It is hard to get an early diagnosis of lyme disease in animals including your own dog. The first sign of lyme disease in humans is a rash, well; animals do not develop this rash. Lyme disease is also not one of the first illnesses that the veterinarian looks for when you take your dog in for a visit. Many other common illnesses can produce some of the same symptoms, so it can be hard to detect.
Lyme disease does affect each dog different as it does with humans. Many dogs that are affected with lyme disease seem to be in pain and many stop eating. They may even run very high fevers. Lyme disease affects the entire body and some dogs may become lame and then even if untreated the lameness can disappear but can reappear later on. Your dog may not even show any signs of an illness for a long period of time and in fact have lyme disease, and then the symptoms can show up a year later.
Diagnosis of lyme disease can be done with a blood test. But, if your dog has had the illness for a long time even confirming that it is, in fact lyme disease can be hard to prove. In many cases, the antibodies that are present when a dog has lyme disease may have already disappeared or have not been created yet.
So, of course, the best way to go to ensure that your dog does not contract lyme disease is in the prevention. Always groom your dog after they have been outdoors in and around where ticks live, high grass, thick brush, or even in the woods.