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Understanding Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, which is a serious infection causing arthritis and lameness, can lead to a number of problems in dogs. If left untreated, it can cause heart, kidney, and neurological problems. In addition, the disease can be transmitted from a dog to a human if the dog bites a human after being bitten by an infected tick.


Prevalence of Lyme Disease

First recognized in Lyme, Connecticut, Lyme Disease remains a problem in all of the northeastern United States. Ixodes ticks, which are the ticks that carry Lyme Disease, are native to this region. Furthermore, the deer and deer mice on which they feed are found in abundance in this area. Nonetheless, Lyme Disease has occurred in other areas of the United States. The upper Mississippi River Valley, California, and some southern states also have problems with Lyme Disease. Similarly, a large number of cases of been documented in Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.


Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Symptoms of Lyme Disease are not the same in pets as they are in humans. Actually, the disease is more serious in pets. Despite this fact, Lyme Disease is a serious problem that affects not only dogs, by horses, cattle, and cats as well. Often, Lyme Disease can be causing harm to your pet without any outward symptoms. Unlike with humans, there are no skin rash or flu-like symptoms. There is also no cardiac arrhythmia or obvious nervous system diseases. Therefore, identifying Lyme Disease in your pet can be difficult. Nonetheless, it causes serious internal damage to your pet, namely harm to the kidney’s filtering system and the development of arthritis.


Of all of the domesticated animals affected by Lyme Disease, dogs seem to be the ones with the most problems. Often, they will experience a fever of between 103 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. They may also have swelling in the joints and general lethargy.


Treatment of Lyme Disease

A pet with Lyme Disease can be treated with either a penicillin or tetracycline-based antibiotic. Research has shown that both work equally as well. These antibiotics must be given for at least 14 days, though it is best to continue treatment for 30 days.

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