Lyme Disease In Dogs: What You Need To Know

One of the main concerns that every pet owner has is keeping their pet safe from disease. Nobody wants to see their pet in pain, especially if you don’t know what’s wrong. One of the more common diseases that can affect your dog is Lyme disease. While it’s common, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Here’s what you need to know about Lyme disease in dogs to keep your pet safe, happy, and healthy.

 

Lyme Disease Diagnosis

Lyme disease can be a concern for both humans and dogs. Typically, a human will be able to communicate if they think they’ve been infected; your dog, on the other hand, can’t tell you that they’re not feeling well. Look for common symptoms of infection to know if you are dealing with Lyme disease in dogs. Symptoms like fatigue, fever, and swollen lymph nodes are just a few signs. These symptoms tend to show up two to five months after initial infection with the bacteria, so it can take some time for you or your pet to notice. If you do see these signs, bring your pet to an animal hospital for emergency vet services.

While diagnostic tests do exist for identifying Lyme disease in dogs, a positive result does not always clearly indicate the presence of Lyme disease. If initial screenings do show a positive result for Lyme disease, you may want to ask your veterinarian about additional screening to determine if treatment is necessary.

 

Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs

Typically, treatment for this is needed only rarely. Most reported cases of Lyme disease in dogs don’t actually need treatment and are the result of false positives. However, if your dog does develop Lyme disease, there are treatment options available to help. Most emergency vet services or specialty veterinarians will prescribe antibiotics for Lyme disease, and in most cases, this is enough to help.

 

Prevention And Protection

Lyme disease spreads through black-legged ticks, which can be incredibly small and therefore hard to find on your dog. If you live in a wooded area especially, check your dog for ticks daily. Ticks need to be attached for 48 hours or longer to spread Lyme disease, so this generally can help prevent the spread of Lyme disease outright.

If you’re uncertain if what you’re looking at on your dog is a tick or a flea, you’ll want to bring your pet to a vet for confirmation. Generally, however, ticks will be larger than fleas, even the small black-legged ticks that spread Lyme disease. Additionally, a flea can live more than 100 days without a blood meal, and so if you see a bug actively attached to your dog, it’s more than likely a tick. Be careful when removing the tick, as the tick may spread Lyme disease to you if it bites you in the process of removing it from your dog.

 


Our Experts Are Here to Help

For more information on how to prevent Lyme disease in dogs and on Lyme disease treatment, contact your local emergency vet services or speak to your preferred veterinarian. Learning more about this disease can be the key to keeping your pet safe and healthy, while also limiting the spread of Lyme disease.

You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. Get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Contact us today or directly call us at 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty and 24-hour emergency services.