There are 58,000 dogs in the United States with Lyme Disease thus far in 2020. Last year, over 7 million dogs were tested for the tick-borne disease and 360,000 dogs were confirmed to have it. The tick illness is the most common among people and pets and causes lifelong pain. April being Lyme Disease Prevention Month, pet owners are encouraged to learn how to prevent Lyme Disease in pets and the symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs. Let's start with the basics.
Lyme Disease is just one of many tick-borne illnesses that affect over 300,000 people and pets each year. Lyme Disease is developed from the bacterium found in ticks. Ticks are discovered in grassy and wooded areas where they travel between Spring-Fall in search of a warm-blooded mammal to latch onto for food. While not all ticks carry Lyme Disease, other carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (American Dog Ticks) and other harmful tick diseases. As long as temperatures remain above freezing, tick movement and tick bites remain a concern for people and pets.
White-tailed deer are the number one carriers of ticks in the United States; and homeowners are encouraged to install fencing around yards to keep out deer, thus reducing the amount of ticks that are dropped in backyards where pets play.
After dogs are through playing in the fenced-in yard, pet owners should regularly groom pets for ticks, as they tend to hide in the fur. Here is where they are most commonly found:
- Between toes
- In the groin area
- Underneath dog collars/clothes
- Under the tail
- In and around the ears
Ticks will need to be removed properly, but quickly, if found on the skin. After ticks are discovered, and removal is successful with a tick remover tool, pet owners are encouraged to take dogs to the vet for Lyme Disease testing.
Do you know the signs of Lyme Disease in dogs? Learn them:
- Excessive Drooling
- Weak Muscles
- Muscle Aches/Joint Pains
- Difficulty Eating/Swallowing
- Fast Heart Beat
Spring kicks off tick month when people and pets are beginning to play outside in grassy and wooded areas. Be sure to check for ticks on the body and know the symptoms of Lyme Disease.