Lyme Disease Prevention Tips
April is the month dedicated to preventing Lyme disease in dogs. This is because the warmer spring temperatures awaken parasites such as ticks. Reducing the chances of your pet becoming a tick carrier or meal is essential. Identifying the common signs of Lyme disease is crucial to ensure your furry companion receives the appropriate treatment.
Lyme disease signs in dogs
Although Lyme disease is a prevalent tick-borne illness worldwide, only 5% to 10% of affected dogs exhibit symptoms, and sickness may not manifest until several months after the first tick bite.
Lyme disease signs in dogs can include:
- Shifting-leg lameness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful, inflamed joints
It’s important to know that while antibiotics may help reduce the Lyme-causing bacterium, they may not be eliminated and can lead to chronic disease in dogs. The signs of the illness may come and go over time. Although uncommon, kidney disease is also possible and has symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and frequent urination.
How to protect your pet from Lyme disease
Lyme disease can have long-term effects on your pet’s health, and it can also affect you. To safeguard your family and pet from the disease’s severe consequences, take the following measures:
- Keep your grass short — Ticks are rarely found in short grass, so regularly mow your yard.
- Stay away from tick habitats — While walking in the woods can be an excellent adventure for your pet, tall brush and leafy debris are prime spots for ticks.
- Check your pet for ticks — Scour your pet for crawling or attached ticks. Prime spots include near the ears, in the groin, under the tail, and between the toes.
- Administer preventative medicine — Monthly tick prevention will shield your pet against Lyme disease by killing ticks before they have a chance to transmit the pathogen.
- Keep your pet up-to-date on vaccines — Ask your veterinarian if Lyme vaccination suits your dog.