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What You Need to Know About Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is real a concern for dogs, and a little knowledge can go a long way for your furry friend.

Fall is the perfect time of the year to think about Lyme disease because the ticks that carry them, deer ticks, are more active in the fall. While we are focusing on Lyme disease in dogs for this topic, it’s important to note that it can also be transmitted to people and other animals through tick bites.

What are the symptoms of canine Lyme disease?

  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lack of Energy
  • Lameness
  • Stiffness
  • Pain or Discomfort
  • Swollen Joints

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The symptoms of Lyme disease can eventually progress into kidney failure, as well as serious neurological and cardiac concerns, all of which can be fatal for your dog.

How does our veterinary clinic in Levittown treat and test for Lyme disease?

There are two kinds of tests that we can use to check your dog for Lyme disease, and both options are blood tests. If the test comes back positive, we can go over the treatment options with you, which may include administering antibiotics for several weeks. However, a positive test does not necessarily indicate the need for treatment, as only about 10 percent of dogs who test positive develop a clinical illness from a Lyme infection.

Can you catch Lyme disease from your dog?

Luckily, dogs cannot infect any other animals with Lyme disease because they aren’t direct sources of the infection. Lyme disease can only be transferred through tick bites, not pet to pet or pet to person contact. However, a tick that bit your dog could also bite you, and you and your dog carry the same risk for getting a tick bite when you in areas with ticks.

Lyme disease is all too common, and according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), Lyme disease in dogs is on the rise. Expanding whitetail deer populations and increased time spent in the outdoors are the two main reasons for this. However, Lyme disease is also very preventable, and in our next blog, we’ll be going over several tips for preventing it, including how to properly check for ticks on your dog. Please stay tuned for our next blog to learn more. If you think that your pet may have Lyme disease, or you have questions and concerns, please contact our veterinary clinic!

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