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Lyme Disease and the Best Prevention

Since the popular boom of Lyme disease in the 1980’s, there has been some misconception about Lyme disease in humans vs. canines. Unfortunately, many dogs exposed to the Lyme organism (Borrelia burgdorferi) will never develop clinical symptoms. However, a prolonged infection can eventually resonate in kidney disease and/or severe arthritis. A dog is at risk for Lyme disease if it has incurred a tick bite, specifically from the Deer Tick species, for more than 48hrs. It is always best to remove a tick as soon as you find it, ensuring that you remove the entire tick including its head. If any doubt is held about complete removal, the veterinarians at The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt would be happy to assist you in that effort and discuss what to monitor for at home as the onset of clinical signs may take weeks to months.

It was once held true that deer ticks carrying the Lyme organism were in the Northeastern part of the United States. However, over time there has been significant migration to the Southeast and new cases of Lyme exposure are being documented much more often. Due to this fact, it is wise to protect against Lyme disease even in the Southeast.

Prevention can occur in several ways. First and foremost, there is a Lyme vaccine that prevents the transmission of the Lyme organism to your dog were it to be bitten by an infected tick. This is a yearly vaccine and would initially require a booster after the first vaccine is administered. This is the best option for a dog who has never been exposed to the Lyme organism. If your dog is not vaccinated against Lyme, please speak with your veterinarian about this potential preventative vaccine.

Additionally, there are numerous methods to prevent tick bites that may carry many other serious tick-borne diseases. These preventative measures include, collars, topicals, and oral products to decrease the risk of tick bites and tick borne disease. Often the choice of further tick prevention is based on individual preference and the lifestyle of your pet.

At The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt, we offer a selection of tick prevention that is best suited for you and your dog’s lifestyle. Some of these products include: Effitix (monthly topical), Simparica (monthly oral tablet), and Bravecto (a 2 to 3 month oral product).

If you are interested in further information about tick prevention or the Lyme vaccine, don’t hesitate and please, call us today. We will be happy to assist you and your furry friend.


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  • "I have been taking my 16 year old lab, Oscar, to this vet since he came to me in 2004, and I wouldn't take any of my dogs anywhere else! They are so wonderful with both pets and people. I would recommend any of the doctors and staff to anyone."
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