Remember that time our technicians pulled all these ticks off a dog that played in the woods all weekend? We are still itchy.
Spring is in the air… and that means the ticks are on the ground, on blades of grass, and in the trees. Contrary to popular belief, the Chicago area is prone to ticks, and the numbers increase every year.
Per the Chicago Tribune, Lyme disease in humans is on the rise in Cook County (see video below) which can only mean the same for our 4-legged pals.
Lyme disease is zoonotic, which means both humans and animals can be affected. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a tick, and while we may be able to wear clothing to cover ourselves from potential bites, out dogs cannot. This is why monthly preventatives are so important for our pets.
Pets infected with Lyme disease may not show any signs for 2-5 months. After that time, typical symptoms include:
-Loss of appetite
Recurrent lameness also is possible, and the involved extremity may be tender. Inflammation of the joint can last from days to weeks, and can also migrate from one extremity to another.
As the weather is warming up take extra care to check yourself and your canine companion when coming inside after an outdoor adventure. Many of us visit dog parks, forest preserves, and other wooded areas with our dogs and we need to be extra vigilant when it comes to looking for these little hitchhikers.
The good news : Along with preventatives, there is also a Lyme vaccine available. We recommend consulting with one of our veterinarians to see if this may be the best option for your dog. If your veterinarian does recommend that your dog be vaccinated against Lyme disease, the typical protocol will involve an initial vaccination followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later and annual boosters after that. The Lyme vaccine does NOT take the place of monthly preventatives for your pet. Contact us at My Vet Animal Hospital to discuss the best plan for your pup!