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Lyme Disease: When Your Dog is Suddenly Limping or Won't Get Up

Last night your dog was his playful normal self before you went to bed . This morning he won't get up. He appears lethargic and tired. When you coax him to try and get up, he makes a minimal attempt and it appears that he is in some pain. He might not try to get up all together. You panic, this valued member of the family is laying there helpless and he can;t explain to you how he feels. The vet doesn't open for a few more hours, which seems like an eternity when this helpless little guy is obviously in need of medical attention.

You do have to get your dog medical attention as soon as possible, but calm down while you are waiting for your vet to open. It is most likely Lyme Disease that has rendered your dog suddenly weak in the legs. Lime Disease is more prevalent with each year that goes by. It is found almost anywhere in North America. It is caused by a tic bite. A tic is a parasite that will attach itself to your dog. While attached it transfers a bacteria called , Borrelia Burgdorferi , through your dogs blood stream and Lyme Disease results.

The dog can develop symptoms days to months after being bit by a tic. Lyme Disease presents itself very similar in humans and dogs. A fever and arthritis like symptoms are common. Flu like symptoms are also common. Your dog could start a limp for no reason and it can alternate the leg it is limping on.

You might not even know that your dog was bitten. Once the tic fills up with your dog's blood, it falls off the dog. A completely engorged tic is a strange looking pellet like ball. It does not resemble a bug at all. I have heard people describe it as "looking like a small nut or miniature acorn" when first spotting it on the floor.

Tics stay in the high grass and low leaves and they are transferred to your dog as he brushes against them while walking by. Once they have fallen onto your dog they don't attach themselves for a short while. Brushing your dogs thoroughly before they come in from the outside will help prevent the tic from attaching itself to your dog.

Lyme disease can destroy joints over time if left untreated and it can also affect other organs in your dog. Your dog is not in emanate danger for the next few hours until you can get him to your vet. 'The vet will take a blood sample from your dog to diagnose this disease. The blood test isn't always credible, there has been incidents of false negatives. Your vet might treat the dog for Lyme Disease even if it is not a positive blood test for it. Your vet will be able to make that decision once examining your dog.

The treatment for Lyme Disease is very simple. The vet will prescribe a strong antibiotic for your dog to take for a specific amount of time. Once on the antibiotic your dog should make a quick recovery. I have seen dogs that were almost back to normal the next day after starting antibiotics. This all depends how long the dog has had the disease for and how involved it has gotten through his body.

To prevent this from happening again you can ask your vet about the Lyme Disease vaccination. Your vet can also prescribe a once a month topical that you put on the dog to prevent tic bites. There are various over the counter shampoos and collars that arm minimal help in tic bite prevention.

As soon as you can you need to get your dog to the vet. You do not need to panic, if your dog does have Lyme Disease a few more hours until an appointment is available is not a cause for alarm. Make your dog as comfortable as possible, and keep the activity around him to a minimum. By getting him excited he might experience pain as he tries to get up. Chances are if these symptoms are present it is Lyme Disease. There are other injuries or inflections that could cause some of these symptoms, so that makes it even more important to get your dog to their vet.
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