Now that spring is here, and the temperatures are above freezing, tick bites from deer ticks are a concern not just for parents, but for pet owners. Because April is Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs Month, pet owners are encouraged to learn the symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs; and how to remove a tick.
Just like humans and cats, dogs can get tick-borne illnesses including Lyme Disease (Eastern Black-legged Tick) and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (American Dog Tick). Dogs with Lyme Disease will become lethargic and sick for months. Once The symptoms of Lyme in dogs may not appear for several weeks and can last for 2-5 months after the bite from a tick.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs include:
- High blood pressure
- Fast heart rate and rhythm (tachyarrhythmias)
- Weakness, especially in the hind limbs
- Partial loss of muscle movements (paresis)
- Complete loss of muscle movement (paralysis), commonly seen in advanced disease state
- Poor reflexes to complete loss of reflex
- Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
- Difficulty in eating
- Disorder of voice (dysphonia)
- Asphyxia due to respiratory muscle paralysis in severely affected animals
- Excessive drooling (sialosis)
- Megaesophagus (enlarged esophagus)
- Excessive dilatation of pupil in the eye (mydriasis)
Some dogs with Lyme Disease can develop kidney disease, which can be fatal. After seeing the symptoms of Lyme, it's best to take dogs to the vet for antibiotics.
To reduce the spread of deer ticks, and to keep out wildlife that marry carry ticks, it's recommended to install a dog fence around perimeters. Fencing for dogs protects domestic animals from wild animals and will reduce the amount of ticks in the yard.