Protect Your Dog from Lyme Disease with a Vaccine

Protect Your Dog from Lyme Disease with a Vaccine

Yes, parasite preventatives can help safeguard your pet from parasites, like ticks, and the diseases they carry, but these preventatives aren’t 100% protective – especially if pets don’t receive properly timed administration or doses. Thankfully, there’s another layer of protection to shield your dog from Lyme disease with a Lyme vaccine.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is transmitted to dogs (and humans) through the bite of an infected tick. Lyme-infected ticks are endemic in the Northeast United States, putting us and our pets at risk.

Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Although many dogs infected with Lyme disease do not exhibit signs and symptoms, the effects of Lyme can be severe.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Joint swelling
  • Lameness
  • Decreased activity
  • Loss of appetite

A blood test is used to diagnose Lyme disease. If your dog tests positive, treatment with a month’s long course of antibiotics and additional testing will be recommended. If left untreated or in some severely affected dogs, Lyme disease can lead to permanent damage of the kidneys, joint cartilage, brain and spinal cord and in rare instances cardiovascular complications.

Protect Your Dog from Lyme Disease with a Simple Vaccine

In the past, Lyme vaccination was tricky because the bacteria that causes the Lyme actually changes once it enters the dog’s bloodstream. A technologically-advanced vaccine has been developed that attacks the Lyme-causing bacteria while it’s still inside an attached tick, effectively preventing transmission.

Lyme disease transmission can be significantly decreased with this advanced Lyme vaccine, which we recommend for all at-risk dogs living in the Northeastern United States. You can reduce your dog’s chances of contracting Lyme disease by using parasite preventatives and avoiding brushy, grassy, or wooded areas, but vaccination is a simple way to give your pet superior protection.

Why Isn't There a Lyme Vaccine for People?

A Lyme vaccine was available for people in the 1990s. Unfortunately, its release coincided with bad press about vaccines, incorrectly linking them with autism. Although the vaccine was effective, it was taken off the market. Today, two pharmaceutical companies are working on developing a human-grade Lyme vaccine, but it’s unclear when it will be available.

Get Your Dog a Lyme Vaccine for Tick Season

If your dog has yet to be vaccinated for Lyme disease, we recommend scheduling an appointment before your pet starts rolling in the grass and enjoying the warmer weather that comes with tick season. To schedule an appointment, contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital.