Product added:
Product Title
Product Info
Qty: 1
Give us a call
0344 748 0108

Lyme disease?

Hear about it on the news? Here's everything you need to know about Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by ticks. It can affect a number of animals – including dogs – but can also pose a threat to us humans.
There has been a steady rise in cases of Lyme disease in dogs since 2000. As a result, it is the most common vector-borne disease in Europe. Why this has happened isn’t clear, but increases in the UK’s deer population, as well as wetter summers and milder winters may have played a role in increasing the number of infected ticks.

Where does Lyme disease come from?

Ticks can only survive in areas of high humidity – they’re often found in woodlands, moors, heathland or rough pasture. Ticks become infected with borrelia burgdoferi - the bacteria that causes Lyme disease – by feeding on an infected animal. They can then pass this infection on to the next animal they bite.
Only a small percentage of ticks carry the infection, so being bitten by a tick does not necessarily mean Lyme disease will be passed on.

The symptoms of Lyme disease

Symptoms can vary from nothing at all to lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, lameness, and swelling of the lymph nodes. In very rare cases, your dog may develop a more serious form of the disease, resulting in kidney failure or neurological symptoms.
Lyme disease can be tricky to diagnose, particularly as symptoms may appear months after the initial tick bite. Once diagnosed, however, it can be treated fairly easily with a 2-4 week course of antibiotics.

Lyme disease treatment

In the case of Lyme disease, prevention is better than cure. To do this, it’s important to eliminate ticks from your dog. There are a few products that specialise in removing ticks from dogs.
Fipronil-based products will kill ticks in 48 hours. However, some researchers argue that this still gives the bacteria enough time to be transmitted to your dog. Bravecto, a new oral treatment, kills ticks within 24 hours. It lasts for 8-12 weeks, making it a more appropriate treatment in high-risk areas. A vaccination is also available for dogs that live in areas prone to ticks.

Lyme disease in humans

Ticks can also spread Lyme disease to us humans. Symptoms vary, ranging from a rash, headaches and joint pain, to more severe symptoms such as myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) or meningitis (inflammation of the brain).
The milder symptoms can be treated with a 2-4 week course of antibiotics. In rare cases, however, the more severe symptoms can prove life threatening. It’s really important, therefore, to minimise the risk of tick bites in order to prevent Lyme disease.
When in high-risk areas, try and stick to footpaths, wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers, use insect repellent on any exposed skin, and check for ticks when you get home.
By following these simple protocols, you can vastly reduce the risk of your dog – and you – developing this nasty disease.