“Two Paws Up Tuesday”
Last week we talked a little bit about ticks and the harm they can cause. Vets in the area are reporting a high number of cases being brought into the office. We are now going to go in depth about the consequences and affects of Lyme Disease in dogs. This will be a 2 part series. Today we will cover Symptoms and Types along with Causes. Next week we will cover Diagnosis, Treatment, Living and Management, and Prevention.
Lyme Borreliosis in Dogs
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world but only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. It is caused by a spirochete (bacteria) species of Borrelia burgdorferi group. When infection leads to disease in dogs, the dominant clinical feature is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression. More serious complications include damage to the kidneys, and rarely, heart or nervous system disease.
Kidney disease appears to be more prevalent in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Bernese Mountain dogs. Experimentally, young dogs appear to be more susceptible to Lyme disease than older dogs. Transmission of the disease has been reported in dogs throughout the United States and Europe, but most prevalent in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard, and the Pacific coastal states.
Symptoms and Types
Many dogs who develop Lyme disease have recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. Sometimes the lameness lasts for only three to four days but recurs days to weeks later, either in the same leg or in other legs. This is known as “shifting-leg lameness.” One or more joints may be swollen, warm, and painful.
Some dogs may also develop kidney problems. Lyme disease sometimes leads to glomerulonephritis-inflammation and accompanying dysfunction of the kidneys glomeruli (essentially, a blood filter). Eventually, kidney failure may set in as the dog begins to exhibit such signs as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination and thirst, and abnormal fluid build ups.
Other symptoms associated with Lyme disease include:
- Stiff walk with an arched back
- Seneitivity to touch
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever, lack of appetite, and depression
- Superficial lymph nodes close to the sire of the infecting tick bite may be swollen
- Heart abnormalities are reported, but rare
Nervous System complications (rare)
Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, is transmitted by slow-feeding, hard shelled deer ticks (Ixodes spp.). Infection typically occurs after the Borrelia-carrying tick has been attached to the dog for at least 2-3 days.
Information courtesy of: PetMD
Training Tip: Any dog can do agility. You may not win but it’s still a great activity for you and your dog!
Training Tip courtesy of: Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy dog trainer.
FUN FACT: In the TV show Lassie there were 6 different Rough Collies (AKA Long-Haired Collie, Collie, Scottish Collie, English Collie and Lassie Dog) who played the dog in the series from 1954-1971.
Use the link above to register for multiple training sessions. There’s a class for everyone whether you’re looking for Private Training, Service Dog training, Agility, Puppy Playhouse or Obidence. If you want it we’ve got it! Trilogy offers the best value where you can choose any combination of 3, 6 week sessions and you have a full year to use it. There are additional perks and benefits to becoming a member as well.
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