‘Pet Pals TV’: Recognizing Lyme disease in dogs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Each and every week, “Pet Pals TV” shares a fun, interesting, and informative story about our four-legged and furry friend population.

This week, Patty Spitler, the host of “Pet Pals TV,” was joined by Tom Dock from Noah’s Animal Hospitals to talk about Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection in people and animals caused by the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms in people include a bull’s-eye rash, fever, headache, and fatigue.

The problem is that a lot of dogs with Lyme disease don’t display any symptoms, according to Dock.

“You don’t even know to do the testing, and as the veterinary profession does more testing here in central Indiana, we’re seeing exposure to Lyme disease keeps going up and up because of the blackleg [tick] and the deer tick, which is very common here.”

In dogs, the main symptom is something called shifting lameness, Dock says.

“One day they wake up and they’re lame in the right front. They’re not using that leg very well, and then they get better, and then a week and a half later, it’s the rear leg that’s causing problems,” Dock said. “Then we’ll do blood work, often through just routine wellness, and we find out that they’ve got antibodies to Lyme disease and they’ve been exposed.”

Visit the Pets & Parasites website for more information on Lyme disease in dogs.