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Lyme Disease Symptoms: Your Guide to Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme Disease Symptoms: Your Guide to Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease in dogs is one of those things that pet owners worry about but don’t really know too much about. That’s why we whipped up this guide to lyme disease symptoms and more. Read on to learn all about lyme disease in dogs!

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease, or lyme borreliosis, is transmitted by hard-shelled deer ticks. This is why it’s so crucial to put your dog on a flea and tick preventative! These literal blood suckers are frequently picked up outside in grassy areas. The illness is caused by a spirochete, or bacteria, species called the Borrelia burgdorferi group. The disease sets in after a tick attaches to your dog for 2-3 days, so check your dog for ticks after time spent outside!

Lyme Disease Symptoms in Dogs

Luckily lyme disease only causes symptoms in 5-10% of dogs. If the infection leads to an actual illness in dogs, it causes inflammation in the joints. This can look like lameness or a great deal of fatigue. Infected pups might also show depression and a lack of appetite. Kidney damage is a more serious complication, and, very rarely, some dogs experience heart or nervous system disease. If you’ve found a tick on your dog, look for these symptoms:

  • Warm, painful or swollen joints
  • Fatigue
  • Lameness
  • Awkward walking with an arched back
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Fever
  • Not hungry
  • Lack of interest in toys or play
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Build-up of fluid

While unusual, call your veterinarian if you suspect something is up. It’s the best way to prevent these scary symptoms and complications. Symptoms, such as lameness, might go away and then come back!

Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Suspect your dog has lyme disease? Since many of the symptoms could be indicative of another problem, your vet will go through your dog’s health history. Your vet will also likely perform a number of tests on your pooch, including blood tests, urine tests, fecal examinations and x-rays. Your vet may also analyze fluid from your pet’s joints.

Once diagnosed with lyme disease, your dog will probably be treated with an antibiotic, such as doxycycline. Your vet will only hold your dog overnight or longer if your pup’s condition is unstable because they have serious symptoms like severe kidney disease.

Your pooch might be on the antibiotics for four weeks or longer. Your pet might also require an anti-inflammatory prescription to help with pain management. How your pet responds to the treatment will vary.

Thank you for reading and we hope you found this article helpful!