Lyme disease in dogs is a very serious illness that can cause all kinds of problems for your pet. It can basically cause the dogs organs and systems to begin shutting down and it can lead to death if you are not careful.
What Causes Lyme Disease?
Canine Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that affects the animals entire body. The dog contracts Lyme disease when a tick bites it. The tick must usually be attached for a day or more before the dog will actually get Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that basically invade the dogs bloodstream about a day or so after the animal was bit by a tick carrying the disease.
Because Lyme disease can be so deadly for dogs, it is very important that dog owners learn to recognize the symptoms of the disease so it can be caught early and treated.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Unfortunately the most common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are fairly difficult to notice, so dog owners who live in an area where the animal is exposed to ticks often should be much more vigilant.
Canine Lyme disease symptoms can include a very high fever and swollen lymph nodes. Other symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are loss of appetite and being unable to walk.
All of these symptoms are associated with the very early stages of the disease, and there are plenty of other symptoms that come as canine Lyme disease progresses.
The symptoms of late stage Lyme disease include heart problems, kidney failure, breathing problems, inflamed joints, and sometimes even neurological problems, which show up as severe personality changes in your dog.
Lyme Disease Treatment
If you suspect your dog has Lyme disease, then it is important to get the animal to the veterinarian immediately. This disease is very curable, but only if it is caught extremely early.
The veterinarian will be able to prescribe antibiotics, and the dog will begin showing signs of recovery in a day or two.
Dog owners who live in areas where there are a lot of ticks that do carry Lyme disease will probably want to consider getting the canine Lyme disease vaccine.
This is a simple and very effective way to ensure that the dog will not contract Lyme disease.
Dog owners who do not want to get their pet vaccinated for Lyme disease can also avoid Lyme disease in dogs by simply being very watchful of their animals.
Check the dog for ticks every single time he comes in from the outdoors, or at least once per day. Remember, the tick must be attached to your dog for at least one day before she will get sick.
With canine Lyme disease, prevention is really at least half the battle. The other half is making sure to recognize any symptoms your dog may be displaying and taking him to the veterinarian as soon as you notice them.
Dogs really are mans (or womans) best friends, and spending just a few extra minutes per day to keep them healthy is a big part of that friendship.