In response to Professor Latto’s post about Lyme disease vaccinations for dogs, I researched how Lyme disease differs in humans and dogs. I found that only ten percent of dogs become infected if ticks carrying B. burgdorferi bite them. In fact, if infected ticks are found and removed from dogs within 48 hours, the bacteria will not be transmitted from the tick to the dog. In the case that dogs are infected with Lyme disease, their symptoms are different from humans and take longer to appear. After they are bitten and infected, it can from 2 to 5 months for dogs to fall ill and they do not develop characteristic rashes like humans. Rather the typical symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include high temperatures (103-105 degrees), joint and lymph node swelling, little appetite, and they often become lethargic. Lyme disease is usually easily and effectively treated with penicillin-based antibiotics. However, in some of the worst cases, where dogs kidneys become infected, Lyme disease is very difficult to treat and can be lethal. Fortunately though, tick controls and vaccines are available to help prevent Lyme disease in canines.
For further information about Lyme disease in dogs as well as other animals, see http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1556&aid=458