Detecting Lyme Disease in Dogs

It is not always easy to tell when a dog, even your own dog, has Lyme disease. In fact, it’s practically impossible to tell. There are symptoms but they are either very small or inconsistent, hence the difficulty. For instance, in humans this infection produces a rash but in dogs this is not so. Vets do not always look for it unless you specify and many other illnesses or factors can produce some of the same symptoms which again adds another level of complication in detection.

Lyme disease is an infection that most commonly, in both humans and dogs, results from a tick bite. In dogs it may present as sudden but brief lameness lasting maybe three or four days, recurring at intervals of weeks or months. Fever, anorexia and lethargy may also occur which can be symptoms of other medical problems but if your dog presents with these then get it checked up immediately. Lyme disease is curable!

Diagnosis is most commonly done with a blood test but even then it is not a foolproof method. Get your dog checked up regularly as this can be an extremely debilitating disease if left unchecked. As with most things, prevention is the best cure so make sure you keep your dog tick free! Groom your dog regularly, wash with a gentle doggy shampoo and check for ticks everyday especially if you live in woody areas or if your dog is regularly exposed to high grass and bushes. Some medicines that your vet might prescribe include Advantix, Arthramine, Cosequin, Frontline and Heartgard but always make sure you talk to your vet before getting any drugs for the dog. And remember, a healthy happy dog is a healthy happy you!

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