If you’re planning on spending time outdoors this Spring and Summer and have a pet that enjoys time outside, it’s time to think about tick bite and Lyme disease prevention.
According to a recent survey of 1,011 Canadian dog owners, 93 per cent say they would do anything they could to keep their dog happy and healthy (buying premium dog food, spending on treats and toys and making appointments for professional grooming sessions).
When it comes to preventing Lyme disease however, 56 percent say they’ve never discussed the dangers posed by ticks with their vet even though 64 percent of those surveyed said they’d buy monthly topical treatments to protect their pets if the vet recommended it.
If untreated, Lyme disease can last months to years and include symptoms as severe as arthritis, heart irregularities, and nervous system disorders.
Fatalities from Lyme disease however are very rare.
What are Ticks?
Ticks are blood sucking parasites with some carrying infectious organisms that cause arthritis and Lyme disease. Unlike mosquitos and spiders, ticks feed for hours and sometimes days once they attach themselves to skin.
There are usually found near grassy or wooded areas and the most common tick in North America is the Deer Tick (Blacklegged Tick).
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria which is transmitted to dogs and humans by ticks during the feeding process.
In 2009, Lyme disease became a nationally reportable disease in Canada and all healthcare professionals must report cases to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease
- Loss of appetite
- Lameness (may occur at the same time or may occur later)
- Enlargement of the lymph nodes (usually generalized enlargement)
- Skin signs
- Heart disease, kidney problems and neurological signs are reported in rare cases
- Symptoms usually occur within 1-2 weeks after a tick bite, and occur in three stages
- The first sign of infection is a distinct “bulls-eye” rash (erythema), which occurs in 70-80 per cent of cases
- Other early symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes
How Do You “Catch” Lyme Disease?
- Ticks live in and around grassy and wooded areas, where they come into contact with people and pets
- Ticks become infected when they feed on smaller animals like rodents and small mammals that carry the bacteria
- Lyme disease is carried by the Western Blacklegged tick and the Blacklegged tick (commonly known as “deer ticks”)
- It usually takes about 24 hours of feeding to transmit infection, so the prompt detection and removal of ticks is important to the prevention of Lyme disease
- The disease cannot be spread between humans or from dogs to humans
How to Prevent Pets Against Lyme disease
Bayer has developed a product specifically for dogs to protect against external parasites, including ticks.
Bayer K9 Advantix II is a water proof topical treatment that:
- Protects against ticks and fleas
- Attacks parasites’ nerve cells, paralyzing and killing them on contact
- Kills ticks, including Deer ticks, Rocky Mountain Wood ticks and American dogticks, Brown dog ticks and Lone Star ticks for up to four weeks with each application
- Kills fleas on dogs within 24 hours and continues to protect for a month
Our dog has used Advantix for several years and it gives us peace of mind that she’s protected and can enjoy as much time as she wants outside.
To learn more about how ticks might affect your dog, go here
For more information about Bayer Advantix, check out their website.
Win a Dog Days of Summer Swag Bag
To celebrate the start of warmer weather and more outdoor play time for pets, one lucky Along Came Kids reader will win a Dog Days of Summer Swag Bag (ARV $100) which includes:
- Chuckit Pro Ball Launcher
- Travel Pet Water Bottle
- Chuckit! Fetch WheelDog Toy
- Dog Brush
- Wing a Ball Rope Dog Toy
- Pick-Up Bag Dispenser & Bags
- Dog Biscuits – BLUE Health Bars
Giveaway is open to Canadian readers only and ends on June 18, 2014 at 11:59PM EST.
Let me know whether you’ve ever considered tick prevention for your pets in the comments below. You can gain extra entries by using the form below.