Have you ever thought about this: What if those tiny creatures, that’s been bugging and making your pets scratch, carry something that would make your pet sick?
We commonly see fleas and ticks afflicting pets but not everyone is aware of the serious illness that your pets may acquire from them if we leave it as it is.
We will get some valuable information, mainly for pet owners, about Lyme disease –a disease carried by ticks—from Assistant professor Maria Steve- Gasent of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
Esteve Gasent explained that “Lyme disease is from a bacterial pathogen called Borrelia burgdorferi that affects humans and their associate animals which are transmitted by Ixodes ticks also known as blacklegged ticks or deer ticks”. Ticks not only get their nutrition from humans and their associate animals but also from the infected animals that’s why humans get this disease.
Having a “bull’s eye” rash on the skin is the most common manifestation of this disease. Infected people will feel flu-like symptoms like fever and muscle joint pains whilst their associate animals, especially dogs, may feel no symptoms but could also manifest transient fever, anorexia, and sometimes arthritis.
Esteve Gasent said, “Lymes disease could result to complications like carditis, which is an inflammation of the heart that impedes its ability to function, and arthritis if not treated. She also added “On the other hand, dogs may experience kidney failure and neurological complications. Therefore, this disease is very serious for both humans and animals if we don’t take action to eradicate them.”
“We can avoid this disease if we prevent getting tick bites”, Esteve-Gasent said when asked how we can protect our pets and ourselves from such undesirable disease. Fortunately, there are a lot of effective products in the market today that can treat or prevent the occupation of ticks in our pet’s skin. We can also find a vaccine that can be administered for dogs.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for humans and horses. Horses and humans have limited ways to prevent ticks to occupy our skin.
“Therefore we must apply tick repellents to prevent tick bites,” Esteve- Gasent emphasized. “It’s also advisable to wear long pants and long sleeved when going outdoor. We can also prevent the ticks getting on our skin by taping socks to pants.”
The host of infection (humans or animals) may take several weeks of treatment before the bacteria will go away from the body. They will take antibiotics which is the current treatment for this disease.
You may ask “Do we have to be worried of contracting Lyme disease especially spring season is coming?” Esteve-Gasent replied it depends on your location.
She added “There’s high morbidity rate due to Lyme’s disease during summer and spring in the Northern and Midwest, but it is unlikely during early in the fall. The people in southern regions or warmer regions should be cautious late in winter, spring, early summer and in the fall since the chances of getting this infection is high during these times but if it’s too hot, ticks tend not to be very active. In general, prevent ticks from getting into your skin, if you will spend time outdoors, whatever season it may be.
Rule of thumb is that if the weather is good for you and your pet, it is good for the ticks too. Dress the right clothes if you will spend a lot of time outside. Prevent your pets for contracting these pesky ticks. Also, don’t forget to visit that modern Dog e-store and try out some ticks and fleas products that serve as remedy and prevention for you and your pet!