Lyme disease is one of the most commonly transmitted tick-borne diseases in the world. Here, our vets share information with our Torrance and Carson clients about Lyme disease in pets: what it is, symptoms to watch for, and treatment options.
What is Lyme disease?
A bacteria named borrella is carried by many kinds of ticks and causes the infection Lyme disease. It is transmitted to a host when ticks feed on infected animals and then bite another, healthy creature or person.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?
In our four-legged friends, common symptoms of Lyme disease may include anything from general discomfort or malaise to depression, lack of appetite and lameness due to inflamed joints.
Keep an eye out for any sort of fever, sensitivity to touch and difficulty breathing as well.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Schedule an appointment with your vet if you suspect your pet may have Lyme disease.
During your appointment, your vet will ask your a few questions to gain a proper understanding of your pet's medical history of current condition. They will follow this up with a series of tests including x-rays, blood tests, urine analysis and fecal exams. We may also draw fluid from your pet's affected joints to check for signs of the disease.
What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?
Pets who are diagnosed with Lyme disease are generally treated on an outpatient basis. This will most often involve a month-long course of antibiotics, although if your pet needs it, your vet will also prescribe them with pain medication.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
The best way to control and prevent the spread of this disease to your pet is by avoiding ticks and areas where ticks are common as much as possible. There are also monthly products, vaccinations and sprays available to combat this disease. These are most effective, however, when they are administered before your pet contracts Lyme.
Your vet may recommend appropriate boosters and vaccines if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should promptly remove any ticks you find on your dog to help prevent Lyme and other diseases spreading. Though dogs will not directly infect people, our pets may bring infected ticks into the house, which may then attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.