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How To Tell If My Pet Has Lyme Disease

How To Tell If My Pet Has Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the most common diseases contracted from ticks in the world. In this post, our  Rabun County vets share information about Lyme disease in pets: what to look out for and what to do to treat it.

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 four-legged friends, common symptoms of Lyme disease may include anything from general discomfort or malaise to depression, lack of appetite and lameness due to inflamed joints. 

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

How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?

You need to schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible if you think your pet has Lyme Disease.

During this appointment, your vet will ask you lots of questions regarding your pet's medical history, then complete testing such as bloodwork, urinalysis, fecal exams, and X-rays. Fluids may also be drawn from the joint affected to check for signs of disease.

What happens if my pet receives a Lyme disease diagnosis?

When diagnosed with Lyme disease, pets are usually treated on an outpatient basis. This will typically involve at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet may also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your dog especially uncomfortable. 

How can I prevent Lyme disease?

Avoiding ticks as much as possible will go a long way to controlling and preventing disease. Sprays, monthly products, and vaccines are available, although many work best before dogs are exposed to the bacteria that cause 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 from 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.

Are you worried your pet might have Lyme disease? Contact our Rabun County vets for diagnosis and treatment.

We Can't Wait To Meet You!

Rabun Animal Hospital is currently accepting new patients! Our wonderful veterinarians are dedicated to the health and happiness of Rabun County dogs, cats, and exotic pets. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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