The Scope of Lyme Disease in Dogs
Most pet owners usually have at least one thing in common with their pets. For example, many pairs of pets and people enjoy running or other vigorous exercise; others relish some satisfying snuggling together. One thing you definitely don’t want to share with your pet are parasites. Fleas and intestinal worms can wreak serious havoc, but ticks are infinitely more dangerous.
Lyme disease in dogs is a common infectious disease across the United States, and it can also be contracted by humans.
The Frightening Truth
In spite of the high number of incidents of Lyme disease in dogs, most dogs who test positive show few, if any, clinical symptoms. Caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, the disease is spread by the common black-legged and deer ticks, but illness may not surface for weeks or months. Fever, joint pain, lethargy, and lameness are typical signs.
Lyme disease in dogs does not cause neurological problems or skin issues, as it does for people. In most cases, it is eradicated by antibiotics; however, without testing and treatment, irreparable kidney damage can occur as a result of an overstimulated immune system attempting to clear out the bacteria.
Benefits of Screening
Due to the prevalence of Lyme disease in dogs, it is recommended to test for it when a dog’s lifestyle may expose them to higher risk. A positive result from a screening test may lead to a proper course of antibiotic treatment.
While you cannot get Lyme disease directly from your dog, if an infected tick falls off your dog and eventually finds you, you could become infected.
What You Can Do
Ticks are quite small, a fact that lends to their general success as parasites. During peak season, dog owners should definitely inspect the skin and coat of their dogs every single day. A close look at the feet, paws, belly, chest, ears, and neck can reveal tiny bloodsuckers.
Ticks usually have to attach themselves to their victims for numerous hours before transmitting Lyme disease. Immediate removal of a tick is critical to preventing the transfer of the harmful bacteria. Please call us for help if you haven’t removed a tick before.
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs
There are a few different parasite preventatives available, and we’re happy to help you find the right one to prevent Lyme disease in dogs. We recommend a year-long parasite prevention approach for optimal health and wellness.
Additionally, the Lyme disease vaccination may be an excellent tool in preventing the infection in your dog. If you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, try to avoid heavily wooded paths, tall grasses, and overgrown shrubbery. Take extra steps to manicure your lawn and property to reduce rodents and feral animals that may be tick carriers.