Ticks are one of the most common pests that transmit diseases to dogs around the U.S.A, Australia, UK, and most of the other parts of Europe. They can transmit a number of infections, with Lyme Disease in dogs being the most common.
What Causes Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease can be acquired when an infected tick has been attached to the dog for at least 18-24 hours. After that, the symptoms start setting in. When a dog is infected with this disease, bacteria causes their joints to become inflamed. This can lead to several other symptoms. Serious complications can occur if the infection isn’t treated right away. Eventually, the kidneys, heart, or nervous system could become damaged.
Any dog can be affected by Lyme disease but it is more prevalent in young dogs. Certain breeds are also more susceptible to complications. For example, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Bernese Mountain dogs are more likely to develop kidney disease than other breeds. Kidney disease can ultimately lead to kidney failure which is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss and increased urination and thirst.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs
- Recurrent lameness of the limbs or acute lameness
- Sensitive to touch
- Difficulty breathing
- Stiff walk with an arched back
- Fever, appetite loss and depression
Test and Treatment of Lyme Disease in Dogs
If your dog has any of these symptoms listed above, it is important to take them to the veterinarian. Several blood tests and a urinalysis might be conducted. The vet needs these to assess if bacteria, parasites, and fungi are present in the bloodstream. To further asses the disease, fluid might also be drawn from affected joints.
A dog that has been diagnosed with Lyme disease must have his or her physical activity limited. This is necessary for the inflamed joints to heal properly. Antibiotics will also be prescribed and will need to be taken for up to four weeks. Unfortunately, some dogs infected with Lyme disease will have joint problems for the rest of their lives. This is another reason why it is important to prevent or detect it as soon as possible.
Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs
Prevention of Lyme disease in dogs isn’t always easy. However, you can try your hardest by:
- Not allowing your dog to roam in tick-infested environments which include moist and humid areas and areas with much vegetation.
- Grooming your dog and checking for ticks daily. Removing ticks within 24 hours of infestation greatly reduces the risk of transmitting Lyme disease.
- Informing yourself about the variety of sprays, collar, and other products that help to kill and repel ticks. (Always talk to a veterinarian before trying a product on your pet.)
Humans Can Also Get Infected
It is important to take note that humans can also be infected with Lyme disease. Individuals can reduce their susceptibility to acquiring Lyme disease by maintaining a strategic distance from tick-infested areas. On the off chance that exposure to tick-infested environments can’t be avoided, people may reduce their danger of contamination by utilizing repellents, wearing protective clothing, and consistently checking for attached ticks especially in places you can’t see, for example, the back of the head and behind the ears.
Tick Protection for Dogs
In the same light, protecting your dog against tick bites is critical. There is a wide range of items available today that can prevent tick-transmitted infections that can cause Lyme disease in dogs. The most well-known tick bite prevention items are Topical Sprays and Spot-on Treatments. In any case, as a rule, these items don’t work longer than fourteen days to a month and require consistent re-application, some more frequent than others. In addition to this, active chemicals in spot-on treatments and sprays are usually administered directly onto the dog’s skin which a lot of individuals find to undesirable.
One great option, in this case, is to protect your dog with a tick repellent vest whenever you are taking him out for a walk. Tick repellent vests will keep your pet from bringing home ticks that may represent a risk to you or your family members. Once you’re back home you can simply remove the vest.
Take Extra Steps
Naturally, since they are lower on the ground, dogs are exposed to many more ticks than people do. Even when utilizing a tick repellent vest, a couple of ticks may have managed to latch on to the dog because the vest does not cover a hundred percent of your dog’s fur. Luckily, ticks may take a long time to navigate through the fur and reach the dog’s skin before biting. Therefore, it is advisable to look through your dog’s fur right after a stroll outside through the woods or trails to make sure there aren’t any ticks hanging on. Tick vests do however prevent ticks to a degree. The 2 following tick vests are very well rated:
- Made in USA from No Fly Zone Material
- Approved by EPA
- Hi Viz Colors
- Genuine 3M reflective striping for high visibility in all light conditions
- Velcro Closure on chest & belly
- Safety Vests are treated with state-of-the-art Insect Shield technology, converting them into long-lasting, convenient, and effective insect protection
- Repels ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects
- Features two reflective strips for added visibility and effectivety at night
- Made with comfortable cotton canvas fabric and adjustable straps, for a secure and comfy fit"
- Veterinarian approved by Dr. Katy
The best way to prevent Lyme disease in your dog is to keep him or her from infected tick bites. Make sure to keep your dog out of areas with ticks. For extra precaution, you can check for ticks regularly. This can help keep your dog free from Lyme disease. If you notice any of the symptoms of Lyme disease in your dog, get to the veterinary right away. A confirmation of Lyme disease in your dog means that treatment should be started as soon as possible to prevent further complications.