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Pets can get Lyme disease too
Most people have heard of Lyme disease and many know that the issue stems from infected deer ticks. However, you might not be aware that dogs and other pets can get the disease too.
Lyme disease is carried by certain ticks and is caused by the spirochete – a microorganism that resembles a strand of crimped hair. This strand holds Borrelia burgdorferi – the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Ticks in different regions of the country can carry the disease – in the East and Midwest the ticks are called Ixodes scapularis and in the West the disease carriers are known as Ixodes pacificus, though both types are commonly referred to as deer ticks or blacklegged ticks.
If you tend to keep your dog outside for prolonged periods of time, if you don't use preventative pet drugs to ward off ticks and fleas or if you live on a farm or live near the woods, your animal might get bitten by an infected tick.
Although this seems scary, there are ways to lessen the dog's chances of getting bitten. The best way to reduce its chances is to start it on flea and tick medication. Frontline Plus or Bio Spot For Dogs are monthly applications that can help stop fleas and ticks. Another way to ensure your dog remains tick-free is to check it over after walks on its Flexi Retractable Leash or any other time it has been outside. Ticks tend to stay near the head and neck, so you should check these spots first. It may be helpful to use pet products like the Resco Pro-Series Flea Comb to comb through the dog's coat and skin for a more accurate examination. Ticks also tend to hide behind and inside dogs ears, in their armpits and between their toes. Deer
ticks are especially small and can be easily hidden, so be thorough when doing a search.
Even the most thorough owners may miss a tick during one of these checks. If you think your dog might have been bitten by a disease-carrying tick, you may notice that it is acting lethargic and that it may be limping or having trouble with its joints. If these problems persist even after you give it joint supplements like Dasuquin with glucosamine for dogs, you should bring it to the vet immediately. The vet will run blood tests to diagnose the problem and may recommend varied treatments for dealing with the disease.