Ticks, fleas, and parasites are common among dogs. But what about Lyme disease? Can it be transmitted to dogs? Can dogs transmit it to people?
Lyme disease in dogs is often common as it’s transmitted through certain species of ticks. Dogs can get Lyme disease from the bite of a black-legged tick, which might transmit a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks don’t fly or jump, so they get into their new host through grass, short trees, or sand.
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs
Most dogs are asymptomatic, but some can show some symptoms such as:
- Lack of appetite
- Joint swell and pain
- Sensitivity to touch
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, call your vet asap for a check-up. He/she will run some blood tests to confirm Lyme disease or rule it out. If not treated, this disease can cause protein loss through urine, which can progress to kidney failure and can be fatal. Besides, heart health and the nervous system can also be affected by Lyme disease in dogs.
Can I get Lyme disease from my dog?
There is no scientific evidence that shows that Lyme disease can be transmitted from dogs to people or other pets. However, places where Lyme disease is common in dogs are also the same places where it is common in people. This is probably because our dogs go where we go, so if a tick bites our dog, it can bite us as well.
Is there a Lyme disease season?
Many people believe that Lyme disease is a summer infection because ticks tend to bite in warmer weather. However, that is a myth. The origin of this popular belief may be that during summertime, we spend more time outdoors, so the probability of catching the disease increases. But the truth is dogs and people can get Lyme disease in any month of the year and at any temperature.
What can I do to protect my dog?
Although not infallible, there are a few things you can do to help your dog from getting Lyme disease.
- Keep your grass short to avoid ticks gathering in its blades.
- Use tick control treatments. They are necessary all-year-round. Talk to your vet about the best products for your dog.
- Check your dog regularly. Scrutiny your dog for ticks at least twice a week, especially if you have spent time outdoors.
- Consult with your vet if your dog is eligible for the Lyme disease vaccine.