Lyme Disease In Dogs - What You Should Know

Let's talk about Lyme Disease in dogs. I've had cats my entire life, but the 2 dogs I have now, are the only dogs I have ever had as an adult. I was completely unaware of how dangerous Lyme Disease really is in dogs. (Yes. Cats and people too... today we're chatting about dogs.)
lady in a hat and mask with blue eys next to a black dog


Freddie started to limp on his front leg. The limping wasn't consistant and would come and go. We chalked it up to the fact that he was wearing a dog coat that is tight in the front legs sometimes and maybe his foot was falling asleep. We cut the armholes and the limping stopped. Problem solved.

Except the limping came back the next week in his rear leg, to the point where he refused to put weight on it and held it up in the air. We assumed he fell on the ice during his outdoor shenanigans. I was fully prepared to hear about how he tore a ligament and would need surgery for his leg. He stopped eating and drinking at this point. His urine was dark and the limping started on his other hind leg too. 

photo of a black and white dog wearing camo and a blue shirt laying down with his head almost under a pug's butt

Fast forward to the vet.

"That's definitely blood in his urine."

"He has a temperature of 104."

Bloodwork was run. No surgery for Freddie (yay!), but his Lyme levels were ridiculously high and his kidneys were not happy. Our dog would have died if I had not brought him into the vet. We were very lucky.

Sick as he was, Freddie was a love at the vet. We were sent home with antibiotics and instructions to not let him get dehydrated or he'd have to come back in for IV fluids. 

My normally bouncy dog laid on his bed for 2 weeks with a blanket covering him. Aggie of course, kept him company. We spent hours on the floor with him, hand feeding him kibble so he'd eat. Dripping as much water as he'd tolerate into his mouth every 2 hours or so, making sure he wouldn't get dehydrated. Fighting this dog twice a day to swallow 2 pills, and just hoping that he'd start to feel better. I must have bought $100 in wet dog food and treats to get ANYTHING into his system. He lost at least 10 pounds and all of his little dog bones were poking out. It was terrible.

BUT Freddie slowly started to get better. He slowly started to drink more water and eat food on his own. We're about 2 months out from the initial trip to the vet and he's just starting to fill out again and our Freddie is back to his jumpy self. 

photo of a black and white hound mix dog laying on a colorful rug.

 Symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs. 

  • Fever
  • Reduced energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lameness (can be shifting, intermittent, & recurring)
  • Generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain
  • Swelling of joints

Freddie had all of the above symptoms plus it had started to progress to his kidneys, which can be fatal.

Ways to prevent Lyme Disease in dogs:

  • Check your dogs for ticks when they come inside.
  • Remove any ticks you find as quickly as possible.
  • Use tick collars or treatments on your dogs to avoid ticks from jumping on them.
  • There's a vaccine for Lyme Disease in dogs that can help prevent your dog from catching Lyme Disease. 
  • Chat with your vet about your concerns & check out the AKC's full list of tick prevention.

We are very lucky that we caught the Lyme early enough for Freddie to recover. Our dogs become members of our family and it's important that we keep them as healthy as possible.




Disclaimer: Knot By Gran'ma (a.k.a Jess) is not a licensed veterinarian and this blog post is for information purposes only. If you suspect that your dog is not well, please contact your vet ASAP.

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