Sunday, March 13, 2011
Guest Post::Tips to Help Prevent Your Dog from Getting Lyme Disease
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!!!
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
* 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 Examiner.com page
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