What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial disease that can cause arthritis, kidney damage, and death in both dogs and people. Lyme disease is currently located in every US state.

Exposure to Lyme disease may be greater in dogs than in humans, because dogs spend more time outdoors. Ticks are prevalent year-round, making prevention efforts even more important.

dog tickWhat are the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease?

  • Lameness
  • Anorexia
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Joint pain/swelling
  • Depression

Your pet may have Lyme disease and show no symptoms at all.

What types of preventative measures are there?

Flea and tick prevention such as Nexgard or Seresto collars are very effective at tick prevention. Seresto collars actually repel the ticks, so they do not have to attach to your pet to be killed.

A yearly Lyme vaccine is another preventative measure that we offer. An initial vaccination is given, and then three weeks later your pet will need another vaccination. After the initial boosters, the Lyme vaccine is good for one year, and is considered a non-core yearly vaccination.

While the Lyme disease vaccination is not required by law, it is highly recommended, especially here in Central Pennsylvania, as we are in a high-tick area.

How do you test for Lyme disease?

Testing for Lyme disease is done by a quick and simple blood test. Here in our office, we will draw a sample of your pet’s blood and send it out to a laboratory.

Prevention is the key to combating Lyme disease in our area. With prevention, you can avoid the significant costs associated with treatment if your pet were to contract the disease. Sometimes treatment for Lyme is not necessary, but it is based on clinical signs, and future prevention of the disease. Your veterinarian will discuss preventative measures, or if necessary, treatment measures with you at a scheduled appointment.

To discuss preventative measures, or if you think your pet may have contracted Lyme disease, please call us at (717) 957-3991 to set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable veterinarians.

Learn more about pet parasites and prevention here.