Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month is a month-long campaign that takes place in April to help raise awareness about preventing Lyme disease in dogs. As temperatures begin to rise in the spring months, the prevalence of deer ticks increases in outdoor environments. Many of them carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease in dogs when bitten. The campaign helps provide dog owners with a greater understanding of the risks and the methods that help their dogs avoid future health problems.
History of Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month is an annual campaign started by the Lyme Disease Foundation. It runs through the month of April and aims to spread awareness on how to prevent, identify and treat Lyme disease in dogs.
As springtime rolls around, dogs and their owners are more likely to spend time outdoors. At this time of year, black-legged or deer ticks are more common in warmer climates, thereby presenting potential health hazards to dogs. Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month occurs at the peak of spring because dogs are at an increased risk of contracting Lyme disease, or borreliosis, during this time. Deer ticks tend to carry with them the ‘Borrelia Burgdorfer’ bacteria which can cause serious complications in dogs. When bitten dogs experience symptoms including joint pain, swelling, fevers, and kidney problems, all of which are indicative of Lyme disease. While not all deer ticks carry the bacteria, certain areas have been identified as high-risk for Lyme disease contraction. The highest prevalence of deer ticks can be found ranging from the Midwest to the Eastern United States.
Signs of Lyme disease in dogs are often not immediately obvious — sometimes taking two to five months to fully appear. The first signs typically are gradual issues with the dog’s knee and elbow joints and increased lethargy. In some cases, the concerns can disappear in a short time, but some cases could be long-term and can result in kidney and heart problems, which could be fatal. While treatment for Lyme disease is available, it is recommended that dog owners take the necessary steps to identify and prevent the issues as early as possible.
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month timeline
Scottish historian John Walker is the first to write a detailed description of Lyme disease symptoms, after observing patients in Scotland.
The modern Lyme disease as it is known today is officially diagnosed and identified, following cases in the towns of Old Lyme and Lyme, Connecticut.
The Lyme Disease Foundation is founded in Connecticut.
The United States Government approves the first funding assistance for Lyme research and surveillance.
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month FAQs
Should I vaccinate my dog for Lyme disease?
Lyme disease-positive dogs with clear symptoms should be vaccinated when the risk of reinfection is high. Dogs should receive antibiotic therapy prior to or immediately following vaccination and should be performed annually.
Can dogs fight Lyme disease on their own?
Some dogs will fight off Lyme disease on their own if their immune systems are strong. A healthy immune system will also help your dog recover faster, and help the dog avoid complications that can come from it.
How long do antibiotics take to work for Lyme disease in dogs?
If your dog is confirmed to have Lyme disease he may need antibiotics for four weeks. You will have to put him on a diet that’s easy on his kidneys. He will need lots of rest during this time. You should see a marked improvement in your dog’s health within three to five days of starting treatment.
How to Observe Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month
Get your dogs checked
The best way to prevent Lyme disease in your dog is to identify its symptoms as soon as possible. Take the necessary steps to ensure their health. Visit your local veterinarian for assistance.
Spread the word
Take to your social media pages and spread awareness about Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. You can help many dog owners realize the potential risks and remind them of the need to check their canine friends' health.
Mind where your dogs go during walks
A good way to nip the problem right at its bud is to make sure your dog does not wander into tall grass or densely wooded areas. Always use a leash.
5 Important Facts About Lyme Disease
It was identified in ancient human remains
Ötzi, the oldest known European mummy, who died around 3300 B.C., had symptoms of Lyme disease when he died.
The bacteria was named after a scientist
In 1982, American scientist Willy Burgdorfer was the first to officially identify the ‘Borrelia Burgdorferi’ bacteria in ticks as the cause of Lyme disease — the bacteria was named after him.
Lyme disease mainly occurs in the North
Lyme disease tends to occur mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and is in danger of spreading further as ticks adapt to increasing temperatures.
Vaccines for dogs are available
While there is currently no official human vaccine obtainable on the market, Lyme disease vaccines for dogs are available.
Lyme disease is not contagious
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease cannot be transmitted through humans — dogs are unable to catch Lyme disease from humans and vice versa.
Why Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month is Important
It can potentially save your dog's life
Lyme disease has been proven to cause serious and recurring problems to canine health. This month-long campaign is to ensure that all dog owners are aware of the risks so that their pooches continue to live healthy lives.
It helps educate dog owners on Lyme disease
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month can help educate dog owners about the symptoms and causes of Lyme disease. Thus, they are aware of the risks and enact preventive measures as soon as possible.
It helps quell anxieties
Lyme disease is treatable and often not fatal to both animals and humans, lest the right measures are taken. Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month helps assure dog owners that the disease can be prevented and is not a cause for panic.
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month dates