Borreliosis in Dogs: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Experienced dog breeders know that in the middle of spring for a four-legged friend comes a dangerous time that lasts until the autumn frosts. At this time, the activation of ixodic ticks occurs. Insects not only suck blood, but also are the main carriers of diseases, which include borreliosis. It is necessary to detect it as early as possible in order to start treatment in a timely manner and avoid serious consequences. Dog owners should know the symptoms of borreliosis, how to help the pet and preventative measures.

Variants of infection with borreliosis

In the last century, only dog breeders in the United States experienced borreliosis. But the disease spreads quickly enough, at the dawn of this century, it appeared in European countries.

Not only dogs suffer from borreliosis. Other Pets, and even people, can get infected with it. In our country, the zone of special risk includes several regions, including Moscow and Leningrad. Cases of diseases have been detected in many regions and even in the polar zones.

The disease is caused by the Borrelia bacterium, it is not formed in ixodic mites, insects are only a “vehicle”. The penetration of a pathogenic microorganism into the bloodstream of a dog contributes to rapid reproduction and spread throughout the body. Bacteria have a particular negative impact on work:

  • musculoskeletal system;
  • the cardiovascular system;
  • kidneys;
  • of the nervous system.

The main method of infection with borreliosis is the bite of an ixod mite, a carrier of the pathogen. The bacterium can also develop in the human body as a result of contact with a blood-sucking insect. Puppies can get infected from a sick mother, the penetration of bacteria is not excluded when using goat or cow’s milk from infected animals, drinking water from a puddle from which the sick dog drank. Most often, Borrelia bacteria enter the body of dogs during blood transfusions.

Symptoms of the disease in dogs

The main danger of borreliosis lies in a long latent period. It can take up to three months from the moment of a tick bite before noticeable symptoms appear. At this time, the pet behaves as usual, there are no visible signs of developing the disease. Experts distinguish three stages of the disease.

At the first stage, which can last 1-3 months, it is almost impossible to detect the presence of borreliosis. The only symptom is redness of the integument at the site of the tick bite. The second stage of the disease lasts up to six months, accompanied by:

  • reduced activity;
  • increased heart rate;
  • the lameness;
  • slight increase in temperature;
  • difficulties in urination and fecal discharge.

If there was no effective treatment during this period, the disease continues to develop, spreading to all systems and organs. At this stage, dogs are observed:

  • high temperature;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • wheezing and coughing;
  • painful urination and diarrhea;
  • paresis, paralysis of the legs;
  • blueness of the mucous membranes.

Your pet’s visual acuity may decrease.

Complications of Lyme disease

Attentive dog owners who notice symptoms in the second stage of borreliosis should not worry. Effective treatment during this period provides high guarantees of complete recovery, excluding severe consequences. If the disease has passed to stage III, there was no effective treatment, then there is a serious risk of severe complications in the form of:

  • encephalitis;
  • arthritis;
  • cardiac disorders;
  • pulmonary edema;
  • paralysis of the limbs;
  • malfunction of the kidneys.

It is necessary to carefully monitor the health of the pet, urgently contact the veterinarian if you suspect the presence of borreliosis.

Diagnosis and treatment of the disease

The symptoms of borreliosis are similar to those of various diseases. Only a doctor can accurately make a diagnosis after receiving the survey data, which includes:

  • General blood test;
  • performing microscopic blood tests to detect parasites in the bloodstream;
  • special study that determines the presence of the pathogen;
  • examination of stool and urine tests to check the quality of bowel, kidney, and bladder functions;
  • conducting an ultrasound examination of the heart, ECG to assess the work of the organ;
  • radiography that determines the state of the bone system.

If borreliosis is diagnosed as a result of the examination, the veterinarian selects a treatment regimen, taking into account the condition of the dog, its individual characteristics, and the stage of development of the disease. The method of treatment, the choice of medications, affects the degree of development of the disease, the size, age of the dog, etc.

Medications in the treatment of borreliosis

Completely cure borreliosis allows the use of a complex of medications, including:

  • antibiotics;
  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • antispasmodics and analgesics;
  • Immunostimulants;
  • nefroprotector and medications.

Types of medications, dosages, and regimens are selected individually by a specialist. The dog owner must strictly follow all the doctor’s recommendations. This guarantees the effectiveness of the treatment. You can not independently choose medications for PSA, determine the optimal doses. Practice shows that unskilled treatment of borreliosis often leads to paralysis, and even death.

Preventive measures

Borreliosis belongs to the category of severe diseases, even timely treatment is a complex process. Therefore, dog owners need to pay attention to preventive measures that reduce the risk of disease.

In the period from April to October, it is necessary to use special sprays that repel blood-sucking insects. Not an extra accessory at this dangerous time will be a collar impregnated with parasites. Wearing it will prevent the movement of ticks on the dog’s body. You can use drops that are rubbed into the skin at the withers for prevention. To wash the dog, shampoos containing components that repel all blood-sucking parasites are used.

After each walk in the forest, the grove should carefully inspect the skin and hair of the pet. Special attention should be paid to the limbs. If a tick is found on the dog’s body, you must carefully remove it using tweezers. In order to pull it out completely, to avoid leaving the head, the tick should be unscrewed in the clockwise direction.

It is necessary to examine not only the dog after walking. You can bring insects to the house on your shoes, clothes, and accessories. The probability of such a tick entering the home is low, but it is better to exclude this risk. If a blood-sucking insect gets into an apartment or house, it will quickly find its victim, attach itself to a four-legged pet or to its owners.

Taking preventive measures significantly reduces the risk of borreliosis. But you need to monitor your pet’s condition carefully. Timely detection and qualified treatment of the disease at an early stage guarantees a positive result.