Key Facts of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is a bacterial illness transmitted to dogs, humans, and other animals by black-legged ticks. Also known as Lyme borreliosis, the disease is caused majorly by the spiral-shaped bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. An infected tick carries this bacteria and transmits the infection into the host’s bloodstream through a bite.

In this article, we are happy to put together some basic information about Lyme disease that every dog parent should be aware of:

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Dogs infected with Lyme disease display several symptoms, which include

  • swollen lymph nodes
  • lameness
  • fatigue
  • joint pain
  • swelling
  • loss of appetite

Some dogs may also experience serious kidney complications as a result of Lyme disease.

[Also Read] Prevention of Lyme Disease In Humans And Dogs

Diagnosis of Lyme disease

In order to determine if your dog has Lyme disease, the vet will perform two blood tests called the C6 Test and the Quant C6 test.

The C6 test will help detect antibodies against a protein called C6. Presence of the antibodies indicates an active Lyme infection. The antibodies can be detected 3 to 5 weeks after an infected tick bites the dog. It can happen even before the dog starts showing signs of illness.

The vet will next perform a follow-up test called Quant C6. This test, along with urinalysis will help determine if the dog will need to go for an antibiotic treatment.

How is Lyme disease treated?

Lyme disease can be treated with the help of antibiotics which need to be administered in consultation with a veterinarian for at least 30 days.

If the infection persists, the vet may prescribe a second round of treatment. The dog might also need additional therapy to support the affected organ, especially when the kidneys, heart or nerves are affected.

How to prevent Lyme disease?

To prevent Lyme disease, it is important to prevent tick infestation. Here’s how you can do this:

After you’ve taken your dog for a walk, do not forget to do a quick check-up for ticks. While you are inspecting, pay special attention to the lips, feet, inside and outside the ears, around the eyes, under the tail and near the anus. If you come across a tick, remove it with the help of a tick-removing tool.

You can put your dog on tick preventives that will help it remain safe from infestations. Some of the effective preventives include

You can consult with your vet for the ideal treatment for your pooch.

If you have a yard with tall grass, keep them mowed. Also, avoid taking your dog for walks into grassy patches where ticks can be commonly found.

Vaccinating your dog could protect it from getting Lyme disease. Check with your vet to understand if the vaccination would be safe for your furry friend.

Wrapping Up

Although Lyme disease can be easily treated, it is always better to prevent it from taking place. Topical treatments, chewable tablets, tick collars and vaccinations can help your dog remain safe from disease-carrying ticks. If your dog gets infested by the parasites, take it to your vet for an immediate check-up.

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