What are signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in humans (dogs)?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. Lyme disease is transmitted via a bite from a specific kind of tick. The animals that most usually carry these insects are white-footed field mice, raccoons, deer, opossums, skunks, foxes, weasels, shrews, chipmunks, moles, squirrels, and horses.

Symptoms of Lyme disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease

Regarding to symptoms of Lyme disease, they usually vary and impact more than one system. The joints, skin and nervous system are impacted most often. There are 3 stages of Lyme disease with specific symptoms. [Read: symptoms of seasonal allergies]

Early common symptoms of Lyme disease:

Normally, these signs happen within 1 month after you have been infected.

  • Rash. The rash features with a red, small bump appearing at the spot of the tick bite. This bump is normal after a tick bite and does not show Lyme disease. Nevertheless, over next several days, the redness might expand creating a rash in a bull’s eye pattern, with the red ring outside and surround a clear area. Some people might experience this rash at more than a single place on their body.
  • Flu-like symptoms. Chills, fever, tiredness, a headache and body aches might be associated with the rash.

Later common symptoms of Lyme disease:

For some individuals, the rash might spread to other body parts, and some weeks to months after your infection, you might undergo:

  • Joint pain. After a few weeks of being infected with Lyme disease, about 60% of sufferers who are not treated with antibiotics develop recurrent attacks of swollen and painful joints that last for several days to months. The knees are particularly to be inflamed, and the pain could shift from joint to another.  About 10-20% of those untreated sufferers will develop lasting arthritis. The knuckle joints of hands are just very rarely impacted.
  • Neurological problems. It is shown that several weeks, months or even years after your infection, you might undergo inflammation of membranes surrounding the brain, weakness or numbness in the limbs and impacted muscle movement. Because Lyme disease affects the nervous system, so there are some symptoms like severe headache, stiff neck, temporary paralysis of the facial muscles, pain or weakness of the Lyme, or poor coordination. Also, some substance changes like difficulty with concentration, memory loss, and a change in mood or sleeping habits are associated with Lyme disease.

[Read: symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis]

Less common symptoms of Lyme disease:

Apart from the common symptoms of Lyme disease above, there are some lesser known ones, which are:

  • Heart issues, like irregular heartbeat, which last more than several days or weeks
  • Severe fatigue and tiredness
  • Eye inflammation
  • Liver inflammation

However, oftentimes, none of these problems is likely to happen without other Lyme disease symptoms being available.

Lyme disease imitates various ailments and its severity could vary from person to person. In case you have been eaten by a tick and are living in the area known to prone to Lyme disease, you had better see your doctor instantly so that a proper diagnosis could be made and remedy started.

Even you should see your doctor if the symptoms disappear as the absence of symptoms does not mean the disease is treated. Left untreated, Lyme disease could spread to other body parts from a few months to years after being infected – causing nervous system issues and arthritis. Ticks could also transmit other ailments like Colorado tick fever or babesiosis.