Ensuring your dog is free from diseases is one of your responsibilities as a dog owner. One of the diseases that should be a concern for you is lyme disease. This is one of the most prevalent diseases in dogs. If your dog is suffering from lameness, lethargy, fever, joint swelling or paralysis, these could be signs that your dog is infected.
The following are the steps on how to treat lyme disease in dogs:
- Understand what causes lyme disease in dogs. This step is very important. This will help you detect if your dog acquired this disease. Dogs acquire this disease through a tick’s bite. The process of acquiring this disease takes up to 48 hours. This means that if you are able to remove the tick within 48 hours, you can prevent the transmission of the disease.
- Schedule a check-up with a vet. If you believe that your dog has lyme disease, you should schedule a check-up as soon as possible. Detecting the disease at an early stage may prevent your dog from experiencing pain. Remember that if the disease reached its crucial stage, your dog might experience paralysis. This disease can also attack your dog’s limbs, especially when untreated. If your dog is already on the progressive stages of the disease, hospitalization may be required.
- Ask the vet to do a diagnostic test. To confirm lyme disease, the vet will perform a diagnostic test. The vet may perform an antibody test. Antibody test, aims to detect the existence of antibodies in your dog’s body. Exposure to the spirochete causes the presence of the antibodies. Polymerase chain reaction or PCR test is also another test that your vet might perform. However, be reminded that a false negative result may occur in this test. If the vet found a negative result, it is best to get a second opinion to confirm the result of the first test. The PCR test is more specific than the first one. It is also more sensitive. For best results, it is advisable to use the affected joint fluid as the sample for testing.
- Give your dog proper treatment. After confirming the disease, the next step is to administer proper treatment. The most common treatment for lyme disease is antibiotics. The vet will most probably prescribe doxycycline. Other antibiotics include ampicillin and amoxicillin. Some dog owners rely on natural remedies to treat lyme disease. Pellets of Ledum are the most common. Ledum prevents further infections.
- Know how to prevent the disease. Another way to handle lyme disease is to prevent it. The best way to do this is to protect your dog from tick bites. However, if you live outdoors, you can prevent tick bites through repellents. You can also prevent the disease by grooming your dog regularly. If you found a tick, remove it using tweezers. Make sure to kill the tick by crushing it. You may also use an alcohol to kill it. Remember not to kill the tick using your fingers. You might acquire the disease. You may also have your dog injected with anti-lyme vaccine.
These are the steps on how to treat lyme disease in dogs. These steps will help you cure your dog’s illness. Just be careful when giving your dog antibiotics. Make sure you follow your vet’s instruction. This will prevent further complications.