Our Pet Health Plan Terms are being updated, effective from 12th February 2024. Please click here for more information.

Ixodes-ricinusWe are excited to now offer the Merilym 3, the first and only Lyme disease vaccine in the UK and Ireland.

What 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, mooreland, rough pasture and urban parks, such as local Bushy Park and Richmond Park.

Lyme disease in dogs


Clinical signs include pyrexia (fever), lethargy, lameness and lymphadenopathy (disease of the lymph nodes). Occasionally a more serious clinical syndrome associated with Borrelia infection may present:

  • Progressive and fatal protein losing nephropathy (Lyme nephritis)
  • Cardiac abnormalities
  • Neurological disease

In more severe cases, Lyme disease can also affect humans. A bite from an infected tick can take between two days and four weeks to show and anyone who has been bitten should look for a "bulls eye" type red rash appearing around the bite.You may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as tiredness, headaches and muscle or joint pain.

Untreated in humans, Lyme disease can spread to the brain, heart, and joints and in extreme can cause nerve damage, paralysis and blindness.


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 is based on managing symptoms and antibiotics.


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. It is a two dose vaccination separated by a 3 week interval, from the age of 12 weeks, and is given on an annual basis.

Call us to book an appointment on 020 8977 3955 (Teddington), 01932 229 900 (Shepperton) or 0208 390 5270 (Surbiton).