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Lyme disease is one of the most prevalent tick transmitted dog diseases. Let us take a look at the symptoms of the disease and treatment options for dogs.
- Medication – Doxycycline is the go-to antibiotic for treating Lyme disease in both humans and pets. If your dog is allergic to Doxycycline, the other options include erthyromycin and amoxicillin. If your dog is not comfortable with the antibiotic treatment, then the vet will prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, like deracoxib or carprofen, to alleviate the discomfort.
What can you expect from the vet?
If your dog is diagnosed with an uncomplicated variant of Lyme disease, then the following steps are most likely what you can expect at the vet’s office:
- Depending on the test the vet employs to screen your dog for Lyme disease, a confirmatory test, like a Western blot or a C6 antibody test, might be necessary.
- Screening proteins in your dog’s urine is another method for confirming Lyme disease. Generally, dogs that exhibit symptoms of Lyme disease, like swollen lymph nodes, fever, swollen joints and leg lameness or protein in their urine must go through an antibiotic treatment.
- If your dog has protein in his urine, then he has to go through regular rechecks to see if his condition is showing any improvement.
What can you expect at home?
Home care for dogs that suffer from Lyme disease is quite straightforward. You need to administer an oral dose of doxycycline twice daily for a month. You will be able to see an improvement in your dog’s physical condition in 48 hours. If his physical symptoms show no signs of abating even after three days, then you need to take him to the vet.
What are the questions you need to ask your dog’s veterinarian?
If your dog has a positive result to the Lyme test but exhibits no symptoms of the disease or protein in his urine, then you need to ask the reason behind why your vet is recommending the treatment. Experts recommend against antibiotics in such circumstances as the immune system of the dog is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics fail to eliminate the infection.
However, dogs that end up contracting Lyme disease don’t develop a prolonged and protective immunity, and can easily get reinfected at a later date. Talk to the vet about how to prevent future infections. Your best bet is to go for flea preventatives and Lyme vaccination.
Are there any possible complications?
Some dogs can develop loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting under antibiotics. Once your dog is infected, he will always have the disease causing bacteria in his body. Relapses are likely and you must be on the lookout for unexplained fevers, lameness or swollen lymph nodes.