Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How to keep your dog from getting Lyme Disease

I met a wonderful lady a couple weeks ago, she was an established, very successful, highly reputable pet groomer and while caring for other people's pets, who know she was a tremendous risk of her own life. Her name is Susan Figurski, writer of the Orlando Pet Groomer Examiner. After her routine grooming appointment she went home and found a tick that had embedded itself in her abdomen area. From that point on... it was all over... one tick, one moment, and now she lives with Lyme Disease.

I have always found ticks to be quite disgusting... and with the number of dogs we care for on a daily basis, who knew how fast our lives would can come a halt. We can heal from dog bites, but can not from ticks.

In an attempt to take every measurement of caution and care, not just for the pets we care for but very importantly our staff, we will be addressing pets with ticks very seriously.

Here is her article on how to keep your dog from getting Lyme Disease:

Most people are led to believe that you can only get Lyme Disease, a very debilitating and painful disease, from deer ticks or by living in a densely wooded area of the country. This statement is completely false as you can get Lyme right here in Central Florida from just about any blood sucking parasite, this would include horse flies, deer flies, spiders , mosquitoes and all ticks, including the dreaded dog tick.

If you find a tick on your dog while grooming the best tool to use is a pair of hemostats, a surgical tool that can be purchased at most dog supply stores, or simply with a pair of tweezers.

The best way to remove the tick is by grabbing the head of the tick as close to the dogs skin as possible and slowly pulling the tick straight out. You may want to use rubber gloves while doing this procedure. Be certain NOT to squeeze the tick as this will cause the tick to release more toxins into your dog, making him more susceptible to disease.

Lyme disease symptoms to watch for in your dog include:

* A fever between 103 and 105 degrees

* Lameness which appears suddenly

* Swelling in joints that moves from one leg to another

* Swollen lymph glands

* Lethargy

* Loss of appetite

If your dog starts to project one or more of these symptoms, especially after removing a tick from your dog within the last 2-3 months, be sure to ask your Vet to test your dog for lyme. If an infected dog tick were to embed itself onto a human host, that person could also contract Lyme.

If it is caught early enough in both humans and canines, treatment is simple and successful. Chronic forms of lyme are allot harder to treat and can cause much damage to internal organs and joints. Once the tick is removed place it in a jar with rubbing alcohol as this is the best way to not only kill the tick but to also keep it contained, in case of future illness.

Do not use a match or vaseline to try and 'coax' the tick out as this will only make things worse for the dog by causing the tick to release disease related toxins into the dogs blood.

The best way for tick prevention is to check your dog regularly all year round especially here in Central Florida where the temperature rarely falls below freezing. Discuss with your vet the many different options of preventative tick care for your dog.

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