Lyme Disease in Dogs: How to Spot, Diagnose and Treat It

by on 25/12/10 at 10:52 am

Of all of the dog diseases, lyme disease in dogs is perhaps one of the most common. It is usually the result of ticks on dogs. Ticks can be found in tall grasses during the warmer months, which is why many owners come home from a nice long hike or camping trip only to discover a little unwelcome passenger clinging to their dog’s skin: a tick.

Lyme disease in dogs can be hard for some dog owners to detect right away, but chances are that one of the following symptoms will soon follow within 24 to 72 hours after a tick has attached itself to your dog’s skin:

– Fever
– Lack of appetite
– Dehydration
– Swollen lymph nodes
– Laziness/fatigue

If lyme disease is left untreated for a substantial amount of time, dogs can even fall prey to horrible infections that can cause kidney failure and even death.

The fortunate thing is that most dog owners are familiar with how their dog normally behaves, and so they will notice a change in their dog’s behaviors and dogs health before this disease becomes fatal.

Diagnosing lyme disease in dogs usually begins with the veterinarian asking for some additional background information about where you life, where the dog has been recently, and if the dog has been on any tick prevention medications. If you happened to find the tick on your dog and remove it from its skin, make sure that you do bring the tick along to your veterinarian so that your veterinarian can see if it is a tick that can cause the disease (there are only four types of ticks that are known to transmit the disease).

TIP: When you remove the tick from your dog, place it in alcohol until you see your veterinarian.

If the vet suspects that your dog may have lyme disease, then he or she will order blood tests that will help determine whether or not your pet has the disease.

NOTE: If you have just recently noticed a change in your dog’s behavior and have removed the tick within the past 24 hours, it may be too soon for a blood test to accurately detect lyme disease in dogs.

If your dog has been diagnosed with lyme disease, then a round of antibiotics is often prescribed. The symptoms of lyme disease in dogs tend to dissipate quickly once medication is started, but you need to make sure that you continue to administer the antibiotics for as long as the vet prescribes, no matter how well your dog seems to be doing. Within a week or two, any and all traces of the disease should be gone.

To know more on lyme disease in dogsticks on dogs or other dog health related information you’re welcome to visit Nil’s blog at

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