Tips for Preventing Lyme Disease
Slow-moving parasites awaken as the cold winter weather slowly disappears and is replaced by the warm spring weather. Because of this, April is the ideal month to observe Lyme Disease Prevention in Dogs Month. Take steps to lessen the likelihood that your pet will provide a ride—or a meal—for ticks, and become familiar with the symptoms of Lyme disease to ensure your canine companion receives the proper care.
Lyme disease signs in dogs
Although only 5% to 10% of affected dogs display symptoms, Lyme disease is one of the most widespread tick-borne illnesses in the world. The illness may also take months to manifest after the initial tick bite.
Lyme disease signs in dogs can include:
- Shifting-leg lameness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful, inflamed joints
Antibiotics can reduce, but not always completely eliminate, the Lyme-causing bacterium and chronic disease can develop. The signs can wax and wane as your dog’s illness recurs. Although uncommon, kidney disease can also develop, evidenced by vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst and urination.
How to protect your pet from Lyme disease
Your health and the health of your pet may both be negatively impacted by Lyme disease. By taking the following precautions, you can shield your family and pet from the disease’s potentially fatal effects:
- Cut your lawn — Ticks are rarely found in short grass, so regularly mow your yard.
- Refrain from walking in tick habitat — While walking in the woods can be a great adventure for your pet, tall brush and leafy debris are prime spots for ticks.
- Check your pet — Search your pet thoroughly for crawling or attached ticks. Prime spots include near the ears, in the groin, under the tail, and between the toes.
- Administer tick prevention — Monthly tick prevention will shield your pet against Lyme disease by killing ticks before they have a chance to transmit the pathogen.
- Vaccinate your pet — Ask your veterinarian if Lyme vaccination is right for your dog.