What are the main symptoms of lyme disease in dogs?

What is Lyme disease in dogs?

Dogs contract Lyme disease when they walk near long grasses or thick bushes infested by ticks carrying the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.

What are the main symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs?

Dogs are often asymptomatic when they have Lyme disease. They can carry the disease for long without showing any clear symptoms. But here are some common signs associated with Lyme disease in pooches:

  • Lack of appetite and depression
  • Fever
  • Swollen joints
  • Generalized stiffness
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • General discomfort or malaise
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lameness due to inflated joints
  • Bruising or unexplained bleeding

How is Lyme disease in dogs diagnosed?

Your veterinarian will consider the signs and symptoms expressed by the dog, as well as their history and blood work.

Treatment options available for Lyme disease in dogs

A vet doctor usually combines medical therapy and supportive care to treat dogs with Lyme disease. Usually, a 4 to 6 weeks course of antibiotics are prescribed to treat dogs that show clinical signs of this disease, and those that show a high antibody level. Doxycycline is the most common antibiotics used to treat Lyme disease.

Can you catch Lyme disease from your dog?

Dog owners may get infected with Lyme disease, but not directly from their pooch. Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from dog to person or from one pet to another.

How can you prevent your dog from getting Lyme disease?

Here are some simple measures to help protect your dog from contracting Lyme disease:

  • Check your dog and yourself every day for ticks, especially after taking a long walk through a grassy terrain or the woods. Inspect your dog’s feet, especially their nose, between their toes, around eyes, ear, under their tail, and near their anus.
  • As soon as you find a tick on your dog’s body, remove them using a pair of tine tweezers. You can also consult your veterinarian if you’re unable to remove the ticks.
  • You can try veterinary-approved tick and flea preparations to prevent ticks from jumping on your dog. You can consult your veterinarian for the right option for your dog.
  • Get your dog vaccinated. This could protect your dog from getting Lyme disease. However, ensure you discuss with your vet to know the appropriate option for your dog.
  • Keep grass mowed to the lowest level and refrain from walking in grassy patches of an endemic tick region or area.
  • Remember Lyme disease can be more severe in humans than in dogs. So be sure to check your own skin properly after taking a long walk through the woods or areas with long grass or shrubs. Remove ticks immediately if you find one latched onto your skin. You may speak with your doctor to get advice on removing ticks. Lyme disease can cause a host of painful chronic symptoms in human.


Lyme disease is common in dogs and it transmitted via ticks carrying the pathogenic bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. This disease can cause lameness, kidney failure and lameness in your dogs. Although there are treatment options available to tackle the disease if it is not too severe, prevention is always the best way to keep your pooch from this disease.

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