Lyme Disease in Dogs: Understanding Transmission, Prevention, and Treatment

Lyme disease in dogs is a topic that needs our attention, especially if we love and care for our pets as much as we do! This blog post is aimed at explaining how Lyme disease affects dogs, the different ways it can be transmitted, and what we can do to prevent and treat this condition. If you’re looking for more detailed information or need to schedule an appointment for your dog, Birch Lake Animal Hospital in White Bear Lake, MN, is here for you. Give us a call at (651) 426-2246. Our team is ready to support your pet’s health and answer any questions you may have!

dog with lyme disease

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an illness caused by bacteria, which are spread by deer ticks. When a tick carrying these bacteria bites a dog, it can transmit the disease to that dog. Not all ticks carry this bacteria, fortunately, but in areas where Lyme disease is common, the risk is obviously higher. Dogs usually get bit during outdoor activities in grassy or wooded areas where these ticks live. It’s important to check your dog for ticks after spending time outside in these environments. Removing ticks within 24 to 48 hours is crucial to prevent the transmission of Lyme disease.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease to watch for include:

  • Lameness that shifts from one leg to another
  • Swollen joints
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice any of these signs, contact Birch Lake Animal Hospital right away. Diagnosing Lyme disease typically involves a physical examination, a review of your dog’s history, and specific blood tests to detect the presence of antibodies against the Lyme disease bacteria.

Treatment Options for Lyme Disease

If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, the primary treatment is antibiotics, usually given for at least four weeks. Along with antibiotics, your veterinarian might recommend pain relief for dogs experiencing discomfort from swollen joints. It’s essential to follow the treatment plan closely and complete the full course of antibiotics even if your dog starts to feel better sooner. This helps ensure the bacteria are fully eliminated and reduces the risk of complications.

Monitoring and Managing Lyme Disease

After treatment, it’s important to monitor your dog for any signs that the disease might be lingering or recurring. Follow-up appointments with Birch Lake Animal Hospital can help ensure your dog remains healthy and that any long-term effects of the disease are managed properly. Lifestyle adjustments, such as avoiding high-risk tick areas and continuing with preventive measures, are also important.

Preventing Lyme Disease in Dogs

Prevention is the best approach when it comes to Lyme disease in dogs. This includes using tick prevention products recommended by your veterinarian, keeping your yard tidy to reduce tick habitats, and checking your dog regularly for ticks. Vaccinations against Lyme disease are also available and might be recommended based on where you live and your dog’s lifestyle. If you’re unsure about the best preventive measures, give us a call at Birch Lake Animal Hospital. Our team can provide personalized advice tailored to your dog’s needs.

Lyme disease in dogs is a serious concern, but with the right knowledge and resources, it can be prevented and treated effectively. At Birch Lake Animal Hospital, we’re committed to providing the care and support your dog needs to stay healthy and happy. If you have concerns about Lyme disease or want to learn more about prevention and treatment options, please call us at (651) 426-2246

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About Birch Lake Animal Hospital


The staff at Birch Lake Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical care for our highly-valued patients and clients.