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Preventing Lyme Disease

Author: Dr. Christine Calvert, DVM

Did you know that your dog can contract Lyme disease, just like humans can? 

Don’t worry, there are several things you can do that work together to prevent this. One of the easiest things you can do is keep your pet on a tick preventative, such as Frontline Plus, year round. Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not die in cold winter temperatures, and instead only become inactive when temperatures are below freezing and there is ample snow cover. So, it is important to keep your pet protected all year round. It takes approximately 48 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease, so a flea and tick preventative will kill the tick before that time frame is reached. 

Doing daily tick checks on your pet is another step. Any time your pet goes outside you should check them for ticks, especially in hard to see/reach areas such as underarms, stomach and under floppy ears.

In addition to preventative and daily tick checks, you can get your pet vaccinated against Lyme disease. Regular vaccines will give your pet better protection against the disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include: stiff back, joint issues, lethargy, fever, and limping. However, many dogs don’t show symptoms in the early stage of the disease. So, it is important to bring your pet in for yearly testing for the disease. This can be in conjunction with your pet’s annual heartworm test. 

There are treatments for the Lyme disease, but prevention is the best step in keeping your pet healthy. 

 

Photo courtesy of the Companion Animal Parasite Council

 

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