Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the world. Here, our Rocklin vets share some information with you about Lyme disease in pets including what it is, what to look out for and your treatment options if your pet is infected.
What is Lyme disease?
The bacteria borrella is carried by deer ticks and causes infectious Lyme disease, which is transmitted when ticks feed on infected animals such as deer, birds and mice. This infection is then passed to other animals when the infected tick bites them.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?
In our furry friends, the common symptoms of Lyme disease may include anything from a general discomfort or malaise to depression, lack of appetite and a lameness in their inflamed joints.
Also beware of any fever, difficulty breathing or sensitivity to touch.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Schedule an appointment with your vet if you suspect your pet may have Lyme disease.
During your veterinary appointment, the vet will ask a number of questions to get a better understanding of your pet's medical history. We will them complete an array of tests (including urinalysis, bloodwork and X-rays). They may also draw fluid from your pets affected joints for analysis for signs of the disease.
What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?
When diagnosed with Lyme disease, pets are usually treated on an outpatient basis. This will typically involve at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your dog especially uncomfortable.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
Avoiding ticks as much as possible will go a long way to controlling and preventing disease. Sprays, monthly products and vaccines are available, although many work best before dogs are exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Your vet may recommend that you give your pet appropriate vaccinations and boosters if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should make sure you promptly remove any ticks you may find on your pet in order to prevent Lyme from spreading to them. Though our pets can't directly infect people, they may bring infected ticks into the house, which may then attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.