Ticks were once thought of as something that you and your pet encountered while hiking in the woods or in deeply forested areas. That's no longer true as changes in weather patterns are helping to extend a tick's range into the backyards of Bend. The Western black-legged tick, or deer tick, is of the highest concern for pet owners due to the fact it's the only tick that carries Lyme disease. Your pet is at higher risk of tick-borne Lyme disease than ever before. Following is a look at Lyme disease in Oregon and why you should contact your veterinarian in Bend if you find a tick on your pet.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a disease that's carried by ticks infected with the bacterium Borrella burgdoferi. Ticks usually pick up the bacteria from infected white-footed mice, then carry it to their next host. The disease can be transmitted to humans and animals alike, and result in an infection that causes fevers, headaches, skin rashes, and tiredness. If the disease is left untreated, it can progress and get into joints, the nervous system, and the heart. Talk with the dog veterinarian in Bend for advice on how to keep your dogs and other outdoor pets safe from ticks and Lyme disease.
How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted?
Lyme disease is a bacterium transmitted through the bite of an infected tick, but the tick must be attached for more than 24 hours to spread the bacterium. As previously mentioned, the Western black-legged tick, or deer tick, is the only tick that transmits Lyme disease. The deer tick is black-brown in coloring, however, if you're not familiar with the different ticks in Oregon, don't take chances. Call an animal vet in Bend if you've found a tick on your dog or cat and bring them in for treatment.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Pets
Lyme disease is more prevalent in dogs than cats, but cats can get infected. The signs and symptoms in dogs and cats are similar. They include
- Swollen joints
- Low energy
- General stiffness
- Low or no appetite
- Red bump with a red ring that looks like a target on the skin
If you see any of these signs in your pet, call the animal vet in Bend for an appointment and testing for Lyme disease.
What Should I do if I Think My Pet is Infected?
If your pet is showing signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, call the animal clinic in Bend immediately. The sooner you bring your pet in for treatment, the better the outcome. Lyme disease usually does not resolve on its own and requires the use of veterinary medicine to help your pet recover.
Preventing Lyme Disease in Pets
Prevention of Lyme disease from ticks is straightforward and easy. A visual and hands-on inspection of your pet when they're in for the night will help you find ticks and remove them quickly with a tick removing tool or tweezers. If you were unsuccessful in removing the tick entirely, call the vet clinic in Bend for help. You can also prevent ticks from getting a grip using:
- Topical flea and tick repellents in sprays, topical applications, or shampoos
- Tick repellent collars
- Oral flea and tick medications
For questions about ticks and Lyme disease, contact the vet clinic in Bend for more information. Your dog veterinarian in Bend has the latest information about the prevalence of ticks and Lyme disease in Bend.