Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs: recognizing the disease

A tick bite can transmit the infectious disease Lyme disease. It is essential to recognize Lyme disease symptoms in dogs early so that an infection does not take a severe course. However, the fact that the signs are unspecific makes the project more difficult.

The bite of a tick usually has no consequences for your four-legged friend, but the unwelcome parasites can also transmit pathogens such as Borrelia. These bacteria trigger borreliosis, also known as Lyme disease or Lyme disease. Unfortunately, there is no tick vaccination for dogs to protect against Lyme disease. In most cases, an infection with Borrelia is symptom-free. Because the animal disease can break out months after infection, you should be able to recognize Lyme disease symptoms in dogs at an early stage.

Identify acute symptoms

As in humans, Lyme disease in dogs is often initially symptom-free. The only characteristic is the so-called reddening – a circular, clearly defined reddening of the skin that forms like a ring around the tick bite and spreads more and more. Unfortunately, erythema does not occur with every infection with Borrelia and is also difficult to recognize in dogs due to their fur. Therefore, you should pay attention to various signs and, if in doubt, consult a veterinarian to clarify the causes of the symptoms. A warning sign is, for example, if the tick bite itself is very red and swollen – this indicates an infection.

Non-specific Lyme disease symptoms in dogs

Lyme disease symptoms in dogs, which only appear several months after being bitten by an infected tick, can be various inflammatory reactions: Pain in muscles and joints, fever, or swollen lymph nodes are often the result – but are rarely associated with the tick bite. The power and joint pain can mean that your dog no longer likes to exercise and looks listless, tired and worn out. Loss of appetite, general lack of drive, and listlessness can also occur.

Other possible late Lyme disease symptoms in dogs are heart problems, kidney diseases or even signs of paralysis in various parts of the body. This chronic form of Borrelia infection develops over time when the pathogens spread throughout the body and infect the brain or other organs. The symptoms often come in spurts and are not always equally pronounced. There may be symptom-free phases between the flare-ups.

The signs of Lyme disease are so unspecific that other causes cannot be ruled out. Therefore, you should consult a veterinarian if you notice the symptoms mentioned in your dog. In summary, the following signs indicate a possible Borrelia infection in dogs:
● Inflamed tick bite (possibly with erythema)
● Muscle and joint pain (recognizable by a reluctance to move and a lack of drive)
● fever
● Swollen lymph nodes
● A general feeling of illness (recognizable by loss of appetite and fatigue)
● Joint inflammation
● Signs of paralysis
● heart problems
● kidney problems

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