Lymes Disease Ticks and Fleas
WHAT IS LYME DISEASE AND HOW DO PETS GET IT? It is caused by a germ through tickbite, primarily the deer tick in California. Tick bites and feeds on blood of animal or a person. All stages of tick (larva, nymph or adult) can transmit infection. In pets, the Lyme disease symptoms could be: fever, loss of appetite, joint swelling, limping, heart, kidney or in some cases nervous system is involved.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET HAS IT? Blood test can help to diagnose the disease but sometimes, an early test may not detect any evidence so a repeat test is necessary to confirm. Cats contract Lyme disease less frequently than many other species as they groom themselves more oftenly. When they do, cats may sleep excessively, become feverish, appear arthritic or lame, and stop eating.
Lyme disease has 3 stages. Stage 1 after tick bites a rash at the site lasts for weeks, followed by flu-like symptoms. Stage 2 After few weeks or months of the tick bite, more serious signs of lameness, joint swelling, nervous system or heart disease appear. In stage 3 permanent painful swelling of joint with fever, loss of appetite, kidney, in-coordination or seizures and unusual aggressive behavior may occur.
HOW DO I KEEP MY PETS FROM GETTING IT? Check your pet thoroughly and remove any disease causing ticks routinely after outdoor walk in tall grass or wooden area and brush their hair coats. Ticks carrying the disease are quite small (pinhead size) and dark brown in color. If you find attached ticks, remove them by grasping the tick as close to its head with tweezers before pulling. To transmit the Lyme disease organism the tick has to be attached to the host for at least few hours. The yard area should be periodically sprayed with insecticide especially in the summer and the tall grass or weeds cut short. Tick infested pet should be tested for Lyme disease. Besides Lymes disease, the ticks transmit many other diseases like Tick paralysis, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia and others.
IS THERE ANY CURE FOR THE DISEASE? If the pets can be diagnosed at an very early stage, they can be treatedfor Lyme disease with some medication for few weeks but if the disease is already progressed then the damage done to the body organs may continue to cause health issues and a cure may not be an appropriate term to use. As always the most effective cure is prevention and we have this new vaccine to prevent from Lymes disease. Please call us to discuss flea and tick control and make appointment for vaccination.
Not every single tick necessarily carries Lyme’s Disease or will cause other tick-borne diseases but has a potential to transmit if it is already harboring with any one of the “that specific germ” while having sufficient time to bite the pet. To answer any specific question whether a disease (and/or other diseases) was transmitted through a tick bite, different tests and subsequent repeat (serial) testings must be done otherwise it is speculative. If you cannot bear all the costs, then an immediate preventive course of antibiotic soon after a tick bite to your pet is a safer option followed by preventive vaccination such as Lymes Vaccine. Do You Know even People Can Get Lymes Disease and approx about 20,000 cases are diagnosed in USA yearly.
Ticks and your pet: Ticks are blood sucking parasites, that feed on humans, wild and domestic mammals, livestock, birds, reptiles and many other animals. You know there are approximately more than 800 species of ticks and about 100 of which are capable of transmitting different diseases.
Fleas and your pet: More than 1500 species of fleas have been identified, and about 90 % of them live on mammals and 50% of on birds. Flea bite allergy causes more than half of the skin problems in pets and cause other diseases including plague, tapeworms, anemia..can survive without feeding up to 1 yr. population (above diagram of flea cycle is from Manufacturer of COMFORTIS tablets which starts killing fleas after 40 minutes of giving Dogs by mouth). Call us at 562-630-2082, if other flea products have not worked.