The borreliosis, also named Lyme disease in dogs, is a tick-borne disease that is caused by the bacteria borrelia burgdoferi. It is a disease which affects both humans and animals, however it is not transmissible by dogs.
In humans, the Lyme borreliosis results in fever, fatigue, rash, frequent muscle or joint pain, and swollen glands. Dogs, horses and more rarely cats can only be affected by this pathology by frequent bites from infected ticks.
Borreliosis: causes and explanations
Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria
The tick infected with borrelia burgdorferi risk of infecting the dog if contact lasts at least 48 hours. During the bite, the bacteria enter the dog’s bloodstream. This bacterium is part of the spirochetes, responsible for many infections. It has a high pathogenic power.
This is why it is absolutely necessary to monitor your dog regularly to check that he does not have ticks on him.
Areas particularly at risk
Wood ticks are, as their name suggests, more located in the wooded areas. It is especially in spring and autumn, that is to say from May to October, that these small blood-sucking insects are most present.
It is therefore necessary to be particularly vigilant during walks in the woods during these periods.
Lyme disease in dogs: symptoms almost unnoticed
Symptoms that are difficult to recognize
Symptoms of Lyme disease can go completely unnoticed, making it all the more alert. This is because most infected dogs do not show symptoms when infected.
The problem is that the incubation period lasts between 2 and 5 months, which is very long. It is therefore dangerous, because it is better to treat the disease quickly.
The symptoms of the disease when it is well established are, on the other hand, quite visible. The acute disease manifests itself in the form of lameness. The dog starts to limp brutally. This can be extremely painful for some dogs. This pain is caused by the development of a arthritis which usually develops on the carpus or on the tarsus.
Some dogs are affected by polyarthritis, which is manifested by pain in several joints. This is extremely painful and disabling for the dog. This lameness can be accompanied by fever, fatigue, swollen glands, and sometimes vomiting. The dog appears to be in distress and extremely tired.
When Lyme disease is chronic, the dog limps less severely. However, the latter may have other symptoms. He can suffer from myopathy, heart or nervous problems, kidney problems, but also pain that is diffused throughout the body. It is therefore an extremely troublesome and disabling disease for the dog.
Curative treatment for borreliosis
Diagnosing Lyme disease in dogs can be an obstacle course. The diagnosis can be made based on the dog’s condition, its lifestyle, and whether it has been bitten by ticks or has ticks on it.
Examinations such as blood test in a veterinary laboratory, a urine collection or a puncture of the joints can be done in order to prove that the disease is installed. Because of the difficulty of this disease, it is important to prevent, treat and especially consult a veterinarian in case of doubt.
To avoid any risk of borreliosis developing, the best prevention is to check your dog’s skin after all walks, especially if the dog has been in the woods between spring and fall. If there is one or more ticks, they must be removed with a tick puller so that the animal does not have time to infect the dog. If ever you are unable to remove the tick, do not hesitate to contact a professional. Because if the tick’s head remains under the skin, the tick’s abdomen can reform and the mite can still suck the dog’s blood.
We can also vaccinate your dog from its twelfth week. Two injections should be given three weeks apart. This may be particularly relevant for dogs with high tick exposure such as hunting dogs or animals living near dense forest. Don’t forget the vaccination booster each year. External pest control products can be used such as tablets or pipettes, collar or spray, but they may be contraindicated with age. Therefore, take great care to use natural pest control with essential oils: lavender, lemon verbena and eucalyptus, Ceylon lemongrass, tea tree.
Fortunately for our dog friends, it is possible to treat the disease with the help of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. However, one must be careful and do not start the antibiotic treatment only if a diagnosis has been previously defined.
The anti-inflammatory as for them will allow to relieve pain in the joints. This helps the dog to better endure the pain. Even when the dog is treated and cared for, it remains a carrier of the bacteria for a few months. We must therefore be careful!
Consultation with the veterinarian
If you have any doubts about the presence of a tick on your dog’s skin, you can consult a veterinarian to confirm or not that it is this mite. If your dog is showing symptoms of Lyme disease, or a tick has stuck on it more than 48 h on your dog’s skin, it is absolutely necessary to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible to treat your dog and find a suitable treatment.
Lyme disease can seriously deteriorate your dog’s condition if it is not detected in time. It is therefore essential to consult a veterinarian in time.
It is therefore necessary to be vigilant when leaving in Forest trip with his dog. The tick can transmit the borrelia bacteria to humans. You must therefore pay attention to your dog as well as to yourself. Before the walk, make sure to wear long clothes and high shoes to protect yourself well. It is also necessary examine his dog at each ride. Zoomalia recommends the tick remover and natural antiparasitics in your first aid kit. For more details, it is necessary to seek advice from your veterinarian.
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