Lyme Disease, transmitted by a tick bite, can afflict canines and humans. I learned that my dachshund, Buddy, had Lyme disease during a routine visit to the veterinarian. Buddy had been lethargic and spent most of the day sleeping for a few months, but I attributed this to encroaching age. The vet diagnosed Lyme disease after an exam and blood test.
I had to make sure Buddy was up-to-date on his vaccinations in preparation to put him in a boarding facility while I went on vacation. When the veterinarian checked him, she noted that his temperature was a bit high, he had swollen glands in the neck and that he had some lameness in his back leg. After checking him over, the vet said that she did not want to give him vaccinations unnecessarily because his overall health condition was not good.
That he would not be healthy enough for routine vaccinations came as a shock to me, because I did not realize that his condition was that bad. The vet explained that vaccinations get processed through the liver and internal organs and she did not want to add unnecessary stress to his system. Fortunately, his rabies shot was up to date and the other vaccinations were not absolutely necessary at that point.
The vet took a blood test to check for heartworm.The heartworm test was negative, but the test was positive for Lyme disease. I recalled a tick that I had pulled a tick off of him earlier in the summer because it was a rare occurrence.
After diagnosing the Lyme disease, the vet prescribed an antibiotic to treat the condition. Buddy responded to the antibiotic treatment very rapidly. Within days he started to have more spunk and sass. Within a month his antibiotic treatment was completed and he was much better.
According to the Auburn School of Veterinary Medicine website, symptoms of Lyme disease in canines include lameness in the legs, fever, loss of appetite, lethargy and swollen joints. It may take a few months after the tick bite for symptoms to appear. Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause later problems, such as arthritis. The tick must stay on for 24 hours to transmit the disease, so you can help prevent infection by checking your dog for ticks and disposing of them.
Lyme disease is treatable if caught, so general symptoms such as fatigue, feeling warn to the touch and lameness should be reported to the vet. The antibiotic treatment for Buddy was relatively inexpensive and he now acts like he is feeling much better.
Auburn School of Veterinary Medicine
Explanation of Lyme Disease
Canine Heath Problems Symptomes and Treatments