There's no reason to like a tick. The little bloodsucker carries a variety of illnesses, including Lyme disease. If a tick carrying Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium bites you and hangs on long enough, you're at risk for contracting Lyme disease. Preventive medication and frequent, thorough tick inspections can keep risk of contracting the disease at bay.
It can take months for the signs of Lyme disease to present. Symptoms can include fever, painful joints, lethargy and loss of appetite. Several tests can detect Lyme disease. For on-the-spot testing in the vet's office, SNAP tests are quick, convenient blood tests that can confirm Borrelia burgdorferi in less than 10 minutes after a blood sample. If the organism is present in your pup, the test will show a blue color. The intensity of the color may vary; but if the color is light, it doesn't mean there's a lower level of infection. A light positive is still a positive, according to IDEXX, the SNAP test manufacturer. The IDEXX website notes the amount of antibody or antigen is different from dog to dog and "any color development in any of the sample spots indicates a positive result." In other words, even if the coloration on the sample is faint, it's positive. The dog has Lyme. Your vet may order additional tests to learn more information about his condition.
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