Lyme Disease & Your Dog

Lyme Disease & Your Dog 1  Lyme Disease & Your Dog

Lyme Disease or Lyme spirochete is a bacterium, it can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic of choice is doxycycline, followed by amoxicillin, then azithromycin. Treatment lasts for 4 weeks. Occasionally, the initial infection will recur, or the pet will become reinfected by being bitten by another infected tick.

What happens when a dog gets Lyme disease?

Many animals can have Lyme disease and show no signs. In dogs, the most common signs include fever, loss of appetite, painful or swollen joints, lameness that comes and goes, swollen lymph nodes, and lethargy. If Lyme disease is left untreated it can lead to damage in the kidneys, nervous system, and heart.

How is canine Lyme disease treated?

The clinical signs of Lyme disease are treated with antibiotics, and often the symptoms will resolve within 3 days of therapy.  A tetracycline antibiotic called doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is used to treat Lyme disease.  It is often chosen over other potentially effective antibiotics because it is likely to be better at treating additional bacteria that may have co-infected the pet (it is thought in hot-spot Lyme areas that 50% of ticks that are infected with Lyme bacteria are also infected with another worrisome bacteria called Anaplasma phagocicytophilium (formerly called Ehrlichia equi).

What Happens If Lyme disease goes untreated in dogs?

Left untreated, canine Lyme disease can damage the heart, nervous system, and kidneys. Chronically infected dogs may develop a life-threatening form of kidney inflammation and dysfunction, called Lyme nephropathy or Lyme nephritis.

Can Lyme disease come back after treatment in dogs?

Dogs infected with Lyme disease will be prone to recurrence of the infection in the future, but antibiotics can be used again to treat the condition.

Can Lyme disease be transmitted from dog to dog?

Dogs are not a direct source of infection for people. Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dog’s fur and get on you.

Should I take my dog to the vet after a tick bite?

Most vets will say that you do not need to take your dog to the vet after a tick bite, but you should monitor your dog for signs or symptoms of Lyme disease for the next several weeks or months. Rest assured knowing that only 10% of dogs that contract Lyme disease will develop symptoms of the illness.

References

https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/waterbowl/article/what-to-do-if-a-tick-bites-your-dog

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/lyme-disease-in-dogs

https://www.merckvetmanual.com/dog-owners/disorders-affecting-multiple-body-systems-of-dogs/lyme-disease-lyme-borreliosis-in-dogs

https://www.everydayhealth.com/lyme-disease/guide/dogs/

https://www.wagsandwhiskers.com/component/content/article?id=69:my

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