Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that can be passed on to animals and humans by certain tick species. Ticks carry Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterium that can get into a person’s or animal’s bloodstream if a tick bites them. The bacteria can travel to different areas in the body and cause illness once it enters the bloodstream. If you suspect that your pet may have Lyme disease, you should get him or her checked out by our vets as soon as possible. We offer treatment for Lyme disease here at Henderson Animal Hospital in Winnipeg.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
If your pet is suffering from Lyme disease, you may notice symptoms such as:
- Decrease in appetite
- Decrease in energy
- Joint swelling
- Discomfort, pain, and stiffness
If left untreated, this disease can lead to kidney failure, which can be life-threatening. Other serious complications are severe cardiac and neurological effects.
Our vets will perform two different blood tests to help diagnose Lyme disease called the C6 test and the Quant C6 test. If there are antibodies present in the C6 test, this means that your pet has an active Lyme infection. These antibodies can be detected up to three to five weeks following a tick bite and can even be found in the bloodstream prior to your pet showing any symptoms. The Quant C6 test will be done alongside a urinalysis to help determine if your pet may need antibiotics for treatment.
Treatment for Lyme disease consists of taking antibiotics for 30 days minimum. This normally clears up the symptoms quickly. However, there are some cases where the infection will persist, and your pet may need to continue taking antibiotics for a longer period. Treatment may also involve other therapies that are targeted at relieving certain symptoms.
The good news is that you cannot catch Lyme disease from your pet since animals are not a direct source of infection for humans. However, Lyme disease can be passed on from one pet to another. It is also possible that an infected tick can get into your home from your pet’s fur and then get onto you. If your pet has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, you and other pets you have in the home could be at risk if you have been in the same outdoor environment. It is a good idea to check with our veterinarians so that we can determine whether your other pets or family members should also get tested.
Contact our Animal Hospital for Preventative Care from Our Veterinarians in Winnipeg
We believe in preventative care and taking steps to prevent tick bites in the first place. Our veterinarians are dedicated to providing pets the care they need to live long and healthy lives. If you are looking for professional veterinary care for your pet in the Winnipeg area, give us a call here at Henderson Animal Hospital.