CANINE ANNUAL LYME BOOSTER
Our records indicate it's time for your dog or puppy to receive its Lyme Disease vaccine. Lyme disease is a clinical disorder caused by a microscopic organism, the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, and is spread by ticks. Fleas & mosquitoes have also been implicated in the spread of Lyme disease. The ticks normally feed on small mammals, especially mice. Ticks then feed on dogs or people, and carry the bacteria to their victims. The deer tick is the most common tick involved in spreading the disease, although other ticks can pass it along, too. Ticks capable of spreading Lyme disease are most commonly found in the eastern United States, the upper Midwest, Texas and the Pacific Northwest. Lyme disease can affect different organs and body systems. The disease is named because of the initial discovery in human beings that occurred in 1975 in Lyme, Connecticut. Abilene and the general Big Country is a small hot-spot of Lyme disease, as is the Dallas-Fort Worth area, due to the high numbers of ticks in the area, and dogs coming into the area from all over the country.
Lyme disease causes a variety of symptoms in affected dogs, and can be difficult to diagnose. The signs of Lyme disease include recurrent lameness, nonspecific pain, joint swelling, anorexia, unexplained fever, lethargy, depression, and enlarged lymph nodes. If untreated, Lyme disease can cause permanent joint pain and lameness.
High-risk dogs (hunting dogs, herding dogs, ranch dogs, search & rescue dogs, dogs who go camping, etc) as well as "city" dogs who have endured a tick problem should all be vaccinated for Lyme disease.
The doctors of Windmill Animal Hospital recommend administering the Lyme Disease vaccination with the following schedule:
· 14 weeks, 18 weeks of age for all puppies with risk of exposure to ticks
· booster within 1 year
· annually thereafter for all adult dogs with risk of exposure to ticks