What is it?
•Lyme disease affects both people and animals and is spread by ticks
•Primarily dogs are affected – cats are more resistant to the disease
•When canines are infected, it may take weeks to months for symptoms to show
What causes it?
•Lyme disease is a tick-transmitted disease that is caused by spirochete bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi)
•The most common signs of the disease are fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and lameness
•Lyme causes lameness, pain, and sometimes swelling in one or more joints, as well as swollen lymph nodes
•In severe cases, kidney failure and death may occur
What tests are needed?
•Your veterinarian will recommend blood and urine tests, abdominal and joint x-rays, and an ultrasound
•Blood samples will be tested for antibodies
How is it treated?
•An antibiotic, typically Doxycycline, is prescribed
•Amoxicillin has been proven effective
•To relieve joint pain, NSAIDs may be recommended
•After treatment, be sure to treat all outdoor animals with a tick prevention medication monthly and vaccinate your pet against lyme disease
What follow up care is needed?
•Clinical signs may recur for several weeks to months after infection
•Vaccination may be recommended because treatment does not keep the animal for contracting the disease again
•Be sure to monitor your animal for any ticks and treat them with a tick prevention medication