Vet Tips
April 6, 2023

Lyme Disease Awareness and Prevention

April is Lyme disease prevention month! Know all the facts to keep your pet safe!

Dog walking in the woods

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is bacterial disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the deer tick, also called the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) 

When a tick attaches, it takes 24-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease. Ticks like to live in wooded areas, shady areas, and tall grasses and fields. Ticks can survive all year long, but thrive in the spring and fall months.

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Know the signs of Lyme disease: 

  • Shifting lameness
  • Limping
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite

Consequences of Lyme Disease

Though Lyme disease usually settles in the joints, it can set up camp in the kidneys as well. When this happens, it is known as Lyme nephritis. Lyme nephritis causes acute kidney failure that is oftentimes irreversible. This condition requires immediate hospitalization for aggressive treatment that includes IV fluids, antibiotics, and medication to aid in kidney function . While their condition may improve, it is unlikely to completely resolve. 

How To Prevent Lyme Disease

Prevention is key! It is best to keep all the pets in your home and reliable flea and tick protection year round. When coming in from the outdoors, do a thorough check of your dog! Ticks like to attach in warm, dark places such as in and around the ears, groin area, and under the front legs. For dogs who spend lots of time outdoors or who live in an area with lots of Lyme Disease, there is a yearly vaccine your dog can get. Talk to your veterinarian today!