What is it?
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial illness that can be transmitted to dogs by certain species of ticks. It is caused by the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that is carried inside a tick and gets into a dog’s bloodstream through a tick bite.
How do dogs get lyme disease?
Dogs may develop Lyme disease from the bite of a black-legged tick, which may transmit bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks don’t jump or fly; they can only crawl. They get onto their host by waiting at the tips of vegetation. When a dog or person brushes against a bush, for example, the tick quickly grabs on and then crawls to find a place to bite.
What will happen if my dog gets lyme disease?
Lyme disease is, unfortunately, a fairly common canine disease. Typical symptoms in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced energy
- Lameness (can be shifting, intermittent, and recurring)
- Generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain
- Swelling of joints
Symptoms can progress to kidney failure, which can be fatal. Serious cardiac and neurological effects can also occur.
Treatment includes antibiotics, usually for at least 30 days. This often resolves symptoms quickly, but in some cases, the infection will persist and prolonged medication may be needed. Treatment can also include other therapies aimed at resolving or relieving specific symptoms.
How can i prevent my dog from getting lyme disease?
There are several ways to protect your dog from Lyme disease: