Lyme Disease Prevention Month

Imagine waking up to the sun shining through the window and thinking today would be a great day to go for a hike. You gathered up Little Jimmy and Fluffy and drive to the nearest trail. You journey through the woods with Fluffy at your side, telling Little Jimmy to look out for those imaginary monsters coming up ahead that are going to take us to their castle, if we are caught. He pretends to battle the monsters and save us all. Golden Retriever and a tick

After about an hour hike, you decide to head home for lunch. As you are about to cook macaroni and cheese and hot dogs you hear Little Jimmy say “Mommy, what are all these little dots all over Fluffy?” You walk over and to your horror you see about a thousand ticks or what seems to you to be about a thousand ticks, but it’s actually maybe 10. You call your veterinarian and tell them about these small, moving dots on Fluffy. They explain to you they are deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, but lucky for Fluffy he is Lyme vaccinated.

They recommend you remove the deer ticks from Fluffy and be careful not to let them attach to you because you can also get Lyme disease from deer ticks. He is not on any preventions, though. They recommend you come to the veterinarian and buy a flea and tick preventative that will help keep those ticks and fleas away. They also recommend you make an appointment in 3 to 4 weeks and have a Lyme test performed.

A Lyme test will test for 3 common tick-borne diseases, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, as well as, Heartworm disease caused by mosquitoes. This test will let us know if he contacted any of those diseases from the ticks. They tell you to watch out for a fever, loss of appetite, reduced energy, lameness, generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain, swelling of joints. If Fluffy does come up positive for tick-borne diseases, it can be treated with a course of antibiotics. Relapses are not uncommon, so you are advised to monitor Fluffy carefully for signs of illness.

Contact Leesport Animal Hospital today for more information on Lyme disease and the Lyme vaccine!