SOURCE: Ardmore Animal Hospital

Ardmore Animal Hospital

November 01, 2011 09:00 ET

Ardmore Veterinary Hospital Warns Pet Owners About Lyme Disease

ARDMORE, PA--(Marketwire - Nov 1, 2011) - Ardmore Animal Hospital is warning pet owners to be vigilant about Lyme Disease. One of the most common tick-transmitted diseases, Lyme Disease is transmitted when an infected tick bites a dog. Symptoms include recurrent lameness in a leg, loss of appetite, sensitivity to touch and chronic joint inflammation. While Lyme Disease is more common in dogs, it is still possible for an outdoor cat to contract the disease. According to the vet clinic, the only way to safely prevent the disease is through the regular use of a flea and tick prevention treatment. The animal hospital provides care for pets in the Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Radnor and Gladwyne communities.

Veterinarians at Ardmore Animal Hospital are warning pet owners about the risk of Lyme disease in pets. Lyme Disease is spread by infected tick bites, and is highly prevalent in the Northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania.

"Here in Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast, Lyme disease is prevalent and poses a serious health risk for pets," said Dr. James Bianco, an Ardmore vet and director of the veterinary hospital. "Lyme disease is not readily detected, and many cases may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed until complications severely impact your pet's quality of life. Prevention is truly the best treatment."

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which lives and replicates inside ticks. When the tick bites a dog or cat, the bacteria enter the dog's bloodstream, infecting the animal.

In humans, a skin rash resembling a bull's eye or target often accompanies a Lyme disease tick bite. This rash is rarely seen in dogs and cats, however, and many symptoms may not become evident until the disease has advanced.

Symptoms in sick dogs include joint pain and swelling, sudden lameness, arthritis, swollen lymph nodes, fever, loss of appetite, and inactivity. In rare cases, Lyme disease may also cause kidney failure or heart complications.

Because the most common symptoms -- lameness in one leg or difficulty moving -- also closely resemble types of arthritis, a blood test is often needed to confirm the diagnosis. However, in the early stages of the disease many dogs and cats will have a negative blood test.

According to Dr. Bianco, the most effective treatment for Lyme disease is prevention.

"We live in a high-risk, endemic region," said Dr. Bianco. "It is absolutely essential that pet owners treat their pets with a regular flea and tick prevention medication, and that they keep these treatments up-to-date."

If a pet owner sees a tick on his dog or cat, the tick should be carefully removed with tweezers, pinching the tick near the point of entry to the skin. Scientific research shows that ticks must feed for 24 hours to fully transmit the Lyme disease-causing bacteria. Consequently, prompt removal of ticks reduces the risk for Lyme disease transmission.

A Lyme disease vaccination for dogs is also available. However, the vaccination can cause future tests for the disease to come back positive, even if the dog is not infected.

Pet owners who wish to learn more about Lyme disease prevention and vaccination may visit the website of the veterinary hospital at http://ardmoreah.com.

Contact Information

  • Ardmore Animal Hospital
    Ardmore, PA
    1-888-667-5235