Lyme disease in dogs - Symptoms and treatment


ETIOLOGY: It is a disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burdogferi and transmitted by ticks of the genus Ixodes, described in dogs for the first time about ten years ago. The persistence of the bacteria in the body and the immune mechanisms for its elimination are responsible for the clinical signs, as well as factors specific to each individual. The pathogenesis of the disease is not fully known but in the chronic form it seems that the lesions are immunomediated.

FORECAST: Prognosis reserved in chronic cases and bad if there is a central nervous system condition. SYMPTOM: They are systemic such as anorexia, fever, depression, lameness and joint pain. There may be less frequent abdominal effusion and lymphadenopathy. There is also widespread muscle, joint pain and adinamia. It is frequent the presentation of intermittent chronic lameness and alternatively affecting various extre> TREATMENT: [Doxycycline], [amoxicillin] or [1st generation cephalosporins] is used. In cases of CNS involvement, administer ceftriaxone. Treat for 1 month. It is common to see improvement within a few days. NSAIDs are used for the control of inflammation and pain such as [AAS], [naproxen] or magnesium metamizole. Avoid if possible the administration of corticosteroids due to the risk of dissemination of Borrelias. Prevent the disease with the control of ticks and in case of infestation treat the dog as quickly as possible, since the possibility of infection increases after 48 hours of union between the tick and the dog.

What is Canine Borreliosis?

This disease, also known as Lyme disease, is caused by a bacterium, specifically a spirochete called Borrelia burdogferi, and transmitted by the ticks of the genus Ixodes. In dogs this disease has been known since 1984 and in Spain it was first diagnosed in 1992.

Canine Borreliosis causes several health problems But, in principle, if it is diagnosed early and adequate antibiotics are administered, the disease can be overcome. The clinical picture presented includes, as we have said several health problems, but mainly it is associated with arthritis, joint deformation, carditis, nephritis and fever.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs

Symptoms may take a few weeks or even months to appear. In this disease they occur very wide symptoms and there may be dogs that don't show them all. It may be that only an isolated symptom manifests itself, such as lameness as the most common symptom, several of them or most. These symptoms are:

    Recurring lameness deb>

Diagnosis of Canine Borreliosis in dogs

When we go to the veterinarian because one or more of the symptoms described above manifest in our dog, we must explain in maximum detail What do we observe that happens to our partner, what activities have been carried out recently whether or not they are a habit, possible previous health problems (especially if it is not the veterinarian who regularly attends to our dog), respond to anything that Ask us in the clearest and most sincere way, since any detail provides much information to the veterinarian.

In addition, along with all the information, the veterinarian will need to test the dog to rule out or confirm possible causes of the symptoms. Shall perform blood and urine tests as complete as possible.

If the veterinarian considers it appropriate, he will carry out other tests for his diagnosis, for example, he may be interested in extracting fluid from the inflamed joints to analyze it, do ultrasound and radiographs, among many other useful tests for the specialist and that, if we really want to help Our faithful friend, we will not hesitate to give permission for them to take place.

The prognosis of this disease is good if it is diagnosed and acted upon promptly, it is reserved if it is chronic cases and it is bad if the disease affects the heart, the central nervous system or the kidneys, provided it is not Treat on time in the case of the kidneys.

Treatment of Lyme disease in dogs

Treatment for Canine Borreliosis depend on the organs and body parts affected and how advanced the disease is. First of all antibiotics should be administered, and at home we must ensure that our friend makes few efforts and is always hot and dry.

Surely the antibiotic or antibiotics that our trusted veterinarian recommends us, will be accompanied by some pain medication, but we should never administer an analgesic medication to our dog on our own, it should always be prescribed by the specialist veterinarian, both the type and Dosage and administration time. The veterinarian should try to avoid the administration and prescription of corticosteroids, because in this case there is a risk of the spread of Borrelias (Borrelia burdogferi).

Normally, with antibiotics, an improvement in acute joint inflammation is observed within a few days. Even so, the general treatment should last at least one month. Although all this will depend on the severity of the disease.

Prevention against Lyme disease in dogs

The only prevention of Lyme disease in dogs is tick prevention. Therefore, it is vital that we remember to apply the appropriate antiparasitics to our dog with the temporary guidelines indicated by our trusted veterinarian and in the format that best suits our faithful friend, be they pipettes, collars, etc.

It is very important that, although we have up to date antiparasitic protection, every time we go to areas such as the countryside, gardens, parks, etc., where there may be ticks, at the end of the walk or excursion, let's check the whole body from our dog to make sure there are no ticks or other possible parasites on the skin of our furry partner.

In case we find any, we must extract it with the utmost care and ensuring that there is no part of the tick attached to the skin of our dog. To do this, we must inform ourselves as best as possible of how to do it with the minimum risks. Is fundamental that the ticks be removed the same dayWell, the longer they are in our pet, the more likely they are to be infected.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Lyme disease in dogs - Symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter our section on bacterial diseases.

Lyme disease in dogs

Lyme disease, also known as canine borreliosisIt is produced by a spirochete bacterium called Borrelia burdogferi and Ixodes type ticks spread it. The first case of a Lyme sick dog in Spain was diagnosed in the early 1990s, although the disease was already known for approximately 10 years.

If Lyme disease It is diagnosed in its initial stages, with antibiotic treatment there is usually no problem to overcome it. However, if it is allowed to pass it can be quite serious.

Symptoms of canine Lyme disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs, It may take weeks or even months after infection. There are a wide variety of symptoms, of which only lameness seems to occur in all or most sick dogs. It is an intermittent limp due to inflammation of the joints, it can occur on one or several legs at the same time and last a couple of days, disappear and return later. Apart from lameness, These symptoms may occur (or not) in a sick dog:

  • Joint deformation and canine arthritis.
  • Fever, apathy, lack of appetite.
  • Ride with the rigid body> (Photo via: pet animal)

If your dog has symptoms of Lyme disease, go to the vet as soon as possible. It is very important that you give as much information as possible, such as:

  • What symptoms do you have
  • When they appeared and how intense they are. Are they permanent or intermittent?
  • Strange behaviors you see in the dog
  • Possible changes in the routine: have you done something different lately?
  • Other diseases you have had before
  • Is your dog going through a different stage? Moving, changes in family members, new pets ...
  • Also, answer as much as possible to all the questions I can ask you.

The more information the veterinarian gets, the easier it will be to make the diagnosis. In addition, of course, you will perform tests on the animal, such as urine and blood tests, check your joints, ultrasound, x-rays ... everything you consider appropriate.

What is the severity of Lyme disease? The prognosis is good if detected early, reserved if it is a chronic and serious case if the heart has already been affected, the kidneys or the central nervous system for not being treated in time.

Treatment of Lyme disease in dogs

The treatment it will depend a little on the severity of the situation and the affected body parts. It will start with taking antibiotics and trying to keep the animal calm and do not make efforts. Usually, Complementing antibiotics, an analgesic is usually prescribed.

A few days of treatment begins to see improvement and inflammation of the joints, but depending on the severity of each case, the treatment may last more or less. In general, it is usually at least one month.

Remember that you should never medicate your pet on your own and you must follow the exact instructions of your veterinarian, not only as to what medications to give, but also paying attention to the dosage and the periodicity of the shots.

How to prevent your dog from having Lyme disease

The only way to prevent Lyme disease in dogs is keep them out of reach of ticks. Always remember to deworm your dog when it touches him, without an antiparasitic treatment he is completely exposed to lots of complications!

Even if you carry all antiparasitic applications to work, If you go to the countryside, it is advisable to check your dog carefully when returning, in case I could have taken ticks or any other bug. If you find any, remove it immediately!

If you keep your dog protected from parasites, you will be greatly reducing the risk of getting diseases. Always look for the health of your little one!