By: Dr. Bruce GoldmanVeterinarian

It is finally starting to feel like Spring, which means we finally get to play outside under the warm sun with our pets! We need to remember, however, that if we are enjoying the outdoors then the not so friendly ticks are enjoying it right along with us! Tick prevention is the best way to combat these pesky parasites. We strongly recommend year-round treatment, given the increased prevalence of Lyme disease in Maryland, so please make sure your pets are up to date with their preventative treatments. Please discuss preventative options with your veterinarian at your next visit.

At Huffard Animal Hospital, we diagnose Lyme positive cases every month. Symptoms can include lameness/limping, loss of appetite, discomfort, arthritic signs and fever. It can infect the organs in the body as well [kidneys and heart] and has the potential to be fatal if the disease goes untreated.

We are seeing an increase in other tick-borne diseases spreading around Maryland, as well, such as Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis, most likely caused by new and different ticks migrating to our area such as the lone star tick. Keep in mind there are no vaccines to prevent these, so tick preventative is imperative!

As Marylanders, we know all about the prevalence of ticks in our woods and tall grass areas. Please remember to check your pet and yourself after playing in, or near, areas such as these. A tick can attach itself onto your pet outside at the park and be transported back into your house, transferring to another indoor pet or human in your household. That is why it is so important that your pet is protected with tick prevention and vaccinated against Lyme disease. It is also critical to note that this makes it possible for even small breeds to contract tick diseases.

We usually treat Lyme symptoms with antibiotics, but it is important to remember that these antibiotics do not cure the disease. The disease can lay dormant in your pet and rear its ugly head at a later date, sometimes even years later!

Enjoy the warm weather this season and have some fun in the sun. If you have any questions on Lyme, ticks, prevention or vaccination please email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 410.768.3620.

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