Lyme Disease Symptoms in Dogs in Oak Park, IL
Did you know dogs can catch Lyme disease just like humans can? Dogs are prone to picking up ticks that carry Lyme disease, and unfortunately, many dogs come down with this disease every year in certain parts of the world. In the United States, Lyme disease is especially prominent in dogs, so it’s crucial to understand the symptoms and know how to recognize it if you think your dog has this illness.
In this article, we’ll show you the basics about Lyme disease and help you learn more about what it is. You’ll then find information about the symptoms and treatment options available to you and your dog moving forward in Oak Park, IL.
What is Lyme Disease for Dogs?
Lyme disease is a type of bacteria that travels from ticks to dogs. The type of Lyme disease dogs can contract is the same as the kind humans can get, but dogs and humans cannot spread Lyme disease to each other. However, if you and your dog were in the same place together when she contracted Lyme disease, you should be tested as well, as you both had the same exposure to infected ticks.
It takes at least 24 hours for a tick to give a dog Lyme disease. This means that the tick must latch onto your dog and then stay there for at least 24 hours before your dog can become infected. If you see a tick on your dog and immediately pull it off, then there’s little to no risk of your dog coming down with Lyme disease.
When an infected tick bites a dog, the tick releases the bacteria it’s carrying into the dog’s body. It travels through the bloodstream and infects organs and joints. Although each dog’s experience may be somewhat different with Lyme disease, they are all similar.
Dogs can pick up ticks that carry Lyme disease almost anywhere. They are most common in places with long, tall grasses or thick, wooded trees. Ticks generally linger in these areas and grab onto passing animals or people when the time is right.
When walking in the woods or anywhere in nature with your dog, always check your dog and yourself for ticks when you get back home. Ticks especially like to burrow under fur or hair and in joints, but they can be anywhere on your body or your dog’s.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs to Watch For
Below are some of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease for dogs in Oak Park, IL:
- Fever: Dogs with Lyme disease often run a fever for an extended period of time.
- Lack of energy: Dogs are often too sick to want to get up and do anything when they have Lyme disease.
- Loss of appetite: Some dogs will be unwilling or unable to eat very much when they’re sick with Lyme disease.
- Lameness or joint pain: Dogs with Lyme disease may sometimes be unable to walk or may have very stiff, painful joints when they do move around.
- Other pain and discomfort: A dog who is in pain most of the time may have Lyme disease.
Testing for Lyme Disease in Dogs
Unlike humans, who generally develop a tell-tale rash that makes it easy to diagnose Lyme disease, dogs don’t have this symptom. Instead, vets must test a dog’s blood to see if he/she has contracted Lyme disease. While testing, your vet will also likely ask you many lifestyle questions to determine your dog’s history and where they’ve been lately. This will help the vet narrow down the possibility and figure out whether or not Lyme disease is a potential risk for your dog based on their recent past.
The first test a vet will run is the C6 test, which checks for proteins called C6. These proteins show that a dog’s body is fighting Lyme disease and may even show up before the dog seems sick. The next test the vet will run is the Quant C6 test, which checks to see if your dog is in need of antibiotic treatment. The Quant C6 test will often be accompanied by a urine test.
Your vet in Oak Park, IL will be able to tell if your dog has Lyme disease based on these two tests and a urine sample. However, depending on the vet, more tests may be performed to check for other problems as well.
Treatment of Lyme Disease for Dogs in Oak Park, IL
The most common course of action in a dog that is infected with Lyme disease is a round of antibiotics. Your vet will likely want to aggressively attack the disease with antibiotics for up to 30 days. Because of this, your dog may also be given probiotics or other medications to help treat stomach upset related to long-term use of antibiotics.
If your dog is suffering from a certain symptom more than others, your vet may prescribe medication or care related to treating that symptom. For example, if your dog has a lot of joint pain, she may need pain relievers or joint care while she recovers from Lyme disease.
Some dogs may need longer-term treatment, as the infection may not clear up in just 30 days. Your vet will be able to help you monitor your dog’s symptoms and ensure she gets the perfect care to help her feel better again as soon as possible.
Make sure you’re keeping up with your dog’s tick protection in Oak Park so that you can try to avoid Lyme disease for your furry friend.
Keep an Eye Out for These Lyme Disease Symptoms for Dogs in Oak Park, IL
Understanding Lyme disease and learning how to recognize its symptoms in dogs is crucial, especially if you and your dog spend a lot of time outdoors together.
With this information, you can be more aware of what’s going on with your beloved pet and take her to the vet right away if you notice any of the warning signs of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is highly treatable when it’s caught in time, so don’t wait—take your dog to the vet immediately if you think there’s any chance she could be dealing with Lyme disease.