Pembrokeshire SA61 1BN
A recent report suggests cases of Lyme disease in people are increasing, so what can we do to protect our pets?
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi and is transmitted by the bite of a tick. In people symptoms include fever, headache and a rash which if left untreated can spread to the joints and heart.
Ticks lay their eggs in spring and the larvae hatch in the summer. The adult ticks will seek blood meals on people and animals and if the tick contains the Borrelia infection, it will be passed on through the saliva into the next victim!
Dogs will suffer similar symptoms to people with fever, swollen glands and sore joints being the commonest symptoms
What can we do to prevent infection?
Make sure that you use a product that kills ticks as part of your parasite control regime. Speak to our staff who are all trained in the best products to kill ticks and can advise you on the best course of action depending on your needs.
The chances of infection increase the longer the tick is attached to the skin, so examination of the coat after walks and prompt removal of any visible ticks is the best way to prevent infection.
It is important to fully remove the tick so that the mouthparts are not left in the skin as this can cause severe reactions and infection. We have special tick removing tools which can be purchased for £4 for use at home, or our qualified nurses can give you advice and remove ticks if you are at all unsure what to do.
Symptoms to look out for with Lyme disease infection. Symptoms can include-
lameness without explanation, often appearing to affect different legs at different times, or a stiff gait
Swollen, hot or painful joints
Panting and lethargy due to a high temperature
How is Lyme disease diagnosed and treated?
If your dog has any of the listed symptoms make sure you tell the vet if you have seen or removed any ticks. A blood test can be taken to look for the infection, and sample of joint fluid may also need to be taken if the joints are very swollen.
The infection can be treated with specific antibiotics and prognosis is usually good if treatment if prompt
Fenton Veterinary Practice
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If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly veterinary team.