Toxic Tick Transmission
Anytime your pet picks up a tick, the risk for Lyme disease infection exists. The good news is that only certain types of ticks can carry and transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Even better news is that you can effectively and pretty simply minimize your pet’s risk.
Lyme disease infects your pet’s tissues and often results in lameness. This lameness can be spontaneous and can shift from one limb to another. It will sometimes last just a few days only to recur days or weeks later. This symptom is known as “shifting-leg lameness.” This can be accompanied by joints that are warm, swollen and painful. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to touch, stiff walk with arched back, difficulty breathing, fever and lack of appetite. Left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to a type of kidney damage that happens when a latent infectious organism stimulates the immune system over a long period of time. When this inflammation and dysfunction of a blood filter in the kidney occurs, you may observe your dog drinking more. This is because your pup’s body is having difficulty filtering toxins into urine, and they are building up in his bloodstream. Increased water consumption is an indicator that your dog’s body is trying to restore balance and remove the toxins from his blood. This type of kidney failure is very difficult to effectively treat and often results in death.
The easiest way to protect your pup from Lyme disease is to maintain a year-round flea and tick preventive regimen. Since ticks have to stay attached for 24 to 48 hours before the bacteria that cause Lyme disease are transmitted to your dog, an effective preventive helps ensure ticks don’t bite your pup or are killed before they can transmit Lyme disease to your pet. In addition to an effective preventive, avoiding areas that are known to be tick habitats such as wooded areas; areas heavy with bushes, shrubs, tall grasses or weeds; or along forest trails helps keep ticks off your pal. You should also check your pet for ticks anytime you’ve spent time outside — especially in or near areas likely to be tick-infested — and remove any ticks you find.
There is a vaccination available for Lyme disease. It is considered a “lifestyle” vaccine which means it’s not the right choice for every dog. If you would like to discuss whether the Lyme disease vaccination is right for your dog, review your pup’s flea and tick prevention plan or if you have questions about your pal’s risk of contracting Lyme disease, please contact us to set up a consultation.
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