How do I know if my pet has Lyme disease?

Lyme disease in dogs is spreading throughout Western Carolina region. Here, our Flat Rock area vets shed some light on what symptoms you can look for if you're concerned that your pet may have Lyme disease.


What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. Lyme is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria called Borrelia, most commonly carried by deer ticks.

Infection occurs when an uninfected animal is bitten by an infected black-legged tick (deer tick). Ticks become infected when they feed on infected animals such as deer, mice, and birds.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

In pets, the most common symptoms of Lyme disease include general malaise or discomfort, and lameness due to inflamed joints. Pets may also experience depression, lack of appetite, sensitivity to touch, difficulty breathing and fever.

How can Lyme disease be diagnosed?

Make an appointment to see your vet if you think your pet may be suffering from Lyme disease.

To diagnose Lyme disease, your veterinarian will take a thorough history of your pet's health, then run a series of tests including blood tests, urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays. Fluid from your pet's affected joints may be drawn in order to be analyzed for signs of Lyme.

What happens if my pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease?

If your pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease, treatment will typically include four or more weeks of antibiotics combined with anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve pain. Hospitalization is not generally required for pets diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Fecal exams are used in the diagnosis of Lyme and other diseases. Contact our hospital if you are concerned your pet may have Lyme, or to schedule an appointment for preventive measures.

Lyme disease, Flat Rock Vet

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