Lyme Disease In Dogs (And Other Tick Borne Diseases)

Its important to check for Lyme and other tick born diseases each year.

Your vet should also check for heart worm yearly.  This a test called a 4-Way Snap test and it tests for HW, Lyme, Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis.

It is done in house as a simple blood draw and you get results in 20 minutes.

If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme it is important to  get a base line of the level of the disease a dog has.

It would be wise to mention to your vet to draw enough blood in case of a positive test for Lyme so they have enough blood to send out to the Lab for a baseline (most vets don’t do this in house), so they don’t have to draw blood again from your dog.

If they are at level 30 or below most vets will not treat.  Anything above that the dog is treated with 30 days of Doxycycline antibiotic.

6 months after finishing the Doxy you should do another blood draw to see if the level has receded or increased.

This particular blood draw does not require a 12 hour fast from food or water. ( Unlike doing a full blood panel to check all organ function)

Symptoms of Lyme include:


limping (that can shift from one leg to another)


decreased appetite

swollen joints

swollen lymph nodes

You may only see one symptom or a series of them.

Here is a good link with more info:

In my case my dogs are not exposed to woods or high grass but my girl presented with limping and at her annual snap test she tested positive for Lyme.

So don’t assume because you don’t hike in the woods or expose your dogs to fields of high grass that they can not contract the disease.  Or any other tick borne disease.

Here is some info on the other tick borne diseases dogs can contract: Mainly Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis.

There are other tick borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Fever that you may want to research.

As always, I am not a vet (and I have only had experience with Lyme) so please have your dog tested yearly with the 4-Way Snap test and if your dog is positive follow your vets advice.

This is another link with more info.  I have gotten great info from this site for other canine issues over the years:

Tick-Borne Disease in Dogs (Part II)

I can always be reached thru my web site if anyone has questions, and if I can’t answer them off the bat I will strive to help you find answers.


Author: patty

Franklin Lakes, NJ

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