We have been discussing in the last few blog posts lyme disease, ticks, how to test for lyme disease and using heartworm and flea and tick prevention monthly. A few weeks ago we talked about Abigail, one of our staff members furry kids. Another one of our staff members, Janine, joined our practice in Poughkeepsie & Dutchess County, N.Y. in 2012. She and her family have a full, outdoor lifestyle filled with hiking, kayaking, and camping. They were looking for a dog to fit their lifestyle and enjoy the same things with them. Shortly after she joined our practice, she adopted Ace, an English Pointer, who at the time was 1 and a half years old. In the past year a half that they have had him in their lives, he has fit in perfectly! He is a very active dog and in fact Janine was just telling me that this past Sunday Ace hiked 23 miles! I don’t even like to drive 23 miles!
Ace is a perfect candidate to discuss the importance of tick prevention, being that he is constantly in an environment where he is exposed to ticks. He easily could have gotten lyme disease or a number of other tick-borne illness with all the time he spends outside, yet he’s never had an issue. So, what’s their secret? Janine applies Advantix monthly and can only recall finding maybe one tick on him that was not imbedded, which means the Advantix did exactly what it is supposed to do. She also gives him Heartgard monthly, which is a heartworm prevention that is taken in a chewable treat. He is checked yearly for heartworm, lyme disease, and other tick-borne illness via a blood test called a 4dx, which we have discussed in prior blog posts. Janine also assures all of his vaccinations are up to date on or before their due dates, including the lyme vaccine. Many people ask us about the lyme vaccine – why do we have to do it and can they still get lyme disease is they have the vaccine? The answer is simple – no vaccination is 100% but it does help to prevent lyme disease when giving yearly. If there is any way to prevent the pain and suffering that ticks can bring our pets, then I believe it is worth it to do a yearly vaccine. In addition, lyme disease is treated with an antibiotic called doxycycline which is becoming difficult to come by and costly.
Let Ace be an example to all of us on the importance of yearly vaccines and monthly prevention!
– Post my Michelle W.