According to data from Health Canada, incidences of Lyme disease are on the rise across Canada. Ontario is seeing one of the most significant increases in cases. Ticks spread Lyme disease, and your dog is vulnerable to infection, especially if it spends a lot of time outdoors. Here’s how to spot Lyme disease in dogs and what to do if you think your pet has it.
What is canine Lyme disease? Canine Lyme disease is a bacterial infection carried and spread by black-legged ticks. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart and nervous system. Humans can also get Lyme disease, but not directly from dogs. However, your dog may bring an infected tick into your house, which may bite and infect you. Symptoms of canine Lyme disease Symptoms manifest themselves differently from animal to animal. Some dogs may not show any signs at all. However, if you live in a wooded area that’s prone to ticks, look for the following symptoms in your pet:
Loss of appetite
Lameness, stiffness or discomfort
If you notice any of the above symptoms, immediately take your dog to a veterinarian. Detecting canine Lyme disease Your veterinarian clinic can diagnose Lyme disease in your pet with a simple blood test. A 4DX test will show if your dog has been exposed to the bacteria which causes Lyme disease, heartworm, Ehrlichia and anaplasia. Results are quick, and your veterinarian can make a prognosis right away. Canine Lyme disease treatment and prevention Canine Lyme disease is more easily treated if caught early. An antibiotic called doxycycline can cure most cases of canine Lyme disease in as many as four weeks. An effective way to prevent canine Lyme disease is to get your dog vaccinated and treat your pet with anti-flea and tick medications. Check your dog for ticks after walks in wooded or grassy areas. Check under the collar, between their toes and under their legs, elbows and tail. Immediately remove any ticks you find with tweezers. Other preventative measures include:
Avoiding wooded areas when walking your dog
Keeping the grass on your property mowed
Scheduling a check-up with your veterinarian to have your dog checked for ticks and other pests
Affordable preventative vet care in Toronto At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we can test your dog, cat or kitten for a host of diseases, ailments and infections. We also offer tick and flea preventive medications and vaccination services to keep your pet healthy and happy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your pet at our Toronto clinic.