Lyme disease is a serious disease that is transmitted through the bite of a tick. Today, our Brookhaven vets talk about how to know if your pet has Lyme disease, what symptoms to watch for, and what options are available for treatment.
What is Lyme disease?
Deer ticks commonly carry the bacteria borrelia which is the bacteria responsible for causing the 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?
Some of the most common signs of Lyme disease in your pet may include anything from general discomfort or malaise to depression, lack of appetite, and lameness due to inflamed joints.
Be sure to monitor your pet regularly for any signs of fever, difficulty breathing, or sensitivity to touch.
How Can My Vet Diagnose Lyme Disease?
You need to book an appointment with your vet if you are concerned that your pet is experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease.
During the appointment, your vet will ask several questions to gain a detailed understanding of your pet's medical history, then complete a battery of tests including urine analysis, fecal exam, x-rays, and blood tests. Fluid may also be drawn from your pet's affected joints, then analyzed for signs of the disease.
What Happens If My Pet Receives A Lyme Disease Diagnosis?
If your dog has contracted Lyme disease from an infected tick then it will generally be treated on an outpatient basis. This will usually involve a course of antibiotics that will run approximately four weeks with the possibility that your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your dog especially uncomfortable.
What Are Some Options For Lyme Disease Prevention?
The easiest way to avoid Lyme disease is through the prevention of tick bites. There are many preventive options available such as sprays, monthly products, and vaccines, although these are most effective when administered before dogs are exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Your vet may recommend appropriate boosters and vaccines if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should promptly remove any ticks you find on your dog to help prevent Lyme and other diseases from spreading. While there is no concern of animal to animal transmission, the other animals and people in your house are at risk when an infected animal brings the ticks into the house.