Lyme Disease: What you need to know

dog on lawnIt is no coincidence that April is National Lyme Disease Prevention Month.  Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, and the nasty little parasites are at their height during the spring months.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.  The disease is most common in the northeastern, upper Midwestern, and West Coast states, however the area of concern appears to be spreading in recent years.

Infected animals may not develop any symptoms at all.  Some will develop fever, lameness, swollen joints, depression, and/or loss of appetite.  If the infection persists kidney failure and permanent lameness can ensue.  If Lyme disease is suspected, we may suggest running a blood test to confirm infection.  Luckily most pets with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotic therapy.

In endemic areas (like ours), vaccination of dogs for Lyme disease is recommended.  Disease can also be prevented by using tick preventative products recommended by your veterinarian and by removing ticks promptly before disease transmission can occur.  Avoiding tick infested areas and keeping shrubbery and grass closely trimmed can also lessen the likelihood of exposure.  If your dog is at risk for contracting Lyme disease, so are you!  Use care in areas with a heavy tick population.

Call us if you have any questions, or if your dog is showing symptoms.

 

Arm Yourself for Flea and Tick Season!

With flea and tick season on the horizon, don’t forget that the best defense is a good offense!  Advances in parasite prevention options and a little knowledge can go a long way towards defeating these nasty little buggers.  Don’t forget the following important aspects of protecting your pet:

  • Choose your weapons wisely:  Use safe, effective, high quality preventative products.  Some products work better than others.  Don’t waste your money on something that isn’t going to work.  We can help you analyze your specific needs and pinpoint the best product for your situation.
  • Be punctual: Treat your pet every 30 days or as directed.  Many products loose efficacy toward the end of the treatment cycle.
  • Bathe with caution: When using spot-on products, be sure to avoid bathing your pet 48 hours before AND after application.
  • Every pet, every month: All pets in the household should be treated with flea prevention.  Should the rogue flea get into the house, even that old indoor kitty can become a virtual breeding ground for the little varmints. Be sure to consult with us before using spot treatments on your cat, though — some of them are canine only.
  • Don’t give up hope: If you have a bad infestation, things may look worse before it looks better.  Continue utilizing the products recommended as instructed.

If you need refills on any of your flea & tick prevention or would like to talk to us about some options, give us a call or just stop in!