Lyme disease comes from saliva, but not dog saliva.
The only means of contracting Lyme disease is through the bite of a Lyme-infected deer tick. This nasty infection is not transmissible by any other known mechanism. While this is great news, we must also remember the increasing tick populations in Central Massachusetts. It is not uncommon to see a black-legged tick out in nature or in your yard. It is not uncommon to find a tick on yourself, a family member, or a pet. Sadly, it is not uncommon to encounter someone, who has been diagnosed with Lyme disease in Central Mass. Like humans, dogs can contract Lyme disease, but they cannot transmit it.
Can your dog have Lyme even if you never saw a tick?
If your dog is showing potential signs and symptoms of Lyme, you should seek immediate medical attention. What are symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs? Loss of appetite, fever, malaise, and joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. You do not have to have found an engorged tick on your pet for them to have acquired Lyme infection. While it takes 36 to 48 hours for a tick to pass Lyme to humans and animals, many times a tick is never found. Ticks are apt to hide themselves away on the body in order to take a complete blood meal and will simply fall off once they are full-up.
Where is Lyme disease infection in dogs most prevalent?
Lyme disease is reported in dogs all across the United States. However, it is most prevalent in the upper Midwest, Atlantic seaboard, and Pacific coast. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that 95% of all canine Lyme cases are diagnosed in these areas.
Can cats contract Lyme disease from tick bites?
The general idea among cat owners is that cats cannot contract Lyme infection. Truth is, cats can contract Lyme disease, but it is very rare. Cats are normally highly resistant to Lyme infection, but in certain cases of suppressed immunity, feline Lyme diagnoses are a possibility. If your cat is showing symptoms of Lyme or other illness, seek medical attention – even if you have not seen a tick.