Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted disease in the world. Here, our veterinary team in Palmdale vets share information about Lyme disease in your pet including, what it is, its symptoms and your treatment options if your vet is inefcted.
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 four-legged friends, the common symptoms of Lyme disease may include anything from general discomfort and malaise to a lack of appetite, lameness and depression.
Also beware of any fever, difficulty breathing or 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 veterinarians will ask you for a number of questions in order to gain a more detailed understanding of your pet's condition. We will then conduct a battery of tests from urine analysis, fecal exams, x-rays and blood testing. We may also draw fluid from their affected joints in order to analyze it for signs of the disease.
What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?
When diagnosed with Lyme disease, pets are usually treated on an outpatient basis. This will typically involve at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your dog 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 recommend appropriate vaccines and appropriate boosters when you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should remove ticks from your dog as soon as possible in order to prevent Lyme or other tick-borne diseases from infecting your pet. Although our pets aren't able to directly infect us, they may bring ticks into our homes which may then attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.