Clarion Animal Hospital, Oct. 2000.
Lyme disease is caused by the organism Borella burdorferi, a spirochete bacteria that is transmitted to humans and animals through a tick bite. Almost all of the human cases have occurred in CA, CT, MS, MN, NJ, NY, PA, WI.
The deer tick is implicated in transmitting the disease. This very small tick feeds first on the white-footed mouse and later feeds on deer, horses, cows, dogs or humans.
In humans, Lyme disease is typified by a rash around the tick bite, flu-like symptoms, headaches, heart beat irregularities, and finally arthritis. In dogs infected with Lyme disease a rash does not develop. The symptoms are more vague--fever, appetite loss, lameness and joint pain, with the possibility of cardiac and kidney problems. Multiple blood tests may be needed to document exposure to Lyme disease.
Treatment consists of antibiotic therapy, with most symptoms usually resolving. Prevention involves keeping out of tick-infested areas and/or using tick repellants, removing attached ticks promptly, and vaccination of dogs, and possibly humans, at risk.
(For additional information on Lyme Disease, follow this link to AKC website.)