Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs

It has been many years since multiple arthritis cases have been diagnosed in Connecticut in humans and later on in dogs. This case led to the discovery of the parasitic infection Lyme disease,

What Type or Illness is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. Like humans, dogs catch it from an infected tick. When a tick bites a dog the bacteria moves from the tick to the dog. In the wild, mice and white tail deer carry the bacteria, but experience no signs of illness. When the deer or mice are bitten by a tick, the bacteria are passed from the tick to the animal. In general, the disease is caught through a tick bites, not through dog to dog contact, or human to dog contact. A dog is not transmissive to other dogs in the house. When a tick bites an infected animal, it then extracts that bacteria and passes it on through a bit on another person or animal, such as a dog.

Lyme Disease in Pets

Lyme illness has an effect on pets in another way than it effects people. In humans it can be terribly major. In dogs, it's a mild minor problem. In most infected dogs, they show no indications of illness. If a tick is half fed and then falls off, it is possible for the tick to go and bite another dog or person and spread the illness.

Geographic Incidence

Lyme illness is primarily in the Northeastern United States, the Great Lakes and Eastern California. It is related to the size of the deer population.

Lyme Symptoms

Dogs show signs like limping and appetite loss. In most cases symptoms are tolerable for the patient. Most infected dogs are asymptomatic.

Lyme Disease Treatment

Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose with certainty. The issue is that since so many dogs are bitten and exposed, they have Lyme disease antibodies in the blood. This causes the dogs to test positive for the disease. Because of this, most Vets rely on a clinical diagnosis and a positive Lyme disease test. Dogs respond instantly to treatment. The typical treatment calls for antibiotics over 3 to 4 weeks.

Lyme Disease Prevention

Prevention starts with avoiding ticks if at all possible. If a tick jumps on a dog and bites and then is killed within 24 hours, the illness would not pass to the dog. If the tick is on the dog for over 24 hours, then the bacteria can be transmitted. Preventatives that repel or kill ticks can be effective as an approach for preventing the disease.

Cathy Doggins is the writer of multiple articles on dog health sites that specialize in canine wellness. When not writing about dogs, Cathy can be found caring for her 2 Labrador Retrievers and Jack Russell. When not playing with her pets, Cathy is a typical speaker on pets rights and volunteers at her local shelter.

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