Lyme Disease

Tick

In Minnesota and Wisconsin, Lyme disease is an infection we see and treat throughout the year. Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi, which is carried within the digestive system of the deer tick. Although not all deer ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, we cannot be sure which are carriers and which are not.

Symptoms of Lyme disease may come and go which can make it a difficult disease to diagnose. As a result, it is important for owners to be proactive and knowledgeable about Lyme disease and how to prevent it. Symptoms to consider in our pets include joint pain, pain switching from one joint to another, fever, lethargy, depression, lack of appetite, and vomiting. Dogs and humans can have similar symptoms of Lyme disease except that we do not see the same target shaped rash effect on dogs as we do in humans.
In addition to these symptoms, cats may also show eye damage and unusual breathing. These are all symptoms that can be seen in other conditions so it is extremely important to contact your veterinarian if you see any of the above.

There are numerous steps pet owners can take to prevent Lyme disease. At Hudson Road Animal Hospital, we offer a canine vaccine specifically for Lyme disease that is usually given once per year. Making sure your dog is vaccinated is one of the best defenses against this disease. In addition, there are products available for pets that protect against ticks as well as fleas. At Hudson Road Animal Hospital we carry Vectra 3D for flea/tick prevention as well as Revolution for flea/heartworm prevention. Both of these products are topicals that owners are able to apply once per month throughout the spring, summer, and fall. It is important to talk with your veterinarian about which product is best for your pet.

Hunting Dog

Another precaution to take is going through your pet's coat and feeling for any little bumps - which may indicate a tick has "hitched a ride" on your pet. An attached tick may vary in size from a pinhead to a grape.

To remove an attached tick owners can take a tweezer and grasp the tick as close to the pet's skin as possible and slowly pull it away. The staff at Hudson Road will be happy to help you identify and remove any ticks you find, or show you how to do so at home.

Other ways to help keep your pets safe is to keep your lawn mowed and avoid bringing your pets into areas of tall grass. Education is the best defense - if you have any questions we encourage you to discuss them with your veterinarian.

Lyme disease is prevalent throughout the United States, especially in the Midwest. Knowing the symptoms of Lyme Disease and the precautions we can take will help keep our pets safe and protected all year long.

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Woodbury, MN 55125
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