In recent years, the problem of Lyme disease has been highly publicized, enough so that you know to wear repellent and check your body after being in tick-rich woody areas. You may not know to worry about your dog, however. Although you probably remove any ticks that you find, you may not recognize the symptoms of Lyme disease. Fortunately, you can have your dog vaccinated for this condition as well as take other preventative methods.
If your dog contracts Lyme disease, you may notice a variety of symptoms, including a stiff walk. You dog may also arch their back, have respiratory issues, develop a fever, and even become depressed. You may also notice swollen lymph nodes near a bite area and a lack of appetite. These types of symptoms should trigger a visit to the vet for treatment. You vet will undoubtedly check your animal's kidneys because in severe cases, their function can be harmed.
Your dog can be treated for this disease, but it may never be completely gone from their systems. The vet will probably prescribe several medications, possibly including an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory. Treatment may last around a month, but your animal may experience repeated flares of the condition, and their kidneys are always at risk after infection. Preventing your dog from getting Lyme disease is the only safe course.
The best way to keep your pet safe from the ravages of Lyme disease is taking preventative steps. Some vets recommend the Lyme-disease vaccine for dogs, although it is only effective if your dog has never been exposed to the disease. However, getting your dog the vaccine is a safe step to take and may be effective. Side effects are few, and reviews are mixed, but this is a reasonable preventative method, especially for young dogs. Tick control is still cited as an important measure. You should use tick repellent on your pet and check them daily for ticks. If you cannot fully remove a tick yourself, take your pet to the vet to have the head pulled out.
Lyme disease can be a long-term debilitating condition for both humans and dogs. You do not need to keep your pet indoors, but you do need to take common-sense preventative steps to help your dog remain healthy. Also, you need to watch for the symptoms for Lyme disease in your pet. If your dog has trouble with movement and breathing, immediately take them to a veterinarian, such as one at Basking Ridge Animal Hospital.