Lyme Disease: What every dog owner in Cabarrus County should know

lymeprev

NC 2016 CAPC

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:

 

vectra 3d

BravectoK9

simparica_middle

crlyme_product

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:

https://www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/lyme-disease/

https://www.capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps/

https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/

 

 

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

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Lyme Disease in Dogs- Becoming A Serious Problem in NC

Tick-tock, Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Or with Spring fast approaching in Cabarrus County, it may be more appropriate to say Tick-tick, Tick-tick, Tick-tick. That certainly conjures up a bad visual!

tick

Historically, tick transmitted disease in our area has been most often limited to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). In fact for years, Cabarrus and Rowan Counties led the nation in human cases. RMSF is a disease that can affect dogs, but is difficult to diagnose. In recent years other tick transmitted diseases have begun to show up in Cabarrus County: Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Within the last 12 months, we at Foster Animal Hospital and Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons have begun screening for Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma on our routine annual lab panels. The results have been eye opening. (Unfortunately, this test is not yet available for RMSF)

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council or CAPC ( https://www.capcvet.org/ ), all three are on the rise in North Carolina. Lyme Disease in particular is one we are watching closely. Lyme has been a real nightmare for residents and pets in the northeast US for years. With the transient nature of people, especially those that travel with their pets, the incidence is moving southward. CAPC’s incidence map shows 51 of the 100 counties in NC, Cabarrus County included, rate as moderate for the prevalence of Lyme positive dogs in those counties. (https://www.capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps/) Mind you, that is just the dogs that are tested. Many thousands of dogs in this state go untested every year.

lymeprev

Lyme incidence

Clinical signs in dogs can range from fever, lethargy, lameness, intermittent and/or shifting leg lameness, stiffness, pain, and loss of appetite. Many dogs do not show signs for quite some time. Many will respond well to antibiotics, others do not.

Fortunately, there are vaccines available to help prevent Lyme infection. We use the latest product that has the ability to eliminate the infection at the tick-bite site, as well as, internally. (https://www.zoetisus.com/products/dogs/vanguard-crlyme/) Many vaccines only protect at the bite site and are not as effective. This technology for this new vaccine is being researched for possible use in humans. What a breakthrough that would be!

I personally have vaccinated my 3 dogs for Lyme. None of them experienced any vaccine reaction, and now I can rest easy knowing they are protected against Lyme Disease. I still use tick preventatives for them even though I rarely see a tick on them. That is because RMSF, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma exist in NC too. Many dogs that test positive for Lyme or the other tick related disease have no tick history. (many people too report they never had a tick when they were diagnosed) The best 3 products we recommend are Vectra 3-D, a monthly topical, Bravecto, an oral chew that lasts 3 months and Simparica a monthly chewable that has great efficacy and is available on Vetsource, our online pharmacy. Vectra 3-D and Bravecto are available at both of our locations.

vectra 3d

BravectoK9

simparica_middle

vetsource1

By vaccinating my dogs and using an effective and safe tick preventative, I have greatly reduced the potential for any tick related disease for my dogs, myself, and my family. After all, our dogs are constant companions in our house and even sleep in our bed! I don’t want ticks in my bed or on me!

tick2

So please don’t hesitate to contact me or our offices for additional information or questions. We can schedule an appointment to give the Lyme vaccines if you wish. The initial series calls for 2 vaccines given 2-4 weeks apart. If your dog has been previously vaccinated with another type of vaccine, we still recommend the initial 2 vaccine protocol to assure better protection because of the new technology.

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

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com