Lyme Disease: Is Your Dog At Risk?

dog-in-fall

Fall is the season for football, pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, boots and ticks.

Wait, TICKS?

Yes, ticks!  Iowa provides two ideal situations for ticks: cool weather and a high deer population.

 

So how do you know if your pet is at risk for Lyme disease?  Here are some risk assessment questions:

  1. Have you ever found a tick on your pet? On yourself or a member of your household?
  2. Does your dog live in a suburban home next to wildlife areas?
  3. Is your dog’s yard surrounded by tall brush or grass?
  4. Does your dog go walking, hiking, picnicking, fishing or camping in wooded areas?
  5. Does your dog frequent areas with lots of deer?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, talk to your veterinarian about Lyme disease.  You can also check out this prevalence map to see what tick-borne diseases you should be concerned about in your area.

deer-tick

The deer tick is very hard to spot on dogs.

Lyme disease is a growing concern because the disease is increasing in number and expanding geographically.  It is a potentially serious illness transmitted to dogs by the deer tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are:

  • Lameness
  • Not eating
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Joint Pain/Swelling
  • Depression

Lyme disease in dogs is largely preventable by using a tick preventive and an annual Lyme vaccine.