Monday, August 29, 2011

Looking Out for Lymes

Lyme's Disease.... can people get it?  Yes, but not from your dog.  The disease is transmitted through a bite from a deer tick.  The spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi is the bacterium that spreads through the body.  Dogs that have been infected present with severe joint pain, stiffness, lack of appetite, lethargy and/or a fever.  The symptoms can come on acutely or sometimes after time (several months to a year) has passed.  Diagnosis of the disease can be determined through a simple blood test and treatment consists of long term antibiotic therapy. 

Is my dog at risk?  Well, ask yourself a few questions.  Are there deer around your neighborhood?  Has Lyme disease been found in any people or animals in your area?  Do you live in a wooded area or near tall brush where ticks breed?  Do you and your furry companion go for walks, hikes, camping, picnicking, hunting or fishing?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should be proactive in preventing the disease.  Use a monthly tick preventive like Frontline Plus, vaccinate your dog against Lyme's disease, and examine your dog checking for ticks regularly.  With these few simple steps you can help to prevent your companion from  this potentially debilitating disease.

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