Can Lyme Disease In Dogs Cause Seizures? 

As a dog parent, the idea that there’s a possibility that your canine companion might get Lyme disease can be devastating. A Lyme disease diagnosis can be tough to accept. Although you want to avoid the possibility of a Lyme disease diagnosis for your dog as a dog parent, it’s still better to be informed about the disease. The question “can Lyme disease in dogs cause seizures?” must be answered. If you want to learn more about Lyme disease in dogs, just read on. 

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What is canine Lyme disease? 

To properly answer the question, can Lyme disease in different ga cause seizures, let’s first understand what canine Lyme disease is. Lyme disease is basically a tick-borne infectious condition. It can cause lethargy, lameness, and other symptoms in dogs and humans. 

The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is the cause of Lyme disease. It is essential to understand that this is a tick-borne disease. This means that ticks carry the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.

The ticks simply serve as a carrier of the bacteria. They harbor this bacterium and transmit it. Although at least 4 species of ticks have been identified as carriers of this bacteria, most Lyme disease cases happen due to the black-legged tick (also called the deer tick). 

Although Lyme disease diagnoses are most common amongst creatures like deer, white-footed mice, and voles, human beings and dogs can also be infected with this disease. 

Canine Lyme disease: how it spreads?

A question that many dog owners might have is about the probability of a Lyme disease diagnosis in their canine companions. Let’s look into how the disease spreads and the probability of a Lyme disease diagnosis from a tick bite before answering the question- can Lyme disease in dogs cause seizures? 

It’s important to know that the tick species that have been identified as carriers of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi can harbor this bacterium at any stage of development. Suppose your dog is bitten by a tick (regardless of the stage of development of the tick) carrying this bacterium. In that case, there is a possibility that your dog might be infected with Lyme disease. 

It takes approximately two days for the tick to transmit the Lyme disease-causing bacteria after biting a dog. Therefore, the risk of transmission of this bacterium is the highest during periods or seasons when the adults (spring and fall) and nymphs (spring) are actively on the lookout for hosts. 

Infection rates of ticks vary quite significantly, but they can be as high as 50%. This means that just because a dog has been bitten by a tick carrying the bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she will be infected with Lyme disease. Not every dog that has been exposed to the bacteria will have Lyme disease. 

As already mentioned, the complete transmission of the bacteria from the tick to the dog takes about 2 days. So, it’s a good idea to regularly check your furry friend for ticks and remove them immediately (if spotted). 

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs 

Understanding the symptoms of canine Lyme disease is very helpful in early identification and intervention. Although it is quite easy to detect Lyme disease in human beings, it’s tricky in the case of dogs. Many dogs can have the bacteria but not show any signs of infection. 

So, be on the lookout for the following symptoms: 

  • Fever 
  • Swollen joints and joint pain 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Lameness (it may come and go and affect certain parts of the body or the entire body) 
  • Unexplained weight loss 

Another important thing to note before getting into the question of can Lyme disease in dogs cause seizures is that symptom manifestation of Lyme disease in dogs can take a while (2-5 months). 

Untreated Lyme disease: exploring the health complications 

So, can Lyme disease in dogs cause seizures? When undiagnosed and/or untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious health complications. It can severely affect your dog’s kidneys, nervous system, and heart. So yes, untreated and undiagnosed Lyme disease can cause seizures and other neurological disorders and complications in your dog. However, kidney failure is the most common severe health complication of Lyme disease in dogs. So, although rare, seizures from Lyme disease infection in dogs are a possibility.  

Remember the symptoms above of Lyme disease and take the necessary preventative steps to avoid this unfortunate diagnosis in your canine companion. 

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