Ticks become active once the weather warms to 4 degrees Celsius. Your dog is at risk in almost any outdoor location - inspect your dog's coat after every outing for ticks or hard bumps and remove ticks immediately as per instructions at
www.dogsandticks.com. Call Dr. Mehi at 905-830-8406 to inquire about vaccination and other options for your dog's best protection, and for testing.
Common signs of infection
When deer ticks or black-legged ticks bite, the bacteria they carry causes infection. Lyme disease symptoms are lameness, fever, swollen joints, kidney failure, anorexia, runny noses or eyes, and the pet not being "himself/herself". Symptoms of anaplasmosis (which surpasses Lyme Disease in parts of North America), are lack of energy, high fever, swollen and painful joints, loss of appetite, runny nose or eyes, vomiting and diarrhea.
If left untreated, Lyme Disease leads to damaged joints and can be fatal (rare). Anaplasmosis results in very low numbers of platelets and white blood cells, chronic joint pain, and neurological signs (rare).
Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis
A simple blood test can detect infection. Other tests may be required depending on initial findings and clinical signs. Treatment is by antibiotics. If caught and treated early, the outcome is usually very good for full recovery.
Tips: Avoid tall grass where ticks commonly lurk to latch onto your dog's coat or your pants. Wear light coloured clothing so ticks show up. Tuck pants into your socks.
Learn more at dogsandticks.com.
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