Lyme Disease in Dogs

Ixodes-ricinusWhat is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in Europe in both humans and pets, caused by bacteria of the Borrelia species. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks on hosts such as deer, sheep and hedgehogs. Habitats where ticks are likely to be found include heathland, moorland, rough pasture and urban parks, such as local Bushy Park and Richmond Park.

Lyme disease in dogs

Signs

Clinical signs include fever, lethargy, lameness and enlarged lymph nodes. Occasionally a more serious and potentially fatal clinical syndrome may present with kidney, heart and nerve diseases. Dogs often don’t present with the characteristic “bulls eye” skin lesion like humans.

Diagnosis

Definitive diagnosis can be challenging, and is based on a combination of history of tick exposure, clinical signs, appropriate testing and response to treatment.

Treatment

Treatment is based on managing symptoms and antibiotics.

Prevention

Lyme disease can be prevent by:

  • Avoiding areas where tick exposure is likely, particularly during periods of peak tick activity
  • the use of acaricides – products with an anti-feeding effect and rapid speed of kill are preferred
  • Removing ticks promptly if they are found on your dog
  • Brush off clothes and pet’s coats before heading indoors after your walk
  • Vaccination against Lyme disease

You can book your dog’s Lyme disease vaccination at Vet4life now. Two dose initial doses are given, separated by a 3 week interval, from the age of 12 weeks. Annual boosting of this vaccine is then recommended at 12 month intervals.

Call us to book an appointment on 020 8977 3955.