Lyme Disease in Dogs
Lyme disease in dogs is a prevalent condition, especially in certain regions like upper Mississippi region, California, north eastern states and several areas in the south, as well as elsewhere in the world. This is because canine lyme disease is caused by a bacteria transmitted by a deer tick, which is more often found in these sites as well.
While Lyme disease in dogs are not perceived to be as life threatening as other diseases, it is can be extremely painful when it is not dealt with properly. It is critical that you, as a pet owner, recognize the signs and have your dog correctly diagnosed immediately to prevent the escalation of this sickness.
It is quite possible to keep your dog healthy and free from this disease through a few simple pointers.
Groom your dog regularly to prevent this from happening. Keep in mind that the deer tick has to remain attached on your dog’s skin for at least 48 hours to fully transmit the disease. They may be difficult to detect, but if you do, remove it gently with a pair of tweezers and dispose of it properly.
Clean your home and yard, making sure that there is no tree that is too tall that it will obstruct the sun from reaching the floor. Spray your dog with an herbal parasite prevention treatment that works to keep your dog’s fur clean and tick free.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs
There are several symptoms of dog lyme disease, oftentimes people may mistake it as symptoms of another disease. Fever, swollen lymph nodes, lameness and listlessness are just some of the signs of a sick dog. If your dog exhibits a change in his appearance or behaviour, do not hesitate to take him to the vet right away.
Perhaps the most obvious sign of Lyme Disease in dogs is recurrent lameness and pain in the joints. The dog will be limping and intolerant of movement in one limb, then it may disappear seemingly out of nowhere. It will then come back in a week or so in another limb. If this goes on for long, the dog will eventually suffer from heart, kidney or nervous system problems.
The shifting lameness will almost look like arthritis in dogs, however it is reported that younger dogs are actually more susceptible in contracting lyme disease than older dogs. This may be because younger dogs do not have immune systems as well developed to that of older dogs. It is a good idea to give your dog a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and nutrients that will boost his autoimmune system.
Diagnosing and Treating Lyme Disease in Dogs
There are several ways that your vet can do to see if your dog has lyme disease. This may be a tricky one to diagnose because the bacteria can hide out in the dog’s tissues and these are located primarily in the joints. A complete blood test is recommended to check not only for the presence of this tick borne disease, but of other potential sicknesses as well.
You can use over the counter medications to treat lyme disease in dogs, ask your vet to prescribe the right one for the pet, and be sure to give the correct dosage faithfully.
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