Lyme disease is one of the most commonly transmitted diseases by ticks in the world. Here, our vets at Rosemarie Pet Hospital share some information with you about Lyme disease in pets: what is actually is, what symptoms you should keep an eye out for and its treatment options.
What is Lyme disease?
The bacteria borrella is carried by deer ticks and causes infectious Lyme disease, which is transmitted when ticks feed on infected animals such as deer, birds and mice. This infection is then passed to other animals when the infected tick bites them.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?
In our four-legged companions, Lyme disease's common symptoms may include anything from a general discomfort or malaise, to depression lameness caused by inflamed joints and a noticeable lack of appetite.
Also be on the lookout for fever, sensitivity to touch and difficulty breathing.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Schedule an appointment with your vet if you suspect your pet may have Lyme disease.
During the appointment, your vet will ask a number of questions to gain a detailed understanding of your pet's medical history, then complete a battery of tests including urine analysis, fecal exam, x-rays and blood tests. Fluid may also be drawn from your pet's affected joints, then analyzed for signs of the disease.
What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?
When your pet id diagnosed with Lyme diseases, they are usually treated on an outpatient basis. This will most often involve a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your dog particularly 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 booster shots for your pet as well as vaccines if you live in a region where Lyme disease is part6icularly common. You should also remove any ticks that your find on your dog to help to prevent Lyme disease, as well as other tick-borne diseases, from spreading. Although dogs aren't able to directly infect people, our pets may bring infected ticks into the house. They can then attach and feed an another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease in that way.