Lyme disease is known to be one of the most common tick-borne diseases globally. Here, our Kittrell vets offer some information about Lyme disease in pets including the symptoms to look for, and treatment options.
What is Lyme disease?
The bacteria borrella is carried by deer ticks and causes Lyme disease, which is transmitted when ticks feed on infected animals such as deer, mice, and birds. 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 friends, common symptoms of Lyme disease may include anything from general discomfort to depression, lameness due to inflamed joints, and lack of appetite.
Also beware of any fever, difficulty breathing, or sensitivity to touch.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
You need to seek medical attention for your pet if you suspect they've become infected with Lyme disease.
During your visit, your vet will ask a number of questions to gain a detailed understanding of your pet's medical history, then complete a bunch of tests including urinalysis, blood tests, fecal exam, and X-rays. Fluid can 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 diagnosed with Lyme disease, pets usually aren't required to stay in the clinic for treatment. It will usually involve at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if your pet is experiencing a lot of discomfort.
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 will recommend the appropriate booster shots and vaccines if your pet lives in an area known for Lyme disease. Always remove ticks as soon as you spot them on your pet to help prevent Lyme and other diseases from 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.