We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.


All About Lyme Disease

How does my dog acquire Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria resides in the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), which can be found in Southern Ontario. If a dog is bitten by a deer tick larva, nymph or adult that is carrying this bacteria the dog can contract Lyme disease. The tick must remain attached for 24 hours to transmit the bacteria.


What symptoms does Lyme disease cause?

Many dogs have no symptoms at all. Some dogs experience the symptoms listed below:

  • Intermittent lameness
  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Painful and/or swollen joints
  • Kidney failure

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

  • One month after a tick bite, a blood test can be performed to look for antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi.

If the above test is positive, additional tests will be required.

To treat or not to treat?

Due to many dogs having positive antibody tests but having no symptoms, the topic of treatment is controversial.

Treatment is recommended if your dog has any of the following:

  • History of symptoms signs of illness
  • Evidence of kidney damage

The recommended treatment is with an antibiotic called doxycycline. This is given for one month or longer if kidney damage is confirmed.

Can I catch Lyme disease from my dog?

No, but pets may bring infected ticks into the household, which can attach to a human causing them to become infected. Humans often develop a rash, flu-like symptoms and later develop joint pains. In a small percentage of people, neurological and heart-related symptoms occur.

swollen knee

How can I prevent Lyme disease?

  • Reduce your families risk of picking up a tick by avoiding leaf litter, staying on trails, wearing protective clothing, wearing DEET and keeping dogs on-leash. Always check your dog for ticks after you have been for a walk and remove any that are found.
  • Put your pet on an oral or topical tick preventive during the year, when the temperature is above 4 degrees Celsius.
  • 3. +/- Lyme vaccination depending on your dog’s risk level

Written by Dr. Cara Page, DVM


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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 416-752-5114. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time. We are also no longer taking grooming appointments as of Monday, March 30, until further notice.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 7-10 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at McLean Animal Hospital