Lyme disease is a condition that affects both humans and dogs. The illness is transmitted by ticks and if left untreated, it can cause serious health complications. The bacteria that cause the condition can be transmitted from one animal to another. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you to protect your pet and it is vital for getting early treatment.
Not all ticks carry the infection. If you live in a location where Lyme disease is common, your dog has a higher risk of getting it. If you live in an area with wildlife such as deer or rodents, the risk is much higher.
Most dogs can resist the bacteria that cause Lyme disease but five to 10 percent of dogs develop the infection. Dogs constantly bitten by infected ticks have a higher risk of developing Lyme disease than those bitten less often.
It is important to remove ticks in order to reduce the possibility of getting Lyme disease. Removing ticks within 24 hours can reduce the risk of disease transmission. However, the risk is not completely diminished by removing the embedded tick.
Larval ticks transmit the infection more easily than adult ticks. Treating the condition can become complicated as the time between infection and treatment increases.
Tick bites cause the infection that leads to Lyme disease, but the symptoms usually manifest much later. This means that your dog may not show symptoms of the disease for a couple of months after infection.
The signs of the disease can appear similar to symptoms of other diseases or health conditions. It is very important to visit a vet if you suspect that your dog may have been infected. Getting a proper diagnosis will help in getting early treatment.
There are signs and symptoms that can indicate that your pet has Lyme disease. They include joint swelling or pain, lameness, and loss of appetite. Other symptoms include tiredness or fatigue, depression, fever, and unwillingness to take part in activities.
Some dogs experience symptoms like walking stiffly with an arched back, breathing difficulties, and sensitivity to touch. A superficial lymph node at the bite site can also indicate the presence of infection.
There are some rare complications that can develop due to the presence of Lyme disease. They include kidney problems, heart complications, and a nervous system disorder. Most of the symptoms of the disease tend to be recurrent. They come and go over some time.
After the condition has been confirmed, the vet will often recommend antibiotics. This is the first line of defense when dealing with the condition. The prognosis is much better if the condition is treated early. Antibiotics tend to work more effectively if the infection is caught early. Most dogs with Lyme disease can easily be treated at home unless the condition worsens.
During treatment, the dog should be kept warm and dry and should rest as much as possible. In some cases, the symptoms may not go away completely. Joint pain can continue even after the infection has been eliminated.
To learn more about signs & symptoms of Lyme disease, contact Community Pet Outreach in Lewisville, Texas at (972) 848-8930 to book an appointment.