As the prevalence of Lyme disease increases in Halifax/Dartmouth and the surrounding areas, many pet owners have questions. Below we have answered some of the most common and are happy to answer everything we can; simply call us (461-0951), email or ‘Like’ us on facebook and ask us there!
How does my animal contract Lyme disease? Dogs or cats that have had a tick attached are at risk of exposure to Lyme disease. Not every tick is a carrier, and not all who are exposed will develop the disease, but if you see ticks attached to your pet, they may be at risk.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease? The most commonly reported sign is on/off lameness, and it will sometimes shift as to which leg is affected. Signs can also include lethargy, decreased appetite, fever and sensitivity to touch. As the disease progresses there can also be changes to kidney and cardiac function.
Can you test for Lyme disease in pets? Yes we can! For dogs, Full Circle offers a screening test that is run in the clinic with a small blood sample. More detailed testing is available through our reference laboratories.
How can I prevent Lyme disease? As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Avoiding areas the ticks prefer during the high seasons; long grasses, wooded areas in May/June and then again September/October, checking your pet after every outing, and discuss with your veterinarian if a tick-repelling product may be appropriate in your specific situation.
By: Melissa, RVT