The most common disease ticks transmit is Lyme disease. Today out vets in Louisa talk about Lyme disease in pets, the symptoms you should keep an eye out for and the treatments available.
What is Lyme disease?
Deer ticks carry the bacteria borrella that causes Lyme disease, it transmits when ticks feed on infected animals including deer, birds, and mice. This infection spreads to other animals (and humans) when the infected tick bites them.
What symptoms of Lyme disease should I watch out for?
In cats and dogs, common symptoms of Lyme disease could include general discomfort, malaise, depression, lack of appetite, and lameness due to inflamed joints.
Also watch for fever, difficulty breathing, or sensitivity to touch.
How can my vet diagnose Lyme disease?
Visit your vet if you think your pet might have Lyme disease.
Throughout your visit, your veterinarian will ask various questions to get a detailed understanding of your pet's medical history, then they will conduct various tests including urine analysis, fecal exam, x-rays, and blood tests. Fluid might also be drawn from your pet's affected joints, then analyzed for any signs of the disease.
What happens if my pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease?
When pets are diagnosed with Lyme disease, they are generally treated on an outpatient basis. This usually involves at least a four-week course of antibiotics, though your vet might also prescribe pain medication if the disease has made your pet especially uncomfortable.
How can I prevent Lyme disease?
Avoiding ticks as much as possible can go a long way in controlling and preventing the disease. Sprays, monthly products, and vaccines are also available, although many work best before pets are exposed to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Your vet may suggest getting the appropriate boosters and vaccines if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common. You should quickly remove any ticks you find on your pet to help prevent Lyme and other diseases from spreading. Though dogs will not directly infect people, our pets may bring infected ticks into the house, which can then attach to another animal or person and transmit Lyme disease.