Lyme Disease: What you Need to Know
Lyme disease is caused by four main species of bacteria that is transmitted by the bite of an infected black legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick. While Lyme disease is not transmittable from dogs to humans, dogs can bring infected ticks into your home.
Ticks are 8-legged parasites that feed off of the blood of animals and people. They can live almost anywhere, but prefer moist, humid environments. Ticks typically reside in forests and fields with tall grass or brush and are most active in cool, damp weather.
Should You Worry About Lyme Disease?
In the past, Lyme disease was widely believed to be a Northeast and upper Midwest concern. Unfortunately, in recent years we have seen that the deer tick has expanded its territory and the South has begun to see a rise in Lyme cases. In fact, recent studies have suggested that the prevalence of diagnosed Lyme disease in the south is almost equal to that of heartworm disease!
Who is at Risk?
Those who live in areas surrounded by tall brush or grass or have active outdoor lifestyles are at a greater risk of being exposed to Lyme disease.
What are the Symptoms in Dogs?
The most common symptoms of Lyme disease include lameness (limping), lethargy, and loss of appetite. Though 90% of infected dogs show no clinical signs.
In addition to monthly flea and tick preventatives, your veterinarian may recommend vaccination against Lyme disease.
To learn more about Lyme disease and prevention, contact Harbor Point Animal Hospital at 704-230-0858 to schedule an appointment!