Lyme Disease in Your Canine Companion

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is carried by ticks. Lyme disease is named for the town where it was first reported: Lyme, Connecticut. Now, Lyme disease can be found in almost all areas of the United States, and in various spots around the world. Learn more below from your veterinarian Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL.

Transmission and Contraction

The black-legged deer tick is the most common carrier of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. When an infected tick bites your dog and feeds on the blood, the bacteria is transmitted to Fido through the tick’s saliva. Lyme disease seems to be transmitted after the tick has been attached to the host for 48 hours or longer. Talk to your vet Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL for more information.

Note that humans can also get Lyme disease from ticks. However, Lyme disease is not a zoonotic disease; it can’t be transmitted from dogs to humans, or vice versa. You don’t have to worry about your dog giving you Lyme disease! Ask your veterinarians Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL about zoonotic diseases that may pose a threat to you and your dog.

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Symptoms

One of the first symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs is a skin rash that appears around the tick bite area. This rash can be difficult to spot, especially on dogs with thick coats of fur. Other symptoms include weakness, fever, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes, and uneven gait or limping. If your dog doesn’t receive treatment from their vet clinic Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL, symptoms like kidney inflammation and nervous system issues could occur.

Treatment

Take your dog to your veterinary clinic Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL if you see the symptoms described above. Quick treatment is the best way to get your dog back to full health quickly.

Once Lyme disease is definitively diagnosed through a physical exam and blood tests, treatment can be started. An antibiotic regimen is the main course of treatment; these medicines kill the bacteria. In some cases, additional medications like anti-inflammatories might be prescribed as well. Ask your pet clinic Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL for more details on the treatment process for Lyme disease.

Prevention Tips

There are two main ways to prevent a case of Lyme disease in your dog. First, do your best to avoid tick-infested areas when you and Fido are outdoors. Ticks like to spend time in heavily wooded and brush-heavy areas, as well as in tall grasses. Your vets Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL recommends sticking to paved or manicured paths whenever you can. And be sure to check your dog’s body for ticks once you’re back indoors.

The second way to prevent Lyme disease is by keeping your dog on a high-quality tick preventative. Ask your animal hospital Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL for help if your dog needs set up with this kind of preventative. You can also ask about the Lyme disease vaccination; it’s not right for every dog and is typically reserved for those living in high-risk areas. But it may serve your pooch well.

To learn more about Lyme disease in dogs, contact your vet clinic Lakewood, Jacksonville, FL. We’re always here for you.

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