Tick Borne Lyme disease spreading in Michigan

posted: by: CB Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

With an unusual warm spell in February, the ticks are out in full force already. Due to their hard shell, or exoskeleton, they can survive even cold temperatures. Not only are they disgusting, but they carry the bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi; Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be spread to dogs, horses, and humans by the bite of a tick. 
 Lyme disease is rapidly growing in Michigan. (see table below) In 2000-2004 there were fewer than 30 cases reported. By 2016, there were 166 reported cases. The Lyme disease correlates with the spread of blacklegged ticks in our area, which have been reported in 24 counties in Michigan alone. Female ticks can lay up to 2,000 eggs and love grassy and sandy areas and woodlands, which makes sense they thrive in Michigan. 
To prevent tick attachment and the spread of Lyme disease there are 3 things that can be done:
1) Give your dog a flea and tick preventative year round, like Nexgard. That is our staff's favorite.
2) Check yourself and dog for ticks frequently when outside, especially in grassy, sandy, and woodland areas. 
3) If you feel your dog's lifestyle is a tick risk, a Lyme disease vaccine can be given. It is a two vaccine series and lasts one year. The vaccine is available here at Fountain City Veterinary Hospital.