Perils of Lyme disease in dogs – here’s how you can prevent and treat the dangerous disease
Dog’s are no question, a man’s best friend, and one of the most popular pets. They are caring, loyal, and loving. Naturally, we would not wish any sickness on our pets, and if they get sick, we would quickly help them recover. Let us take a look into Lyme disease, its symptoms, and how we can prevent it.
What is Lyme Disease?
- Lyme disease is triggered by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks are the main cause of transmission. These ticks can also bite dogs, which cause Lyme disease in dogs. These ticks reside in woody and grassy areas. Whenever your dog passes by, these ticks can transmit the disease in just 24 to 48 hours.
Signs Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
- Lyme disease is a tricky disease, and many animals can have the disease, and they show no signs. Usually, in dogs, some common signs are fever, loss of appetite, painful joints, and lethargy. If left uncured, it can cause serious damage to the kidneys and heart. If your dog has these symptoms, it is important to test your dog via a blood test.
Dangers of Lyme Disease
- Lyme disease is extremely dangerous if left untreated and is potentially fatal. Some symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are arthritis, which causes lethargy, pain, and swelling in the joints.
A rash appears shaped like a bull’s eye, and the dog usually has a fever. If left untreated, it can possibly be fatal; it can cause kidney failure, damage to the nervous system, and even damage to the heart. In the most severe cases, the dog unfortunately dies.
Treatment of Lyme Disease
- As bacteria cause Lyme disease, thus antibiotics are effective in helping treat Lyme disease. The treatment has antibiotics being used for around 30 days. Most cases are treated within just a few weeks, and prolonging antibiotics can be dangerous.
Prolonged use of antibiotics can even potentially cause fatal complications. This usually resolves the symptoms, but in certain cases, the infection can become stubborn and more medication may be required.
- Some dogs are treated for months or years, and still, the infection can hide in the body and can eventually cause issues for the dog. Treatment shows that antibiotics when used around the time of the infection, may lower antibodies drastically. Further research indicated that lowering the antibody level might reduce the risk of developing kidney failure.
Prevention of Lyme Disease
As with most illnesses, prevention is preferred over treatment. It is much more convenient to prevent a disease rather than treat it. Here are some easy ways to help prevent Lyme disease.
- Tick Removal: When a tick lands on your dog, it takes some time before it can transmit the disease. Daily tick removals are a hassle and, in some cases, may not be good enough even to remove ticks as some are so small we wouldn’t notice them. This is why a tick control product is preferred, such as Frontline.
- Vaccinate: A Lyme disease vaccine is available for pets and can be given once they reach the age of 9 weeks. Some studies even show that Lyme vaccines are 100% effective.
- Mow your lawn: As these ticks can frequently be found in the grass, short grass helps reduce the chances of ticks living there.
- Inspect your dog after walks: After any walks to a woody or grassy area, be sure to inspect your dog after the walk to ensure no ticks or flea latched on to them.
- Lyme disease is a scary disease, especially for your dog; however, there is treatment available in the unfortunate circumstance that your dog contracts Lyme disease. However, it is ideal that you follow our prevention tips to reduce Lyme disease’s chances of ever occurring.
We hope that on no occasion you have to face Lyme disease and your pets remain safe. Autumn Trials and Veterinary Centre is the perfect place for a thorough check-up for your furry baby.