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How to treat Lyme disease in dogs

Lyme disease in dogs treat Lyme disease in dogs

How to treat Lyme disease in dogs. When clinical symptoms of Lyme disease develop in dogs, it can be difficult to distinguish it from viruses or other diseases, and may include:

 

  • Birthmark.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Swollen, painful joints (dogs may be reluctant to move).
  • Claudication - limp may be mild at first, then worsen, and may also spread from one leg to another.
  • coma.
  • Lymph nodes are swollen.

 

As if Lyme disease wasn't enough, some dogs with Lyme disease may have kidney problems. Symptoms of serious kidney problems include lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased thirst and urination (sometimes hypuria develops). Dogs with kidney failure can become very ill and may not respond to treatment.

 

Neurological diseases (behavioral changes, seizures) and heart complications, which sometimes appear in humans who develop Lyme disease, are rare in dogs.

 

Diagnosing Lyme disease in dogs

The prognosis for Lyme disease depends on a combination of factors, including history (exposure to ticks), clinical signs, finding of antibodies to B. burgdorferi, and rapid response to antibiotic treatment.

 

A positive antibody test is not enough to make a diagnosis on its own, as not all dogs, and antibodies can persist in the blood for a long time after exposure.

 

Other diagnostic tests, such as blood and urine tests, X-rays, and joint fluid sampling, may be done to check for signs of kidney disease and to rule out other conditions with similar signs and symptoms.

 

Treating Lyme disease in dogs

Antibiotic treatment usually results in rapid improvement in symptoms, although antibiotics are continued for a few weeks. Treatment may not completely eliminate the bacteria, but it does produce a condition in which there are no symptoms (similar to the condition in dogs without symptoms of infection).

 

How to prevent Lyme disease

Tick ​​control is extremely important for preventing Lyme disease (and many other diseases that can be transmitted by ticks). Check your dog daily for ticks and remove them as soon as possible, as the ticks must have been feeding for at least 12 hours (and possibly 24 to 48 hours) before transferring the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

 

This is especially important in the high season, and after your dog has spent time in the grass or tall grass (consider avoiding these areas in the hash season). Products that prevent hashtags can be used like monthly parasite protectors or retail collars, but be sure to follow your vet's advice when using these products.

 

Maintain a trimmed lawn and brush in your yard, and in areas where ticks are a serious problem, consider treating your yard for ticks.

 

Lyme disease vaccines

Lyme disease vaccination is a controversial topic and one that should be discussed in-depth with your veterinarian. Many specialists do not recommend routine vaccination because few dogs show symptoms of Lyme disease, and when Lyme disease occurs in dogs, it is usually easily treated.

 

Additionally, because arthritis and kidney problems associated with Lyme disease are at least partially related to the immune response to the bacteria (rather than the bacteria themselves), there is a concern that vaccination might contribute to problems.

 

The vaccination is also not 100% effective and is only beneficial to dogs who have not already been exposed to cold. However, vaccination prior to exposure can help prevent dogs from contracting Lyme disease as well as prevent them from becoming carriers of the bacteria.

 

When using vaccinations, it is usually recommended to start vaccinating dogs as a young puppy (approximately 12 weeks, with a booster after two to four weeks). The vaccine does not provide long-lasting immunity, so annual revaccination (ideally before tick season) is necessary.


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