March is the start of tick season; and with ticks is the threat of Lyme Disease.
Ticks hide in grasses and woody areas awaiting their next blood meal; which is why it is important to perform a thorough tick check on dogs after outdoor playtime. Ticks are found in yards; on hiking trails; and within dog parks.
Ticks burrow within fur of dogs and can go unseen for days unless dog grooming becomes a regular part of your daily/weekly routine. If the tick goes unnoticed, and it is carrying a tick-borne virus, tick infection is possible.
Lyme Disease in dogs is not as common as in humans; but is still a concern. Dogs with Lyme can experience lameness, swelling in joints, and a 103° degree fever among other symptoms.
Dog Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian. Symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs can last for several weeks or months. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Lyme Disease, only vaccines. The Lyme vaccine does not provide complete protection against the disease, but is still worth considering when the risk of infection is high. Dogs 12 weeks of age or older should initially receive two vaccines 2-4 weeks apart and an annual booster thereafter,
Lyme Disease in dogs can be fatal, causing kidney failure; although this is uncommon.
Know the signs of Lyme Disease and how to remove a dog tick for tick prevention in pets.