An owners guide to lyme disease in dogs
Lyme disease in dogs is a condition that can cause a wide range of problems with your dog. It can damage the heart, kidneys, or joints if left unchecked. This disease usually occurs in southern states, northeastern states, California, and Mississippi. However, it can occur in virtually any part of the United States.
You may be wondering what causes this disease. Dog Lyme disease is transmitted via tick bite. The tick that carries this illness is infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacterium can’t be transferred immediately though, as the tick has to stay attached to your dog for one or two days.
If your dog is affected by this illness, he will show a range of symptoms. Most dogs developing limping, especially in one of the forelegs. Although this limping will be hard to detect at first, it will become much more noticeable as the disease progresses. Other symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and fever.
The veterinarian’s first step in diagnosing Lyme disease in dogs is to take a medical history and discuss your dog’s symptoms. These symptoms will appear suddenly, which points to Lyme disease. The condition can be definitely diagnosed through a blood test to detect the presence of the aforementioned bacterium.
Dog Lyme disease should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. If not, permanent damage can be done to your dog’s joints and nerves. The preferred method of treatment is through the use of antibiotics. These drugs must be taken for at least three weeks. If your dog is experiencing a lot of pain, your veterinarian may also prescribe aspirin.
Although treatment lasts for about three weeks, most dogs will start feeling better within a couple of days. However, the disease may recur in months or even weeks. This will require another round of antibiotics.