Health Symptoms & Solutions Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs - Know The Facts

Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs – Know The Facts

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Having a dog is rewarding, they are generally loyal animals that enjoy your companion and require surprisingly little in return. That’s part of the delight in purchasing and caring for another entity.

However, periodically your dog will encounter illness, on occasion this illness will be serious enough to warrant a visitation to the vet. They will advise regarding the issue and which measures are substantial enough to deal with the incident.

One thing you do not want to hear is that your dog has the clinical signs of Lyme Disease.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a direct result of being infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria which is transmitted via a tick bite. Usually, these ticks enjoy the taste of voles, deer, or mice, but they will try cats, dogs, horses, and even humans when the situation presents an opportune moment.

Although there are many varieties of tick and tick borne diseases, only 4 are believed to carry the bacteria for Lyme disease, and one tick, in particular, is the most likely culprit. The black-legged tick, or deer tick, is the most common carrier of Lyme disease.

Once your beloved pet has contracted Lyme disease via a tick bite from an infected tick you should endeavor to seek veterinary assistance, they will perform blood tests to confirm the diagnosis and then converse with you regarding potential treatment options for Lyme disease in dogs. They will check their lymph nodes as well. The most commonly adopted approach is antibiotics and plenty of water. You should consider whether this is the opportune moment to acquire a travel water bowl that you’ve been considering!

If treatment for your dog is not obtained immediately the disease is likely to progress to their kidneys, potentially causing serious illness and even death. Cardiovascular issues and neurological damage habitually occur.

Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

Black Labrador lying on orange and gray bed. Part of the "Know Your Enemy: Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs" article.
Photo by Yuki Dog on Unsplash

All responsible pet owners should know the common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs. This will provide assistance to you in identifying when your dog is unwell and whether you should be taking it to the vet immediately or pause to reflect. If you suspect Lyme disease, do not delay, the quicker they see the vet, the better.

Here are the most common visible symptoms:

  • Fatigue – your dog will appear tired all the time. The more energetic the dog the more obvious this trait will be.
  • Diminished appetite – this should be easy to spot as you are accustomed to what they like to consume and at what speed. A lack of appetite is obvious and automatically a concern.
  • Fever – your dog will pant more even if it’s not a hot day, suggesting they are burning up and dehydrating. You’ll need a dedicated dog thermometer to assess their temperature accurately.
  • Joint swelling – this is usually most evident in their legs although it can happen anywhere on their body. Swelling constitutes the potential for pain and discomfort for your dog.
  • Lameness – this is likely to be connected with the joint swelling and will make it considerably more difficult for your dog to move around. It can be intermittent and recurring, alongside painful and even deliberating
  • There will be signs of discomfort and joint pain – this effectively hinders their usual movement and is likely to be visible when you know your dog well

Unfortunately, these symptoms are symptomatic of a variety of diseases, you will need professional help to confirm the diagnosis.

Preventative Steps

Instead of waiting to find out your dog has tested positive for Lyme disease you should take the following simple steps to prevent Lyme disease, the good news is you can adopt an approach to prevent this from happening.

Firstly and potentially surprisingly, you should be aware that ticks cannot jump or fly, they only crawl. In fact, they live at the tips of blades of tall grass and wait, sometimes for years, for an animal to brush against the grass, they will then latch on and crawl to a space where they can bite. That’s why tick control when you live in an area is essential. It’s irrelevant whether that’s the upper midwest, the west coast, or the deep south.

It is worth noting that a tick will bite and start to suck blood almost instantly but it can take 24 hours for the transfer of bacteria to occur. This is why it is essential that you check yourself and your dog for ticks after every walk. A good grooming brush and your hands will help you to identify any potential issues on your dog.

Tick Removal

If you find a tick it is essential to remove ticks quickly and carefully, you should do this with an approved tick removal tool and grip the tick as close to the skin as possible. You want to remove the entire tick, leaving a piece of it behind increases the risk of a life-threatening infection.

Perhaps the most effective tick preventive measure is to administer flea and tick treatment regularly. This is a chemical compound that sits in the fatty top layer of the dog’s skin when the tick bites it absorbs this compound which is toxic to ticks and fleas, the dying tick will drop off your dog.

Inspecting your dog after every walk or trip through wild grass will help to prevent ticks from passing on any disease. Of course, you should also consider the routes you usually walk, where possible avoid long grass. These ticks can live almost anywhere in the United States and can be active throughout the year, affecting dogs and humans.

There is a Lyme vaccination that your vet can administer to your dog but not one that humans can have, yet. (There is, apparently, a vaccine for humans under development). You will need to speak to your vet to decide if it is advisable for your dog.

If you would like to read about what injections a puppy would need and how often, click here. 


Preventing Lyme disease is generally simpler than treating the disease. That’s why you should instigate the simple steps listed above. Facilitating the protection of your favorite pet.

In fact, the majority of the process involves common sense and grooming. Effectively meaning that anyone has the ability to provide premium care for their dog.


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