Lyme Disease: What every dog owner in Cabarrus County should know
The top map shows the potential risk for Lyme Disease in each state in the United States. The Companion Animal Parasite Council, aka CAPC, currently shows Cabarrus County as having a “moderate risk of infection” by Lyme Disease in dogs. And the trend is upward.
In short, what should you do:
- Have your dog screened for Lyme Disease, and other tick related diseases on a routine basis. At both of our sites, routine annual blood tests and diagnostic panels screen for Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Unfortunately, there is no easy screen for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. (The CAPC Data graph above shows the number of Lyme positive cases in North Carolina in 2016, as compared to, other parasitic infections.)
- Provide tick protection year-round for your dogs and cats. As shown by this winter (2016-17), cold weather is not long enough and consistent enough to kill out those pesky ticks in our area.
- Be aware that traveling to Lyme endemic areas carries risks for you and your dog. (See the map above.)
- Consider vaccinating your dog against Lyme Disease. Vaccination should be done if you are traveling to an endemic area, spend time in the outdoors with your dog hiking and exploring, or suffer from tick exposure regularly. There may be other risk factors unique to your lifestyle and environment. The vaccines are safe and effective.
- Signs of Lyme Disease in your dog include: fever, shifting leg lameness, swollen joints, enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, depression, and anorexia. In general, clinical improvement is observed following initiation of antibiotic therapy. Lyme Disease may also persist in a chronic form resulting in poly-arthritis and kidney damage.
Like most diseases, prevention is the best policy. We use and recommend the following products:
I know I have blogged about ticks and Lyme Disease already. Our staff chose March as “Tick” month. This is because our doctors and staff feel very strongly that our clients be aware of the issues ticks can create in their pets. So please forgive me for being repetitive. We just feel that strongly about protecting your pets AND YOU from Lyme Disease!
I have included some links for your use:
All the best,
Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT
Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.
Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons
Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center
730 Concord Parkway North
Concord, NC 28027