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How do I recognize Lyme disease in a dog?

Recognizing Lyme disease in dogs: symptoms, behavior and when to seek a veterinarian?

Lyme disease is a common tick-borne disease of dogs caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Understanding the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs is essential for early treatment and managing the disease. See what you should know to recognize canine Lyme disease and when it's time to consult a veterinarian.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs:

1. Limping: One of the main symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs is limping, which can seemingly move from one leg to the other. The limping can be mild to severe and can last for several days or weeks. It is often accompanied by joint pain and swelling.

2. Fever: Dogs with Lyme disease may have a fever that is often accompanied by lethargy and inappetence. Monitoring the dog's temperature with a rectal thermometer can help detect fever (normal range: 37.5 to 39°C).

3. Joint pain and swelling: Lyme disease can cause inflammation of the joints, which leads to pain, swelling, and dislike of movement or exercise. You may notice that your dog favors certain limbs or exhibits stiffness, especially after resting.

4. Reduced activity: Dogs with Lyme disease may be less active than usual. They may seem reluctant to participate in activities they used to enjoy, such as walking or fetching.

5. Enlargement of lymph nodes: Dogs with Lyme disease may have enlarged lymph nodes, especially near the site of the tick bite. Regularly palpate your dog's lymph nodes and check for abnormal swelling.

Behavioral changes in dogs with Lyme disease:

In addition to physical symptoms, dogs with Lyme disease may exhibit behavioral changes:

1. Restlessness: Some dogs may become restless or agitated due to discomfort caused by joint pain.

2. Irritability: They may react negatively when handled or touched in the affected areas.


When to visit the vet:

If you suspect that your dog may have Lyme disease, or if he shows any of the above symptoms, you must consult a veterinarian immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the disease from worsening and alleviate your dog's discomfort. Additionally, if you live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent, or if your dog spends time in wooded or grassy areas where ticks are abundant, regular tick checks and preventative measures are essential.

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