Several questions need to be answered regarding Lyme disease in dogs. These questions include what neurological symptoms a dog will experience and how the disease affects them. You will also want to learn whether dogs can recover fully from the disease. Fortunately, there are some answers to these questions.
What are the neurological symptoms of Lyme disease?
The first and most important step to treat your dog for Lyme disease is to identify the source of infection. A veterinarian can diagnose the disease by performing a blood test. If the results come back positive, you will receive a prescription for antibiotics. A stool sample can also be taken to confirm the diagnosis. Lyme disease in dogs can cause a variety of different symptoms, including fever, joint pain, arthritis, and joint inflammation.
Neurological symptoms are caused when Lyme disease bacteria affect the nervous system. They may include numbness, weakness, confusion, and fatigue. Patients may also experience facial palsy or drooping. The CDC reports that approximately three out of every hundred patients develop neurological symptoms from Lyme disease. If treatment is not given in the early stages of the illness, the risk of permanent damage to the nervous system is much higher. Some patients will need eye drops or patches to avoid dry eye, and if the disease has spread to the central nervous system, medications such as oral antibiotics will be needed.
How does a dog act that has Lyme disease?
The first symptom of Lyme disease in dogs is loss of appetite, which may be accompanied by lethargy or shaking. This is a common symptom of the disease, but it should not be ignored. A dog may also experience decreased energy levels and sensitivity to touch. If these symptoms last for more than a few days, a trip to the vet is in order.
If you suspect that your dog has contracted Lyme disease, your first step is to see your veterinarian. You will need to explain the history of the tick bite and the symptoms your dog has experienced since then. This information will help your veterinarian determine whether your dog has Lyme disease and whether further diagnostic tests are needed. The vet will also be able to tell which organs in your dog may be affected.
Does Lyme disease cause permanent damage to dogs?
Lyme disease in dogs is not usually fatal, but it can be very uncomfortable and cause permanent damage. It is best to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your dog has been bitten by a tick. If the disease is not diagnosed in time, it can lead to serious and chronic conditions in dogs, including kidney failure, lack of appetite, and swelling of the extremities. If left untreated, the disease can even be fatal.
Dogs with Lyme disease may have a fever and joint swelling. They may also exhibit increased thirst and urination. These symptoms can occur up to two to five months after the tick bite. Even if the dog has no clinical signs, you can screen for the condition with a 4dx test. The vet may also order additional tests to determine whether your dog has Lyme disease.
Can dogs fully recover from Lyme disease?
When a dog contracts Lyme disease, the symptoms are often similar to the flu, with aches and pains all over. Affected dogs can also limp or have a high fever. Painful lameness can occur suddenly and may shift from leg to leg. The veterinarian will likely prescribe antibiotics to treat the disease, as well as pain medications. The prognosis for a full recovery is very good if treatment begins as early as possible.
The usual treatment for Lyme disease in dogs is a course of antibiotics, usually doxycycline, for four weeks. Your veterinarian may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling. While antibiotics will generally clear up the symptoms, some dogs may require longer-term treatment. Your veterinarian may also prescribe alternative medications, including opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Does Lyme disease shorten a dog’s life?
Although Lyme disease can be fatal in dogs, it is possible to treat it with antibiotics. Treatment can begin within one month after the tick bite. Most dogs recover completely within a month. Long-term infection with Borrelia can cause damage to the kidneys and liver, but in most cases, the symptoms of the disease are minor. Vaccination and anti-tick medications are essential for preventing the infection and treating it.
A full course of antibiotics should be given to a dog with Lyme disease. The bacteria that cause the disease are notoriously hard to eradicate, so stopping treatment too early can lead to reinfection. Ultimately, if left untreated, the infection can cause joint damage and arthritis.