Many dog owners lack awareness of Lyme illness despite its potential severity. Deterring ticks is crucial in the fight against Lyme disease in dogs since the bacterium that causes the illness is transmitted by ticks. Although Lyme disease in dogs may have symptoms with other illnesses, it is critical to detect these signs.
Lyme disease is challenging for dog owners since their pets may exhibit no symptoms. Unfortunately, unlike people, dogs won’t break out in a rash if they have Lyme disease. Rather, you should be on the lookout for signs like nausea and fatigue.
Take your dog to the doctor if you discover a tick on it or if you see any Lyme disease symptoms. Taking your dog to the doctor for a checkup is the first step in treating Lyme illness. What you should know if your dog has Lyme disease.
In Canine Forms, What Is Lyme Disease?
Ticks are the vector for the bacterial infection known as Lyme disease, which may be fatal for dogs.
This illness may manifest in a variety of ways and, if addressed, can become chronic. Humans are not immune to Lyme disease, but you need not fear that your dog may transmit it to you.
A tick is a kind of parasitic arachnid that feeds on the blood of its victim, either a human or an animal. Ticks are found in a variety of habitats, and the ticks you’re most likely to come into contact with are those native to your region. Ticks may transmit a wide variety of germs and illnesses, and although certain ticks are known to convey Lyme disease, others do not.
The itching in a dog may be due to a tick bite, but there may be other causes as well. Taking your dog to the vet is your best bet for finding out what’s wrong.
Canines: Are They at Risk from Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease isn’t usually a major problem for canines. Fever and joint swelling are two of the first signs of Lyme disease in canines. Early treatment is essential for Lyme disease, which may become more challenging as it advances if left untreated. Lyme disease has been linked to renal failure, which may be lethal in severe instances. Dangers associated with untreated Lyme disease in dogs include the following:
- Kidney damage
- Facial paralysis
- Seizure disorders
- Heart issues
Dogs with Lyme disease that doesn’t get treated quickly are far more likely to develop severe symptoms. Your dog will experience more distress as Lyme illness worsens and becomes chronic.
Is there a chance that Lyme disease in dogs might be transmitted to humans?
If your dog gets Lyme disease, the good news is that it can’t be passed on to people. Like canines, people may get Lyme disease when bitten by an infected tick. It’s not necessary to maintain your distance from your dog if he or she has Lyme disease; the illness cannot be transmitted via canine contact. However, it is still crucial to observe proper hygiene and be on the lookout for ticks if your dog is afflicted, since there may be more Lyme-carrying ticks in the area.
Why do canines get Lyme disease?
In dogs, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is responsible for Lyme disease. This bacteria is carried by certain species of ticks. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is spread by ticks to dogs.
Explain how Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs by ticks
Blood feeding is essential for tick survival, and due to their low bodies, dogs provide an ideal opportunity for ticks to attach. Ticks may attach to your dog if he or she is outside in the yard or woods, or if you are walking through the woods with your dog. Ticks carry Lyme disease when they attach to your dog, burrow into its skin, and feed on its blood. Ticks can’t spread illness until they’ve been connected for at least 12 hours, however.
Be aware that a tick bite is distinct from other bug or spider bites. In rare cases, ticks may remain attached to their hosts for up to two weeks after they have completed their burrowing process. When a tick finds a suitable host, it will stay put until it has had its fill of the host’s blood. Ticks may be carefully removed from your dog to reduce the risk of their transmitting illness.
However hard you try, the tick’s mouthparts may remain embedded in your dog even after you pull the tick off. You can avoid this by not twisting while you remove ticks, but the mouthparts will eventually fall out anyhow. When you notice a tick on your dog, you may take him to the doctor if you don’t feel confident in removing it yourself.
Where Are Ticks With Lyme Disease Commonly Found?
As we discussed before, Lyme disease is transmitted by a very specific kind of tick. The risk of contracting Lyme disease may be low in areas where it is less common. Black-legged ticks and deer ticks are the most common vectors of Lyme disease. Another tick species that may transmit Lyme is the western black-legged tick.
Here are the regions where ticks are most commonly found in the United States:
- The Northeast (New England, New York, Maine, etc.)
- The Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc.)
- The Pacific Coast (Washington, Oregon, California)
The northeastern and central United States’ northern regions and the mid-Atlantic are common habitats for black-legged ticks. Ticks that may transmit Lyme disease can be found in many areas of the United States, not only the Pacific Northwest, where western black-legged ticks are most common.
Ticks may not be able to transmit Lyme disease, but they may still be harboring other infections. The itching and scratching that may result from a tick bite is another reason why it’s crucial to keep your dog free of fleas and ticks.
What Are the Symptoms of Dog Lyme Disease?
As a pet parent, it’s your job to keep your dog tick-free and healthy. However, you can’t always spot ticks on your dog, so it’s also important to know how to spot the symptoms of Lyme disease. Here are some of the symptoms you may notice with dog Lyme disease:
- Fever: Dogs with Lyme disease often present a mild fever, although it’s important to note that there are several other medical conditions that can cause a low-grade fever.
- Loss of appetite: If you’ve noticed your dog has suddenly stopped eating, that’s a sign that it may have Lyme or another similar medical condition.
- Painful, irritated, or swollen joints: You may not notice this symptom until the later stages of chronic Lyme disease.
- Swollen lymph nodes: You may also notice swollen lymph nodes in your dog’s neck, chest, and groin area.
- A lack of energy: Dogs who have Lyme disease typically lack energy, so you should take your dog to the vet if they’ve been especially lazy.
- Intermittent lameness: Lameness, or the inability to use one or more limbs, is another symptom that dogs with Lyme may experience.
While these are typical manifestations of Lyme disease in canines, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the illness might manifest itself differently in different animals. Lyme disease in dogs may not manifest clinically in all cases. If you think your dog has Lyme disease, it’s important to get an official diagnosis as quickly as possible. The diagnosis of Lyme disease, dog dermatitis, or any other medical ailment in your dog may be made with the assistance of your veterinarian.
When Can I Expect to See Symptoms?
Like many canine diseases, Lyme disease may not show early symptoms. It may take anything from two weeks to five months for your dog to exhibit signs of Lyme illness.
Keep in mind that 5-10% of dogs with Lyme disease don’t exhibit any symptoms. There is a risk that you may see behavioral changes and other signs indicative of Lyme disease in your dog. This is why bringing your dog in for regular checkups at the vet is essential.
How Do Veterinarians Determine If a Dog Has Lyme Disease?
Finding out whether your dog has Lyme disease is a key first step in getting them the treatment they need. Chronic Lyme disease may cause substantial impairment to quality of life and, in rare circumstances, death. Symptoms of Lyme disease tend to worsen with time.
Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s medical history and current symptoms to make a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
If your veterinarian suspects Lyme disease is to blame for your dog’s symptoms, they may inquire about any recent tick exposure. Your veterinarian may diagnose Lyme disease in your dog if he or she has been exposed to ticks and is exhibiting symptoms of sickness, such as lameness and a low-grade fever.
If you’re worried that your dog may have been exposed to Lyme disease, your vet may do a blood test. Additional testing may tell you whether your dog has a chronic Lyme disease infection that has to be treated.
A Remedy for Canine Lyme Disease
In the event that you suspect Lyme illness in your dog, prompt veterinary attention is essential. Because Lyme disease worsens over time, getting your dog diagnosed early is crucial for preventing further health complications. Thankfully, Lyme illness in dogs is treatable, and telemedicine for pets makes treatment even more convenient.
Lyme disease in dogs is usually treated with medications prescribed by your physician.
Lyme disease can usually be treated with medication for 4 weeks and your dog will be healthy again. Usually, these medications reduce swelling in the joints and limbs quickly, although this is not always the case. It’s vital to keep in touch with your vet to discuss your dog’s health and whether or not more treatment is needed since partial symptom remission is normal.
In chronic instances of Lyme disease in dogs, a more comprehensive approach is usually required than antibiotics alone. The neurological system, the heart, and the kidneys are just a few organs that might suffer from Lyme disease. It’s possible that your vet may suggest therapy for these organs as well, to get them functioning normally again and fix any damage they may have sustained. However, for other dogs, Lyme disease-related joint discomfort is chronic and never goes away.
Because you can receive a prescription from an internet vet in Dutch, treating Lyme disease in canines is more convenient. There’s no need to pack up Fido and drive to the vet because we can coordinate with local pharmacies to have your dog’s medication delivered right to your door.
Preventing Lyme Disease in Canines
Although it can sound daunting, there are really quite a few easy things you can do to lessen your dog’s vulnerability to Lyme disease. If you have the time, you may prevent Lyme disease by being a more attentive owner.
The first step in protecting your dog against ticks is to apply a prophylactic medication. If you’re a pet owner and aren’t already utilizing flea and tick medication, you should speak to your vet about starting. Most of these drugs only have a limited shelf life, so you’ll need to provide a fresh dosage every three to four months.
In addition, you should examine your dog for ticks often, particularly after it has been outdoors or in an area where ticks may be prevalent. It’s important to thoroughly inspect your dog for ticks after returning from a stroll in tall grass, bush, or a forest. Simply feel around your dog’s body until you find a bump. Whether you examine the bump carefully, you should be able to identify if it’s a tick or anything else.
Use tweezers to carefully extract the tick from your dog, taking care not to damage the tick’s body or to leave any of the tick’s mouthparts still within the dog. There are several tutorial videos available on the internet that can show you how to remove a tick.
Another effective method of protecting your dog from ticks and Lyme disease is to brush it frequently. Brushing your dog once or twice weekly is recommended for a healthy coat and may help reduce the risk of skin problems.
Getting your pet vaccinated against Lyme disease is something you and your veterinarian should discuss if you reside in an area with a high tick population (particularly ticks that transmit Lyme disease). Note that this isn’t essential if you reside in a region where deer ticks are rare, so if you happen to call the southern United States or another region home, you probably have nothing to worry about.
Questions About Canine Lyme Disease
When a dog has Lyme disease, what can you expect to happen to it?
There may be a delay in the onset of symptoms after a dog has contracted Lyme disease. Lyme disease symptoms often appear after a few months, however, only 5-10% of infected dogs really exhibit any signs of illness. Early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease is crucial for reducing the severity of the illness and its subsequent consequences.
Fever and lameness are common indications of Lyme disease in dogs, but they aren’t the only possible outcomes of this infection. Lyme disease in dogs, if ignored, may lead to complications in the cardiovascular system, the kidneys, and the brain system. In very rare instances, death may result from these complications. Lyme disease may cause serious and perhaps permanent problems for certain pets. Lyme disease may be dangerous for dogs if left untreated, but if medications are given early on, most canines recover well.
Can dogs be healed of Lyme disease?
In dogs, the good news is that Lyme disease is treatable. Lyme disease in dogs is treatable with medications since it is caused by bacteria transmitted by ticks. Lyme disease may be treated with medicines for 4 weeks in most instances, while some dogs may need longer.
Your veterinarian may suggest treating the Lyme disease’s secondary effects in addition to eliminating the infection itself with medications. Your veterinarian may prescribe ongoing therapy for your dog if Lyme disease has caused long-term damage to its heart, kidneys, or neurological system.
How do you treat a dog with Lyme disease?
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for Lyme disease in dogs, so a trip to the doctor should take care of the problem. Early identification is crucial since Lyme disease in dogs may usually be cured with 4 weeks of antibiotic treatment.
Lyme disease treatment modalities vary from case to case. Long-term effects of Lyme disease include those affecting the heart, kidneys, and neurological system, as well as the joints and limbs. Long-term treatment options should be discussed with your veterinarian if your dog develops any of these Lyme disease-related problems.
Understanding the symptoms of Lyme illness and how to identify and remove ticks from your pet are essential responsibilities for any pet owner. Following a trip into the woods, bush, or tall grass, you should examine your dog for ticks. Ticks are easy to get rid of if you have tweezers on hand. Regular checks are crucial for avoiding Lyme disease in dogs, since the illness’s signs may be difficult to see.