Lyme disease is one of the most common disease carried by ticks in the world. Here, our Maury County veterinary team shares information about Lyme disease in your pet: including what it is, what to look out for and what your pet's treatment options are.
What is Lyme disease?
The bacteria borrella is carried by deer ticks and causes 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?
In our furry companions, the symptoms of Lyme disease can range form malaise and depression to general discomfort, lameness caused by inflammation and a lack of appetite.
Keep an eye out for a fever, difficulty breathing and a sensitivity to touch.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Schedule an appointment with your vet if you suspect your pet may have Lyme disease.
During the appointment, your vet will ask a number of 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?
When your pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease, they are generally treated on an outpatient basis. This will often involve at least a four-week course of antibiotics as well as prescribed pain medication if this disease has made your pet especially uncomfortable.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
Avoiding ticks as much as possible will go a long way to controlling and preventing disease. Sprays, monthly products and vaccines are available, although many work best before dogs are exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Your vet may also recommend appropriate boosters and vaccinations if you live in an area where Lyme is quite common. You should also be sure to remove ticks as soon as possible after finding them on your pet in order to stop the disease from spreading. Although your pet's aren't able to directly infect you, they may bring infected ticks into our homes, giving them an opportunity to attach to another person and transmit Lyme disease.