What is Lyme disease?
Ticks transmit the bacteria borrelia, which causes Lyme disease and is transmitted when ticks feed on infected animals such as mice, birds and deer. The infection is then passed to other animals after they are bitten by the infected tick.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I beware of?
Common symptoms of Lyme disease in pets may include anything from malaise or general discomfort to lameness due to inflamed joints, depression or lack of appetite.
Also watch out for sensitivity to touch, difficulty breathing or fever.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
If you suspect your pet may have Lyme disease, book an appointment with your vet.
At the appointment, your vet will ask questions to understand your pet's medical history, then complete a battery of tests. including blood tests, urine analysis, fecal exam and X-Rays. They may draw fluid from your pet's affected joints to analyze for symptoms of the disease.
What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?
When diagnosed with Lyme disease, pets are usually treated on an outpatient basis. This will typically involve at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your dog especially uncomfortable.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
Avoiding ticks as much as possible will go a long way to controlling and preventing disease. Sprays, monthly products and vaccines are available, although many work best before dogs are exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Your vet may recommend appropriate boosters and vaccines if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should promptly remove any ticks you find on your dog to help prevent Lyme and other diseases spreading. Though dogs will not directly infect people, our pets may bring infected ticks into the house, which may then attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.