Lyme disease in dogs is characterized by the presence of bacteria in the blood. Also called borreliosis, Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases across the globe. The signs and symptoms of this disease include fever, reduced energy, and lameness. Here’s everything you need to know about Lyme disease in dogs.
How To Identify Symptoms, Treat, and Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs
What Is Lyme Disease In Dogs?
Cases of Lyme disease in dogs tend to increase during spring and summer. However, only 5 to 10 percent of infected dogs show signs and symptoms. What is Lyme disease in dogs? Keep reading to learn more.
The Cause of Lyme Disease In Dogs?
A type of spirochete bacteria of the Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. An infected tick can expose your dog to the bacteria. Usually, the bacteria thrive in the gut of the Western black-legged tick, which was once known as the deer tick. They also live in the Western black-legged tick.
Signs and Symptoms Of Canine Lyme Disease?
Only 10 percent of dogs with Lyme disease will ever develop the clinical illness and obvious symptoms from infection with the organism. Many dogs who develop Lyme disease experience chronic fatigue and lameness, which is due to joint inflammation.
The other signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:
- Sensitivity to touch
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of appetite
- Stiff walk with an arched back
- Swollen lymph nodes
- In rare cases, the dog may manifest heart problems and nervous system complications
What Are The Risks Of Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease can affect dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. During the spring and summer seasons, you should limit outdoor activities because ticks are prevalent during these periods. Aside from Lyme disease, dogs are vulnerable to other tick-borne diseases. Various risks accompany Lyme disease including the fact that they can get people infected, too, and the symptoms of the disease in dogs can be very hard to detect. Hence, early detection is needed to initiate prompt treatment.
Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
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If you suspect your dog has Lyme disease, testing is the only way to confirm your gut feeling. Visit your veterinarian, and he will recommend blood tests to determine if your dog has Lyme disease. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are two types of blood tests needed – an antibody test, which detects the presence of specific antibodies against the infection and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a DNA test to confirm the presence of the bacteria in the body.
Lyme Disease In Dogs Treatment
When your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, they will be treated as an outpatient unless he is in an unstable condition. When the dog is in an unstable state, this means that the infection has caused serious complications like severe kidney disease. The veterinary doctor will prescribe an antibiotic for Lyme disease. Usually, the treatment will last for four weeks.
Note: Make sure you let your dog finish the course of the prescribed antibiotic to prevent antibiotic resistance.
Lyme Disease In Dogs Prevention
There are many ways to get rid of dog ticks in the house. If possible, avoid letting your dog go outdoors in tick-infested environments during the spring and summer seasons. There are many products you can use to eradicate the dog ticks. Do not just treat your family dog, clean and disinfect the house, too.
Learn more about Lyme disease in dogs through this video by Veterinary Secrets:
Lyme disease in dogs is a mild and shared infection caused by dog ticks. However, this condition can progress into more severe complications when it’s left untreated. We hope the article enlightened you on the facts about Lyme disease and how to prevent this disease or treat it.
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