With summer in full swing, the dangers of Leptospirosis and Lyme disease infections are on the rise. Dr. Mike Graves, a veterinarian in Fishers, IN, is warning pet owners about the dangers of these diseases and sharing tips for how pet owners can best protect their pets this summer.
Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Veterinarian Dr. Mike Graves explains that the disease is commonly contracted when pets spend extended time outside, such as playing in a wooded backyard or accompanying their owners on a hike. Once the Lyme disease-causing organism is in the bloodstream, it will most often enter the joints. Lameness, swollen joints, and fever are common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs.
Since Lyme disease symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions, Dr.Graves says a checkup is essential for accurate diagnosis. If Lyme disease is suspected, the veterinarian will conduct diagnostic blood tests to determine if any antibodies are present. "However, a negative test does not mean that a pet is Lyme disease-free," cautions Dr.Graves.
"Since some dogs can be infected for long periods of time without producing antibodies, a negative test does not always mean that a dog is free from Lyme disease," said Dr. Graves. "If a dog has not been vaccinated against Lyme disease, we recommend regular testing. Early
diagnosis is essential to effective treatment."
"Lyme disease infections are on the rise, in part because many pet owners simply do not realize how serious this disease is, and consequently fail to take the necessary precautionary measures," said Dr. Graves. "For pets with an active, outdoor lifestyle, the best way to protect them against the threat of Lyme disease is through vaccination and monthly tick preventatives."
"Vaccination is also highly effective for preventing Leptospirosis," emphasized Dr. Graves. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can affect dogs and humans and lead to life-threatening liver and kidney disease. The infection is rarely found in cats, and has been more frequently reported in larger breed dogs and male dogs. Leptospira bacteria are found in the urine of infected animals. The Fishers veterinarian says many dogs are exposed to the bacteria through
contaminated water or bite wounds.
"While a dog's immune system may initially clear some of the Leptospira bacteria from the body, the bacteria will often cause ongoing problems by hiding in the kidneys," said Dr. Graves.
"Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent contracting the disease."
To learn more about Lyme disease and Leptospirosis prevention, and other veterinary services, contact Bridgeview Animal Hospital.
CONTACT: Bridgeview Animal Hospital, 1-888-667-5235