Top Reported Lyme Cases
Lyme Disease is a debilitating vector disease caused by tick bites that can affect all warm-blooded mammals including wildlife, humans and pets. Because April is Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs Month, pet owners are encouraged to do their research on Lyme Disease and how to protect dogs from tick bites.
These U.S. states continue to have the highest reported cases of Lyme Disease (in no particular order):
- New York
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
Although there is a vaccine for dogs with Lyme Disease, it does not provide complete protection against the disease. Dogs 12 weeks of age or older should initially receive two vaccines 2-4 weeks apart and an annual booster thereafter.
To prevent Lyme Disease in dogs, it is worth:
Lyme In Dogs Month
Pet owners are often surprised to learn that dogs can get Lyme Disease, the most common tick-borne disease from deer ticks. Although the Eastern Black-legged Tick, or "deer tick" is known to carry Lyme Disease, it is not the only tick species that can transfer to the disease to dogs.
Symptoms of dogs can come several weeks after a tick bite and can last for up to 2-5 months. Lyme Disease symptoms in dogs may vary, but include:
- High blood pressure
- Fast heart rate and rhythm (tachyarrhythmias)
- Weakness, especially in the hind limbs
- Partial loss of muscle movements (paresis)
- Complete loss of muscle movement (paralysis), commonly seen in advanced disease state
- Poor reflexes to complete loss of reflex
- Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
- Difficulty in eating
- Disorder of voice (dysphonia)
- Asphyxia due to respiratory muscle paralysis in severely affected animals
- Excessive drooling (sialosis)
- Megaesophagus (enlarged esophagus)
- Excessive dilatation of pupil in the eye (mydriasis)
It's important to groom dogs for ticks after outdoor activity; and know how to remove a tick from pets.
To prevent Lyme Disease in dogs, EasyPetFence.com encourages pet owners to install a dog fence to keep out wildlife that may be carrying ticks with vector diseases. The logic is simple: if homeowners keep out deer they will reduce the spread of ticks in the yard and will keep pets safe from tick bites.
This Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs Month, keep a look out for pet ticks and read the EasyPetFence blog for more tick disease prevention tips.
Lyme Disease In Dogs
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.