Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that can affect not only humans but animals, so it’s essential to seek advice from a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has been infected. The veterinary team at Woodworth Animal Hospital in Waynesboro, VA, offer the best veterinary services in the Shenandoah Valley, and they say educating yourself about Lyme disease and its symptoms could be life-saving for your pet.
How Lyme Disease Is Transmitted
Many varieties of ticks carry Lyme disease, though the most common culprits are the deer, brown dog, American dog, and Rocky Mountain wood ticks. When a tick has been attached to an animal for more than 48 hours, that animal can contract the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease.
Transmitted only by ticks, Lyme disease cannot be transferred from animal to animal or animal to human. If you suspect your dog is infected, it’s important to visit your veterinarian to seek testing, diagnosis and treatment. Although Lyme disease is most prevalent in the Northeast, ticks carrying it can be found all over the United States, especially in heavily wooded areas.
Pet Care Practices for Treating Lyme Disease
After being infected with Lyme disease, an animal often won’t show symptoms for a few months. The initial signs of the illness include fever, lameness, lethargy, decreased appetite, and swollen joints and lymph nodes. If you think a tick has infected your pet, call your veterinarian immediately, even if Lyme disease symptoms aren’t apparent. A vet can diagnose Lyme disease by running a series of blood tests and analyzing the animal’s symptoms and medical history. If your dog has been infected, they will be treated with antibiotics.
To prevent the transmission of Lyme disease, veterinarians advise owners to treat their pets with flea and tick prevention. These preventatives can kill ticks that attach to your furry friend before they can transmit harmful bacteria. Veterinarians also recommend limiting time in wooded and grassy areas that are likely to be infested with ticks.
For more information about Lyme disease and ways to protect your pet, contact the caring animal health care team at Woodworth Animal Hospital in Waynesboro, VA. This friendly clinic offers a variety of veterinary services, including pet boarding. To schedule an appointment, call (540) 942-5163 or contact them online. Like them on Facebook to stay up to date with current news and incentives.