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What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs?

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Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are often different than in humans, according to the Baker Institute for Animal Health. The chief outward sign in dogs is joint pain, either in one or more locations. Dogs may also exhibit excessive fatigue or trouble moving. Signs of lameness may come on suddenly, disappear, and then return again several weeks after the initial problem was detected and seemed to vanish.

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What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs?
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In addition to joint pain, the dog's joints may swell and grow warm or hot. The joints may also be sensitive or even painful to the touch. PetMD explains that dogs may reduce food intake or otherwise change normal dietary patterns. Fever, severe depression and lethargy are warning signs. Acute lameness may affect one leg in particular, lasting less than a week before reappearing in either the same or a different leg. This symptomatic condition is sometimes referred to as shifting-leg lameness disease. In addition to the above symptoms, dogs may also walk stiffly or arch their backs, have difficulty breathing or display abnormal heart functioning. In rarer cases, dogs develop nervous system complications.

Dogs with Lyme disease might also experience observable swelling in their superficial lymph nodes. In such cases, the nodes swell in locations close to the tick bite. The tell-tale rash found frequently on human sufferers of the disease rarely occurs with dogs, so pet owners should not rely on its appearance, according to the Baker Institute for Animal Health.

Contemporary diagnostic resources available to veterinarians include kits that they can purchase to test for the Lyme antibody. The Baker Institute for Animal Health explains that this saves the time of sending samples to third-party laboratories, allowing for faster diagnosis and treatment.

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