Thursday, April 2, 2009

Get Ticked Off! Protect Your Dog Against Lyme Disease

April is the official "Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month" so if your dog spends any time at all outside (which we certainly hope is the case!), you should make sure he or she is protected. The Lyme disease bacteria is carried by the black-legged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the western black-legged tick (I. pacificus), both of which are smaller than the typical tick found on most pets. The disease can affect the heart, brain and kidneys. Outward symptoms of Lyme disease vary among individual dogs but may include joint stiffness, fever, loss of appetite, lymph node swelling, lethargy and a red rash near source of tick bite.

Luckily, we can all prevent Lyme disease. Our dog and cat both receive monthly Frontline® treatments (click here for a coupon), and we always do extensive tick checks after hikes in the woods, especially this time of year. Parts of the body ticks especially like to hang out include ears, groin, armpits and under collars. There is also a vaccine available to prevent Lyme Disease, though some veterinarians are against it. For more information, visit, which includes a U.S. Positive Canine Lyme Map and tick identification section. Ellen

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