Lyme Disease: The More You Know, The Better

Lyme Disease is another illness all animal owners should be aware of. Let’s discuss who is the most at risk for getting it and why you need to be aware of Lyme Disease. You can also visit our website to learn more about disease prevention.

Domestic animals that are at most risk in getting Lyme Disease are dogs, cattle and horses. In reality, the animals that are at the highest risk are any that can get bit by a deer tick. This category includes humans, as well. This is considered a zoonotic disease – a disease transferred from animals to humans. This is an important reason for monitoring if your herd, show horse, or fur baby. You and your family won’t get Lyme from your dog or cattle, but if they can get it, that means that there is a carrier deer tick in your area. That brings up the concerns of what Lyme does to the body. Continue reading to find out more about the ins and outs of Lyme Disease.

What Does Lyme Disease Do to An Animal’s System?

Lyme Disease is typically diagnosed through its symptoms, so monitoring those in your animals is very important. There are some blood tests that can be done, but knowing the symptoms is your best bet. These symptoms include fever, lack of motivation to move, lack of appetite, lameness, joint stiffness/ pain, and joint swelling. Although these symptoms are unpleasant, there is a way to combat all of these and continue on. Before you decide to help your animal deal with these issues on your own, keep in mind that failure to treat Lyme can result in kidney failure down the line. Your animal’s kidneys are not the only part to be affected, as the cardiac and nervous system can both suffer damage that will last much longer than just a fever.

The best way to combat Lyme Disease is to be proactive in preventing it. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but it will save your wallet too.

Preventing the Disease

A simple tip to prevent your animal from getting a deer tick bite would be to regularly inspect them for any ticks that are still on their skin. The sooner those pesky ticks are found, the slimmer the chances are that your animal will catch Lyme. We specifically recommend checking less noticeable areas, such as feet/ hooves, around the eyes, on the underbelly, on the tail and around the anus. When you do your regular checks, make sure to remove the whole tick as soon as possible. Oftentimes, tick heads are accidentally left in the skin, which is the part you really need to get out. If you need help with this process, we recommend going to a vet and having them do it for you.

Speaking about your trusted vet, another way to prevent Lyme would be to ask your vet to check for ticks while performing any exam. Along with having your vet physically check for any tick bites, you can ask them about Lyme preventatives and how suitable a medication would be for your specific animal and your specific circumstance.

In general, ticks can carry all sorts of diseases, so another very good method to prevent any Lyme is to use tick and flea repellant regularly to ensure that you animal has very minimal contact with any carriers. For more about Lyme Disease in dogs specifically, visit this website for more information.

If the preventative measures you took do not do the trick and the animal in your care does get Lyme Disease, read the next section about how you can get the Lyme out of their system.

Lyme Disease Treatment in Dogs

Lyme treatment in dogs is fairly simple, depending on the severity of the case. Most likely, your veterinarian will recommend an antibiotic for 30 or so days. This is typically the initial treatment. If the disease is still present after taking all the antibiotic, then your vet may recommend some stronger medication to eradicate the harm. If you choose not to go the medication route, there are some therapies that focus more on getting rid of the symptoms like joint stiffness or swolleness. If that is more along the track that you would prefer to go, make sure your vet is aware so they can recommend the best solution for you and your dog.

Although your cattle and horses can get Lyme, there is not sufficient research at the moment to give a clear-cut answer on possible treatment for you equine and livestock folk. In the meantime,we are here to walk you through possible options. Give us a call!


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