Vaccinations are a hot-button topic across the board right now when it comes to human babies, many people do not realize that there are important vaccination decisions to be made for fur-babies as well.
Vaccinations for pets, like humans, can prevent and stop the spread of certain illnesses. One of the main issues that face dogs are diseases spread by ticks, and the Lyme disease vaccination prevents the debilitating symptoms that come from bites of ticks with the parasite that causes it.
Stopping the spread of Lyme disease in dogs can also reduce the disease in humans who may be bitten by a tick that their pet tracks in. There are many other tick born disease including rocky mountain fever that effect pets in different parts of the globe, flea and tick prevention is vital no matter your location.
Tick Prevention: First Line of Defense Against Disease
Ticks and fleas are generally to be avoided for comfort purposes, and weekly baths and extra spot checks if Fido wanders into the woods can work wonders for parasite prevention. Keeping the yard mowed and hedges trimmed can reduce places for these parasites to nest. There are also tick and flea deterrents available to insure that any little insects that are nearby are not attracted to your pet to begin with. But even those vital lines of defense are not fool-proof when it comes to preventing serious illnesses that ticks can cause. A vaccination can insure that if your pet is bitten by an infected tick, they will not succumb to the symptoms.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Pets
If the disease is caught quickly then antibiotics can quickly remedy the problem in most cases. However if you do not notice your pets symptoms they may develop chronic Lyme disease which can be much more serious.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful joints and muscles
- Lameness in both, one, or back and forth between legs
- Kidney disease and sometimes death in chronic cases
- Sometimes it is difficult to tell when a pet is suffering because they cannot exactly come out and say what is bothering them, if you notice any abnormal behavior in your pet it may be their way of communicating pain or discomfort.
Lyme Vaccination Available to Pets Only
While Lyme disease effects both pets and humans, the vaccine is only available to dogs at the moment. The vaccination comes in the form of a shot that is administered two times, two weeks apart after your dog is over 12 weeks old. There should be a yearly booster after that to increase effectiveness.
Contact our Fort Lauderdale veterinarian if you have any questions concerning the vaccines or shots your pet should get for optimal health.