As we are in the transition from spring to summer, it’s a good time to talk about Lyme disease and how to prevent it. April is “Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs” month – so time to first brush up on our facts!
How do our dogs get Lyme disease?
-Lyme disease is carried by lxodes ticks, commonly know as a blacklegged or deer tick.
-Ticks must be attached for 24 hours in order to transmit the disease.
-When infection leads to Lyme disease in dogs, the most common signs of the disease are: lameness due to joint inflammation, depression, fever, and lack of appetite.
How can we prevent Lyme disease?
There is no all-in-one prevention for Lyme disease; but rather, small steps we can take to help our pups.
-Though ticks are starting to be found in every season lately, in spring, early summer and fall, avoid wooded areas, tall grass and shrubs.
-Use tick preventative products that are safe for your pet. Speak with your veterinarian. There are many options out there including medication that is administered orally or applied topically to the skin, and there are even some more natural products and sprays that are becoming popular and are effective as well. Do what makes sense for you and your dog.
-After a walk, tick check! Frisk your dog daily, especially around the ears and tail. These are hot spots for ticks! You can even use a roll of sticky tape to move around your dog right after a walk to see if you catch any ticks.
-If you find a tick on your dog, make sure you remove it properly (do your research!). Keep the tick in case your dog develops any symptoms so it can be sent in for testing.
The tick population is booming, and we want to keep our furry friends safe!