Spring has sprung and summer is beginning to approach us, which means that it is time to educate yourself on how you can help prevent Lyme disease from transmitting to your pup!
Experts are saying that this past winter did not exterminate the tick population, but in fact helped keep the population growing. Due to the aggressive snow storms the past couple of months, large amounts of snow were dumped on the ground causing a type of “insulation blanket” for the ticks, protecting them from the harsh cold.
Now that the weather is getting warmer and the snow has melted away, the baby deer tick population has doubled, making it easier for your pup to contract the illness.
Here is a list of some precautions to take in the next couple of months while enjoying the long summer days with your pooch;
- Try to avoid taking your dog near tick-infested areas. These types of areas usually include wooded areas and tall grasses (such as beach dunes) where ticks like to hide.
- After coming home from walks or play dates, take a brush and thoroughly brush out your dog’s fur/hair.
- There are vaccines available for use for dogs that can be found at your veterinarian’s office. (Please consult with your vet first to learn about the pros and cons to vaccinating your dog. Always stay informed your pup relies on you!)
- ‘Frontline’ or ‘Advantix’ are topical parasiticides that you can apply to your dog’s fur/hair that will seep into his skin and prevent the ticks from being able to latch onto them. Please consult with your vet on the appropriate choice for your dog, and read the directions carefully when applying.
If your dog happens to come in contact with a tick or has contracted the illness, here are some tips on what you should do next;
- Immediately remove the tick using a pair of tweezers. You want to grab the tick from as close to the skin as possible, so that you remove the entire tick, and not just parts of it.
- If you don’t feel comfortable removing the tick on your own, contact your vet and they will be able to assist you.
- If your dog shows signs of sudden lameness, pain in his joints, fever, lack of appetite, dehydration, inactivity, and swollen lymph nodes then it is possible your dog has contracted the virus.
- Go to your vet immediately if you think your dog may have Lyme. If you wait too long, then more severe issues can arise such as damage to your dog’s heart or kidneys. From there, the vet will give you the proper steps in how they will treat your pup.
Don’t let a few extra ticks this summer ruin your dog’s day. All you have to do is take precautions and stay informed and both you and your pooch will both stay happy and healthy!
Any questions on training your dog in the North Quincy, MA area, please contact Leader of the Pack Dog Training!