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The month of May is known as Lyme Disease Prevention Month. Lyme disease is nearly the most common tick-borne illness transmitted throughout the world but it only causes symptoms in 5 to 10 percent of affected dogs. In this post we will talk about what Lyme disease, how it’s transmitted and what you, as a pet owner can do to prevent it.
The bacteria responsible for Lyme disease in dogs, is transmitted by the slow-feeding, hard-shelled deer tick. The infection usually occurs after the tick has been attached to the dog for two to three days.
Many dogs affected by Lyme disease have difficulty walking due to inflammation in their joints. Stiffness may last three to four days before it goes away, only to recur days to weeks after onset. When this occurs, it’s called “shifting-leg lameness.” One or more joints within a dog might be swollen, warm and painful.
Some dogs affected by Lyme disease will go on to develop kidney issues such as glomerulonephritis more commonly known as inflammation and dysfunction of the kidney’s glomeruli, or blood filters. When this occurs it may lead to kidney failure in dogs—be on the lookout for vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, an increased need to use the bathroom, excessive thirst and fluid buildup.
Sensitivity to touch
Swollen lymph nodes
If you suspect your dog has developed Lyme disease you’ll need to make an appointment with your veterinarian where you’ll be asked to provide a complete medical history concerning your dog. You’ll also be asked about symptoms that have been prevented as well as the place your dog might have been infected. The history you provide will give your veterinarian the necessary clues that will help with your dog’s diagnosis. He or she may do blood work, a fecal exam, x-rays and tests that are specific to diagnosing Lyme disease. Fluid from any affected joints should also be drawn for testing.
There are many causes for arthritis in dogs’ and Lyme disease might not be the diagnosis but it’s better to err on the side of caution. Arthritis may also be caused by trauma, joint disease or a disorder of the immune system.
If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease then he will be treated as an outpatient unless your veterinarian decides he’s not stable enough to return home. The drug Doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is prescribed when a dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease but other drugs are available and these are just as effective. Treatment usually lasts around four weeks but longer treatment may be required depending on the severity of the infection. While antibiotics might work in the short term they don’t always eliminate Lyme disease bacteria. It may go away only to return later and if it does, then kidney disease is always something to keep on the radar.
Inflammation of the joints should begin to disappear within three to five days but if there is no improvement then your dog might need another evaluation.
Always check your dog for ticks if you’ve been in the woods or near tall grass. If you can remove ticks from your dog, you’ll greatly reduce the possibility your dog will contract Lyme disease.
Today we would like to thank https://m.petmd.com for helping us with this post. Be sure to visit their website for more helpful tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy for life.
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