If you have a dog, and you haven't had it vaccinated for Lyme disease, you should schedule an appointment for that as soon as possible. Your dog might not be as safe as you thought it was. Many things that you thought you knew about Lyme disease simply aren't correct. That can leave your dog susceptible to a serious disease. Unfortunately, that can also leave you and your family susceptible to a serious disease. Here are four things you might not know about Lyme disease.
1. Ticks Love to Hide on Your Dog
If your dog spends any amount of time outside, it could have ticks hiding on it. Most people check the usual places when their dogs come in, such as behind the ears, or in joints of the legs. However, those aren't the only places you'll find tick activity. When your dog comes inside after being outside – even for a short period of time – you need to conduct a very thorough search. Ticks love to hide in places like between the toes, along the pads of the feet, and inside the ears. In fact, your dog could be carrying hundreds of ticks, and you might not even know it.
2. Ticks Are a Problem All Year Long
If you haven't been worried about ticks because the weather has been cold, you need to know that ticks are a problem all year long. They don't go into hibernation during the winter. They just go into hiding and wait for warmer weather. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean they go into hiding until spring. In fact, just one warm day in the middle of winter can bring the ticks out in full force. To avoid a tick problem, you should be continuing tick medication right through the winter.
3. Ticks Aren't Confined to One Region
If you thought your dog was safe because you don't live in a region that experiences tick activity, you're mistaken. Ticks are no longer confined to specific regions; they can be found anywhere now. That means that wherever you're living, your dog could come in contact with ticks, which could spread Lyme disease. Regardless of where you live, you need to protect your dog against ticks.
4. Tick Rashes Aren't Always Visible on Dogs
If you think you're safe from Lyme disease because you inspect your dog for the distinctive bulls-eye shaped rash, you should know that could be putting you at risk for the disease. That's because, unlike in humans, the rash is the last symptom to appear. Dogs usually develop the pain, lameness, and fever first.
Don't take chances with Lyme disease. If you have dogs that spend any time outside, you need to have them vaccinated with the lyme vaccine and other vaccines for the disease. You also need to inspect them for ticks each time they've been outside.