliosis in dogs

Clinical information:

Borrelia is the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, a bacterial disease which is transmitted through bites from ticks of the genus Ixodes. The gram-negative bacteria are collectively referred to as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. In this group, the genospecies Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii are pathogenic for dogs and horses. Whereas in the U.S. only B. burgdorferi sensu stricto is relevant, more than 80 % of Borrelia in European ticks belong to the pathogenic genospecies B. garinii or B. afzelii. Dogs have a significantly increased risk of infection because of their higher frequency of contact with ticks. Most of the infections, however, proceed asymptomatically. Infection does not confer strong immunity. Reinfection is therefore possible. Antibodies against B. burgdorferi can be found in the serum of specifically infected or vaccinated animals. An infection with B. burgdorferi is associated with a variety of clinical symptoms, which generally occur weeks or months after infection.

Primary symptoms of Lyme borreliosis in dogs include lethargy, loss of appetite and fever and are therefore rather unspecific. The first more or less specific symptom in dogs is lameness due to myositis or arthritis, which generally occurs in a later stage of infection. Neurological impairments and damage to the kidneys (glomerulonephritis) or heart (myocarditis) are rarely described. Various vaccines are available for dogs.

Erythema migrans, a characteristic sign of borreliosis in humans, is not relevant in dogs since it cannot be seen through the fur or because of dark skin.


Diagnosis of canine or equine borreliosis is based on clinical symptoms, differential diagnostics and the detection of antibodies against Borrelia antigens. Some studies recommend a two-step strategy for the determination of Borrelia-specific antibodies. Firstly, a sensitive screening test (ELISA or IIFT) is used. Sera with a positive or borderline screening result are investigated further using an immunoblot to differentiate between Borrelia-specific and unspecific reactions. Since antibodies against Borrelia are first produced two to six weeks after infection, serological tests performed in the early stage of Lyme borreliosis can be negative. A follow-up sample taken after seven to ten days should therefore be tested in suspected cases. IgM antibodies against Borrelia antigens can be found for a period of a few weeks in the early stage of infection.

Blot: Anti-Borrelia EUROLINE Dog (IgG)
Blot: Anti-Borrelia EUROLINE Dog (IgG)
Blot: Anti-Borrelia EUROLINE Dog (IgM)
Blot: Anti-Borrelia EUROLINE Dog (IgM)
Product overview
MethodSubstrateDiagnostic applicationOrder number
ELISAAntigen extract from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto,
Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii
IgG ELISA; complete antigen
spectrum, high sensitivity
EI 2132-9601-2 GC
IgM ELISA; complete
antigen spectrum incl. OspC;
detection of acute infections
EI 2132-9601 MC
Recombinant, purified VlsE antigen of BorreliaIgG ELISA; highly specific marker for the early detection of infectionsEI 2132-9601-1 GC

p18, p21, OspC (p25), OspA (p31), p39, p41, p100, VlsE-BbIgG line blot with diagnostically  relevant Borrelia antigens;
differentiation between vaccination  and infection

DN 2136-1601 GC
DN 2136-3201 GC

p18, p21, OspC (p25), p39, p41, p100IgM line blot with diagnostically relevant Borrelia antigens; detection
of acute infections
DN 2136-1601 MC
DN 2136-3201 MC