Lyme disease is a bacterial illness transmitted to dogs, humans as well as other animals by an infected deer tick. Bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is carried inside a tick, is the cause of the disease. As soon as an infected tick bites a dog, the bacteria get into the bloodstream and start to spread the disease. Furthermore, the bacteria can travel to different parts of the body and cause problems in specific locations like joints, also overall illness.

Ticks with Lyme disease thrive in thick bush, tall grasses, marshes, and woods. They stay there for some time until they find a receptive host(s). It takes 24 to 48 hours for an infected tick that is attached to the host to transmit the disease. The disease is difficult to detect, and it can cause severe, chronic health problems in both dogs and humans.

Northeast, Upper Midwest, and the Pacific coast are more susceptible to this disease than any other part. People and their furry friends living in these areas should be vigilant when going into wooded areas, walking on the pack or simply playing on the lawn.

Furthermore, ticks do not fly or jump, they crawl onto the unsuspected host by waiting at the tips of the tall bushes or woods, and the dog brushes against the bush, the tick grabs on and then crawls to find a conducive part of the body to bite.

Lyme Disease Symptoms in Dogs

Lyme disease symptom is like other canine diseases; it makes it difficult to detect. Nonetheless, the common Lyme disease symptoms in dogs are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lameness
  • Swelling of joints
  • Fever
  • Reduced energy
  • General body pain, stiffness or discomfort

Unfortunately, symptoms can degenerate to kidney failure, severe cardiac and neurological effects, which can be dangerous to the health of the dog.

It is highly recommended to take your dog to the vet for blood tests to check if your dog is affected with Lyme disease.

Type of Lyme Disease Tests in Dogs

There are two types of tests: the antibody test and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test

Antibody Test

This type of test allows the vet to examine your dog if there are presences of specific antibodies that are formed in the dog’s body in reaction to the bacterium. If the test result is positive, it means your dog was exposed to the bacterium. However, the antibody test is not 100% accurate because dogs who are recently infected may not have a high level of antibodies available in their bloodstream enough to show up on the test. It may lead to false-negative test results for dogs who have Lyme disease.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test

This type of Lyme disease test is a specific DNA test that confirms the presence of the bacteria. Like the antibody test, the test result can give a false-negative test result because the bacteria may be present in the affected joint and not in the blood cells that are tested.

How to prevent Lyme disease

One of the effective ways to get rid of ticks or prevent them from invading your home is to hire a professional pest control operator. Have a local pest control operator to inspect your house, also to render professional advice on how to prevent ticks or other pesky pests from entering the house.