Dog Tick and Lyme Disease Prevention
"Dog tick and lyme disease prevention involves protecting your dog with a tick repellent collar and if possible removing places in your dogs environment where ticks like to live"
Dog Tick and Lyme Disease Prevention tips for avoiding this problem.
There are 5 steps that can be taken to reduce exposure to Ticks:
1. Trim High Grass If you Live in an Area with Deer - The favorite host for ticks is deer. No deer means fewer ticks.
2. Avoid Areas that Attract Ticks - Keep your dog out of wooded or high grass areas.
3. Tick Repellent - Use a tick repellent collar.
4. Check your pet for ticks
5. Insecticide - Use a specialized product that is pet safe.
Some breeds are predisposed to Lyme disease such as Labradors, Golden retrievers, and Shelties. Most others will not show any symptoms, or if they do they will be over a week at most.
How To Check Your Yard For Ticks
One thing to make sure of when thinking about Dog Tick and Lyme Disease is that it is possible for a dog to be infected outside of your property or yard and then for the dog to bring the tick back to your yard or home. The unfortunate outcome is an infestation of ticks at home. This happens when a tick is on your dog, finishes feeding and then naturally falls off.
If your dog is suddenly picking up ticks, there is a simple way to determine if you have a tick infestation.
To check for ticks with Dog Tick and Lyme Disease, take an old white pillow case. Drag the case through various places around the house and through different types of plants and grass. Ticks will think the case is a host and grab hold. If you see little gray specs on the case, you probably have ticks. Call an exterminator to determine the best insecticides and pet safe approaches.
Lyme Disease Treatment
Most dogs are not natural carriers of lyme disease and do not show symptoms, even if they have the bacteria that causes the disease in their blood (Borrelia burgdorferi).
Research conducted at Cornell Veterinary College exposed 6- to 12-week-old Beagle puppies to the bacteria. They had no signs of illness until 2 to 5 months after exposure followed by a 4-day illness that went away without treatment.
Dogs are also different than humans in that dogs do not show symptoms such as flu-like signs or a rash soon after the tick bite. Canine Lyme arthritis is very responsive to a short course of inexpensive, safe, oral antibiotics (doxycycline).
Lyme Disease Dog Vaccines
Many veterinarians do not recommend Lyme disease dog vaccines since they believe that they are unnecessary. There are two types of Dog Tick and Lyme disease vaccines:
1. Whole Cell - Made with dead B. burgdorferi, the disease causing bacteria found in ticks. This vaccine is considered to be safe and has been around for 10+ years. Recent studies in other animals show that it may not be as effective as originally thought.
2. Subunit - Vaccine works by killing the B. burgdorferi in the tick before it reaches your dog. The way it works is that when the tick takes its first drink, your dogs blood kills any bacteria inside the tick. This vaccine has also been available for 10+ years.
Consult your Veterinarian as to the safety of the vaccines and the effectiveness on new strains of Dog Tick and Lyme Disease. New studies in people and pets are continually being conducted.
80% of dogs in high infection areas respond positively to tests for B. burgdorferi (lyme disease bacteria). At a minimum your dog should wear a protective collar or use a spray. If your dog frequently goes outside unprotected, consider a vaccination.
There is a debate within the medical community as to whether dogs should receive the vaccine with a study from the University of Pennsylvania showing 19 of 27 Veterinary Teaching Hospitals not providing the vaccine.
A preferred method is a monthly application of fipronil or an amitraz collar.
Natural Treatment Approach
Many owners use dietary supplements that are designed to boost your dog's immune system and iron absorption in the blood. Both of these can have a positive effect on a dog that suffered a tick bite or multiple bites and is not acting like herself. PetAlive makes a natural treatment for acute Lyme Disease or other tick borne diseases in dogs. Plus they are an excellent source for more information on the disease.