Our furry family members add so much value to our lives, nothing beats the wagging tale that greets you when you come in the door after a long day. As dog lovers, there is nothing we won’t do for our canine companions. From doggy daycare to organic food to the best veterinarian care we can find – our dogs are ours to spoil. In North Shore Mass, we need to be especially vigilant in keeping our dogs protected from tick-borne diseases. With a large population of deer ticks in the area, our dogs are at an increased risk for Lyme Disease.
SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE IN DOGS
While Lyme Disease in dogs is asymptomatic in 90-95% of cases, those dogs that do experience illness can suffer tremendously. Most dog owners will notice a lameness that shifts from one leg to another. This is caused by inflammation of the joints that come and go in different limbs and different joints.
Other symptoms can include sensitivity to touch, stiff walk with an arched back, difficulty breathing, fever, depression, lack of appetite, kidney problems and rarely heart abnormalities. It is important to watch closely for signs of kidney failure which could present as lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and fluid retention. It is vital that you take your dog to your veterinarian if you suspect they might have Lyme Disease. The treatment for Lyme Disease in dogs is antibiotics and is usually successful.
WHAT IS LYME DISEASE IN DOGS?
Lyme disease in dogs is transmitted by the same infected deer ticks (black-legged ticks) that can transmit Lyme disease in humans. The transmission of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is the pathogen that causes the illness. The good news is that it takes an infected embedded tick 1-3 days to infect a dog – making daily tick checks a valuable routine for your dog’s health.
There are two great ways to prevent your dog from catching Lyme Disease. First, follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for year-round topical tick control. Secondly, help your dog avoid ticks and tick bites by creating a tick-free doggy playground on your property with help from Mosquito Squad of the North Shore. We can eliminate 85-95% of the ticks on your property with our Intensive Tick Treatment program. Bonus: you won’t have to pull ticks off your dog on a daily basis.