Lyme Disease: How To Protect Your Pets & Family
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted through the bite of an infected tick and can infect both dogs and their families. Many dogs don’t show signs of infection, however some will exhibit symptoms such as shifting-leg lameness, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. In some cases, Lyme disease can lead to issues such as kidney failure.
People cannot catch Lyme disease from an infected dog, but the same ticks that bite dogs can also bite humans. This means that if there are infected dogs in an area, there are infected ticks that may transmit disease to humans. Environmental changes are affecting the areas that ticks live and therefore the areas for Lyme disease may be changing locally. Pet Disease Alert’s 30-Day forecast maps are a great way to visualize high-risk areas for Lyme disease but they can also serve as an early-warning system for areas of emerging risk.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends year-round use of tick preventives and annual testing for tick-borne illness. For pet owners that live in known areas of high-risk for Lyme disease or that are travelling to these areas, they should talk with their local veterinarian about testing and protecting their dogs against this disease. A Lyme disease vaccination may also be a consideration for pets in high-risk areas.