How do I know if my pet has Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is one of the most commons tick-transmitted diseases in the world. Here, our vets in Simi Valley share some information with you about Lyme disease in your pet, including it's symptoms, what it actually is and the treatment options you have when facing Lyme disease in your pet.

What is Lyme disease?

The bacteria borrella is carried by deer ticks and causes infectious Lyme disease, which is transmitted when ticks feed on infected animals such as deer, birds and mice. This infection is then passed to other animals when the infected tick bites them. 

What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?

In our furry family members, common symptoms of Lyme disease can include anything from a general malaise and discomfort to a lack of appetite, lameness caused by inflamed joints, or depression.

Also beware of any fever, difficulty breathing or sensitivity to touch.

How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?

Schedule an appointment with your vet if you suspect your pet may have Lyme disease. 

During the appointment, your vet will ask a number of questions to gain a detailed understanding of your pet's medical history, then complete a battery of tests including urine analysis, fecal exam, x-rays and blood tests. Fluid may also be drawn from your pet's affected joints, then analyzed for signs of the disease. 

What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?

Pets are usually treated on an outpatient basis when diagnosed with Lyme disease. This will most often involve a month-long course of antibiotics. Your veterinarian may also prescribe pain medication if your pet is especially uncomfortable too.

How can I prevent Lyme disease?

The best way to control and prevent Lyme disease is by avoiding ticks altogether. Monthly products, sprays and vaccines are all available too, however, they work best before your pets are exposed to the bacteria causing Lyme disease. 

Your vet may recommend 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 dog to help prevent Lyme and other diseases spreading. Though dogs will not 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.

Do you suspect your pet has Lyme disease? Our vets are experienced in diagnosing and treating many common illnesses and conditions. Book an appointment at Park Animal Hospital today.