Lyme disease in dogs: the underestimated danger
Lyme disease is an infectious disease. It is transmitted by ticks and is quite common in dogs. If it is not diagnosed in time, the disease can take a severe course with permanent damage.
For this reason, it is important that you detect a possible infection in good time and have it treated. You should also try to minimise the risk of infection with the right measures.
What is important and what you can do to protect your dog yourself is explained in this article.
How the dog becomes infected with Lyme disease
Ticks can also transmit other diseases such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis. At least in Germany, however, the risk of Lyme disease is particularly high. On average, more than 30 percent of all local ticks carry Lyme disease bacteria in their bodies.
If your dog is bitten by a tick infected with Borrelia, the bacteria migrate from the intestines of the tick into the salivary gland and from there into the body of the fur nose.
They then spread further through the blood and reach the joints, as well as the nervous system and organs.
Symptoms and possible course of the disease
First signs of an infection with Lyme disease can be a swelling of the bite as well as a spreading redness around the tick bite. However, these symptoms do not always occur. In addition, they are difficult to recognise through the coat.
As the disease progresses, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fever may occur, usually months later. If not treated, an infection with Lyme disease can even lead to paralysis and problems with the heart and kidneys.
Treatment of Lyme disease
In general, the symptoms are very unspecific and sometimes occur months later. This makes it difficult to diagnose the dog's disease.
In order to cure Lyme disease in dogs, it is important to start therapy as early as possible. The sooner the infection is detected, the higher the probability for a successful cure.
If you notice any symptoms in your dog, we recommend that you see a vet immediately. The veterinarian can carry out a quick test to test the dog for Borrelia.
If the initial suspicion is confirmed, the animal will be given antibiotics for approximately three to four weeks.
As a rule, this leads to a rapid improvement. However, if the disease has progressed further or is only gradual, the therapy may not be successful. In these cases chronic complaints can be the result.
Preventing an infection
The combination of unspecific, late-onset symptoms and the possible severe course of the disease makes Lyme disease a serious threat to the health of your dog. For this reason, you should do everything you can to avoid infection. Of course, it is out of the question not to go for walks in nature.
However, you should check your dog thoroughly for ticks after every run. If he has been bitten, it is important to remove the tick immediately and completely. The sooner the better. It usually takes at least 16 hours after the bite until the Borrelia are transferred to the dog. By acting quickly, you reduce the risk of infection significantly.
Besides the prompt removal of the small parasites, a vaccination against Borrelia can also be advisable.
Further possibilities for prevention
In addition, we recommend that you use tick protection. There are various products available, but they often contain chemical agents that can harm humans and animals.
It is therefore better to use a natural product such as Bellfor ZEComplete. This contains a high content of lauric acid (mainly thanks to the use of insect fat).
When applied, the dog's odour changes so that it repels ticks.
Bellfor ZEComplete thus offers effective protection against tick bites without endangering the health of your four-legged friend.