Healthy Dogs Can Get Tick Borne Diseases…(and it makes them old fast!)

poodleYesterday, a friend was telling me about her 14 year old poodle who appeared in her kitchen doorway crying and wimpering in pain.  An immediate run to the vet (I can’t believe she was lucky enough that it wasn’t the weekend), and they found out her dog has Lyme Disease.

Ticks are like cockroaches; I swear they are.  If there is a nuclear blast, there will be cockroaches and ticks still crawling around.

One of the amazing things about ticks is that is can be the middle of winter, and with a couple of warm days, the ticks are out again!  Back in January (hello, it’s Massachusetts here!), after a couple of warm days, we found a tick on our dog Chloe…in the middle of winter!  Time for the tick collar again.

That raises another question.  How do your protect your dog, and what is the safest way to do it…for you and your dog?

Personally, I don’t like the flea/tick stuff in liquid form you put on the dog’s skin at their neck and between the shoulder blades.  I don’t like it for them or for me.  I’m a snuggler with my dog, and the thought of rubbing that poison on me is not my idea of fun.  If that bothers me, why in the world would I put that stuff on her every month?

In addition, I love my vet.  He is an integrative vet and combines regular veterinary medicine with alternative ideas and practices.  On his dog, Doug (you have to love a dog named Doug!), he only uses the Preventic Collar by Virbac.  If it’s good enough for Dr. Caviness and Doug, it’s good enough for me.  In fact, that’s what we used on Chloe for the past few years with good success.  Of course, nothing is 100% foolproof, and I do take the collar off her during the winter months to “rest” her system from the tick stuff.

Another interesting factoid about ticks and Lyme disease is that your dog may not test positive for Lyme Disease but may still exhibit symptoms of a tick borne disease.  Could be Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, could be babesiosis, could be anaplasmosis, could be something else.  Bottom line is that if your dog has aged 5 years in a couple of days, is lethargic, seems arthritic all of a sudden and in significant pain, the odds are quite good she’s got tick-borne something.  Even healthy dogs can get very sick very fast with a tick borne disease.

If caught and treated in time, the animal’s recovery is relatively quick, and you’ll notice an improvement in just a few days.  Time is of the essence however, as untreated tick borne diseases have dire consequences for dogs just as they do for humans.

To Your Dog’s Good Health!

Cheryl Major

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About Cheryl Major

Cheryl Major has been a volunteer at The Buddy Dog Humane Society in Massachusetts for 14 years, and has been on their Board of Trustees since 2008. Her blog, HealthyDogsWorld.com, is a labor of love. She has also been involved in passing animal protection legislation at the city and state levels and was a regular guest on New England Cable News (NECN) for their "Adopt a Pet Segment". This blog is dedicated to the joys and challenges of dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages with whom we share our lives.

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