Borrellia burgdorferi, commonly known as lyme, is a bacterial spirochete.
Lyme disease symptoms can appear very generic. Lethargy, inappetence, generalized pain, swollen joints or lameness, weight loss, vomiting, increased urination and drinking. It can also cause chronic kidney disease.
As a bacterial infection, lyme disease can be addressed with antibiotics. In many cases however, the initial infection may recur and treatment needs to be repeated.
It is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick carrying lyme disease.
Lyme disease cases are escalating in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Click here to see the distribution of lyme disease in Southwestern Ontario.
The best way to prevent lyme disease is to reduce exposure to ticks. Our clinic recommends Advantix for flea and tick prevention. It is a topical product that is applied once a month.
No, dogs with lyme disease cannot pass it directly to another dog or human. Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick.
We recommend an annual 4DX test in the spring which screens for heartworm and three tickborne diseases, including lyme disease. We also recommend the 4DX test 6 weeks after any known tick bites. If your dog tests positive for lyme disease in the 4DX test, your veterinarian may recommend additional tests to investigate the severity of the infection.