Canine Lyme Disease Nephritis

Canine Lyme disease is a concern for any pet owner who lives in an area where his dog may be in the presence of ticks. Lyme disease, which occurs when a tick attaches itself to your pet and becomes lodged inside of his body without being removed, generally causes weakness and lameness in pets. It is a chronic condition that is frustrating and difficult to deal with, but which is not generally fatal or very serious. However, in rare occasions, Lyme disease can spread to the kidneys and transform into a specific type of disease, called canine Lyme disease nephritis. This condition is very serious.

Overview of Canine Lyme Disease Nephritis

Canine Lyme disease nephritis occurs when Lyme disease spreads to the kidneys of your dog and infects them. The result is similar to renal or kidney failure, and your pet will experience a loss of kidney function and power. As this happens, your pet's life is at great risk, and it's crucial that you have him treated by a doctor or veterinarian in order to remedy this issue promptly, or else he faces sure death.

Symptoms of Canine Lyme Disease Nephritis

Some of the symptoms of canine Lyme disease nephritis mimic those of canine renal failure. This can often make it difficult to distinguish between the two, so you'll need to have a very good sense of the types of symptoms that your dog has been experiencing, as well as the time line on which he's had those symptoms showing, in order to be able to tell your vet what's going on. The basic symptoms of canine Lyme disease nephritis include the following:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of weight
  • Refusal to eat
  • Vomiting regularly
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Increased water intake and urination frequency

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog and they persist for more than a couple of days, it's a good idea to take your pet to the veterinarian quickly for further examination.

Diagnosing and Treating Canine Lyme Disease Nephritis

The way that your veterinarian will determine whether the symptoms that your dog shows are based upon renal failure generally or Lyme disease in particular is by testing for the presence of Lyme disease antibodies. There are a few different blood and urine tests that your vet will run in order to check this. Additionally, he will likely order a renal function test to check on the status of your pet's kidneys.

There are a number of potential treatment options for Lyme disease nephritis. These include changes to diet and water intake, treatment with antihistamines and ACE inhibitors, transfusion of different vitamins and minerals through the blood and others. The exact treatment type will depend upon the severity of your pet's condition as well as any other underlying problems he may have with his health. Speak with your veterinarian for more information about how to best deal with your dog's canine Lyme disease nephritis.