In our part of the country, ticks are an ever-growing problem—which means tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease are as well. We’ve already seen several patients come in with tick infestations, and that’s only going to get worse as the weather continues to warm up.
In dogs, Lyme disease typically causes recurrent lameness, itself a result of joint inflammation, and general malaise. Other symptoms include depression, lack of appetite, enlarged lymph nodes, an arched-back stiff walk, difficulty breathing, and extreme sensitivity to being touched.
Cats aren’t as impacted by Lyme disease as dogs are, but they, too, can experience joint pain, lameness, and lethargy.
The good news is that Lyme disease is preventable, both by vaccine and with easy-to-administer preventatives that we sell both in our clinic and our online store. The same applies to the illnesses carried by fleas and parasitic worms. Fleas, heartworm, and other parasites love the warm summer weather and treat your pet like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Contrary to popular opinion, these pests aren’t just annoying. Fleas can transmit tapeworm and cause anemia, while heartworm constrict blood flow, damaging internal organs and causing lung disease and heart failure.
If you need to stock up on tick, flea, or heartworm preventative, or if you’d like to schedule a Lyme disease vaccine, give us a call at (703) 348-9462!