All Lyme disease is transmitted via tick bite. While your pet cannot directly give you Lyme disease, they can attract more ticks to your yard and home.
According to the , Lyme disease transmission is on the rise. While many people may wonder if Lyme disease is contagious, the answer is no: both humans and pets can only contract the disease from an infected tick's bite.
While you can't get Lyme disease directly from your dog or cat, if your pet brings an infected tick into your home, the tick could also bite you and give you Lyme disease. Ticks are more attracted to areas with animals, so owning a pet may bring more ticks to your yard.
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs or cats
Ticks burrow themselves into the skin of humans and pets. Typically, a tick has to be attached for 48–72 hours in order to transmit Lyme disease, so checking your dog for ticks after outings will help lower the chance of infection.
If you do suspect that your pet may have been bitten by a tick and could have Lyme disease, watch for the following symptoms:
- loss of appetite
- stiff or swollen joints
Most dogs that have Lyme disease never show symptoms and the ones that do have symptoms typically won't do so until several months after the initial tick bite. This can often make it challenging to diagnose, because the tick will be long gone by then.
In order to confirm that your dog has Lyme disease, their veterinarian will perform a blood test. If the test is positive, your vet may recommend antibiotics or other therapies depending on the dog's health status.