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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Lyme Disease A Growing Problem For Pets And People

Lyme disease: a growing problem for pets and people

PetSmart Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

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Just being out in the woods, on the banks of streams, playing in the local park, or even in your own backyard, you and your pet can come into contact with ticks which house Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial disease that can cause arthritis, kidney damage and death in people and dogs.  Lyme disease is zoonotic, which means it can spread from pets to people, so you could get sick from your dog. Since its discovery in 1975, Lyme disease has spread rapidly and has become the most common tick-borne disease. Cases have been reported in 48 states, with the highest number along the Eastern seaboard, the Great Lakes region and in the West. Symptoms of Lyme disease are often delayed and may not show up for months, so there may be little or no sign if your pet is infected.

How you can tell your pet is at risk
If Lyme disease has been found in people and dogs in your area or if you live in wooded are densely brushed areas

If your dog accompanies you while walking, hiking, camping, picnicking, hunting or fishing

If you have found a tick on your dog or on any other pet or person in your household

Or it you travel with your dog to high risk areas for Lyme disease.

The best way to protect your pet from Lyme disease is with proper vaccine protection and consistent use of tick control products to prevent tick bites in outdoor environments. 

Take these steps now to protect your pet
Talk to your veterinarian or Banfield doctor about protecting your pet with an annual vaccine that protects dogs against Lyme disease.

Use continuous tick control products.

Brush your dog’s entire coat after each outing.

Do daily “tick checks” when the temperature rises above 40 degrees F by examining your dog’s entire body. 

Read more about Lyme disease and how you can spot its symptoms in your pets.

© Banfield, The Pet Hospital

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