10 Simple Questions Answered about Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme Disease in Dogs

Do you think Lyme Disease shortens a dog’s life? 

An exciting story about Max, a 12-year-old husky mix by the Eastern Shore Veterinary hospital that you can’t afford to miss reading! 

Max had few aches and pains with older age. He had difficulty getting out of his bed and walking around and merely completed his walks by limping on one of his front legs! 

After gathering details of all his symptoms from his owner, the hospital examined Max, and they found out that He had a slight fever and his wrist joint was swollen. 

The doctors decided to do an X-ray test to ensure there weren’t any fractures in his legs. The results showed only soft tissue swelling and no fractures at all. Much to one doctor’s horror, he realized and became suspicious that Max might have Lyme Disease because he displayed all the classic symptoms of the illness. 

Luckily in Dogs, unlike human beings, There’s only one blood test conducted to ensure the certainties about Lyme Disease. 

The Hospital tested Max, and he turned out to be Positive! The first case of Lyme Disease in Dogs at the Hospital. 

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Max was on a flea and tick preventative treatment, but unfortunately, he got exposed to a tick on a sunny day after starting his seasonal medication. 

Doctor Celeste Forgeron says that the good news for Max was that Lyme Disease in dogs is very treatable when detected very early and restricted to joints. 

Max was given antibiotic treatment and anti-inflammatory medications and was miraculously feeling better the next day even to show up and visited the doctors to tell them how much better he was feeling! 

Glad they were able to save Max! Hush… 

But the concerning situation here is many first-time dog owners do not know anything about the disease and often ignore the symptoms and pain their dogs are in. 

While they tend to act too late when the dogs cannot function properly, sadly, there can’t be anything done after a particular stage. 

Hence I’m writing a Blog Post on Lyme Disease in Dogs to educate young and first-time dog owners so they don’t have to lose their dogs to this disease! 

By reading this post, You’ll be able to get every answer in simple terms about Lyme Disease so you can act quickly and save your dog from this relentless disease. 

Shall we get started? 

What is Lyme Disease in Dogs? 

What is Lyme Disease in Dogs? 
When a tick bites a dog, Lyme Disease gets transmitted into the bloodstream.

The Disease then gets carried away to all the body parts and is likely to affect the kidney and joints the most. 

The Deer Tick is one of the most common ticks to carry Lyme Disease; they are also widely known as Black Legged Ticks. 

Deer Ticks are majorly found in Midwest and eastern United States and Canada, with the highest proportion in Ontario. 

But, You’ll be shocked to know… Your dog can test positive for Lyme Disease and not actually have it! 

It’s true… 

The Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary medicines claims that when your dog tests positive, it only means they’re optimistic about the antibodies and might not develop the illness. 

If the disease infects a dog, they get a fever and a terrible pain in one or more joints; they may also show the signs of sluggishness, and their lymph nodes will tend to swell. 

A more severe form of Lyme Disease in dogs affects their kidneys which is often fatal. 

The absolute good news for dog owners is that Lyme Disease is preventable, but you need to know the signs and symptoms that your dog shows at the earlier stages. 

What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs? 

What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs?
Lyme disease signs are more difficult to detect in animals than in humans.

The typical Lyme rash does not develop in dogs or cats; Lyme disease is unheard of in cats. 

The Affected dogs are described as if they’re walking on eggshells. 

But the Most Common Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs Are

But the Most Common Symptoms of Lyme Disease are
Once you’re clear of your dog’s symptoms in the first few stages, you can take them to a VET for diagnosis and confirm everything in the results. 
  1. Fever 
  2. Loss of Appetite 
  3. Swelling of joints 
  4. Reduction of energy 
  5. Lameness and tiredness 
  6. Generalized stiffness, discomfort, and pain. 
  7. Kidney failures (The last stage that can prove fatal) 
  8. Cardiac and neurological effects may also seem visible 

But you need to know the causes of Lyme disease spreading in the dog’s bloodstream; I’ll tell you that first before jumping to the main section. 

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What Are the Causes of Lyme Diseases in Dogs?

Apart from the deer tick, at least four more deadly ticks carry the disease. 
  1. Ixodes persulcatus 
  2. Ixodes ricinus 
  3. Ixodes scapularis 
  4. Ixodes pacificus 

These types of ticks are very tiny and extremely difficult to detect in your dog, and all the three stages of the ticks (Larva, Nymph, and Adult) carry Lyme Disease. 

It usually takes 24-48 hours for the tick to spread the Lyme bacteria into your dog’s bloodstream; sometimes, the effects occur much more rapidly. 

Why Is It Important to Treat Lyme Disease Before It Gets Too Late?

Why Is It Important to Treat Lyme Disease Before It Gets Too Late
Lyme Disease has become widespread in humans as well. The results have caused many pet owners to become concerned about Lyme Disease in Dogs. 

The tick-borne disease is quite severe, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a deadly one for your dogs. But dog owners need to be quite vigilant and responsible about taking proper precautions to prevent Lyme Disease in the first place. 

Treating Lyme Disease promptly is essential otherwise, its complications may lead to severe health problems in the heart, nervous systems, and kidneys. 

Dogs Who Are Not Given Proper Treatment and Attention on Time May Have the Following Conditions.

  1. Inflammation of the kidney and, in many cases, even kidney failures. 
  2. Arthritis pain 
  3. Heart function problems 
  4. Seizure disorders or even paralysis due to damage to the nervous system. 
If left untreated during their initial stage, many of these symptoms can be fatal to your dog. 

So the answer is pretty simple – If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme Disease, take them to the nearest VET as soon as possible. 

The cost of the treatment in dogs can vary due to the various factors involved, including the locality you live in. 

Pet insurance can help you recover these skyrocketed VET expenses; however, not all pet insurance protects against Lyme Disease in Dogs. 

So you also might need to talk with your insurance provider and your VET to discuss the cost factors. 

Also See:- Is Your Dog Limping? How Can You Help Them? Way Forward To Treating Them

How to Cure and Treat Lyme Disease in Dogs? 

How to Cure and Treat Lyme Disease in Dogs?
The Diagnosis and treatment may depend on the signs and history of the disease in your dogs. It’s made with the help of a combination of their history, physical symptoms, and diagnostics. 

Usually, dogs are taken through two blood tests called the ‘C6’ Test and ‘Quant C6 test.’ 

The tests detect antibodies against a protein known as C6. If the antibodies are present in the bloodstream, they notice an active Lyme infection. 

The C6 Antibodies are detected three to five weeks after a dog’s initial signs or symptoms. 

The next step will be the Quant C6 Test and urinalysis, which will help you determine if antibiotic treatment is necessary. 

There Can Be More Tests Conducted If Necessary, Such as 

  1. The Blood Chemistry test 
  2. A Complete report of the blood cell count 
  3. Urinalysis 
  4. Fecal tests 
  5. X-rays to detect specific Lyme disease 
  6. Fluid from the affected joints may be helpful during the diagnosis. 
If the diagnosis concludes with Lyme Disease, your dog will be treated as an outpatient unless their condition is unstable. 

Doxycycline is one of the antibiotic treatments prescribed for Lyme Disease, but various VETs can also recommend other antibiotics.

The treatment usually takes at least four weeks, and more extended medication may be necessary in some cases. 

Unfortunately, antibiotic treatment does not permanently eliminate the Lyme disease antibodies. Symptoms may come back later in the future and may develop into a severe condition if left untreated. 

So, Like they always say.. Prevention is better than cure. 
Your VET may also prescribe various flea and tick removal treatment options, including collars, topical solutions, and even tablets that kill and repel the ticks. 

If possible, keep your dog away from tick-infested environments; check out their coat and skin regularly. If you find any ticks hiding in the fur of your pets, then try to remove them with your hand, or else consider a tick removal treatment for them. 

However, a word of caution… Please don’t use these medicines without a VETs prescription; it may be hazardous. 

If you live in an area where ticks are common, consider taking a vaccine for your dog. However, not all dogs are eligible candidates for the vaccines. 

Consider having a word with your VET about the dog Lyme vaccination. 

Also See:- Keeping Dog’s Paws Free From Infection – Everything You Need To Know


The effects of Lyme Disease are powerful, and you need to make sure to keep an eye on every symptom of it that your dog may display.

Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases globally, but the signs and symptoms occur in only 5 to 10% of the affected dogs. Most of the dogs may have it but never show the symptoms. 

Regardless, conducting a regular health check-up on your dog is always a great option if you have missed checking the signs.

You need to discuss the treatment and the costs with your VET and the insurance provider to make sure you are funded. 

Do you think Lyme disease is avoidable? If you have a dog, then how do you keep a check on them to prevent it? Let us know in the comments below!

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