Tick populations have increased dramatically in many areas over the last few years. This is very concerning, as ticks can carry several dangerous diseases. One of the most common is Lyme disease, a bacterial illness which can affect both people and pets. Lyme can seriously damage vital organs, and is extremely detrimental to one’s health. An Omaha, NE vet discusses Lyme disease in dogs below.
Lyme disease is primarily spread by ticks. The main culprit is the deer tick, also known as the blacklegged tick or bear tick. Ticks pick up the Lyme bacteria by feeding on infected animals, and spreading it to their next victims.
It’s important for pet owners to know the symptoms of Lyme in dogs. Some red flags include fever, reduced appetite, lethargy, lameness and discomfort, stiff and/or swollen joints. If you notice any of these signs in your canine pal, contact your vet right away. Fido will need to be tested to determine if he does have Lyme. If he is positive, well, the sooner treatment is started, the better! As for treatments, this often includes antibiotics, but your vet may recommend other options. Specific treatments would be discussed after a diagnosis has been made.
What if Fido does get Lyme? The good news is that you can’t catch it directly from your pooch. However, you’re still at risk from catching it via ticks, as are any other pets in the household. If you ever find a tick on yourself, look for the telltale red ring around the spot. If you see one and/or suspect the tick could have been attached for over 24 hours, contact your doctor.
There are ways to protect both yourself and Fido from these tiny monsters. Keeping up with your pup’s parasite control regime is first and foremost. You’ll also want to check Fido over carefully after he’s been in the woods or fields. If you do find a tick, remove it carefully, using tweezers or a tick popper. (Tip: take a picture of the tiny monster, so it can be identified if your pooch develops symptoms later.) There are also things you can do to make your property less appealing to ticks. Keep your grass mowed, and remove piles of debris, like dead branches.
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