Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme Disease Treatment for Dogs in Asbury Park, NJ

No one wants their dog to have Lyme disease, but the good news is that most cases are treatable. City by the Sea Veterinary in Ashbury Park, NJ is experienced in treating Lyme disease in dogs. Both animals and humans can have Lyme disease, but as pet owners, it’s our duty to keep our dogs safe and healthy. The early diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs is key. We all want our pets to live a happy and healthy life, and our veterinary clinic is here to help you do that. Learn more about Lyme disease in dogs and contact us to request an appointment.

How Is Lyme Disease Prevented?

It’s not comforting to understand that such a small insect can have so much control when it comes to Lyme disease. A vector is an organism that transports and delivers an infectious organism from one host to another. In this case, the vector of Lyme disease is the deer tick in the Northeastern United States. Female ticks lay about 2,000 eggs in the spring. The tick will transmit the disease to a new mammal host. However, this process requires a minimum of 48 hours, and if the tick can be removed within that time frame, the dog or human will not get Lyme disease. This gives us control in the fact that we can vaccinate our dogs against Lyme disease and take preventative measures such as checking them for ticks after being outdoors.

How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted?

Lyme disease bacteria live in deer, mice, and other small mammals. The bacteria replicate in the wildlife, although they do not become sick. A tick will feed on the infected wildlife and pick up the bacteria. The bacteria are then transmitted to another animal the next time they feed. If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, you don’t have to worry about catching it directly from them.  Lyme disease is caused by spirochete bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi.

How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?

You may have difficulty recognizing Lyme disease in your dogs, although there are some things you can look for. Common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include arthritis, which causes pain, sudden lameness, and sometimes swelling in one or more joints. Other signs include fever, dehydration, lack of appetite, inactivity, or swollen lymph nodes. A blood test can be used to confirm that your dog has Lyme disease. Our clinic runs this test in all dogs at their annual visits to detect exposure to Lyme disease and other vector-borne diseases, including heartworm, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma.

How Is Lyme Disease Treated?

Your dog may be treated with antibiotics. Treatment for Lyme disease in dogs may include follow-up care as determined by your veterinarian. Lyme disease in dogs is not contagious from one animal to another. If you have more than one pet with Lyme disease, it’s because they were both exposed to deer ticks outdoors. The symptoms of Lyme disease typically regress rapidly with antibiotics. The treatment will often last for four weeks.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Lyme Disease

Pets are more likely to get Lyme disease in certain areas and during specific times of the year. The last weeks of summer often see more cases of Lyme disease in dogs, but dogs are exposed to ticks all year. You should also avoid tick-infested areas with your dogs, especially during the spring when young ticks become most active. Ticks can be found in grassy, sandy, and wooded areas. Keep your dogs away from thick underbrush and stay on the trails. If you do visit a tick-infested area, follow the following steps:

  • Work with your veterinarian to ensure your pets are fully protected from tick exposure and consider vaccinating your pet
  • Practice proper tick prevention techniques such as checking for ticks on yourself and your dogs once indoors
  • Keep your lawn well maintained
  • Clear shrubbery next to your home
  • Use a reliable tick-preventive product
  • Avoid areas where ticks might be found

Your Puppy Needs a Lyme Disease Vaccine

A preventive Lyme disease vaccine for dogs is often the best course of action, but they aren’t right for every dog. If your veterinarian determines a vaccination is suitable for Lyme disease prevention in your dog, they’ll receive an initial vaccination followed by a booster in two to four weeks, followed by annual boosters. The goal of vaccination is to prevent infection in dogs before they’re exposed to Lyme disease. That means the vaccine is recommended for puppies who have not yet been exposed. The vaccine is also recommended for dogs who live in endemic areas such as New Jersey.

Lyme Disease Is Common in New Jersey

While there is no cure for Lyme disease in dogs, good tick control and vaccinating your pet for Lyme can prevent your dog from catching the disease. Lyme disease rates in New Jersey have been rising rapidly. Check out this website to learn more about heat mapping in your region. While there is no cure for Lyme disease in dogs, a vaccine can prevent your dog from catching the disease. If they already have Lyme disease, our veterinary staff can administer antibiotics to get them healthy and feeling better fast. City by the Sea Veterinary offers complete pet care services, including vaccines, pet microchipping, dentistry, surgery, and a whole lot more. Contact our office today to request an appointment.

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