This is the most common of tick-borne disease in the UK, named after Old Lyme, Connecticut where it was first recognised in 1975. Lyme disease is contracted during tick season (March to September). The most common clinical sign is transient lameness (the bacteria travel to the joints) sometimes accompanied by fever, lethargy and weight loss.
Diagnosis and treatment
Blood tests for rising antibody levels to Borrelia burgdorferi indicate exposure although the test remains negative during the initial weeks after exposure. Antibiotics from the tetracycline group (eg doxycycline) or Penicillin group (eg amoxicillin) are effective.
Ticks are common in Richmond Park and outside Central London in any forest inhabited by deer. During tick season use a product such as Advantix or Frontline and when there is severe risk, a Scalibor collar.