Canine Lyme disease is one of the most common diseases transmitted by ticks. It can be very debilitated if left untreated. Dogs develop this condition whenever a tick bites them and passes along the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. However, the tick can’t pass the bacteria immediately. He needs to stay attached to your dog for more than a day in order to transmit it.
Only a certain regions of the United States harbor the ticks that cause Lyme disease in dogs. These areas include the Northeastern states, the upper Mississippi area, and various locations in the South. The ticks are also found in California.
Canine Lyme disease causes inflammation of the joints. This eventually leads to lameness. It is also a common for dogs to experience swollen lymph nodes, high fever, and lose their appetite. As the condition progresses, it can cause disease of the heart and kidneys. In rare cases, it may also affect the nervous system.
In order to diagnose Lyme disease in dogs, the debt will need to take a blood test. This will show the presence of the offending bacteria in the bloodstream. However, if your dog has been vaccinated for the disease, he will need to undergo a special test so that the vet can tell the difference between the bacteria and the vaccine.
As you have already learned, canine Lyme disease can affect many areas of your dogs body if left untreated. Treatment involves a month-long course of antibiotics like doxycycline. Your dog should experience relief from his symptoms within 48 hours of beginning treatment.
You should already know that the kidneys can also be affected by this disease. If they are, your dog may need to be placed on a special diet. This will help minimize any further problems with the kidneys.
There is a vaccine available to prevent canine Lyme disease. However, some vets suggest that you all avoid using it. Therefore, you’ll need to consult yours to see what his opinion is. If you live in the areas of the United States known for harboring ticks that cause Lyme disease in dogs, you need to ensure that you protect your dog from these parasites.