Chances are you’ve spent some post-walk afternoons digging through your dog’s fur in search of those nasty little bugs known as ticks. These external parasites spend their lives feeding on the blood of unfortunate host animals, which, in many cases, happen to be our furry best friends.
Unfortunately, ticks can additionally be more than just an itchy and annoying presence in our lives. Their feeding frenzies can potentially give way to Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can affect humans and animals alike. At Valley Animal Hospital, we understand that your pets are part of your family and are fully prepared to help you keep them healthy year-round.
The dangers of a flea or tick bite can have a very negative outcome, but there are ways to avoid them altogether! Give Valley Animal Hospital a call for more information.
A Threat to Avoid
The primary carrier of Lyme disease is the deer tick. It regularly feeds on rodents at an early stage but moves on to larger mammals in later stages. When the tick feeds on our pet’s blood, there’s a chance it could transmit bacteria known to cause Lyme disease.
This could pave the way to certain complications such as blood loss, anemia, tick paralysis and skin irritation. It’s important to remember that breeds such as Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, Shetland sheepdogs and Bernese Mountain dogs are more susceptible to kidney disease.
Know the Symptoms
When a dog’s infection gives way to the disease, one of the most common effects is recurrent lameness due to joint inflammation. This can last a few days but can recur days or weeks later in the same or different legs.
In some dogs, there may be a lack of appetite and depression. In more serious cases, a dog can potentially suffer from damage to the kidneys and possibly even heart and nervous system disease. If kidney failure occurs, you may see signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, increased urination, increased thirst and unnatural fluid buildups.
Other signs of Lyme disease can include:
- Walking stiffly with an arched back
- Sensitivity to touch
- Trouble breathing
- Superficial lymph nodes close to the tick bite may swell
The Necessary Steps
Preventing tick infestations is a must and the veterinarians from Valley Animal Hospital have the information you need. One of the most helpful things you can do is make sure to landscape your house. Always keep your lawn mowed, remove any excess leaves around the yard and prune your shrubs and trees regularly. Of course, you should contact your landscape specialists if you have any questions about proper landscaping.
If your property or the surrounding areas are infested with ticks, avoid taking your dog there at all costs and make sure to check his/her coat daily. Our veterinarians can additionally recommend sprays, collars and spot-on topical products that can be highly effective in repelling ticks and other insects.
As with any other forms of treatment, your consistency is very important. If you miss just one month of flea or tick control, or if you fail to properly landscape your property, you may have an infestation on your hands. This could potentially take weeks or even months to resolve!
Help When You Need it Most
At Valley Animal Hospital, we know how much your furry best friend means to you and your family, which is why we work around the clock to keep them as safe and healthy as possible. If you’ve noticed signs or symptoms of Lyme disease in your pup, or if you need more information about the ways our team can help, don’t hesitate to contact us in McAllen today. Our professional, caring and fully-devoted staff is always ready to give you and your pets a helping hand!