Canine Lyme Disease Prevention and Control

By March 28, 2016Dogs, Uncategorized

Most dogs in Western Pennsylvania are at risk for Lyme disease.  Dogs are at risk:

  • In their own backyard
  • Hunting
  • Traveling
  • If they are big or small, a couch potato or a hunting dog
  • Walking, hiking, picnicking, fishing or camping

The deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) that carries Lyme disease has been expanding into new areas and is now found in every county in Pennsylvania.  The tick is so small that it is often impossible to find it on your dog.  It is like looking for a grain of sea salt on a bath mat.  Additionally, dogs usually give NO indication that a tick is attached and taking a blood meal. At Clarion Animal Hospital we recommend a 3-tiered approach to canine Lyme disease prevention and control:  VACCINATE, SCREEN, and PROTECT.  Protect against Lyme disease by preventing ticks from biting and also by boosting your dog’s immune system with vaccination.  Screen your dog annually to test for exposure to the Lyme organism, which allows for earlier treatment. Clarion Animal Hospital offers the following products and services to keep your dog Lyme-free:

VACCINATE

 

lymes vaccine

  • Safe and effective Lyme vaccines for dogs are available
  • Vaccinate puppies as part of their puppy shots
  • Vaccinate dogs whose history is unknown
  • All vaccinated dogs should receive an initial vaccine and a booster 2 weeks later
  • Annual vaccination is recommended

SCREEN

Snap 4Dx Plus Test:snap-4dx-plus-test

  • Blood test that detects the presence or absence to Lyme exposure in eight minutes
  • Test annually to prevent disease
  • Test as indicated in limping or sick dogs
  • Identifies antibodies that are produced ONLY as a result of Borrelia burdgorferi infection (I.e., Lyme disease bacterium)
  • Follow up positive results if indicated with a Lyme Quant C6 Test and other blood work

PROTECT

K9 Advantix II:advantix

  • Safely repels and kills ticks on dogs
  • Topical  application of small amount of odorless liquid in pre-measured tubes
  • Use monthly or as often as weekly during heavy infestations
  • Waterproof

Seresto Flea and Tick collar:seresto

  • 8 months of continuous protection
  • Repels and kills ticks
  • Odorless and durable
  • Quick safety release
  • Waterproof

Nexgard:nexgard

  • Bite-sized tick control
  • Delicious, soft beef chew
  • Safe and effective for 30 days
  • Alternative for dogs that don’t like topical products
  • Ticks die 12 to 24 hours after biting

  Not recommended:

  • Over-the-counter products containing Permethrin or synthetic permethrin insecticides (toxic and not effective)
  • Relying on trying to find the tiny ticks before they attach or trying to keep your dog out of certain areas – if your dog puts one paw outside he or she is at risk for ticks!

The good news is that Canine Lyme Disease is largely preventable by vaccination and the regular use of products that repel and/or kill ticks.  So, get out and enjoy the outdoors with your dog – but first call or schedule a visit at Clarion Animal Hospital so we can help you VACCINATE, SCREEN, and PROTECT  your dog against Canine Lyme Disease!

-Dr Kim Williams