Lyme disease (borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease that is prevalent in the Northeast, as well as common throughout the United States. In Sussex county specifically, it’s incredibly common due to the high tick population in our area. Ticks that transmit Lyme disease are carried by deer, and with the number of deer in New Jersey both growing and expanding their terrain, the instances of Lyme disease in dogs continue to grow as well.
Protecting your dog from this dangerous disease is always a better option than waiting until your pet has become infected. Treatment can be costly, and depending on how the dog responds, in some cases, it can become a long term issue. Chronic Lyme is often harder to treat, with symptoms that can remain with your pet for their lifetime. If your pet does become infected, early diagnosis and a specific treatment plan designed by your vet is the best chance at beating the disease for good. In rare cases, it can cause kidney damage and failure that can be fatal, so tick control is important.
Protection for your dog comes in two forms – a vaccination to prevent the dog from getting the disease, and tick control to prevent the spread of ticks in your home, on yourself, and on other pets and family members. For vaccinations, the Animal Hospital of Sussex County uses Merial’s Lyme disease vaccination. For tick control, we recommend Vectra 3D, which kills fleas and ticks on contact and does not require them to bite your dog in order for the repellent to be effective. By getting both the proper vaccinations against Lyme disease as well as using a good tick control regiment, you can rest assured that your dog is protected and their chances of getting Lyme – even in our high risk area – is next to none.
Rather than wait until your dog has been bitten by a tick, and risk exposure from that tick transferring to other pets and people in the home, planning ahead is key when you live in a high incident area. Sussex county is a beautiful place to live in the mountains and forests, but keeping your dog safe is also important. Just earlier today one of our clients pulled 9 ticks off her dog from waking him on her street! So book your appointment today to make sure your dogs is protected, at home, on the road, or playing in the lawn or in the woods!
And stay tuned for more blogs on what to do if you think your dog has lyme to learn about diagnosis and treatment options, and an upcoming series about treating Lyme disease in horses, which is also high risk in our area.