What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. A spirochete is a type of bacterium. It is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints. It was first thought that only a few types of ticks could transmit this disease, but now it appears that several common species may be involved. The most common type of tick to carry Lyme disease is the Deer Tick.
Can Lyme disease also affect people?
Yes, but people do not get it directly from dogs. They get it from being bitten by the same ticks that transmit it to dogs. Therefore, preventing exposure to ticks is important for you and your dog.
What are the clinical signs?
Many people with Lyme disease develop a characteristics "bull's-eye" rash at the site of the bite within the three to thirty days. For these people, the disease can be easily diagnosed at an early stage. However, symptoms of Lyme disease are more difficult to detect in animals than in people.
The characteristic rash does not develop in dogs or cats. Because other symptoms of the disease may be delayed or go unrecognized
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