Sunday, March 13, 2011

Guest Post::Tips to Help Prevent Your Dog from Getting Lyme Disease

By Guest SpiroChick, Susan Figurski

Being a fellow Spiro Chick the one thing I have definitely noticed among others in the Lyme community is our love for animals. Some would say I am an animal fanatic, and I don't mind that description one bit since it is well known that 'the heart of a person is judged by their treatment of animals', so in my mind I must have a HUGE heart. But seriously, there is no feeling in the world like being in the same presence as an animal especially the crazy and adorable antics of a dog.

To say that I have a love for dogs is understatement, as you can see by this picture where I'm just about attacking this little King Charles Cavalier. I have to admit, when I first saw this picture I was a little embarrassed , but then I laughed out loud because this picture had captured exactly what I was feeling at that moment, such happiness and excitement, I wanted to eat him up and clearly I almost did!!!

Most likely if you are reading this article then you are painfully aware that a person can get Lyme from quite a few different vectors and that it is not just contained to the teeny tiny deer tick. I actually contracted Lyme from a dog tick after just 2 months from starting my dream dog grooming business. I thought it would be great way to work with dogs on a daily business and it was, until the day that dreaded dog tick infected me with its poison. This dog tick didn't come from a mangy mutt, but from a show dog that lived in an upscale gated community located directly on a golf course which backed up to a nature preserve, we all know how Lyme doesn't discriminate.

I learned a great deal working in the animal industry including how dogs are susceptible to many diseases that inflict humans, including Lyme. With that being said I would like to help keep your furry four legged friend safe from ticks as well as what to do if you suspect your dog may have been bitten by a tick that was infected with Lyme.

If you find a tick on your dog you will need to protect yourself from any diseases it may be carrying so grab a pair of latex gloves. The recommended tool to remove a tick is a pair of hemostats, a surgical tool that can be purchased from any dog supply store but if you don't have these on hand, no worries a good old pair of tweezers will do. Using a match or Vaseline to try and 'coax' the tick out will only enrage it and make it embed further into the dog's skin.

The best way to remove a tick is by grabbing the head as close to the dogs skin as possible and then very slowly pull it straight out. Be certain NOT to squeeze the tick as this will cause the tick to release more toxins into your dog making him more susceptible to disease. Once the tick is completely removed place it into a container filled with rubbing alcohol to not only kill the tick but also keep it secure in case you see any signs of illness in your dog down the road.

Lyme disease symptoms to watch for in your dog include:

* A fever between 103 and 105 degrees

* Lameness which appears suddenly

* Swelling in joints that moves from one leg to another

* Swollen lymph glands

* Lethargy

* Loss of appetite

If your dog starts to project one or more of these symptoms, especially if you recently removed a tick from your dog within a 3 month period, be sure to ask your Veterinarian for a Lyme test as soon as possible. If Lyme is caught early treatment is simple and successful, we all know how familiar and true that statement is. To keep your dog free from Lyme check him on a regular basis all year round no matter what part of the country you may live. There are many different tick preventatives on the market that come in both topical and oral forms so be sure to discuss these options with your Veterinarian as to which would be the best fit for your dog.

If you enjoyed this piece about keeping your dog safe from ticks and you would like to read more dog related articles like this please visit my page

If you click on the subscribe button it will automatically email you alerts to let you know when I write my next article. By the way I was horribly ill that day my profile picture was taken, it was definitely a “fake it till you make it” type of day, which I know so many of you can relate to.


keith (themadchemist) said...

Hello Susan and all

I have discovered that Humans are pack animals as are dogs, for this reason alone every Lymie should have a dog (I recommend 2) or at least a pet.

Dogs are unconditional lovers and that's really important when suffering from a disease that leaves one feeling SO ISOLATED.

Tam and I's dogs are like children too us, Maggie and Reuben.

Many days I have found solace in just having someone to talk to and be with, as I'm home alone most days now that I'm disabled with this disease.

Studies have show people with pets live longer. I would venture That Bb patients with Dogs recover faster.

Oh BTW Susan, that dog kiss gave you dog cooties, HA. I think dog cooties kill Bb too.

8 )

tmc (spirotech)

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Jamie (dog walker) said...

I'm a dog walker and in the summer many of my dogs got ticks. They are one of the most disgusting things out there in my book!

Kelly Kete said...

It is important that you bring your pet to the dog grooming shop at least once a week to prevent your dog from getting lyme disease. Keep your dogs clean.

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dog bite attorney los angeles said...

It is important to check your dog at least once a week to check for signs of these ticks and other potential disease. If you are unsure, take them to the vet immediately.

Humane Pet Transportation Service said...

Our older dog Sage was just diagnosed today. She seems fine. How do you tag lethargy in a dog who likes to rest anyway?