What is Lyme disease and what are its symptoms?

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dog with lyme

The bite of a tick can be the source of numerous problems, some really serious, for both dogs and people. One of them is lLyme disease or BLyme orreliosis, Popularly known as “tick disease”.

The cause of this disease is ato bacteria call Borrelia burgdorferi, introduced into the dog’s bloodstream through the tick bite. The disorders that this bacteria causes in your body are numerous and even serious if they are not treated properly.

You may also like: Tick-borne diseases

Index of contents

  • 1 Lyme disease symptoms in dogs
  • 2 Diagnosis
  • 3 What is the treatment for Lyme disease?
  • 4 Can I get Lyme disease from my dog?
  • 5 How can I prevent my dog ​​from contracting tick-borne diseases?
  • 6 Vaccination
  • 7 Other canine tick-borne diseases

Lyme disease symptoms in dogs

Lyme disease is unfortunately quite common in dogs. Can be easily identify their symptoms with a simple observation of the behavior of our dog.

The symptoms that should put us on alert are:

  • Fever
  • Limp
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rigidity
  • Swelling in the joints
  • General lack of energy

If the infection is in an advanced state appear too Heart problems and kidney that can put the life of the dog at risk. To avoid reaching these extremes, it is best to carryyou the vet at the slightest suspicion.

tick and dog

Ddiagnosis

There are two types of blood tests that can help diagnose Lyme disease: on the one hand lto antibody test, which detects the presence not of the bacteria, but of the specific antibodies that generates the organism Of the dog in reaction to the same; on the other hand a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a specific DNA test that confirms the presence of the disease-causing bacteria.

Once the correct diagnosis is made, treatment is simple and quite effective.

What is the treatment for Lyme disease?

The treatment that veterinaryns recommend goes through the administration of an antibiotic for a couple of weeks, although depending on the race and the state of the infection it can last up to a month or even more.

In most cases the antibiotic will be enough to stop the infection. The vet can also advise us on some kind of pain reliever to ease the pain.

Treatment may also include other types of therapies aimed at solving or alleviating specific symptoms.

Can I get Lyme disease from my dog?

Dogs do not represent a direct source of infection for people. In fact, Lyme disease is not spread between dogs that live in the same house, nor can it be transmitted from a dog to a human..

The only thing we have to worry about is the tick bite, so it is essential to check our dog’s hair or identify the place where the dog, in the home garden, in the park or during a walk in the woods, may have come into contact with these dangerous parasites.

When our dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, it is very likely that we too have been exposed to this risk, so it is a good idea to consult our doctor.

dog with lyme

How can I prevent my dog ​​from contracting tick-borne diseases?

The most common places where Lyme disease-transmitting ticks thrive are in forested and shrubby areas.

Once these areas are located, they should obviously be avoided, although much more can be done in the field of prevention. Here are some recommendations:

  • Check our dog’s coat every day, especially after walks outdoors.
  • Attend frequent and regular check-ups at our usual veterinary clinic.
  • Keep our garden clean and free of weeds or brush.
  • Use preventives against ticks and other parasites.

If, despite everything, we find a tick in our dog, it must be removed immediately. But if we are not sure how to do it, it is best to leave this task to the vet, because if we do it wrong we can aggravate the problem instead of solving it.

  • You can find more info at: How to remove a tick correctly

Vaccination

There are also vaccines available that can help prevent our dog from contracting Lyme disease, with an initial injection and a booster given several weeks later.

However, these types of vaccines are not always suitable for certain breeds. It is best to be advised by a veterinaryn.

Other canine tick-borne diseases

Ticks can also transmit other less common but far more serious bacterial diseases that affect dogs, such as anaplasmosis and canine babesiosis.

Anaplasmosis can involve symptoms similar to those of Lyme disease, while babesiosis can present with a wide range of symptoms, such as sudden and severe shock, high fever, and dark urine.

The treatment for these conditions is basically the same as that applied for Lyme disease.