With spring approaching, you and your pets may be spending more time exploring the outdoors. While this is a great way to spend some quality time with your pet, there are some dangers you should be aware of. Lyme disease is a condition spread by ticks that can significantly affect your pet’s long-term health. This April, Cloquet Animal Hospital is celebrating Prevention of Lyme Disease month by spreading awareness and keeping your pet safe.  

In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about Lyme disease and prevention. 

What Causes Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is carried by ticks and is transmitted when a tick bites an unsuspecting host. When the tick bites, the bacterium is released into the bloodstream and travels throughout the body, spreading infection. 

There are a variety of tick species that can carry the bacteria, including deer ticks that are found throughout our state. Not only can Lyme disease affect your pets, but ticks can also spread the disease to people. Because of this, it’s essential to know what symptoms to look for and how you can prevent the disease. 

Common Signs and Symptoms 

After a tick encounter, it can be several months before pets experience symptoms. The most common symptoms in pets with Lyme disease are generalized pain and discomfort. Additionally, pets with Lyme disease may also experience:

  • Fever 
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Swollen or painful joints 
  • Lameness 
  • Lethargy

If your furry friend is experiencing any concerning symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical care. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment and have your pet evaluated. 

How to Keep Your Pet Safe 

When it comes to protecting your cats and dogs, there are a variety of steps you can take. Here are a few ways you can prevent Lyme disease and keep your pet safe. 

  • Reduce Your Pet’s Tick Exposure 

A simple way you can reduce your pet’s risk of Lyme disease is to avoid tick-infested areas. Ticks are typically found in heavily wooded areas and tall grasses. Try to avoid these areas when possible, and always check your pet for ticks after spending time outdoors. 

  • Use Tick Prevention 

Tick prevention is essential for keeping your pet protected from Lyme disease and other diseases spread by the parasite. These preventatives come in various forms, including topical treatments, collars, and oral medication.

  • Vaccination

Lyme vaccines are typically recommended for dogs who live in high-risk areas or spend a considerable amount of time outside. The first dose can be given as a puppy, with a follow-up booster required in 2-4 weeks. After the initial series, your pet will need to receive a booster vaccine every year to remain protected. 

Give Us a Call! 

At Cloquet Animal Hospital, we understand the importance of keeping your pet healthy and safe. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of Lyme disease and what steps you can take to prevent it. If you have additional questions about your pet’s protection or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 218-879-9280. 

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