MOUNT VERNON — Warmer weather and longer days mean more outside time for people and their pets — particularly long walks or trips to the dog park for our canine friends. However, with the season comes pests, such as ticks, which can carry Lyme Disease.
The black-legged deer tick is the carrier of the disease and contracts it from the white-footed mouse, explained Dr. Catherine Stone, associate veterinarian at the Fredericktown Veterinary Clinic. These ticks have become more prevalent in Ohio in the last few years because the white-footed mouse has been moving west, carrying ticks with Lyme disease with it.
The most assured way to protect your dogs from Lyme disease is to protect them from the ticks that carry and transmit the disease to them. Reliable, consistent, year-round tick control is the best way to ensure a tick cannot remain attached long enough to infect, both Dr. Jessica Krueger, Veterinarian at the Mount Vernon Animal Hospital, and Stone agree.
It takes around 48 hours of attachment, loosely, for Lyme Disease to be transmitted from an infected tick to a dog or human, according to Stone. With monthly tick control, ticks must still attach to be affected by the medicine, but they will be fully detached within eight hours.
Krueger and Stone also agree that dogs should be vaccinated for Lyme disease. Other ways of preventing Lyme Disease, according to a pamphlet provided to the News by Mount Vernon Animal Hospital, include brushing your dog after returning from outside and examining dogs daily for ticks when the temperature is over 40 degrees.
Stoner said that she has already had several positive Lyme Disease patients this year, and they are seeing it become more common as more black-legged ticks come into the area. She added that they are also testing more for it because of its prevalence.
While humans can get Lyme Disease as well, Krueger explained that it isn’t transferable from pets to humans — you must be bitten by an infected tick to contract Lyme Disease.