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What is Dog Lyme Diease?

Update Time:2023/4/13

What is Dog Lyme Diease?

Lyme disease is a clinical disease caused by the tiny spirochetes (Treponema burgdorferi), which is mainly transmitted by ticks. There are many types of spirochetes, but Treponema burgdorferi seems to be the only spiral-shaped bacteria that can infect small mammals, especially mice. Ticks will stay on these mammals or enter the body and infect the bacteria to their predators.

The carrier of the spirochetes is the hard-shelled pictogram tick. In the United States, the scapularis tick (deer tick) is mainly found in the Northeast and Midwest, while the western blackleg tick is mainly found on the Pacific coast. Deer ticks are the most common type of tick that transmits this disease, although other ticks can also transmit the disease.

Understanding the life cycle of ticks can help you better understand the spread of Lyme disease. The life cycle of a tick includes:

1. Egg stage

2. Larval stage (tick larva has only 6 legs)

3. Nymph stage (tick nymphs have 8 legs)

4. Adult stage

Treatment of Lyme Disease in Dogs

The treatment of Lyme disease must be based on the severity of the condition and other individual factors, and your veterinarian must also give a recommended plan. If your dog has a positive result but does not show relevant clinical symptoms, then it is likely that no treatment is needed. In this case, it is important to take your dog to the veterinarian for follow-up on a regular basis to ensure that the situation does not get worse. If Lyme disease affects other organ systems, such as the heart or kidneys, additional treatment is needed.

The use of prescription antibiotics is a common treatment method that usually improves clinical symptoms within 24-48 hours. This is believed to be due to the reduction of bacterial load, not due to the elimination of bacteria, because antibodies can last for a long time. Under normal circumstances, within 3 days after the start of antibiotic treatment, or 14-21 days (recommended time ranging from 2-4 weeks), tetracycline (usually avoided in developing dogs), doxycycline, rice Norocycline, cephalexin, amoxicillin or ampicillin and other drugs. In addition, an injectable antibiotic called Kangweining can also be used. But generally speaking, doxycycline is superior to other antibiotics.

After treatment, the dog's clinical symptoms should be monitored, and the protein in the urine should be checked regularly.

Most dogs with Lyme disease respond well after taking antibiotics. In more severe cases or in the case of Lyme nephritis, the treatment will be more radical, and the clinical results are usually poor, even fatal. Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers have a higher risk of Lyme disease. In an investigation of Lyme disease, 49 dogs were euthanized because they were too severely infected 1-8 weeks after diagnosis. Dogs with Lyme disease usually need to use: antihypertensive drugs, platelet inhibitors, gastroprotective agents, anti-nausea drugs and fluid therapy.

Follow-up care of Lyme disease dogs

The best treatment is to combine home care with professional veterinary care. Follow-up is crucial and may include the following:

1. Strictly follow the instructions of the veterinarian to give the dog medicine.

2. Closely observe your dog's general activity level, appetite status and living conditions.

3. Schedule review regularly.

4. Check the dog's blood samples from time to time to monitor the effect of treatment.

Of course, the specific follow-up action depends on the severity of the dog’s disease, response to treatment, and veterinarian’s recommendations. Finally, if you encounter any problems, be sure to contact your veterinarian in time.


The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to minimize tick exposure or tick attachment to your dog. It is recommended to prevent ticks once a month throughout the year, especially in endemic areas. This can be treated with topical or oral preventive medications, or a tick prevention collar, but it needs to be worn at all times just in case. It is very important to check the environment in time after touching a place where ticks may be present. They are usually attached between the toes, around the face, around the mouth and ears of the dog. In other words, they can be distributed anywhere on the dog's body.

It should be noted that you also need to look for ticks on your own body, because ticks can be brought to the home with pets, and then attach to people and spread diseases.

If you live in a high-risk area of Lyme disease, please discuss vaccination with your veterinarian.