Since 2011, there has been a steady increase in the prevalence of deer ticks in Ohio thus resulting in Allen county being recently deemed an endemic region for Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrellia Burgdoferi and transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick. The tick has to have been attached for 12-24 hours for the spread of infection to occur. It is the most common tick borne disease in the world. A common symptom is lameness in one leg or two as well as appetite loss and fever. Kidney disease is a more serious complication of Lyme disease which can lead the dog to vomit, loose weight, as well as an increase in drinking and urination.
Here at Metz Petz we use Idexx 4Dx heartworm tests that will test for Lyme disease as well as two other tick borne disease. We recommend that dogs be tested yearly for heartworm and every other year for tick borne diseases. Treatment for Lyme disease may include antibiotics for 3-4 weeks depending on the severity of the symptoms. A joint supplement may be prescribed to help the inflammation of the joints. Improvement may be noticed within a week of starting treatment, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
An example of the Idexx 4Dx Heartworm test.
Prevention is key with Lyme disease. Making sure your dog is on a tick prevention year round will not only protect your dog, but will also help keep you and your family safe. If bitten by an infected tick, people can contract Lyme disease as well. Another way to protect your dog is with the Lyme vaccine. This vaccine, once started and boostered, is a yearly vaccine that will work in conjunction with your topical or oral tick prevention to ensure your dog is protected. If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment to get this vaccine, please give us a call at one of our two locations!