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How do I know if my pet has Lyme disease?

Posted Jul 30th, 2019 in Dogs, Cats, Conditions

One of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world is Lyme disease. Here, our Memphis vets explain what symptoms to look out for if you think your pet might have Lyme disease.


What is Lyme Disease?

Caused by bacteria called Borrelia, most commonly carried by deer ticks, Lyme is an infectious disease. The tick becomes infected by feeding on infected animals such as mice, birds and deer. Then the infection is spread when an uninfected animal is bitten by the infected tick. 

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

In pets, the most common symptoms of lyme disease include lameness due to inflamed joints, and general malaise or discomfort. Depression and a lack of appetite are also common symptoms of Lyme disease.

Other Lyme disease symptoms include difficulty breathing, fever and a sensitivity to touch.

How can Lyme disease be diagnosed?

Make an appointment to see your vet if you think your pet may have Lyme disease.

When you see your vet you will be asked for a thorough history of your pet's health, then your vet will run a combination of tests to diagnose Lyme disease, including blood tests, urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays. Fluid from your pet's affected joints may also be drawn in order to be analyzed.

What happens if my pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease?

Your pet will likely be treated on an outpatient basis if diagnosed with Lyme disease. Generally this means a course of antibiotics for at least four weeks. An anti-inflammatory (pain medication for dogs) may also be prescribed by your vet if your dog is especially uncomfortable.

Fecal exams are part of our annual Wellness Plans. Choose the Wellness Plan that's right for your pet.

Looking for a vet in Cordova and greater Memphis area?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

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