Most people understand the real threat of Lyme disease, as this condition, carried by certain ticks, can have debilitating effects. VetStreet.com reports that Lyme disease can affect both people and canines and if infected, both can experience tiredness, fever, joint pain and loss of appetite.
Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorfen bacterium and is then transmitted to infected ticks. Only ticks of the ixodes species, known as deer ticks, can be carriers. The news outlet reports that an infected tick must be attached to its host animal for at least 50 hours to transmit the disease to the animal. Owners who hike or take long walks with their dogs on Flexi Retractable Leashes should be sure to thoroughly check themselves and their dogs for ticks after these outdoor jaunts to reduce the chances of getting the condition.
To be extra cautious, owners should always have their dogs on tick and flea preventative pet meds like Frontline to help repel ticks, fleas and mites. Outdoor cats can also develop the disease so using Frontline Top Spot Plus for Cats is also recommended. For extra protection while hiking, owners may want to put a tick preventative collar like Bio Spot on their dogs.
A troubling aspect of Lyme disease is that obvious symptoms can sometimes lay dormant until several months after a dog has been infected. Clinical signs that your dog may have the disease include lethargy, a fever, painful joints or eating less.
If you’ve noticed that your dog isn’t as playful as it used to be or that its joints still seem inflamed or sore even after starting it on daily joint enhancers like Glyco Flex III, you should bring it to the vet.
VetStreet.com reports that Lyme disease is typically diagnosed based on the medical history of the dog, when the symptoms started and through diagnostic testing. Some tests can identify the Borrelia burgorferi organism in the dog’s blood or tissue, while other tests measure the level of antibodies to help the vet determine what treatment plans should be started.
Antibiotics like Doxycycline typically work to clear up the disease if it’s caught early enough and some dogs can start to feel better just a few days after starting the medication. In most cases, a vet will recommend putting the dog on a 28 to 30 day program to ensure the disease is gone.