There have been more cases of Lyme disease in recent years. This is in large part because of the growing tick population. Lyme disease is zoonotic. This means that both people and animals can contract the disease. The CDC states that it’s the most commonly-reported vector-borne disease in the US. Lyme disease is transmitted through tick bites. A particularly known culprit is the deer tick. A local vet has more information on protecting your pup and yourself from this infectious disease below.
Keeping up with your dog’s health is important. A parasite control regime is also important. There are a variety of options to choose from. This includes topical drops, sprays, and shampoos. Ask your vet for recommendations. Never combine products, or use different ones back-to-back. That could expose your pooch to dangerous levels of pesticides!
Dogs love to sniff brush and long grasses. This is where ticks live! That is why it is important to keep your yard clean. Mow your yard regularly, and remove debris, such as piles of leaves or dead branches, where ticks may be hiding. Also, make sure you trim shrubs around your home.
It takes 24 hours for Lyme disease to spread, so we recommend checking your pooch daily. Look under his collar and between his toes. If you find a tick, use tweezers or a tick popper to carefully remove it. Take a photo of it before discarding it, because if Fido does show any signs of illness, it will help to identify what type of tick bit him.
There are precautions you can take. Vaccines are available for Lyme disease, but they aren’t recommended for every pup. Ask your vet for more information on this matter.
Keep Yourself Safe
It’s also important to protect yourself! If you’re headed into tick territory, wear long sleeves and tuck your pants in along your ankles. Lastly, check yourself for ticks when you get home.
Watch For Warning Signs
If your pooch contracts Lyme disease, he isn’t likely to show symptoms right away. It could take a few months to notice symptoms. Some warning signs include fever, limping/lameness, stiff or swollen joints, lethargy, and reduced appetite. It’s worth pointing out that many of these signs occur with anaplasmosis. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything wrong.
Please contact us, your local veterinary clinic in West Greenwich, RI, anytime.