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April is Lyme Disease Prevention Month and tick-transmitted diseases can wreak havoc on both pets and humans. According to PetMd, Lyme disease "is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is found in several varieties of ticks, but is mostly associated with the common deer tick."Lyme disease commonly occurs in three regions: the northeast and mid-Atlantic states (from Maine to Virginia), the midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan), and on the west coast (in northern California).
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed in older dogs, because it can mimic the symptoms of arthritis. Symptoms may include:
If your dog contracts Lyme disease, it is important to have him treated or it can cause permanent joint damage and ultimately kidney failure.
Lyme Disease Diagnosis
It is important if your dog becomes ill, that you give your veterinarian every clue on where you have been and what you have done that could affect your dog. Chances are your vet will conduct a complete blood profile, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis to check for any parasites, bacteria or fungi in his bloodstream.
Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotics.
There are ways to prevent your dog from getting Lyme Disease - some which may be realistic based on your lifestyle and some which may not.
Removing a tick from your dog:
Place the tick in a jar of alcohol, noting the date, in case of future illness. Tick identification and location of tick infestation will be important for your veterinarian.