What is Lyme Disease?
Caused by a bacteria called Borrelia, Lyme is an infectious disease commonly carried by deer ticks. When an animal is bitten by an infected tick the infection is transmitted. The tick itself becomes infected by feeding on other infected animals such as deer, mice, and birds.
In pets, the most common symptoms of lyme disease include general malaise or discomfort and lameness due to inflamed joints. Pets with Lyme may experience a lack of appetite and depression. Symptoms such as sensitivity to touch, difficulty breathing and fever are also associated with Lyme disease.
How can Lyme disease be diagnosed?
Make an appointment to see your vet if you think your pet may have Lyme disease.
To diagnose Lyme disease your vet will take a thorough history of your pet's health, then run a number of tests including blood tests, urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays. It's also possible that your vet may draw fluid from your pet's affected joints to be tested.
What happens if my pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease?
When a pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease, they are generally treated on an outpatient basis. This means that antibiotics will be prescribed for your pet, (usually to be taken for at least four weeks). If your dog is especially uncomfortable your vet may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory pain medication.