Lime disease is a serious condition that is most commonly spread by ticks. Today, our vets in Groton discuss some valuable information about Lyme disease in pets including the symptoms and treatment options available.
What is Lyme disease?
Deer ticks carry a bacteria called borrella which is responsible for causing Lyme disease. This disease is spread when ticks feed on infected animals including mice, deer and birds. The ticks then pass the infection on to other animals or people by biting them.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?
The common symptoms of Lyme disease in cats and dogs include general discomfort, malaise, depression, lack of appetite, and lameness due to inflamed joints.
You also have to watch for difficulty breathing, sensitivity to touch, or fever.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Call your vet as soon as possible to schedule an appointment if you believe your cat or dog has Lyme disease.
At your appointment, your vet will ask various questions to get a complete understanding of your pet's medical history, then conduct a range of tests including urine analysis, fecal exam, x-rays, and blood tests. They could also drain fluid from your cat or dog's affected joints, to have it analyzed for signs of the 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 pets are exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Your veterinarian might recommend getting the appropriate booster shots and vaccines if you reside in an area where Lyme disease is frequently found. You should quickly remove any ticks you see on your pet to help prevent the spread of Lyme or other diseases. Even though pets will not directly infect people, they can track infected ticks into your home, which could then attach to another person or animal and transmit Lyme disease.