Dog Diseases - Lyme Disease

 
  • Lyme disease is dangerous bacterial disease which can cause irreversible damage to a dog's health.
  • Lyme disease is zoonotic and can be very serious for both people and pets.
  • It is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and is spread by ticks.
  • Its primary carrier is the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), which often feeds on rodents in its early stages. Later, the tick can attach to a dog or human and transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
  • Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the woods, bush, or areas of tall grass are most commonly infected with Lyme disease.
  • If left untreated, Lyme disease will damage the heart, kidney and even the brain.

Symptoms:
  • fever
  • decreased appetite
  • swollen, painful joints (dogs may be reluctant to move)
  • lameness -- limping which may be mild at first, then worsen, and may also shift from one leg to another
  • lethargy
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • depression
dog Lyme Disease Prevention:
  • Tick control is extremely important for the prevention of Lyme disease. Check your dog daily for ticks and remove them as soon as possible especially in the peak tick season.
  • Ensure a tick-free lawn by mowing it regularly, removing tall weeds and making it inhospitable to rodents by keeping garbage covered and inaccessible.
  • Many of the same products on the market that treat fleas also kill ticks and protect against future infestation. These topical treatments are especially recommended for those dogs who live in areas with high tick populations. Speak to your vet to select the best product for your dog.

Treatment:
  • Your veterinarian can best determine the optimal treatment plan for your dog.
  • Canine Lyme disease is most often effectively treated with antibiotics.
  • With prompt, proper treatment, your dog’s condition should start to improve within 48 hours.