A Cambridge Veterinarian Discusses Dog Lyme Disease

What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know About Line Disease in Dogs

As many pet owners are aware, Lyme disease has become one of the most common diseases that  dogs can contract. This Cambridge veterinarian will discuss the symptoms and treatments.

What Causes This Illness

As many of you know, Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs via ticks. Deer ticks and other ticks are able to transmit this bacteria when they bite an animal, especially a dog. The bacteria is called Borrelia burgdoferi. Where do ticks live? Ticks like tall grasses,  tree areas,  areas with deer,  grassy fields, wooded  moist areas.  If you walk your dog regularly in such areas, ticks are most likely present.

What Signs/Symptoms Should I Look For

There are many different ways this disease can be present in dogs. One the most common signs we see is a dog that is limping and painful to the touch, whether it be a leg or on the dog’s body.

In severe cases this bacteria can attack the kidney and cause kidney failure.  Some dogs have difficulty breathing, decreased appetite, a very high temperature, and even heart problems,  along with many other signs and symptoms. If you know that your dog has had a tick on it and is showing signs and symptoms of possible Lyme disease– call  your Cambridge veterinarian’s office as soon as possible.

How Is Lyme Disease Treated in Dogs

Once your veterinarian has examined your pet and diagnosed that he or she has Lyme disease,  the  treatment for uncomplicated Lyme disease is antibiotics  for 21 – 30 days. Two of the more common antibiotics this Cambridge veterinarian dispenses are doxycycline and amoxicillin.

Usually your pet will show improvement within 3 to 7 days of starting antibiotics.  If you dog develops more severe signs, those dogs need to be hospitalized and on intravenous medications especially if the kidneys are involved.  If you notice that your pet is not responding within five days you have to give your veterinarian a call immediately.

Prevention is the Best Way to Stop this Disease  Affecting Your Pet

After walking your dog especially in a wooded or grassy area we’re tics are commonly found, check his or her coat and skin for ticks,  especially around the face and front legs. There are many excellent products on the market to use on your pet to stop the tick causing Lyme disease. In addition, there is now an excellent Lyme vaccine for dogs.  Ask your Cambridge veterinarian, Bruce R Weiner VMD,  for a recommendation on tick prevention methods.





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