Dogs With Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is the most talked about tick virus in the United States carried by black-legged ticks, that affects all sorts of warm-blooded mammals including wildlife, pets and humans. While many know that people can get the tick-borne illness from a tick bite, some are surprised to learn that dogs can have Lyme Disease.
Last year, over 318,000 dogs tested positively for Lyme Disease in the United States. So far in 2019, the numbers have increased over 330,000. Most of the dogs affected with Lyme Disease are from the New England Area and the Midwest - which makes sense since these areas are heavily wooded.
Ticks are a year-round problem; and while not all ticks carry Lyme Disease, some carry other harmful tick infections including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and tularemia.Pet owners will need to groom dogs for ticks after outside activity and take pups to the vet should they spot a tick on the skin.
Ticks In the Wintertime
As the weather turns from cool to brisk, outdoor enthusiasts are rethinking spending additional time outdoors; however, pets are used to going outside for at least 30 minutes a day and are begging for more play time. In addition to the cool temperatures, pet owners must worry about hiding ticks. After all, ticks remain a year-long concern as long as temperatures are above freezing. Here's what we know.
Ticks will hide underneath leaves for warmth and shelter during the cold winter months. They will also sit on fire logs and will wander inside homes if the firewood is close enough to doorways. For people and pet safety against ticks, it's best to keep firewood and leaf piles away from houses.
When dogs come back inside after playing in the snow, wipe off the snow from their paws and dry their bodies. Then, perform a thorough tick search. Grooming pets for ticks can be done in less than five minutes and can save dogs from Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Here are top tick hiding spots on dogs:
- Between toes
- In the groin area
- Underneath dog collars/clothes
- Under the tail
- In and around the ears
Remove a tick from the skin with a tick remover tool. Test the tick for tick diseases and take the dog to the vet for evaluation if bit by a tick.
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.