Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

Transmitted by the deer tick (often referred to as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick, Lyme disease is an infection of the tissues that often leads to lameness. Lyme disease is zoonotic and can be very serious for both people and pets. In general, symptoms in dogs are difficult to detect and may not appear until several months after infection. Also, symptoms may come and go and can mimic other health conditions. Cases vary from mild to severe with severe cases sometimes resulting in kidney failure and death.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

While a “bull’s eye” rash at the site of the tick bite is common with human Lyme disease infection, dogs have no such indicator. In fact, a dog infected with Lyme disease may show few if any signs, but some of the more common symptoms of this disease can include any of the following:

  • Spontaneous and shifting leg lameness that lasts 3–4 days, sometimes accompanied by loss of appetite and depression
  • Reluctance to move
  • Fatigue

Where is Lyme disease found?

Lyme disease has been found throughout the United States and Canada, but infections are most frequently diagnosed in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central states, as well as in California. Find out if Lyme disease is in your neighborhood.