We love our dogs. They can be like our children, companions and friends all rolled into one loving loyal furry body. We protect them with heartworm prevention, flea prevention and the best veterinarian care we can find. When it comes to their health, there is not much we won’t do. Did you know our dogs are susceptible to some of the same diseases and illnesses that affect us, including Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease in Dogs
Transmitted by the blacklegged tick (deer tick), Lyme Disease in dogs is caused by the same bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that causes Lyme Disease in humans. The deer tick usually has to be attached to the dog for 1-3 days before infection can occur. This time means regular tick checks can prevent Lyme transmission to your dog. If your dog has been enjoying time outdoors in wooded, high brush areas, be sure to check them when they come inside. Given the high population of deer ticks in our area, regular checks are recommended even if your dog is just enjoying your well-maintained backyard.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs
According to PetMD, only about 5-10% of dogs with Lyme disease experience symptoms. The most noticeable sign is “lameness due to inflammation of the joints.” This can present as “shifting-leg lameness”, meaning they may limp on one leg for a few days and another leg the next day or week, as different joints swell and un-swell.
Some dogs experience other symptoms that can include depression, lack of appetite, sensitivity to touch, stiff walk with an arched back, difficulty breathing, fever, kidney problems and rarely heart abnormalities and nervous system complications. If your dog begins to experience kidney problems from Lyme, they may show symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination, increased thirst and abnormal fluid buildups. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, take them to your veterinarian for an evaluation, kidney failure can occur and is the biggest concern with Lyme Disease in dogs.
Treatment for Canine Lyme Disease
Lyme disease in dogs is treatable. With approximately four weeks of outpatient doxycycline, your dog can experience a full recovery. Sometimes these symptoms may reoccur even with treatment. Most veterinarians recommend year-round topical tick control treatment for your dog, ask your veterinarian for more details.
Preventing Lyme Disease means avoiding ticks and tick bites. The best way to let your dog live a care-free active life is to eliminate ticks in your own backyard with tick control from Mosquito Squad. Call today to learn how we can eliminate 85-95% of the ticks in your yard.