Lyme Disease in Your Dog and How to Prevent it
Preventing Lyme Disease in Your Dog
Ticks are all around us. Literally! With the winter coming to an end and spring springing up, your dog can enjoy more time rolling around in the grass in your backyard. However, you should be aware that tick season (unfortunately) is also about to get on board. Ticks are not just annoying creepy crawlies; they also cause Lyme disease. When your dog is infected, it can also infect you and members of your family. Lyme disease is no joke as it causes recurrent pain in joints, depression, loss of appetite, swollen painful joints, fatigue, fever, swelling in lymph nodes, leg pain and sometimes pain in the entire body.
How to Prevent Lyme Disease
The best way to prevent Lyme disease in your dog is by ensuring it stays tick free. Prevention, as they say, is better than treatment. Below are several things you can do to protect your dog from catching Lyme disease.
- Avoid walking your dog in areas that have tick prevalence such as marshes, deep woods, and grasslands. Should you and your dog find yourself in such places, make sure you’re wearing long pants and a top with long sleeves.
- Make use of tick repellant. There are many brands you can choose from and your veterinarian can help you decide on the best and safest for your dog and your family. There are also natural remedies such as organic apple cider vinegar. By mixing two tablespoons of this into your dog’s water or food can help keep the ticks at bay. You can also use Diatomaceous earth (DE) which is a natural mineral compound. It’s harmless to humans but extremely toxic to insects including ticks. You can sprinkle some on your dog making sure that none gets into its mouth and eyes. Ensure you sprinkle it all the way to the dog’s skin. If you choose to use DE, make sure it’s food grade and NOT pool grade.
- When walking your dog, wear clothing that is light colored. This way, you will be able to spot ticks more easily and give you a chance to get rid of them before you get home. You’re a carrier, too!
- Carry out regular tick checks on your dog. It’s not healthy to keep your dog indoors all the time. That’s a no-brainer! To stay healthy, she/he will need to go out and about for walks and sometimes that means being exposed to ticks. Regular checks will help manage the situation before it could get worse.
- Consider using a Lyme vaccine. There are various Lyme vaccines for dogs but they also come with various risks which you will want to consider before choosing to vaccinate your dog. Some of the vaccines can make your dog have Lyme disease symptoms and can cause autoimmune diseases. Discuss all available options for prevention with your veterinary doctor!
We cannot emphasize enough that Lyme disease is not just dangerous for your dog but your family too! If you suspect your dog might be suffering from Lyme disease, consult your veterinarian immediately. Prevention and early diagnosis are always the best for your pet!
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