Click here to learn more.
Lyme disease is one of a number of frustratingly common tick-borne diseases that are regarded by both veterinarians and human physicians as stubborn, insidious, and just plain problematic. In dogs, the disease causes tiredness, fever, joint pain, and loss of appetite. And though antibiotics often relieve the symptoms, once a dog has been infected, relapses can occur. Fortunately, a vaccine is available and recommended for dogs who live and play in high-risk areas.
An infection caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium, Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick and can affect many species, including dogs and humans.
Ticks of the Ixodes species (called deer ticks) are known to transmit Lyme disease when they attach to a host and feed. Because the tick must be attached for at least 50 hours to transmit Lyme disease, frequent inspection for ticks (and quick removal) can reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Lyme disease is more common in certain areas of the United States, including the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwest.
The Lyme vaccine is considered a non-core vaccination. It’s generally recommended only for dogs with a known high risk of exposure to ticks carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi organism (i.e., dogs living in or visiting regions where the risk of exposure to the Ixodes tick is high or where the disease is known to be present).
Delivery This vaccine is administered by injection.
While your veterinarian is always in the best position to advise you on individual vaccination decisions and schedules, the American Animal Hospital Association recommends the following vaccine schedule for dogs at risk for exposure to Lyme disease:
Administering a vaccine is a medical procedure, and there are times when a vaccine may not be recommended. For example, your veterinarian may advise against vaccinating an animal that is currently sick, pregnant, or may not have adequate immune system functioning to respond to a vaccination. For pets with a previous history of vaccine reactions, the potential risk of a future vaccine reaction should be weighed against the potential benefits of vaccination. These and other issues are evaluated when deciding what is best for your dog.
Pet owners are advised to check pets daily for ticks, safely remove ticks if detected, and use a safe, effective, method of tick control. Your veterinarian can advise you of appropriate tick control methods and the risk of Lyme disease in your area.
American Animal Hospital Association vaccine guidelines
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Duke, a 1-year-old Beagle mix, is
recovering from smoke inhalation after
firefighters saved him from a fire.
Steer clear of these items in the produce
aisle — they are dangerous for felines
and can cause more harm than good.
From slow-mo Dachshunds to a Labrador
tug-of-war, these are the best puppy
Vines that 2015 has to offer… so far!
Snakes can be great pets for people who
take the time to meet their very specific
environmental and dietary needs.
An expert explains which protein
sources are best for pets and how much
of it cats and dogs need to consume.
If you've ever vacationed on the Greek
islands, you may have noticed Aegean
Cats hanging around fishing boats.
Thank you for subscribing.