Is your pet just tired – or could they have Lyme Disease?
Our tick friends are at their most active right now and could lurk in your garden, local park, and even urban areas – no place is safe! Aside from being creepy and very crawly, these blood-sucking parasites can also carry nasty tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, which can pass onto your furry friend (or you!) as they feed.
Though not prevalent in the Philippines, Lyme disease is a serious condition and can be fatal if left untreated. Caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease can affect dogs, humans, and, less commonly, our feline friends too! Ticks can become carriers of this disease after feeding on the blood of infected wildlife, which acts as a reservoir for this infection.
In countries where Lyme disease is endemic, the most common type of tick found on pets is the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus), which is the leading carrier of this disease. Humans should beware, too, as Lyme disease can spread to humans by infected ticks.
How can you tell if your pet has Lyme disease?
Unlike humans, who often get a tell-tale rash as an early warning sign, our furry friends sadly do not. The earliest signs in pets are usually less specific and include loss of appetite, tiredness, low energy, and sometimes lameness. Lyme disease causes flu-like symptoms, can make your pet feel slightly ill, and may also develop a fever.
So, if you notice that your four-legged friend suddenly seems more tired than usual, or if they are showing any other symptoms - get them checked out by your vet ASAP. Even if you haven’t noticed any ticks on your pet, it’s possible that they could have already fallen off after filling their tummies, leaving behind a nasty infection.
Prevention is key!
It’s vital that we, as pet owners, take action against ticks to protect our four-legged friends from tick-borne infections. To help you, here are our top 5 tick-busting tips:
- 1. Check your furry friend from nose to tail after walks - paying extra special attention to tick hot spots, such as their head, ears, neck, feet, armpits, and groin!
- 2. Vacuum your home regularly – to remove any ticks that may have fallen off your pet and be lurking in your carpets and rugs.
- 3. If you spot a tick on your pet, remove it as quickly as possible with a tick remover - ticks are more likely to pass on an infection to your pet if they are attached for more than 24 hours!*
- 4. Never squeeze, pierce or burn a tick attached to your pet, as this can increase the likelihood of them spreading any infection they carry to your pet.
- 5. Apply Fipronil + (S)-Methoprene (FRONTLINE® Plus) flea and tick treatment to all cats and dogs in your household regularly all year round!