Written by Nicole Cummings, DVM

With summer in full swing, I thought Lyme disease would be a great first blog topic. Here at the Marion Animal Hospital, we have seen our fair share of Lyme positive dogs, and even cats!

Lyme disease is transmitted through by the Ixodes tick (commonly referred to as the Deer tick). The name deer tick is a misnomer, as this tick is most often in our yard and near our houses by hitching a ride on the white footed mouse.

Many of the pets we diagnose with Lyme will come into our hospital have a decreased appetite, tiredness, fever, and swelling in one or more joints. Owners often report a sore paw which will then switch to another paw a few days later. A pet that is not on a monthly tick preventative and comes in for a visit with these signs is usually tested for Lyme disease.

If your dog tests positive for Lyme disease, we will likely begin treatment with an antibiotic. It is important to know that some pets can have chronic problems as a result of Lyme disease, including serious kidney problems and it may be important to do further bloodwork and a urinalysis to evaluate the patient.

With that being said, I want to stress the importance of PREVENTION. I always tell clients, that no one preventative is 100%, but by doing three important steps, you can drastically decrease the chance of your pet getting Lyme disease. FIRST; apply a monthly tick preventative. There are many to choose from, and our staff will be more than happy to help pick out something that will fit for both you and your pet. The SECOND; ask one of our veterinarians about the Lyme vaccine. THIRD; and even if you do the first two things I have listed, the primary means of prevention is still considered checking your dog daily/cat daily for ticks. If a tick is found on your dog, be sure it is removed correctly. I have attached a link to the center of disease controlʼs website for the proper removal of ticks: https://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/ ld_tickremoval.htm

If you have any further questions or concerns about your pet and Lyme disease, please do not hesitate to call us at: 508-748-1203

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