April is Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month
April is Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month, said the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association in a press release earlier this week.
Most people have heard of Lyme disease and know how prevalent it is in Vermont, but may not know much about it. Lyme disease is spread through deer tick bites and caused by a bacteria called borrelia burgdorferi. This disease can cause your dog to be lame, lethargic, and not want to eat. In more severe cases, it can lead to kidney disease and rarely death. Preventing Lyme disease through vaccines and preventatives is the best way to keep your dog healthy.
Knowing the signs of Lyme disease is crucial as immediate treatment can prevent many of the complications associated with the disease. One of the first signs seen are signs of joint pain. This includes an unusual gait, favoring one leg, difficulty walking, or walking with an arched back. Your dog may be sensitive to being petted or may cry out when jumping. Other signs include a fever, acting tired, or not wanting to eat. Some dogs develop kidney problems and will pee and drink more than normal, start vomiting, or develop acute kidney failure and stop peeing altogether.
The VVMA urges prevention. "There are three main ways you can do this: using flea and tick prevention, getting your dog vaccinated, and checking your dog for ticks whenever she comes inside."
For more information, contact your veterinarian.