How do I know if my pet has Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. Here, our Memphis vets shed some light on what symptoms you can look out for if you're concerned about your pet.


What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Borrelia, most commonly carried by deer ticks. Infection occurs when an animal is bitten by an infected tick. The tick itself becomes infected by feeding on infected mice, birds, deer, and other animals.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

The most common symptoms of lyme disease in pets include lameness due to inflamed joints, and general malaise or discomfort. Your pet may also experience depression and a lack of appetite.

Other symptoms associated with Lyme disease include a sensitivity to touch, difficulty breathing and fever.

How can Lyme disease be diagnosed?

If you think your pet may have Lyme disease, you should see your vet.

After you provide a thorough history of your pet's health, your vet will run a combination of tests including blood tests, urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays to diagnose Lyme disease. Your vet may also draw fluid from your pet's affected joints to be analyzed.

What happens if my pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease?

If your pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease, they will likely be treated on an outpatient basis. This means a course of antibiotics, usually for at least four weeks. Your vet may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory (pain medication for dogs) if your dog is especially uncomfortable.

Fecal exams are part of our annual Wellness Plans. Choose the Wellness Plan that's right for your pet.

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