How to Protect your Dogs from Ticks and Lyme Disease?

We all love summers and look forward to the cozy warmth of sunny summer days. Most of us can’t wait to get out, soak up some sun, and take our dogs on an adventure or two. Unfortunately, spring and summer are peak tick seasons for our pets, causing lyme disease. Even into the fall season, ticks can be a threat. 

Black-legged ticks and deer ticks are the most common tick species and can carry many diseases, Lyme disease being the most notable. These pesky little critters keep spreading across the different regions, and so does the risk of Lyme disease.

Following are some of the measures you can take in order to protect your pets from tick-borne diseases:

  • Preventative medication: For our pets to be able to enjoy the outdoors in summer, it’s best to take steps to prevent tick bites.This can be done by using a preventative formula g designed to repel ticks. We kindly advise you to consult your vet to understand the best tick repellent formula based on size, breed etc of your dog. 
  • Inspection: It is always recommended to inspect your dog regularly for ticks. Use a lint roller to remove ticks that may be on the fur and haven’t attached to your dog skin.
  • Lawn maintenance: Ticks thrive in damp soil,  bushes, tall grass etc. Hence it becomes crucial to maintain your lawn/backyard and treat it with tick treatment spray while sealing any garbage bins or bags in order to keep ticks at bay.
  • Awareness:  Be aware if ticks are prevalent in areas you frequent especially if you were out in bushy areas, long grass or even just a park. 
  • Healthy diet: Maintain a well-balanced diet for your dog to keep the immune system in good shape. 

Please bear in mind, while these measures help greatly, however implementing them isn’t a guarantee your dog won’t pick up a tick while out. Hence, it is vital to remove the tick as soon as it’s found and watch your dog for signs of distress. Not every tick bite will result in Lyme disease, and if your dog is infected, the symptoms don’t always show up right away. It could take weeks or even longer for symptoms to present.

We all know that a bullseye rash from a tick is a tell-tale sign of Lyme disease in humans. This rash isn’t always obvious on your dog, especially if your pup was bitten in a hairy spot of their body.

Below are some of the symptoms to watch for that could mean your dog is infected with Lyme disease are:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Joint pain, swelling, stiffness
  • Limping in one or several legs

Severe but rare symptoms are:

  • Kidney problems
  • Neurological problems
  • Heart irregularities

How is Lyme disease treated in dogs?

Treating Lyme disease is pretty effective. The key is to catch it as soon as possible. The condition can progress pretty quickly. So recognizing the signs and symptoms that your dog may have contracted Lyme disease is worth educating yourself about. 

Antibiotics are given to combat Lyme disease in your dog, and sometimes anti-inflammatory meds or pain meds will also be prescribed depending on the symptoms. When prescribed antibiotics, dogs generally start to improve quickly. If you don’t notice a difference in a few days, it would be good to return to the vet for another evaluation.

YoPets is committed to educating pet owners on pet health. Knowing how to prevent ticks, symptoms of Lyme disease and how the disease is treated could save your dog’s life.

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