How to Prevent Lyme Disease in Your Pet
April is Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. With the arrival of warm spring temperatures, parasites start to become active. To reduce the chances of your pet carrying ticks and getting infected with Lyme disease, take action. Learn to recognize the typical signs of the ailment, and seek treatment immediately if you notice any of them.
Lyme disease signs in dogs
Although Lyme disease is a prevalent tick-borne illness worldwide, only a small percentage of dogs (5-10%) typically display symptoms, and it can take months after the initial tick bite for signs of illness to appear. Common signs of Lyme disease in dogs may include:
- Shifting-leg lameness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful, inflamed joints
The bacterium that causes Lyme disease may not be completely eliminated by antibiotics, which can lead to the development of chronic illness in dogs. Symptoms of the disease may come and go over time. In rare cases, kidney disease may develop, as shown by vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst and urination.
How to protect your pet from Lyme disease
Lyme disease can have long-term effects on both you and your pet’s health. To protect your family and pet from the serious consequences of the disease, take the following steps:
- 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.