Our four-legged friends are just as susceptible to contracting tick-borne illnesses as we humans are. For this reason, the month of April is recognized as Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted through the bite of a tick and is most transmitted via a black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick. Lyme disease can be difficult to detect but can cause serious long-term health complications.
Most people look for the well-known bullseye rash at the site of the bite as an initial indicator of Lyme disease. However, the bullseye rash is not a Lyme disease characteristic that develops in dogs.
More common symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- High fever
Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, but if left undetected and untreated for a prolonged period, symptoms can worsen and become harder to manage. This makes prevention against Lyme disease key.
Here are 5 tips to help protect your dog:
- Consult with your veterinarian about reliable tick-preventive products.
- Discuss Lyme disease vaccination with your veterinarian. Depending on where you live, your lifestyle, and your dog’s overall health, your vet may or may not recommend this.
- Try to avoid settings where ticks may be lurking. This includes heavily wooded areas and areas with tall grass.
- Maintain your lawn by following Mosquito Squad’s 6 C’s of Tick Control.
- Follow the CDC’s guide on where to check your dog for ticks.
Diligence in keeping your dog protected from Lyme disease also translates to helping your whole family stay protected, as ticks can easily be carried indoors via your pet.
Need help fighting the bite in your backyard? Contact your local Mosquito Squad today!