Lyme Disease: Protect Your Pet, Know the Risks

Lyme disease, also called Borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by Borrelia bacteria. The disease is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an affected tick. A tick first picks up the bacteria by attaching to infected animals like deer, mice, or birds. The deer tick and black-legged tick are the ticks that commonly carry and spread the Borrelia bacteria, which is responsible for Lyme disease. Learn how ticks spread disease from the CDC. Ticks are found in forests or grassy, wooded areas near marshes, rivers, lakes or oceans. Deer ticks live in moist, shady areas near ground level, and cling to tall grass and brush.

Symptoms and Treatment

Photo courtesy CDC

The warning signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs and cats can vary. Symptoms can appear months after a tick bite, may be vague, and often mimic other diseases leading to difficult or a potential misdiagnosis. If left untreated, Lyme infections can affect the kidneys, nervous system, and heart. Veterinarians can take an antibody blood test, which can show whether an animal has been exposed to the Borrelia bacteria and help determine an appropriate treatment. Common signs include:

  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat Lyme infections in dogs and cats. Some animals may require more than one round of treatment to lessen signs of infection. Antibiotics may not eliminate the infection completely, which can lead to symptom flare-ups or permanent conditions.

Who Is at Risk?

Animals that spend time outdoors, especially in tick-infested areas, have a higher risk of exposure. Both people and animals may be bitten by ticks during outdoor activities or even while spending time in their own back yards. View forecasts for Lyme Disease in your area.

Prevention

The best way to protect your pet from disease is avoidance from ticks and taking precautionary steps. Start by using a reliable tick-preventative product for your pet. Fortunately, there are highly effective preventative products for both cats and dogs. Preventatives must be used consistently in order to provide effective longterm tick control. It is best to talk with your veterinarian about which one is right for your pet and your area of the country. It is important that the product you use repels the types of ticks in your area. If you live in a climate with freezing temperatures, don’t be fooled, ticks can hibernate over the winter.

If spending time outdoors, it’s important to find and remove any ticks on you or your pet as soon as possible. The longer a tick stays attached, the more likely it will transmit disease. Pets can bring Lyme infected ticks into the house, which can then attach to other animals and people, spreading the disease.

How To Check Your Pet For Ticks:

Run your hands slowly over your dog or cat’s entire body feeling for bumps or lumps. Ticks can be very small and like to hide out inside ears, between toes, under the tail and collar, and in the armpit and groin areas. Don’t forget to check yourself too!

Additional Tips to Avoid Ticks

  • Vaccination. Preventative vaccines are available for dogs. Ask your veterinarian whether a Lyme disease vaccination is appropriate for your dog.
  • Keep lawns, shrubs, brush, and trees trimmed to help reduce tick populations.
  • Keep woodpiles neatly stacked and remove leaf piles.
  • Place a 3 ft barrier of wood chips or gravel between yards and wooded areas to prevent tick migration.
  • Consider a pesticide application to control an infestation. Use caution with pets.

Lyme Disease Risk to Humans

Dogs and cats cannot directly transmit this disease to humans. Because people and their pets are often together outdoors as well as indoors, a Lyme disease diagnosis for your pet could be a warning for you to consult a physician. Additionally, dogs and cats may bring infected ticks into the household, which can attach to another animal or person, and transmit disease. Learn more about Lyme disease in humans at CDC or Lyme Disease.org

VetRxDirect carries a large selection of tick preventatives for dogs and cats including topicals, oral medications, collars, shampoos, sprays, and products for the home. Visit our website for more information and check out a few we’ve listed below!

For Cats

Effipro Plus for CatsEffipro Plus is a topical treatment for cats that kills all stages of fleas and ticks including deer ticks, brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, and lone star ticks. It also kills chewing lice and repels mosquitoes that can carry heartworms. Apply Effipro Plus once a month for long-lasting, waterproof protection.

 

 

Bravecto for Cats at VetRxDirectBravecto is a prescription strength topical just for cats. Bravecto gives your cat protection against fleas and black-legged ticks (deer ticks) for 12 weeks,and dog ticks for 8 weeks. It contains fluralaner as a long-acting insecticide to not only kill but also help break the life cycle. Bravecto is also designed to eliminate fleas in as little as 8 hours.

 

For Dogs

NexGard at VetRxDirectNexGard is a prescription, chewable flea and tick preventative for dogs contains afoxolaner It kills adult fleas, black-legged tick, American dog tick, Lone Star tick, and brown dog tick. NexGard is formulated to give protection for 30 days and is FDA Approved to Prevent Lyme Disease

 

 

Effitix Plus at VetRxDirectEffitix Plus is a broad spectrum topical for dogs. It kills and repels all life stages of fleas and ticks including brown dog ticks, deer ticks, lone star ticks, and American dog ticks. Effitix Plus also repels and kills mosquitoes that may carry heartworm, repels biting flies, kills lice, and helps control sarcoptic mange.

 

The Hazards and Nuisance of Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are the most common external parasites on dogs and cats, and the most common nuisance for pet owners. They flourish during the warm weather months but easily hitch rides inside, and can be a year-round problem.

Fleas Are Biting Machines

Can you believe that just one flea can bite up to 400 times a day? So you can imagine just how uncomfortable a flea infestation can be for a dog or cat. Even a few fleas can cause skin problems for your pet and may not be readily observable. Fleas can cause allergic skin reactions in both cats and dogs which may be difficult to tell apart from seasonal allergies. They also carry tapeworm larvae, which can lead to intestinal tapeworm infections. Control of fleas has always been a challenge because only adult fleas live on the pet. Flea eggs, larvae, and pupa live off the pet, outside and in the household.

Ticks: Hardy Disease Carriers

Tick prevention is important because as we know, they carry various diseases that pose serious health risks. Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and ehrlichiosis are the most common. These diseases can be difficult and expensive to treat and sometimes impossible to cure. The goal is to prevent ticks from getting onto your dog or cat. If you live in a climate that experiences yearly freezing temperatures, you may notice ticks become less active or disappear but don’t be fooled, they can hibernate over the winter.

Prevention

Fortunately, there are lots of effective preventative medications to help control fleas and ticks. It is best to talk with your veterinarian about which one is right for your dog or cat and your area of the country. We stock a full range of flea and tick treatments to keep your dog and cat safe and healthy.

NexGard Chewables for Fleas and Ticks

NexGard for Dogs

NexGard is a prescription, chewable flea and tick preventative. It kills adult fleas and ticks NexGard is formulated to give protection for 30 days and is easy to give with a soft, beef-flavored chew that dogs enjoy.

 

 

Provecta Advanced at VetRxDirectProvecta For Dogs

Provecta Advanced is a 5-way parasite treatment for dogs. It kills and repels ticks, all life stages of fleas, and mosquitoes on contact before they bite. It also repels biting flies and kills chewing lice.

 

 

Bravecto for Cats at VetRxDirectBravecto For Cats

Bravecto is a prescription strength topical just for cats. Bravecto gives your cat protection against fleas and black-legged ticks (deer ticks) for 12 weeks, and dog ticks for 8 weeks. Bravecto is also designed to help eliminate fleas in as little as 8 hours.

 

 

Revolution for CatsRevolution For Cats

You won’t find a more hard-working medicine for your cat than prescription Revolution. It combats a host of parasites including fleas, heartworm, hookworm, roundworm, and ear mites with an easy-to-apply topical treatment.

How to Prevent Ticks on Your Dog

Ticks, those pesky little pests that are carriers for dreaded Lyme disease, are a dog owner’s worst nightmare. Every owner knows how much of a nuisance they can be and how susceptible our pets are to being bitten by them. Thankfully, there are many precautionary measures and preventative products available that can help you and your family in the battle against ticks.

Preventative Steps to Take

There are several things you can do to reduce the likelihood of your pet contracting a disease from these pests:

• Routinely check your pets for ticks, especially after they have been outdoors. In the instance you find a tick, remove it immediately.

• Use a tick prevention spray on your backyard to reduce the habitat in which ticks can live and thrive.

• Get a tick and flea collar or topical for your pet, which also helps to prevent flea infestation.

• Talk with your veterinarian to see which preventative medications are appropriate for your dog and cat.

Find a wide assortment of popular tick control and preventative medications available at the VetRxDirect Pharmacy.

Popular Tick Products on SALE Now at VetRxDirect!

Scalibor Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs

A long lasting, odorless and water resistant collar that kills fleas and ticks for up to 6 months.

FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs

Easy to use monthly application quickly kills all stages of fleas, plus ticks and chewing lice. Frontline Plus for Cats is also on sale.

Mycodex Plus Environmental Control

Aerosol household spray kills all stages of fleas, plus ticks. Controls flea reinfestations for up to 210 days.

Get Your Pets Ready for Summer!

3 Steps to a Healthy Pet this Summer

I’ve got good news and bad news. First, the good: summer is almost here. Now the bad: it’s time to do battle with nasty pests and seasonal allergies on behalf of our pets.  Fortunately, we have everything you need to keep your cat and dog happy, healthy, and safe this summer.

Take these three steps now to get Fido or Fluffy ready for the summer:

Step 1: Protect from heartworms. Mosquitoes hatch in warm weather. They’re the most dangerous parasite for pets because they carry heartworm, which can be deadly. If your dog or cat isn’t on a year-round heartworm medication regimen, now is time to start. Many heartworm treatments also protect your pet from dangerous intestinal worms including whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm. Talk to your veterinarian about which medication is right for your pet then shop with us — we stock a wide range of heartworm medications.

Step 2: Fight fleas and ticks. The two most irritating pests—fleas and ticks – flourish in the summer. Flea bites not only make your pet miserable, they can transmit tapeworms.  And if your pet has a flea infestation, your home may be infested too and that is a huge nuisance.

Ticks may be a little less irritating than fleas (no less gross, though), but they’re more dangerous because they can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichosis.

Prevention is your best defense when it comes to fleas and ticks. Look for broad- spectrum treatments that prevent fleas and ticks from getting on your pet, and kill all stages of existing fleas and ticks – both adults and immature forms. There are several new preventatives that combine medications with new, more convenient dosing processes. Be sure to get your vet’s recommendation first. Click here to see VetRxDirect’s flea and tick newsletter.

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Step 3: Treat allergies. It’s allergy season for humans and pets alike. Pets can develop allergic reactions to flea bites, grasses, pollen, mold, and even foods. How do you know if your pet has allergies? Look for symptoms including skin irritation, scratching, wheezing, and ear infections. We have a many oral and topical allergy treatments for dogs and cats. Talk to your vet about what treatment is best for your pet’s condition.

Here’s to a fun, healthy summer for you and your pet!

Wes