Skip to main content
Dog running with stick in the wood

Lyme disease infecting more dogs

Q: My veterinarian offers Lyme vaccination, but I’m uncertain whether I should have my dog vaccinated because none of the neighborhood dogs have developed Lyme disease. What do you think?

A: The answer depends on where you live along with your dog’s breed, lifestyle and health status. Therefore, your veterinarian is the best person to make a recommendation about your dog.

The prevalence of Lyme disease, first recognized in Lyme, Connecticut, is increasing in dogs throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

Moreover, a recent study of 16 million canine blood samples from around the US shows that the disease is quickly spreading into areas that previously were at low risk, especially the Southeast and the Midwest, through Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.

Ticks can carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease plus a variety of other pathogens that produce serious illnesses. Therefore, the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends that all dogs, regardless of where they live, be protected from ticks throughout the year. Options are a liquid applied to the skin, a tick collar or a chewable tablet.

Although they are very effective, tick preventives sometimes provide incomplete protection, so your veterinarian may recommend the addition of Lyme vaccination.

Ticks that carry Lyme disease bite not just dogs but also humans and can transmit the disease to them. So, the increasing and expanding prevalence of Lyme disease in dogs may serve as an early warning for more human disease.

Editor’s Note: Warmer weather increases the risk for Lyme Disease. Since April is Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs month, we’re giving you information you can use to keep your pets free of this disease.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

Tags:
dog out for walk in nature

After a long winter indoors, most of us...

dog outside chasing ball

Depending on where you live, it may not...

cute dog and cat

Folliculitis is a common infection that...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

small dog playing with toy

Your dog won’t come up to you and say, “I’m...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Woman with two dogs checking her phone

Technology has changed almost every aspect...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...