Dog Lyme Disease – Ticking Away

Dog Lyme disease, the most common tick disease and is caused by bacteria from them. The ticks eat off of infected rodents and become carriers of the disease. The ticks can then bite dogs and transmit the disease to them. The deer tick is the most common transmitter of dog Lyme disease, although other ticks can carry the disease as well. The deer tick, also known as a black-legged tick, is very small and can bite dogs and people without them noticing.

Dogs that live primarily outdoors and spend time in the woods are prone to Lyme disease. Tick season occurs in the spring and early fall. Ticks can be found all throughout the United States but are most common in the northeast, Midwest and along the Pacific coast.

Lyme disease can be difficult to detect because many dogs do not exhibit symptoms. Lameness is the most common symptom, with other signs being fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss and joint pain.
In rare cases, the dog may develop kidney disease, which is characterized by vomiting, depression and increased thirst. Kidney disease is very serious and can lead to death. Seizures, changes in behavior and heart problems can also occur, but are rare.

The vet will make a diagnosis based on the results of various tests. The vet will look for symptoms and the results of an antibody test. X-rays and urine and blood tests may be performed to rule out any other causes. The vet may also take a sample of fluid in the joints.

The most common course of treatment is antibiotics for at least a two-week period. Although antibiotics will not make Lyme disease go away completely, they will make the symptoms virtually disappear. In the case of kidney disease, antibiotics will also be used in combination with other medications.

There are several ways dog owners can avoid ticks on their dog. There are flea and tick combination medications available, such as Frontline and Revolution that prevent ticks. They are topical medications that are applied to the dog’s skin monthly. There are many places to buy tick medicine, such as your vet or local pet store, such as Petco or Petsmart. You can even find it at discount retailers such as Target and Walmart. Look for bargains online at stores such as PetCareRX  and 1-800-PetMeds. You can often find discounts and free shipping.

You can also do a daily check of your dog’s coat. By using your hands or a brush, look for any ticks and remove them as quickly as possible before they bite and cause Lyme disease. It is also helpful to trim bushes and grass in your yard to keep ticks away.

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