Lyme disease is a sickness that spreads from ticks and it's very widespread. Our veterinary experts across Williamsburg have written a post to explain what it is, how to recognize the signs, and what can be done to treat it in pets.
What is Lyme disease?
Deer ticks carry the bacteria borrelia 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?
Lyme disease can affect our pets in various ways, such as making them feel unwell, tired, or depressed, causing them to lose their appetite, or making it hard for them to move due to joint inflammation. Keep an eye out for other signs too, like fever, breathing troubles, or discomfort when touched.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
If you think your pet has Lyme disease, make an appointment with your vet. During the appointment, the vet will ask about your pet's medical history and do several tests like urine and fecal analysis, x-rays, blood tests, and possibly take fluid from your pet's affected joints to check for signs of the disease.
What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?
When pets get diagnosed with Lyme disease, they usually receive treatment without having to stay at the hospital. This treatment involves taking antibiotics for at least four weeks, and the vet might also give pain medication to your dog if they are feeling uncomfortable due to the disease.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
To keep your dog healthy, it's important to avoid ticks as much as possible. There are different options available like sprays, monthly products, and vaccines to help prevent Lyme disease.
However, it's better to use them before your dog comes into contact with the bacteria that causes the disease. If you live in an area where Lyme disease is common, your vet may suggest booster shots and vaccines.
To reduce the risk of Lyme and other diseases, you should remove ticks from your dog as soon as you find them. Although dogs cannot directly spread the disease to people, they can bring infected ticks into the house, which can then bite other animals or people and transmit the disease.