Pet Parents, We've Got You Covered

Get answers to your pet health questions

Lyme Disease: Is Your Pet At Risk?

What is Lyme disease?

The most common of tick-borne diseases, Lyme disease, is a bacterial illness that can be transmitted to dogs, humans, and other animals. The primary carrier is the deer tick or bear tick. Symptoms include fever, lameness, joint swelling, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

What is Ehrlichiosis?
Ticks transmit bacterial illnesses to dogs, humans, and other animals and cause flu-like symptoms. The lone star tick is the primary source of this disease.

What is Anaplasmosis?
Another type of tick-borne disease caused by bacteria transmitted to dogs, humans, and other animals is primarily caused by bites from the black-legged or brown dog tick.

Can my cat get a tick-borne disease?
Cats can get Lyme disease.

Where can ticks be found?
Take caution when taking your dog to areas with tall grasses, thick brush, marshes, and woods, as the risk of tick exposure is extremely high. If your cat goes outdoors, be aware of where they travel and if they include any potential exposure areas.

What can I do to protect my pet from tick-borne diseases?

Tick-borne diseases threaten all dogs, cats, and their owners. Creating a comprehensive year-round protection plan includes:

  1. If your pet spends any time outdoors, check them daily for ticks. Pay close attention to their head/chin, shoulders, armpits, groin, and upper leg areas.
  2. If you see a tick on your pet, remove it immediately. Then, get your pet tested. A simple blood test can confirm the presence of Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and/or Anaplasmosis.
  3. Be proactive! Don’t wait for a possible infestation. Use a monthly broad-spectrum preventive like a waterproof squeeze on topical or collar. Read the label to ensure it says kills and repels ticks for either your dog or cat. You cannot use a dog product on a cat and vice-versa.
  4. Never spray human tick repellent on your pet, as these chemicals are toxic if ingested.
  5. Get your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease, especially if they are at greater risk for tick exposure. There is not a Lyme disease vaccination for cats currently, so using a monthly preventive is essential, especially if your cat goes outdoors.