Pets and Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease transmitted though petsSpring is almost here,  which means you and your pets will be enjoying lots of outdoor activities! Unfortunately, with higher outdoor activity comes the potential for exposure to outdoor diseases. Did you know that Lyme Disease is the most common tick-born disease found in North America? This pervasive disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted via the tick’s bite directly into your pet’s bloodstream. The most common symptoms include sudden fatigue, a lack of appetite and inflammation of the joints, leading to lameness. Left untreated, your pet may also develop kidney damage or heart and nervous system disease, such as depression. Once your pet has the disease, the expensive treatments can last up to four weeks, and often the symptoms will be recurring despite treatment, especially long-term joint pain. Therefore, if your pet contracts this disease, you will need to remain vigilant even after treatment and watch for signs of a relapse.

Luckily, Lyme Disease is entirely preventable! Whitworth Animal Clinic wants to help ensure that your beloved pet has a safe and happy summer, this year and for many years to come. While there are topical treatments, sprays and collars which you could try using to prevent ticks from hitching a ride on your pet, vaccinations are the surest and most effective preventative measure to guarantee that your pet remains free of this disease. This vaccination can be administered once a year by your vet, similar to a rabies vaccination, and will ensure that even if an infected tick should bite your dog or cat, your pet will already be safe from bacterial transmission. Your pet can continue to enjoy the great outdoors and you won’t have to worry about the possibility of infection!

The staff of Whitworth Animal Clinic recommends that you vaccinate your dog against Lyme Disease. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options and set up an appointment to vaccinate your furry friend!