Yayy!!!! We’re currently in the month of April, so you know what that means. Other than the arrival of spring, it’s Lyme Disease Prevention month! Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacteria commonly transmitted to humans, dogs, and other animals through tick bites. When left untreated, your pet can experience severe discomfort and medical conditions that could become fatal. Continue reading to learn more about Lyme disease, its symptoms, treatment options, and how to prevent your dog from catching it.
It can take two to five months for Lyme disease symptoms to appear in your dog after an infected tick has bitten them. Some dogs can even remain asymptomatic. However, if the symptoms do occur, your dog may experience:
- Swollen Joints
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased activity
When caught early, Lyme disease can be treated with a course of an antibiotic called doxycycline. If your dog is experiencing swollen joints, excess pain, and discomfort, we can prescribe them a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication. Although catching Lyme disease early on is great, prevention is the best treatment option to ensure your fur baby remains healthy, happy, and comfortable.
Taking preventive measures is the best way to protect your dog from contracting Borrelia burgdorferi. Listed below are some of the best ways you can protect your dog from Lyme disease:
Bravecto is an FDA- approved prescription preventative that we recommend for pet parents to help prevent Lyme disease by protecting your pet from the ticks that transmit the disease. It’s a chewable tablet that lasts for 12 weeks, which is almost three times longer than other monthly treatments. It also protects your pet against fleas!
Lyme Vaccine (Vanguard CR Lyme)
Vanguard CR Lyme is an effective USDA-approved vaccine that protects your pets against Lyme disease for a year. It can be administered to healthy dogs that are eight weeks or older.
If your pet does contract Lyme disease, the next best thing is early detection. Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital (MCAH), we use the 4DX test, which is a powerful, simple, and quick antigen test that allows us to screen for Lyme disease with just a few drops of your dog’s blood. 4DX testing should be done at least twice a year for early detection and treatment of harmful and potentially fatal diseases, including Lyme, Heartworm, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia.
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!