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Lyme disease is diagnosed on a weekly basis here at the clinic. A simple blood test that checks for Lyme Disease, Heartworm Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis can be done at your pets visit and results will be read the same day. There are even vaccines to help protect your pet from Lyme Disease.There are also monthly preventatives that your pet should be on. For more information, talk to your veterinarian at your pets next visit.
LYME DISEASE FACTS
*Lyme disease is not the only disease dogs can contract from ticks. Ticks can also carry ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
*Clinical signs are typically not seen for two months and may not show up for as many as six months, or not at all.
*Unlike people, dogs do not appear to exhibit acute signs of Lyme infection, such as the classic “bull’s eye” rash.
*Lyme disease can cause arthritis and kidney damage. The number of Lyme disease cases has nearly tripled since 1990.
*There is a Lyme disease vaccine available for dogs. Following an initial series of vaccines given weeks apart, your pet should then receive an annual booster vaccine. This vaccine has proven in studies to be highly effective.
*Lyme disease is not spread by contact with infected animals (or people). Infection occurs only when a tick carrying Lyme disease bites an animal or person. But ticks can make their way into your home, attached to your dog. To be safe, check your dog, yourself and other family members for ticks after spending time outdoors.
TICK LIFE CYCLE
Depending on the tick and environmental conditions, the life cycle of a tick can range from a few months to several years.
Female ticks lay eggs in secluded areas where vegetation is dense and several inches high. Adult females of some tick species lay about 100 eggs at a time; others lay 3,000 to 6,000 eggs per batch. Regardless of species, tick eggs hatch in about two weeks.
After hatching, the larvae move into grass or shrubs in search of their first blood meal. If you or your pet passes by, they attach themselves and crawl upward in pursuit of an area of the skin that they can feed from. Then they drop off the host, back into the environment.
After finding their first blood meal, the larvae molt into the nymphal stage and begin searching for another host. Nymphs are small in size and often go undetected, increasing the chance for disease transmission.
Once the nymph has had its blood meal, it molts into an adult. Adult female ticks feed on a host. In some cases, they will increase to 100 times their original weight while feeding. After feeding, the female will mate, fall off and lay her eggs in a secluded place – beginning the life cycle again.
FRONTLINE Brand Products kill ticks in all blood-feeding stages of their development. They also provide continuous control against ticks with easy, once-a-month applications.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE IN DOGS:
-Loss of appetite
-Sudden onset of pain in your pet’s leg or body
-Arthritis or swelling in your pet’s joints
-Lethargy or depression
If you believe that your pet has been bitten and infected by a tick, an examination and blood test should be scheduled with a veterinarian. If you remove any ticks from your pet, save them in a bottle – your veterinarian may want to examine them in order to determine what type of ticks they were. You can remove ticks with tweezers.
This picture shows the technicians, Dede and Audrey, preparing for Jack's snap test to see if he has heartworm disease, lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis.
Dede is drawing Jack's blood.
Dede is mixing the blood with the testing solution.
The blood is now being added to the snap test. In 10 minutes the test results will be read.
The blue dots will be covered by the blood sample. As the test processes it will determine if Jack is positive for Lyme disease, heartworm disease, anaplasmoisis or ehrlichiosis. Depending on which blue dots appear, it will determine if Jack is positive for anything.
The blood dot in the top left corner means Jack's test is negative for all four diseases!
Here is Jack after the blood draw. He was a great patient! Now that the test determined he was negative for all four diseases, he can be started on a monthly heartworm preventative.
For more information,
call (717) 867-2662.