Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181

OFFICE HOURS

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 8 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

Appointment Request

Carlos’ Corner

How to Know if Your Dog Has Lyme Disease

 
 
We're so excited to get outside again after being cooped up indoors most of the winter. What we're not so thrilled about are the ticks just waiting to feast on us and transmit Lyme disease. This is where we need your help. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your cat or dog tick-free in the warmer weather.
 
Regards,
Carlos
 
Spring means spending more time outdoors, for both people and pets. Unfortunately, it also means an increase in Lyme disease. In 2015, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed 1,176 cases of Lyme disease in both people and pets. Your pet is completely dependent on you to protect him from this serious disease and to recognize the symptoms if it does occur. It’s important to realize that indoor pets are not immune since ticks that carry the disease can still get into your home. 

Finding Ticks on Your Pet
It can be challenging to detect Lyme disease because the first symptoms may not appear until several months after an infected tick bit your dog or cat. That’s why doing a daily tick check is so important. Start at the tip of your pet’s nose and run your hand down the entire length of her body. This includes the underside. You should visually inspect the inside of her ears as well. 

Should you find a tick, pull it out with a pair of tweezers. Be sure to pull firmly and swiftly and don’t twist the tweezers as you do so. That could cause you to leave parts of the tick’s body intact in your pet’s fur. Once it’s out, place the tick into a jar of rubbing alcohol to ensure that you kill it. 

The most common indications of Lyme disease in companion animals include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Marked change in behavior or mood
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Pain and stiffness with movement
  • Lymph node or joint swelling
We encourage you to schedule an appointment at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic right away if your pet displays any of these symptoms. While it doesn’t automatically mean that he has Lyme disease, we need to rule it out or make a diagnosis. We may run a blood parasite screening, chemistry panel, urine, thyroid, fecal, or electrolyte test to determine the level of functioning of his organs. A course of antibiotics is the most typical Lyme disease treatment for pets. We also encourage you to have your pet rest as much as possible.

Tips to Prevent Lyme Disease
It’s not possible to eliminate all risk of your pet developing Lyme disease, but the following can decrease the likelihood:
  • Don’t keep old mattresses or furniture on your property since ticks like to hide in them. 
  • Keep your grass cut short and be sure to clear brush and tall grass from its outer parameters.
  • If any wooded area butts up against your property, put up a gravel barrier or use wood chips.
  • Keep wood dry and stack it in orderly piles so as not to attract rodents that carry ticks.
  • Don’t keep leaf piles in your yard.
  • Be sure to use a tick prevention product on your pet. We offer several brands in our online store.
We wish you a happy spring and summer free of Lyme disease. Please let us know if you have additional questions.

Photo Credit: gorr1 / Getty Images

 

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National Pet ID Week is April 16 to 22

 
We might fuss when you try to put a collar on us or take us to get a microchip, but we know you do it out of love. I know I speak for all my animal friends when I say that we don't want to get separated from you any more than you want to lose us.
 
Love, Carlos
 
It's devastating for the entire family when a pet gets lost and can’t get home again. Sadly, this experience is all too common. According to the American Humane Society, one-third of all household pets will become separated from their families at some point. Every year, approximately 10 million pets become lost or are stolen from their families.

Dogs and cats who don’t have a microchip are unlikely to find their way back home. The Humane Society states that only two percent of cats and 22 percent of dogs in shelters reunite with their human families. The odds increase dramatically when the pet has a microchip.

Why a Tag and Collar Might Not Be Enough
We encourage pet owners to have a tag, collar, and a microchip for their dog or cat. The reason for this is that collars can become caught on a fence or other object and slip off. Some persistent animals can get them off on their own. When you have a microchip as back-up, the person who finds your pet can take her to the closest veterinarian to scan for contact information.

Common Misconceptions About Microchips
Pet owners sometimes avoid having a microchip implanted because they believe inaccurate information. They may also depend on them too much for the same reason. A common misconception is that a microchip acts as a global positioning system (GPS) for pets. In reality, a microchip can’t tell you the location of your lost pet. It just allows employees of a veterinary clinic or animal shelter to contact you more easily.

The only thing a microchip contains is a number that is stored in a lost pet database system. Your name, address, and telephone number is in the database, not your pet’s microchip. When your pet arrives at a veterinary clinic or shelter, the staff determine if he has a chip and then look up your contact details in the database. It’s up to you to keep your information updated if you move or get a new telephone number.

Reunite with Your Best Friend Faster
It only takes a split second for a pet to get lost forever. You have your hands full with groceries and your dog or cat darts out the door. The neighbor shoots off fireworks and your pet makes a run for it. Even when you restrain your pet, it’s possible she could break free from her chain and not be able to find her way home. 

Your pet faces extreme dangers when out on her own, such as getting attacked by another animal or hit by a car. When you have a microchip implanted, you have the reassurance of knowing that a happy reunion is much more likely.

Getting a Microchip is a Fast and Painless Procedure
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It takes just minutes to implant and is not uncomfortable for your pet. Please contact Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic at 763-682-2181 with additional questions or to schedule an appointment.

Photo Credit:  Rasulovs / Getty Images

 

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