Prevention Easier Than Treatment Protecting Dogs From Lyme Disease

Caring for dogs involves more than just feeding and walking them. Protecting dogs from potentially debilitating Lyme disease is​ crucial for their health and happiness.

While many people take precautions against ticks and Lyme disease for themselves,​ it's not uncommon for man's best friend to​ be overlooked.

To educate dog owners about canine Lyme disease,​ Merial and the​ Lyme Disease Foundation have partnered to​ promote April as​ Prevent Lyme in​ Dogs Month. Spring is​ the​ start of​ tick season in​ most areas,​ but concerns about Lyme disease last all spring and summer as​ pets spend more time outdoors.

The number of​ cases of​ Lyme disease has increased more than 50-fold since 1982. Lyme disease has been found to​ be most common in​ certain areas of​ the​ United States,​ including the​ Northeastern,​ Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest regions,​ plus northern California and Oregon. According to​ the​ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,​ Lyme disease has been found in​ humans in​ 49 states.

Lyme disease is​ caused by the​ bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that is​ transmitted by the​ deer tick. Clinical signs of​ the​ disease in​ canines include: shifting leg lameness,​ fever,​ swollen joints,​ muscle soreness,​ malaise,​ chronic arthritis,​ facial paralysis,​ seizures and acute renal failure.

"Taking preventive measures against Lyme disease can spare dogs from the​ disease's horrible symptoms,​" says Richard Ford,​ DVM,​ MS,​ DACVIM,​ DACVPM (hon),​ College of​ Veterinary Medicine at​ North Carolina State University. "In addition to​ regularly checking dogs for ticks,​ pet owners should know how to​ prevent Lyme disease."

RECOMBITEK® Lyme vaccine protects dogs from Lyme disease and should be used in​ conjunction with FRONTLINE® brand product. the​ two work together to​ help ensure that animals are safe from ticks and Lyme disease. Both products,​ made by Merial,​ are available from your local veterinarian.

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