We’ve discussed ticks and how to prevent them, now let’s discuss ticks and disease, specifically Lyme. Did you know that dogs are 50% more likely than humans to get Lyme disease? We have had two dogs test positive for Lyme in the last week!
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme is a tick-borne disease which affects both humans and animals. Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria, is transmitted by the Ixodes species of tick which acquire the bacteria when they feed on infected animals. The tick then transmits this bacteria to other animals or people when they attach and feed again.
Life Cycle of the Deer Tick:
Black-legged ticks (deer ticks) typically become infected with the Lyme-causing bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, during their larval stage when they feed on infected white footed mice and ground-feeding birds. The infected nymph or adult tick then transmits the bacteria to people and domestic animals when it attaches and takes a blood meal.
Deer ticks are found in grassy areas (including lawns), brush, shrubs and woodlands – particularly along trails. They prefer moist, humid areas.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs:
Loss of Appetite
Dogs often display no clear signs of Lyme disease, so it’s important to determine the level of infection in your dog. By measuring a specific antibody called “C6” in your dog’s blood, we can determine whether treatment is required. If the antibody level is low, we may determine that your dog doesn’t need immediate treatment. We’ll schedule a follow up appointment or monitor your dog and make sure he or she stays healthy. If the antibody level is moderate or high, we may begin treatment immediately. Several effective antibiotics are available.
Tick control is an important ingredient of a Lyme disease prevention program. We covered the different types of tick prevention in our last blog, but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 905-372-2721!
Just an FYI, a client just let us know today that they took a tick off their dog. So they have definitely arrived!