Lyme Disease in Golden Retrievers can be Fatal

Kathleen Drew noticed something was not right when Cody her beautiful Golden Retriever had stopped eating.  The vet suggested a change in his diet.  Perhaps hamburger would entice him..

“Cody” photo Kathleen Drew (Washington Post)

Cody continued to lose weight, and the vet suspected a urinary tract infection which was treated with antibiotics.  Tests and ultrasounds were inconclusive in diagnosing any further problems.

A few months went by, and Cody became very ill.  He was rushed to the local animal hospital where he died of kidney failure.  An autopsy determined Cody suffered from Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is transmitted from ticks to humans and dogs.  Some dogs experience no symptoms at all, while others present with recurrent lameness,  loss of appetite, and depression.  In some cases, kidney failure or heart or nervous system disease results.  Golden Retrievers are considered to be one of the breeds most susceptible to Lyme Disease.

English: Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Č...

Some symptoms of kidney failure include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination and thirst, fluid buildup in the abdomen and fluid buildup in the tissues, especially the legs and under the skin.

Richard Goldstein, Chief of Medicine at Animal Medical Center in New York who has studied Lyme disease in dogs for over 10 years says “Lyme disease can be a terrible disease.  Sick dogs can look like they are in a lot of pain.  It comes on suddenly”  The illness is treated  with the antibiotic doxycycline.   Full article from The Washington Post here.

Steps can be taken to prevent Lyme disease in pets, such as drops, flea and tick collars and avoiding tick infested areas. Always check your dog for ticks after a romp in the long grass and remove them immediately.  If you suspect your dog has Lyme disease, a trip to the vet is in order.