Lyme Disease in Dogs: What to Watch for This Year
When the weather turns nice, we’re all itching to get outside with our dogs. Whether that means hiking, camping, or backyard barbeques, keeping our best friend safe from pests tops the list of dangers to watch out for during outdoor season. One such pest, the tick, can be particularly irritating.
Ticks can cause a host of illnesses, including Lyme disease. Lyme disease is one of the most insidious and complex diseases that veterinarians deal with on a regular basis. Let The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital give you the details of Lyme disease in dogs, so you’ll know what to watch for this summer and beyond.
Lyme Disease in Dogs 101
Lyme disease is a common, stubborn, and problematic tick-borne disease for dogs and humans alike. Transmitted by the deer tick (sometimes referred to as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick, Lyme disease in dogs is an infection that often leads to lameness.
When an infected tick bites your dog, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted to your dog’s bloodstream. Once infected, your dog may not show symptoms for several weeks or even months afterward, which is why Lyme disease in dogs is so frustrating to diagnose.
Signs and Symptoms
Unfortunately, symptoms of Lyme disease may come and go, and also mimic signs of other health conditions. And, many dogs exhibit no signs at all. Finally, while the “bull’s eye” rash at the site of the tick bite is a common and well-known sign of human Lyme disease infection, dogs show no such indicator.
Below are symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs:
- Shifting leg lameness that may be intermittent (come and go)
- Reluctance to move
- Sore, painful joints
- Loss of appetite or depression
Lyme disease in dogs results in mild to severe cases, with severe cases sometimes resulting in kidney failure and death.
If your dog has been in tick infested areas, and they are exhibiting these signs, it’s best to bring them in to see us as soon as possible.
Lyme Disease Prevention in Dogs
Because Lyme disease in dogs is transmitted after a tick has been attached for 50 or more hours, checking your dog for ticks and removing them daily is an important way to prevent the disease.
There is a vaccine for the prevention of Lyme disease. Talk to us about whether or not this might benefit your dog.
Other ideas for lyme disease prevention include:
Learn how to safely remove ticks
- Keep your dog out of tick infested areas (if possible)
- Use a monthly tick prevention product administered year-round
- Consider adding a tick prevention collar for when your dog does go into tick habitat
- Consider annual tick-borne disease screening
If we suspect your dog has come into contact with ticks and may be at risk, we’ll conduct tick-borne disease testing, which identifies the bacteria in blood and tissues. If infected, your dog will be treated with specific antibiotics and monitored closely.
By monitoring closely and using effective preventive measures, together we can prevent your dog from ever experiencing this troublesome disease. If you have any questions about Lyme disease in dogs or tick prevention, please don’t hesitate to call us.
We accept walk-ins during our Doctor’s Hours to meet your busy lifestyle. If you’d prefer to make an appointment, we offer those too!
News & Events
New Dog or Puppy? Time For Training!
Training is an important part of any dog's life! From providing mental stimulation to exercise and proper socialization, training will help in the development of a great canine companion! We are now enrolling for Basic Obedience Classes! Classes will be held at Elmhurst Animal Care Center (850 S. Riverside Dr. Elmhurst, IL.) Please call 630.530.1900 to register your pet or email: firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions you may have! The cost of the 6-week class is $120.
Meet Our Adoptable Animals!
We are currently fostering some great pets available for adoption! Visit our Featured Foster page HERE to view all animals available for adoption and make an appointment to meet them at our clinic by calling us at 630.665.1500!
Halloween Party & Adoption Event!
Join us on Sunday, October 21st from 11AM - 2PM for a Halloween Party & Adoption Event! Meet local rescues with pets available for adoption while you enjoy treats & raffles! Dress to impress, we'll be taking $5 pet photos that benefit our rescue partners and also host a pet costume contest at 12:30PM! Check out the Facebook event HERE.