The Importance of Lyme Disease Awareness
Lyme disease is something that can adversely affect your pet. Both dogs and cats are susceptible. Unless your dogs or cats never go outside there is always the danger that they can contract Lyme disease. Your veterinarian can help you with great advice about what precautions to take in order to decrease the odds of Lyme disease affecting your furry friend. At the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County in Ferndale, we offer veterinary services to residents of Ferndale and in the surrounding areas of Monticello and Liberty as well. As the weather starts to move from winter to spring, it is important now more than ever to understand the importance of Lyme disease prevention and it’s benefits for the overall health of your pet.
Lyme Disease Prevention
In the case of Lyme disease, the best treatment is prevention. Unfortunately in the case of cats, there is no vaccine. The best thing you can do for your cat is to keep it away from areas where ticks are likely to be found. Keep shrubs and bushes around your home trimmed back to discourage a tick invasion. When you bring your cat back inside always check through its fur for signs of ticks and if your cat will let you, comb out its hair. You can also opt for a topical treatment, this is something to discuss with your veterinarian.
When it comes to dogs, you can choose to get a Lyme disease vaccination to prevent the infection in combination with topical or oral treatments. Be aware that a vaccination does not always work and you need to use other preventive methods as well. Again, this is something to discuss with your veterinary care provider.
What is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a deer tick. It is a small tick that is hard to notice but the bite transmits the Borrelia organism that can make your pet and you very sick.
Lyme Disease Diagnosis
The good news is that Lyme disease is not very prevalent in cats, the bad news is that when a cat has Lyme disease it is often asymptomatic which makes it more difficult to diagnose. It may be time to get your cat checked out by a veterinarian if you notice any of the following conditions:
- Your cat seems to be suffering from lameness that comes and goes
- Your cat changes joints or legs while standing
- A joint in your cat feels warm to the touch
- Your cat seems listless and has little appetite
Lyme disease in cats can cause kidney disease which is a much more serious condition and can lead to total kidney failure and even death. Blood work and urinalysis can provide a diagnosis so that you can start treatment with an antibiotic as soon as possible.
The symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs are very similar to those in a cat, lameness, fever, lack of appetite and general lethargy. A blood test will determine if it is really Lyme disease.
Veterinary Care to Prevent Lyme Disease in Ferndale
At the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County, we care about our pet patients. If you are in Ferndale, Monticello or Liberty call our office at 845-292-6711 to make an appointment to discuss your pets Lyme disease prevention. Our veterinary professionals will be happy to help you come up with a plan to keep your furry friend safe.