Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. Join us today as our Brodheadsville vets share information about Lyme disease in pets: including what it is, symptoms to watch for, and treatment options.
What is Lyme disease?
The bacteria borrelia is carried by deer ticks and causes an infectious condition known as Lyme disease. It is transmitted when ticks feed on infected animals such as deer, birds, and mice before passing the infection to other animals when the tick bites them.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?
In cats and dogs, some common symptoms of Lyme disease can include a range of issues from general discomfort or malaise to depression, lack of appetite, and difficulty walking due to inflamed joints.
Some other symptoms to watch for are fever, difficulty breathing, or sensitivity to touch.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your vet if you think your pet may have Lyme disease.
During the appointment, your vet will ask a number of questions to learn more about your pet's medical history, and then run a set of diagnostic 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 is diagnosed with Lyme disease?
When diagnosed with Lyme disease, pets are usually treated on an outpatient basis. This will usually consist of at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your pet 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.