Jun 16 2014

Assess Your Pet’s Risk Factors for Lyme Disease

Assess Your Dog’s risk factors

Assessing the risk for your dog to get Lyme disease is a combination of where you live, your dog’s lifestyle and his overall health. While many dogs are at risk in their own backyards because of where they live, others may have hunting or travel lifestyles that put them at risk. Understanding the risk in your local area is important.
The breed of your dog is not an important risk factor. Big or small, couch potato or hunting dog, any dog can be at risk. Whenever and wherever dogs come in close contact with ticks – usually wildlife areas where mice and deer live – the risk of exposure to Lyme disease is great.
The two largest risk factors for contracting Lyme disease are:
  1. Exposure to infected ticks.
  2. Vaccination status.

Know the facts

– Nearly 75 percent of unvaccinated dogs in endemic areas will eventually test positive, and each year some will develop Lyme disease.3
– Three-quarters of human cases in endemic areas are contracted during activities around the home.3
– If you find a tick attached to your dog, call your veterinarian. Canine Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, particularly if caught early. Your veterinarian will determine the best course of care.
– Canine Lyme disease is largely preventable by vaccination, and by using tick control and frequent tick checks. Remember that Ixodes ticks are small and hard to find in a dog’s coat.
– If you suspect your dog might be at risk, ask your veterinarian about options for vaccinating your dog for Lyme disease.


How do dogs get lyme disease?

From the bite of an infected Ixodes called “the deer tick”

  • – The tick must be infected with a specific bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi for your dog to get canine Lyme disease.
  • – This bacteria is what actualy causes canine Lyme disease – the tick is just the transmitter or “vector” for the bacteria.
  • – Dogs don’t get Lyme disease from other dogs or people.
  • – Dogs can get Lyme disease anywhere there are infected ticks, such as wildlife areas or their own backyards.
  • – Your dog is at higher risk for getting Lyme disease if he lives in an area with a high incendence of human Lyme disease.

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