Lyme disease is an infection with a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferiand is transmitted by the deer tick, Ixodex scapularis
Not all dogs with Lyme disease are clinically affected. However, in a small subset of dogs, in addition to the other possible systemic effects of Lyme disease, it can also affect the kidneys; this condition is called Lyme Nephritis and it is considered a serious sequela of Borrelia burgdorferi infection. It is the deposition of immune complexe in the kidneys, which can lead to detrimental effects such as kidney failure.
In some cases, this condition can be successfully treated with antibiotics, medications to reduce proteinuria and potentially immunosuppressive medications. However, it is important to note the prognosis is guarded, though it has improved over time with faster detection and newer immunosuppressive treatment options.
The best option is to prevent it – make sure your pet is on a monthly flea AND tick preventative and talk to your vet about the Lyme vaccination!
1) Veterinary Partner. Veterinarypartner.com
2) Tilley, L. P., & Smith, F. W. (2005). The 5-minute veterinary consult: Canine and feline. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
3) Yin, S. A. (2010). The small animal veterinary nerdbook. Davis, CA: CattleDog Pub.