Borreliosis (Lyme desease) is a bacteriial infectious desease which is contracted through tick bites.
First symptoms show a few days or weeks after the tick bite. In an early stage, the disease exhibits general symptoms of infectious diseases like fever, lethargy or reduced appetite occur. The most telling symptom for this disease is lameness that occur as a result of painful joint inflammation (primarly in front- and hindlegs) or arthritides. The joints are swollen. Furthermore the dog can develop inflammations of the heart, the nervous system and other organs.
Ticks of the genus "common tick" can transfer the bacterial agent "Borrelia burgdorferi" in case of a bite. The longer the tick sucks the blood of the dog, the higher is the possibility of infection.
The diagnosis is made by means of proof of antibodies during the examination of the blood count. The therapy of the disease will be difficult and expensive. Antibiotics mostly do not bring amelioration since they do not reach the causative organism living in the cells. Special medication needs to be administered for several weeks where the causative organism can never completely be removed from the organism of the dog.
The tick type which transfers the causative organisms can be found in nearly all woodlands but also in municipal parkways. During tick season (March to October), there is an increased risk that your animal will be infested by the causative organism. Basically, the dog shall be checked for ticks after each walk. These are to be removed immediately. Additionally, a medicinal prophylaxis against ticks, because it also prevents other diseases transferred by ticks, or wearing a bugs collar is recommended. Due to the difficult therapy and huge danger of the disease you should come to an agreement with your veterinarian, particularly when living in a region with increased tick population, regarding the option of borreliosis vaccination. That is, however, controversial, since the vaccination does not protect against all types of causative organisms and partly severe adverse reactions to the vaccination have been observed.