Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease?

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Lyme disease is a common infectious disease which affects not only us but our dogs as well. Unlike humans though, a dog can test positive for Lyme disease and not have any symptoms – making it questionable to treat. 

Treating a Dog Who Tests Positive

The answer as to whether or not to treat a dog who tests positive is difficult. There is some controversy regarding Lyme disease and each veterinarian has a different perspective. 

If your dog is one who tests positive, you should discuss the options with your veterinarian. 

What Are the Common Symptoms?

Symptoms of Lyme Disease can include: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Lethargic behavior 
  • Enlarged lymph nodes 
  • General lameness 

The symptoms usually aren’t seen until up to five months following the infection. At this point, some type of antibiotic may be provided by your veterinarian. 

Can I Remove a Tick Myself?

If you are comfortable removing the tick from your dog, you don’t necessarily need to visit your veterinarian immediately but be certain to give him or her a call to inform them of the bite.  

The best way to remove a tick is by using tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Remove the tick by pulling straight out. Be certain not to twist or crush the tick as you remove it. You must be sure to remove all parts of the tick that has bitten your furry friend.

If you aren’t comfortable removing the tick, you can request your veterinarian do this for you. 

Be sure to wash your hands following removal. 

Is Lyme Disease Contagious from Dog to Human?

No, Lyme Disease cannot be transmitted from your dog to you. But, if a tick were to crawl out of your dog’s skin and grab onto yours, you could be at risk as well. 

Are Vaccinations Available for Dogs?

There are vaccinations available for dogs to prevent Lyme Disease. These are provided on a case-by-case basis and not provided to every dog. This is an option to discuss with your veterinarian if you are concerned, though.  

Your veterinarian will likely want to test your dog for Lyme Disease before the vaccination is provided.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.