Lyme Disease in Dogs; Symptoms and Treatment

lyme disease in dogs

Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common diseases transmitted by ticks but only 5-10% of dogs actually show any symptoms. It is caused by a bacteria from a group known as Borrelia burgdorferi, which gives the alternative name of the disease: Borreliosis.

Dogs affected with Lyme disease show the usual symptoms of loss of appetite and depression. There can be more severe cases in which there is some damage to the kidneys, heart or nervous system.


The very first thing that the bacterium causes to the dog is the inflammation of the joints. This causes recurrent lameness. Sometimes, this lameness only last for three or four days but it comes back after a couple of weeks. Your dog could have one or more joints inflamed, which is painful.

Check for the following symptoms in case you suspect that your pet might be affected by Lyme disease:

  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Difficult breathing
  • Stiff or difficult walk with arched back
  • Mobility problems
  • Lameness
  • Lethargy
  • Polydipsia (increased water drinking) and polyuria (increased urine output)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever
  • Superficial nodes where the tick bit
  • Very rarely, there could be some heart abnormalities or nervous system complications.


If you have seen or noticed any of the above symptoms on your dog, you should take him to the veterinarian. It is important for you to provide as much background as possible since this will help your veterinarian important clues of which organs might be affected.

Your veterinarian will probably run a series of tests that include urinalysis, fecal examinations, blood chemical test, X-ray, a complete blood cell count, and a serology test, which is specific to determining Lyme disease in dogs. So, it is important that you provide your veterinarian as much information as possible.

The most common drug for the treatment of Lyme disease is Doxycycline. Expect to receive a four-week treatment from your vet. It could be more if the case is more severe.

Remember to visit us here in Dogalize if you want to know more about other dog diseases. It is important to keep a healthy dog so let us help you with that.