Lyme Disease: Dogs' Prognosis

Lyme disease dogs were first noticed in the mid 1950's, however Lyme disease has been a problem amongst many animals, documented as early as the late 1800's.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a primarily tick-transmitted disease, found most often in the common deer tick. The tick transports a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is capable of attacking many of the body's systematic organs. A tick must stay connected to its host for about 48 hours before the disease has been transmitted. However, only about 10% of dogs bitten by an infected tick will contract Lyme disease, and symptoms do not show themselves until 2 to 5 months after being bitten. 

Dangers of Lyme Disease

If left untreated, Lyme disease can damage to the neurological and cardiac system. Prolonged sufferers of Lyme disease might also develop chronic disorders relating to joint aches and pains. More serious cases of Lyme disease can result in lifetime complications for some dogs, such as face paralysis (Bell's palsy) or Meningitis. Catching Lyme disease earlier on ups the chances of your dog recovering completely. 

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease vary and some dogs may not even show any symptoms at all and the disease is only caught during routine testing at their vet. Things to watch out for, though, include:

In most causes, dogs will develop pain in the joints of their front legs that will cause them to walk stiffly or avoid movement. Many people take their dogs to see their vet because they think their pet has developed arthritis. 

If you suspect your dog of having this disease or if your dog has been exposed to areas where ticks may have been present, it is a good idea to have tests run upon the dog to be certain. 

How to Treat Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is typically treated with antibiotics, along with anti-inflammatory medication if needed to ease the aches and pains in the joints. These antibiotics will last for several weeks, but you should begin to notice a difference in your dog within a few days. Typical treatment would be a round of doxycycline for a period of 30 days.

If your dog has had Lyme disease for an extended period of time undetected, antibiotics can still be administered. They will not work as easily, though, so the period in which they have to take the medicine will be increased. For dogs who have suffered longer boughts of Lyme disease, it's important to look into what other damage might've been done to their kidneys and other organs.


Lyme disease is a illness that we never really know if it has gone away for good or not, as it is a complex and skillful parasite. Some dogs may never again experience the symptoms of the illness, but others may later on down the line. Once a dog has had Lyme disease, it is important to keep a good watch on their health so that if the disease does reoccur, antibiotics can be administered again. With supervision and treatment, your dog is likely to make a full recovery.