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Lyme Disease in Pets

Lyme disease in pets is increasing across North Carolina. Here, our Asheville area vets shed some light on what symptoms you can look for if you're concerned that your pet may have Lyme disease.

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria called Borrelia, most commonly carried by deer ticks. Infection occurs when an uninfected animal is bitten by an infected deer tick (blacklegged tick). These ticks become infected when they feed on other infected animals such as deer, birds and mice. Lyme disease can be found in both dogs and cats.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

The most common symptoms of lyme disease in pets include general malaise or discomfort, and lameness caused by inflamed joints. Some pets also experience fever, breathing difficulties, depression, lack of appetite, and sensitivity to touch.

How can Lyme disease be diagnosed?

Lyme disease in pets is treatable. If you are concerned that your pet may be suffering from Lyme disease, see your vet.

Your veterinarian will take a complete history of your pet's health, then run a series of tests including blood tests, urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays in order to diagnose Lyme disease. Fluid from your pet's affected joints may also be drawn for testing.

What happens if my pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease?

Treatment for Lyme disease in pets will include four or more weeks of antibiotics, possibly combined with anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve joint pain. Pets diagnosed with Lyme disease typically do not require hospitalization.

To find out more about tick prevention medications for your pet, contact Animal Hospital of North Asheville today. 

Diagnosing Lyme disease in pets, Asheville Vet

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