Ticks are bad news for people and pets, but it’s hard to avoid them if your dog spends lots of time outdoors. Regularly checking your pet (and yourself) after spending time outdoors can help reduce the likelihood of a tick bite and the potential for Lyme disease. Here are some things you need to know about ticks and your dog so you can keep your pet safe from harm.
Lyme disease can be deadly in dogs
Untreated Lyme disease could lead to joint damage and kidney failure in dogs. This is why it’s very important that pet owners see their vet if their dog shows any signs of having contacted the disease.
In dogs, some of the most common signs of Lyme disease can be easily mistaken for other ailments, including arthritis. Here are some common signs of Lyme disease in dogs:
● Lymph node swelling
● Limping (any leg)
● Loss of appetite
● Loss of energy, lethargy
● Sensitive to being touched
● Loss of appetite
Lyme disease is treatable
Your vet may prescribe a series of antibiotics if your dog contracts the disease. The earlier it is caught, the better the outcome will be for your pet, so make sure you call your vet if you suspect Lyme disease.
There’s a vaccination for Lyme disease
Depending on how common the occurrence of Lyme disease is where you live, your vet may offer your dog a vaccination against the disease. Additionally, you can help prevent your dog from catching the disease by avoiding heavily wooded areas (ticks naturally live here), and you can use a pet-safe insecticide on your lawn.
Check your dog for ticks after every outside visit
If you spot a tick crawling on your pet (or yourself), pluck it off before it can latch onto the skin. If a tick is already latched on, remove it carefully using tweezers or a tick removal tool. Pull the tick straight out, avoiding squeezing the body of the tick, which could force pathogens into your dog’s blood (or your own blood, if the tick is on you.)
Keep ahead of ticks and keep your pet safe from Lyme disease by checking your dog regularly for ticks and disposing of them as quickly as you can if you find them.