Lyme disease is commonly carried by ticks and can be transmitted to your pup if they are bitten by an infected tick. Our Perry vets share information about how to prevent, diagnose, and treat Lyme disease in dogs.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria in the Borrelia family. It is transmitted through ticks when they feed on infected animals such as deer, birds, and mice. When infected ticks then bite and feed on other animals the disease can be spread to their new host.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose in our four-legged friends because it has a wide array of symptoms that can be attributed to any number of illnesses. Some common symptoms to watch for include:
- General discomfort
- Lack of appetite
- Lameness due to inflamed joints
- Difficulty Breathing
- Sensitivity to touch
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
If you think your pet may have Lyme disease, schedule an appointment with your vet.
Your vet will ask about your pet's detailed medical history and complete a number of tests including urine analysis, a fecal exam, X-rays, and blood test.
Your pup may also have fluid drawn from the affected to joints to be tested for signs of the disease.
What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?
Dogs with Lyme disease are usually treated on an outpatient basis. This will usually involve a minimum four-week course of antibiotics and can include pain medication if your dog is experiencing discomfort.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
Ensuring your pooch receives regular preventive tick medication will go a long way in preventing the disease. It is also good to regularly check your dog for ticks, particularly if they have been outside in long grass. While dogs cannot transmit Lyme disease to people, they can bring infected ticks into the house which could then bite a human.