Lyme Disease in Dogs

It is proven that Animals give their families lower blood pressure, stress relief, and unconditional love. The best way to repay this love, make sure they have all the tests and shots they need, including those designed to prevent Lyme Disease. Our furry-friends are easy prey for Lyme Disease, Spotted Fever and, Spirochetal Arthritis. They frolic in the great outdoors, leaving them completely susceptible to ticks and tick-borne diseases.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Spirochetal Arthritis is a bacterial arthritis caused by spirochetes, a class of Borrelia Burgdorferi Bacteria. If one lives in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard, or the Pacific coastal states, their dogs are at great risk of these Lyme-Disease-causing parasites. It is further noted that younger pups are more likely to contract Lyme Disease.

There are many different signs to watch for, however, reoccurring lameness is a primary one: this kind of bacteria can cause joints to ache and swell. This makes it painful for the dog to walk, causing a stiff limp. Other symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, and depression. There are certain breeds that are more prone to further complications like kidney and heart disease. Kidney disease is more prevalent in Labradors, but any breed can develop this debilitating affliction.

It is the hard-shelled deer tick that spreads the spreads the infliction throughout our beloved pooches. Interestingly, it usually takes 18 hours, or more, of the tick being latched on for the illness to be transmitted. Therefore, checking your buddy when they come back inside is a crucial and necessary precaution.

What Happens At The Vet?

Usually, comprehensive blood work will be done and the animal will be thoroughly checked for the exact location of where the tick was or still may be. If the tick has been removed, it is vital that doctors makes sure there are no remaining parts of insect within the fur.

At this point, if the victim is limping, or lame, in a particular area, the vet will check for fluid; if there are indicators that fluid is present, the Veterinarian will most likely take a sample to test as well.

Be aware that there are many different causes of arthritis in dogs. If these symptoms are present, it could be Lyme Disease but not always. An X-ray will further discern if there is damage, disorder, or disease.

If the afflicted is diagnosed with Lyme Disease, it will be a four-week outpatient treatment of antibiotics. The family will have to monitor all activity, ensuring the canine is dry and warm. Consult with the doctor when they seem to be improving, making sure the healing is a joint effort between family and veterinarian.

Prevention is half the battle and knowing what to avoid and look for can help immeasurably. Searching online can help one to find if their area is at high-risk. Daily grooming and checking for ticks is another great detriment. There are sprays and collars available as well; ask the family veterinarian to advise what is best for the family’s best friend.