Did you know that April is Lyme Disease Prevention Month? With it being spring and the weather warming up, that most likely means that pet owners and their canine companions will spend more time outdoors. With that being the case, pet owners should know about parasite prevention. Ticks are active all year round, but we see the most activity from March to mid-May and from mid-August to November. You can find them in wooded and grassy areas, including your backyard. Lyme disease was first diagnosed in Lyme, Connecticut. However, it now affects people and pets all over the United States. Today we will discuss Lyme disease transmission, its symptoms, and how to treat the disease if your dog catches it.
Lyme Disease Transmission
The bacterial agent Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme Disease. The CDC confirms that Lyme disease is one of the most common infections transmitted by ticks. This disease develops by the black-legged tick Borrelia burgdorferi biting a dog and traveling through different parts of a dog’s body. If left untreated, severe medical problems can occur, or a pet’s condition can become fatal.
It can take some time for signs and symptoms to appear. Sometimes, symptoms may not show up for two to five months after an infected tick bites a pet. After this time, your dog may experience:
- Swollen Joints and Limping
- Lack of Appetite
When caught early, Lyme disease is easily treated with an antibiotic called doxycycline. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication may be prescribed if your pet is experiencing joint swelling or pain. If Lyme disease progresses in your pet, treatment may require hospitalization for IV fluids and medications. Lyme disease left untreated can lead to a condition called Lyme nephritis, which is inflammation of the kidneys that can be fatal. Early intervention is key, but prevention is best.
Bravecto is an FDA-approved product and our #1 recommended product. This product is only available by prescription. It’s a chewable tablet that lasts for 12 weeks, almost three times longer than any other monthly treatment. Other ways to prevent Lyme disease involve your dog receiving a Lyme vaccine and having regular wellness exams. We cannot express and stress enough the importance of bringing your canine companion to visit one of our experienced veterinarians consistently. Regular tests are the best way to detect and prevent medical issues before they become life-altering.
Every time you and your dog come inside from experiencing an outdoor adventure, you should check them for ticks. You also want to keep your landscape well-maintained and ensure that there aren’t any weeds present. The taller your grass is, the more likely tick could be using your grass as a hangout spot.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!