Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

BLOG

LYME DISEASE IN DOGS

Posted by Under the Weather on

Ever see your dog unable to stand or walk, literally going limp under noodle-like legs? It could be your dog has Lyme disease and needs immediate attention. Recognizing the signs of this serious, but treatable, disease can help you take prompt action and minimize the damage it can cause.

Understanding Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. When the infection leads to disease, the lameness your dog experiences is due to the inflammation of his joints. He can also experience a lack of appetite and depression. More serious complications can include kidney damage and, in rare cases, heart or nervous system disease.

Lyme disease in humans was first discovered and named in 1975 in Lyme, Connecticut. The disease originates as an organism that is spread by ticks. Small mammals carry the bacteria, the ticks feed on the mammals, and humans and dogs contract the disease when they are bitten by the ticks.

Deer ticks are the most common source of the disease, but other ticks can pass it along too. Certain areas of the U.S. are most are plagued with the disease more than others. Human cases of Lyme disease collected by the Centers of Disease Control suggest that 85% of cases are from Eastern coastal states, 10% from the Midwest, 4% from Western states and 4% from the rest of the country. Most probably, the incidents of Lyme disease in dogs follow this same pattern.

Lyme disease in animals is most common in dogs, without bias to dog breed or sex. Hunting dogs and other outdoor dogs are most likely to be exposed to ticks carrying the disease. Puppies seem to have a higher risk. If you live in one of the high-risk areas of the country, you should talk to your veterinarian about getting a Lyme disease vaccination.

Signs of Lyme Disease

The most consistent sign of your dog having Lyme disease is lameness with swollen joints that are warm to the touch. The disease can also affect your dog’s heart, nervous system and kidneys. Other signs to watch for include:

  • Reluctance to get up and move from a laying position
  • Fever and/or swelling in one or more joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Being drowsy, dull or unenergetic
  • Recurring lameness in a joint after complete recovery

Treatment of Lyme Disease

If your dog is showing these any of these signs, especially if he has been exposed to many ticks, your dog needs to get to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will probably perform a blood test to confirm exposure to the disease, or possibly analyze some joint fluid to determine the cause of joint inflammation.

Treatment of Lyme disease will be on an individual basis, depending on the severity of your dog’s case. In the early stages of Lyme disease, treatment with antibiotics is usually successful in the first 24-48 hours. However, the antibiotics will likely be continued for 3-6 weeks.

Further Steps

There are many other medical problems that can lead to signs commonly encountered in Lyme disease, so it’s important to get a full analysis by your veterinarian. Some examples would be degenerative joint disease, arthritis, muscle or bone injury or systemic lupus.

There can also be recurring systems after your dog has been diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease. Ask your veterinarian for more information on this disease, or learn more at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

This blog is brought to you by Under the Weather®, provider of award-winning bland diet products for dogs. Our freeze-dried bland diets offer a quick and convenient solution when dogs experience digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Ready to go in minutes, just by adding boiling water to rehydrate. With a shelf life of three years, they’re great to keep in the cupboard for times when your dog develops digestive issues, such as with Lyme disease.

Under the Weather is also an avid participant in the pet overpopulation cause. A portion of every sale is channeled to the Ruffy Rescue Transport Fund which finances the transportation of pets from overpopulated kill shelters around the U.S.A. to Vermont for adoption. The fund also covers the cost of spaying and neutering these animals. Get to know more about Ruffy and the inspiration for our company.

View Our Products

Visit Our Blog Library

IS THAT FLEA DIRT ON FIDO?

You may hear the term “flea dirt” but not really be sure what it is, what it looks like, or how to tell the difference between flea dirt and just plain dirt. If that sounds familiar, know that you are joined by countless other dog owners. Let’s see if we can shed some light on the subject.What is [...]

Read More »


HONORING OUR FALLEN MILITARY DOGS

Memorial Day is a holiday to honor our fallen military soldiers, the brave men and women who gave their lives defending our country in armed services. It has also been referred to as Decorating Day, a day in which many families clean off and decorate the graves of their ancestors with flags or military remembrances.This year let’s not forget [...]

Read More »


CARING FOR YOUR PET AFTER SURGERY

Getting prepared for a surgery that will leave you temporarily immobilized? It’s hard enough to anticipate how you will care for yourself, especially if you live alone. But having a pet to look after may have you stressed out. Fear not! The following tips can help you navigate your pet care with ease as you recover.Secure a Walker. You might [...]

Read More »


IS YOUR DOG NOT EATING NORMALLY?

Most dogs will eat anything and everything which is probably why the term “chow hound” was created in the first place. But from time to time, you may notice him not eating like he normally would. This change in habit can be concerning, especially if he has been eating the same diet with enthusiasm. If you see that he [...]

Read More »


PUT YOUR DOG TO WORK SPREADING JOY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

When you walk in the door, doesn’t the sight of your dog lift your spirits? Absolutely! They don’t even have to try, they just have this uncanny ability to make people happy.Why not put that infectious gift to work during the stress-filled holiday season? Just by being himself, your dog can help ease tensions for many of us on [...]

Read More »


THE MAGIC OF MUTTS

National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, was started over 10 years ago by animal welfare advocate, Colleen Paige, to celebrate, embrace and save these special pups. It’s celebrated twice each year – July 31st and December 2nd – to raise awareness of the dilemma of unwanted mixed breeds in shelters.Mixed Breeds Need Loving HomesIf you [...]

Read More »


WHAT TO EXPECT AS YOUR DOG AGES

Even the most robust of canines will start to show signs of aging at some point. Being aware of the physical changes your dog may face will help you and your veterinarian navigate the path through the golden years. Here’s what you may encounter: Hearing issues. Loss of hearing occurs in older dogs as nerve cells and the hearing [...]

Read More »


WHY YOUR DOG MAY HATE HALLOWEEN

Halloween is a time for being fun, festive and creative. Who couldn’t love that atmosphere? Well, maybe your dog. If you find that your dog isn’t sharing your enthusiasm for Halloween, these are things that may be bothering him, right from the dog’s mouth:Doorbells. The doorbell rings. I do my duty by barking to let them know someone [...]

Read More »


FIVE CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE DOG ADOPTION

Adopting a dog is a serious commitment that involves the entire family. Whether it’s your first dog, or you are a long-time dog owner, there are things to think about ahead of time which will impact the success of transitioning your adopted dog into your family. It's important that the entire family is on the same page as far [...]

Read More »