What is Lyme Disease and How Does it Affect Dogs?


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. It is transmitted to humans and animals, such as dogs, through the bite of infected ticks. Lyme disease is one of the most commonly reported vector-borne diseases in the United States, with over 30,000 cases reported annually.

The bacterium responsible for Lyme disease is primarily carried by the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick, which is commonly found in heavily wooded and grassy areas. Not every tick is infected with the bacterium, and there are regional differences in the prevalence of infected ticks. For example, Lyme disease is most common in the northeastern and upper midwestern United States.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to Lyme disease, and they can become infected with the bacterium when they are bitten by an infected tick. However, not every dog that is bitten by an infected tick will become sick. In fact, many dogs may not show any symptoms at all. Nonetheless, it is important for dog owners to take precautions to prevent Lyme disease and to seek treatment if their pet shows any signs of illness.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the world of Lyme disease, exploring the causes, symptoms, and treatments of this bacterial infection. We will also discuss preventative measures that can help protect you and your furry friends from the devastating effects of Lyme disease.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs:

The symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs can vary from mild to severe, and some dogs may not show any symptoms at all. Here are some common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs:

  • Fever
  • Lameness or limping
  • Stiffness or swollen joints
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Kidney problems

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment especially, when your dog has recently been bitten by a tick.

Preventing Lyme Disease in Dogs:

Preventing Lyme disease in dogs is crucial to their overall health and wellbeing. Here are some tips to help prevent Lyme disease in dogs:

  • Tick Prevention: The best way to prevent Lyme disease in dogs is to prevent tick bites. Use tick preventatives recommended by your veterinarian, such as topical treatments, collars, or oral medications. It is also important to regularly check your dog for ticks, especially after spending time in wooded or grassy areas.
  • Vaccination: There is a Lyme disease vaccine available for dogs. Talk to your veterinarian about whether your dog should be vaccinated against Lyme disease.
  • Landscaping: Keeping your yard well-maintained can help reduce the tick population. Keep grass and weeds short, and remove any brush or debris where ticks may hide.
  • Clothing: Dress your dog in light-colored clothing so that ticks are more visible. Avoid walking your dog through tall grass or wooded areas.
  • Regular Check-ups: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help detect Lyme disease early, before it becomes more severe. Make sure to keep up with your dog's annual exams and discuss any concerns you may have with your veterinarian.

Lyme disease is a serious illness that can affect dogs. It is important to take steps to prevent Lyme disease in dogs, such as using tick preventatives, vaccination, landscaping, clothing, and regular check-ups. If you suspect that your dog may have Lyme disease, seek veterinary care immediately. With proper prevention and early detection, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

For your vaccination needs, use YepiPet, our free pet management App. With Yepipet, you can track all your pet’s habits, which makes it easier for you to track their vaccination schedules. Also all your pet’s recorded medical data, vaccination and observations can be easily shared with other YepiPet users and even people who don’t use YepiPet yet by automatically creating your pet’s own medical record. Try it out now!