As you may know, Lyme disease has been on the rise in recent years, in large part because of exploding tick populations. Lyme disease is zoonotic, which means that both humans and animals can be afflicted. The CDC lists it as the most common vector-borne disease in America. Lyme disease is transmitted through tick bites, particularly that of the deer tick. A local vet offers some tips on protecting your canine pal and yourself from this dangerous disease below.
First and foremost, keep up with Fido’s parasite control regime. This is very important! There are many products to choose from, including sprays, topical drops, medicated ‘treats,’ and shampoos. Ask your vet for specific recommendations. Never combine products, or use different ones back-to-back. That could expose your pet to dangerous levels of pesticides!
Our canine buddies love to sniff around in bushes and long grasses. These are the sorts of places ticks love to lurk! One thing that will help is staying on top of your landscaping. Mow your lawn regularly, and remove any debris, such as piles of leaves or dead branches, where ticks may be nesting. Also, trim any shrubs you have around your home, and make sure they aren’t touching the walls of your house.
There are vaccines available for Lyme disease for dogs. However, they aren’t always going to be recommended for every pup. Ask your vet for more information.
Ticks must be attached for at least 24 hours to spread Lyme disease, so we recommend checking Fido daily. Look under his collar and between his furry little toes. If you do find a tick, use tweezers or a tick popper to carefully remove it. You need to be sure you get the whole thing.
Keep Yourself Safe
It’s also important to protect yourself from ticks! If you spend time in fields or woods, wear long sleeves and tuck your jeans into your socks. Be sure to check yourself thoroughly when you get home.
Watch For Warning Signs
If Fido does contract Lyme, he won’t show symptoms right away. It might actually take a few months for you to notice that anything is wrong. Some red flags include fever, limping/lameness, stiff or swollen joints, lethargy, and reduced appetite. It’s worth noting that many of these signs also occur with anaplasmosis. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything wrong.
Please contact us, your veterinary clinic in Carlisle, ON, anytime.