Texans are no strangers to Lyme disease as the Texas Lyme Disease Association receives up to 900 requests for treatment. But your pets are at risk, too, and not just from local wildlife, but from pets imported into the area.
Here are several ways to help keep your pet safe.
- Keep your pet clean & healthy. Ticks are more likely to attach themselves to pets with low immune systems or dirty fur.
- Discuss vaccinating your pet with your veterinarian.
- Have your pet wear a tick collar, especially if you live in or near a wooded area and your pets are allowed to roam free.
- Limit the amount of time your pet spends outdoors. The more time spent outdoors, the greater the exposure to tick bites and Lyme disease.
- Once your pet comes back indoors, inspect them for ticks right away to help prevent the tick from attaching itself. If you should find a tick, remove it with tweezers, and clean the wound thoroughly.
- Bathe your pet with a medicated shampoo to help prevent tick bites. Ticks are deterred by these shampoos.
- Treat all cats and dogs in your house to a monthly flea and tick preventive medicine. Once you start, however, it’s important not to miss a single application as consistency is the key to success. al pest control or your veterinarian before using pesticides.
- Create a hostile environment for ticks around your home by keeping your lawn mowed, trees and shrubs pruned, and leaves picked up promptly.
How can you tell if your dog or cat has contracted Lyme disease? Here are some of the more common symptoms:
- Stiff walk with an arched back
- Sensitivity to touch
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever, lack of appetite, and depression
- Superficial lymph nodes close to the site of the infecting tick bite may be swollen
When in doubt or for more information on preventing tick and Lyme disease problems for your pets, consult with your veterinarian.