by Brittany Carames
Description: Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, it is carried to many parts of the body. It is especially likely to localize in joints. Some dogs are affected with Lyme disease for well over a year before they finally show symptoms. By this time, the disease may be quite widespread in the body.
Causes/Transmission: It was first thought that only a few types of ticks could transmit the disease but now it appears that several common species may be involved.
Clinical Signs: Many dogs affected with Lyme disease present with generalized pain (often referred to walking on egg shells) and loss of appetite. Often, these cases also have high fevers. Painful lameness also appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If left untreated, these symptoms may eventually disappear only to recur weeks or months later.
Diagnostic Testing: Several tests can be used to determine Lyme disease infection:
- Idexx SNAP 3
- Idexx SNAP 4
- Needle aspiration of enlarged joint fluid
- Biopsy of enlarged lymph node
Can Humans Get It?: YES; however, humans do not get Lyme disease directly from dogs. Humans contract Lyme disease from being bitten by the same ticks that transmit to dogs. Preventing exposure to ticks is important!!!!