Lyme disease occurs when the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted to a dog by the bite of a deer tick. Pennsylvania is categorized as a high-risk state by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC). Over 1 in 16 dogs test positive for Lyme disease nationwide and the prevalence of Lyme disease in dogs and humans continues to increase yearly. Many dogs affected with Lyme disease do not have easily noticeable signs, while some will have fever, lethargy, swollen joints, limping and in rare cases acute kidney failure.
There are four methods to aid in prevention of Lyme disease in your dog:
1. Reduce tick habitat by clearing tall grasses and brush, prevent rodents (which ticks feed on), and keep a 3 foot-wide barrier of wood chips between lawns and wooded areas.
2. Remove ticks within 24 hours of exposure to prevent transmission of lyme disease.
3. Use topical (Parastar plus) or oral (Bravecto) flea and tick preventives year-round.
4. Vaccinate using the crLyme vaccine for broad spectrum coverage in dogs 8 weeks of age and older. The Vanguard crLyme vaccine is the first and only vaccine that provides antibodies that attack Lyme disease within the tick and attack Lyme disease that is transferred into your dog.
Fun Fact: After numerous studies it has been definitively determined that the most effective method of preventing tick bites in people is to tuck your pants inside of your socks!