How Dogs Get Lyme
Typically, tick season begins in late March as the weather turns from cold to cool. During the warm seasons, spring and summer, people and pets spend the most time outdoors playing and exercising either at home or in wooded or grassy areas. This is when we see an uptick in tick disease cases.
Like cats, dogs can get Lyme Disease and other tick-borne infections. But, how does it happen? Tick diseases spread from animal to animal and person to animal (and vice versa). When wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, walk onto landscapes in search of food, they naturally drop ticks on the yard. The grass is where ticks are usually hiding in search of their next blood meal. When dogs roll around in grassy areas, they are at risk of tick bites.
White-tailed deer are the main carriers of ticks with Lyme Disease in North America; however the white-footed mouse; birds and other wild animals are also known carriers. To protect pets from the risk of tick bites and infections, pet owners will need to fence out wildlife with at least a 6 foot high fence. Fencing is the most recommended strategy for wildlife management and tick disease prevention.
Since April is Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs Month, dog owners will need to be proactive in keeping wildlife away from their companion pets to reduce the spread of ticks with diseases in spring and summer.
Prevent Lyme In Dogs
April is Prevent Lyme In Dogs Month; and we need to have the tick talk with pet owners.
April is chosen as Lyme Disease Prevention In Dogs Month because spring and summer are when dogs are at high risk of being bit by ticks as they go outside to play; visit dog parks; and hike with pet owners. To prevent Lyme Disease in pets, owners need to perform a few steps including.
1. Check for ticks after outdoor activity
Ticks like to hide in the fur and they can go undetected for days, weeks unless the pet owners groom dogs for ticks. Take the time to brush dogs and use your hands to feel for ticks. Ticks are most likely to be found along the ankles, behind ears, underneath the tail and around the collar.
If a tick is detected, be sure to properly remove the tick with a removal tool, (not a lighter or fingertips) and get the dog to the vet as soon as possible for Lyme Disease testing and diagnosis.
Dogs with symptoms of Lyme Disease will experience fatigue, weak joints, high blood pressure and excessive salvation.
According to Pets and Parasites, there have been over 47000 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in dogs this year alone in the United States. Be sure to keep pets away from wildlife that may be carrying ticks with diseases this season as an added measure of security.