Lyme disease is one of the commonly transmitted diseases by ticks in the world. Here, our veterinary team in Ocala share information about Lyme disease in your pet, including what it is, its symptoms and your treatment options.
What is Lyme disease?
The bacteria named borrella is carried by deer ticks and causes the infectious Lyme disease. This is transmitted when a tick bites an infected animal such as a bird, deer or mouse. They transmit this disease to other animals or people when they then bite them.
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.
Also beware of any fever, difficulty breathing or sensitivity to touch.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Your should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect at all that your pet may be suffering from Lyme disease.
At the following appointment, your vet will ask you a number of questions to gain a detailed understanding of your pet's medical history. They will then conduct a battery of tests including fecal exams, urinalysis, blood tests and x-rays. They may also draw fluid from your pet's affected joints and then analyze them 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 towards controlling and preventing the disease. Sprays, vaccines and monthly products are also available, although many work best before dogs are exposed to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
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.