All animals should be current on Rabies and Distemper. Basking Ridge Animal Hospital recommends vaccine titers in adult animals to check the status on the distemper vaccine. This way we do not booster the vaccine until the individual patient needs it. This reduces vaccine reactions and over stressing the immune system. Cats who go outside should receive an annual Leukemia vaccine. Dogs should have other vaccines pending on their lifestyle. These include Leptospirosis, Lyme, Bordetella, and influenza. We base this on your pet’s individual lifestyle. Please discuss with one of our doctors at your next appointment.

How can my dog get Lyme?

Lyme disease is vector-borne disease, meaning it is transmitted through the bite of an infected arthropod (mosquito, tick, etc.). When an infected tick bites your dog, the infection spreads to your dog’s tissues.

Lyme disease has been found all over the world, except Antarctica. In the U.S., it is most common in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard, and the Pacific coastal states.

How will I know if my dog has Lyme disease?

The signs of Lyme in dogs may not appear until several months after the initial tick bite, and, even then, can be difficult to detect and diagnose. Sometimes the signs are fleeting and will often mimic other health conditions. Lyme disease in dogs can vary from mild to severe, but the severe cases can lead to kidney failure, heart disease, nervous system complications, and even death.

Watch your dog for:

  • Recurrent lameness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Reluctance to move
  • Increased urination and thirst
  • Difficulty breathing

How is Lyme treated?

Because Lyme is a bacterial infection, antibiotics will be prescribed, usually for a period of about four weeks. In some cases, antibiotic treatment won’t always completely eliminate the bacteria and symptoms could return.

How can I prevent my dog from getting Lyme?

Like with many medical conditions, prevention is key. Your dog should be on a regular flea/tick preventive. There is also a Lyme vaccine available.

Avoid environments where ticks thrive, including tall grassy areas. Regularly check your dog for ticks, and, if you find one, remove it by hand.

April is Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. Call our office to chat about what you should be doing to prevent Lyme and other vector-borne diseases in your pets. The team at Basking Ridge Animal Hospital is here to help keep your pet safe!

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