DO YOU VACCINATE FOR LYME DISEASE??
Now that the warmer weather is approaching, so is the threat of Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases.
WHAT CAUSES LYME DISEASE? Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by ticks, specifically deer ticks. These ticks acquire the bacteria during their immature stage when they feed on infected animals, such as ground feeding birds and mice. The ticks then transmit these bacteria to our pets or people when they attach and feed again.
IS YOUR DOG IN DANGER OF GETTING LYME DISEASE?
- Does your dog go to parks, or wooded and grassy areas?
- Have you seen a tick on your dog?
- Do you take your dog to the cottage, camping or hiking?
- Does your dog accompany you on picnics, trips to the woods or the beach?
- Is it likely you would miss seeing a tick nymph the size of a pin head on your dog?
- Does your dog run through tall grass, underbrush or bushes? If you answered yes to any of these then YES!
CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR DOG HAS LYME DISEASE? Most of the time, Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose. Many of the clinical signs mimic other diseases, and may take months for these signs to be visible.
WHAT ARE THE VISIBLE SIGNS OF LYME DISEASE? The most common sign is lameness. In addition the dogs joints may be hot and swollen. Many dogs won’t eat, are tired and may run a fever, but even if there are no outward signs, the disease may still lead to unseen joint damage and can be fatal if the kidneys are involved.
DIAGNOSIS A simple blood test can be ran, usually 6 weeks post tick removal. This test will not only rule out Lyme disease, but other prevalent tick borne diseases.
TREATMENT If positive for Lyme disease, we would then look at a urine sample for protein levels. Abnormally high protein levels may lead to further testing to see how high the infection level is in your pet. High levels may warrant being treated with an antibiotic, and our Lyme vaccine protocol.
PREVENTION Good tick control and heartworm prevention are vital! We recommend a parasitic disease screen at every annual checkup.
There is also a new vaccine on the market that provide extra coverage for those dogs that are at higher risks for getting ticks.
CONTACT US TODAY TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP PREVENT THESE PESKY BACKYARD DIESASES!