A Pet Owner’s Guide to Lyme Disease in Pets

lyme diseaseWith spring (finally) here and summer on the way, our thoughts naturally turn to how we can protect our pets from the dangers associated with warm weather. Making sure they’re hydrated, watching out for heatstroke, and being alert to poisoning risks are all important safety measures, but it’s important to remember that ticks also pose a significant danger to your pets.

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne illnesses that affect pets, and its effects can be devastating. Preventing and detecting Lyme disease in pets is a crucial aspect of summer safety in Virginia.

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Why Fleas, Ticks, and Other Parasites Aren’t Just a Seasonal Problem

While warm weather may bring out all of the fleas, ticks, and other pests of the summer season, leaving your pet unprotected from parasites during other seasons may put him or her at risk for a number of vector-borne diseases.

Despite the thought that pests are only active during warmer months, flea infestations can pose problems year-round and deer ticks (black-legged ticks) are often active during the winter months, as well.

Because sporadic treatment makes it difficult to prevent initial infestations, skipping your pet’s parasite preventative can be a dangerous gamble, no matter the time of year.

Fleas, Ticks…What’s the Risk?

Although many pet owners may consider parasites to be an itchy annoyance, the diseases they carry can pose serious risks to the health of a pet.

Fleas and ticks, for example, have a life cycle that perpetuates the risk of exposure through continuing to lay eggs and multiply. Fleas can also thrive indoors during winter months, going through the cycle of laying eggs which produce larvae, pupae, and then hundreds of adult fleas.

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