Distinguishing Dog Arthritis Symptoms From Lyme Disease

With arthritis, dogs' symptoms can be very similar to those presented by Lyme disease. However, the two conditions have very different causes and it's important to get the right diagnosis from a vet.

What Are the Causes of Arthritis?

Arthritis is caused by a loss of cartilage in the affected joint. There are different types of arthritis, but all exhibit the same symptoms. Osteoarthritis is common in older dogs as their bodies cannot replace the missing cartilage fast enough anymore.

How Are Arthritis and Lyme Disease Different?

Lyme disease is the result of a tick bite. Infected ticks can pass a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi onto the dog they bite. The symptoms can progress quickly, and in a matter of days your dog might not be able to walk.

The first sign of a tick bite is a swelling in the affected limb. This limb can quickly become very painful for the dog to move and he may also have a fever.

Both arthritis and Lyme disease involve the swelling of the joints and painful movement. Lyme disease usually progresses much faster than arthritis, but if you think your dog may have either of these conditions it is important to see a vet immediately.