As we've told you before, Lyme disease is a growing problem in America, with the Centers for Disease Control warning that the infection will become much more common this year.
But humans aren't the only ones affected by the uptick in the number of Lyme disease cases. Our four-legged friends are at risk as well. While dogs and cats have stronger immunity to Lyme disease than we do, it's still a very serious risk because of the disease's dangerous symptoms.
You should learn the signs, treatments, and most effective ways to avoid this awful disease before your pets catch it.
Lime disease is caused by a bacteria common in animals like deer, birds and mice which is spread by ticks. The ticks bite your pet, carrying the infection from one animal to the next.
If you notice a tick bite on your dog or cat, it's important to act quickly by removing the tick. The longer it stays on your pet, the greater the risk that they will get infected.
The most common symptoms of Lyme disease in pets is lameness, especially "shifting-leg lameness" that seems to stop and start in different limbs.
If you notice your pets suffering from inflammation and lameness, as well as lack of appetite, depression or trouble breathing, get them to a vet right away.
Also: be aware of your pet's risk level. Certain breeds including Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and Shetland sheepdogs have a higher risk of catching Lyme disease. If you live on the coasts or the Midwest, where ticks are more common, your risk level will also be higher.
Thankfully Lyme disease is treatable, but the antibiotic medication can take months to work, and it doesn't always cure 100% of your pets symptoms.
So play it safe and avoid Lyme disease with these simple methods:
- groom your pet often for ticks
- use tick sprays, collars and other products to keep them safe
- Ask your vet about booster shots to guard against the diseases ticks spread
It's up to you to keep your pet healthy, but with a little forethought they should be perfectly safe.
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