The most frequently seen tick-transmitted disease in the world is Lyme disease. In today's blog, our vets in Knightdale discuss Lyme disease in pets including the symptoms you need to watch for and the treatment options available.
What is Lyme disease?
Deer ticks are responsible for carrying the bacteria borrella which causes the infectious Lyme disease, which is spread when ticks feed on infected animals such as mice, deer, and birds. The infection is then transmitted to other animals when they are bitten by the infected tick.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in pets?
In cats and dogs, the most common symptoms of Lyme disease could include malaise, general discomfort, lack of appetite, depression, and lameness caused by inflamed joints.
You also need to watch for any signs of fever, sensitivity to touch, and difficulty breathing.
How do vets diagnose Lyme disease?
If you suspect your pet has Lyme disease call your vet to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
At this appointment, your vet will ask you a handful of questions to get a better understanding of your animal companion's medical history then perform a range of tests including blood tests, a urine analysis, and a fecal exam. They might also draw fluid Fluid from your pet's affected joints, then analyzed it for signs of the disease.
What will happen if my pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease?
When cats and dogs are diagnosed with Lyme disease, they are generally treated on an outpatient basis. This will typically include at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your dog especially uncomfortable.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
Avoiding ticks as best as you can, will go a long way to controlling and preventing Lyme disease. Sprays, monthly products, and vaccines are available, however, most work best before your pet is exposed to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Your vet might recommend getting the appropriate boosters and vaccines if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should promptly remove any ticks you find on your pet to help keep Lyme and other diseases from spreading. Though animals can't directly infect people, our pets may bring infected ticks into the house, which may then attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.