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  • Lyme Disease

  • An infection caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium, Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick and can affect many species, including dogs and humans. Ticks of the Ixodes species (called deer ticks) are known to transmit Lyme disease when they attach to a host and feed. A tick can transmit the disease once it has been attached to the dog for 24 to 48 hours. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can travel to different parts of the body and cause problems in specific organs or locations, such as joints, as well as overall illness.

    Typical symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:

    • Fever
    • Loss of appetite
    • Reduced energy
    • Lameness (can be shifting, intermittent, and recurring)
    • Generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain
    • Swelling of joints

    Symptoms can progress to kidney failure, which can be fatal. Serious cardiac and neurological effects can also occur.

    Treatment includes administration of an antibiotic, usually for several weeks. This often will quickly resolve symptoms, but in some cases infection will persist and prolonged medication may be needed. Treatment can also include other therapies aimed at resolving or relieving specific symptoms.