Your Dog Is Lethargic, Depressed, And Sore. Could He Have Lyme Disease?

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What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme Disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. It is caused by the bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to both dogs and humans through the bite of infected ticks. Lyme disease is fairly well known in humans, but many are not aware that it can be transmitted to dogs through a tick bite as well, with similar complications. In order to raise awareness, April has been designated as National Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs month by the Lyme Disease Foundation.

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What Are The Symptoms?

It is extremely important to monitor your dog very closely after a tick bite in order to look for possible symptoms of Lyme Disease. Possible symptoms of lyme disease in your dog include lameness in legs due to inflammation, loss of appetite, and depression. A serious complication is damage to the kidney, which may lead to serious kidney problems. There is treatment available for Lyme Disease, and the earlier it is discovered and diagnosed the better the chances of recovery will be.

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How Do I Prevent Lyme Disease?

  1. Frequent Tick Checks
    1. Every time after your dog goes outside, you should check him (and yourself!) thoroughly for ticks. Catching a tick bite early is the key to prevention.
  2. Remove Ticks 
    1. It is important to promptly remove ticks to avoid possible infection of Lyme Disease and other diseases. Find out how to safely and quickly remove a tick by reading this article.
  3. Flea And Tick Topical Applications
    1. It is important to discuss all of these options with your vet before choosing the right topical application for your dog. You can find a good option here.
  4. Lyme Disease Prevention Vaccine
    1. Some vet offices offer a vaccine that prevents your dog from contracting the disease, but it is not recommended for all dogs. Ask your vet if this is the right option for your dog.
  5. Avoid Tick Heavy Areas
    1. Thick brush, forest, and grass are typically where ticks like to hang out. Avoiding these areas with your dog will help limit their exposure to ticks and possible health concerns.

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It is important to act quickly if you notice a tick on your dog. The bacteria that carries Lyme Disease can be transmitted within 24 hours from the time a tick attaches itself to your dog. Remember that not every tick carries a disease, but every tick bite should be taken seriously.

How do you protect your dog from ticks?

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Alli B. was born and raised in the Great Lakes State. She is a proud dog mom to an adorable mutt named Rue, a three-legged pup named Tripp, and a crazy cat mom to two feisty felines, Louie and Pikachu. She spends her days exploring all that Michigan has to offer with her husband and their fur-babies.