May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. In 2018, 1 in 5 dogs tested positive for Lyme in Rockbridge County. Lyme is spread through Deer Ticks (Ixodes scapularis) that are most active October through February. To help screen for lyme disease in your pet, we are offering 10% off the SNAP 4dx test, which screens for 5 different tick-borne diseases.
Common symptoms of lyme in dogs include lethargy, inappetence, fevers, and painful swollen joints. As soon as 1 month after infection, arthritis can form in the joints of an infected dog. When left untreated, lyme disease has been known to cause irreversible kidney damage and even death.
To prevent lyme, we recommend to vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease and to keep your dog on a year-round flea/tick preventative. While topicals have historically been effective, the ticks have developed resistance. We frequently see dogs coming in with either ticks or tick-borne diseases (like lyme) despite regular application of these topical products.
Seresto collars are great for repelling and killing ticks, and have >95% effectiveness to prevent ticks when used appropriately. If your dog gets wet or gets a bath, the product will be washed off and your dog will be at risk for tick-bites until 48 hours after the bath. The most common side effects of the collar are redness and hair loss at the collar site.
Simparica, one of the new chewable products on the market, is the fastest killing, the longest acting, and the least expensive product in it’s class. Simparica is the only product approved to prevent bites from Deer Ticks, American Dog Ticks, Brown Dog Ticks, Lone-star Ticks, Gulf Coast Ticks, and the new invasive tick species, the Asiatic Long-Horned Tick. Like most medications, the most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea, and these are only seen in 1 in 10,000 dogs. Neurologic events (such as seizures or tremors) have been reported at 3-5x’s the therapeutic dose in young puppies.