Protect Your Cattle Dog From Lyme Disease

Ensure your ranch dog is protected, as Lyme disease risks remain year-round.

Whether herding cattle, accompanying us during barn chores or enjoying a walk outside, our trusty cattle dog is always by our side. That’s why it is important to consider that if your cow dogs are not protected, more time outdoors could mean heightened risk for tick bites and disease. Nearly 200,000 cases of Lyme disease have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this year. While climbing summer temperatures do make for thriving tick environments, it is critical that your ranch dogs receive year-round protection against ticks and dog Lyme disease, as disease risks remain year-round.

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading for crucial disease information, from transmission to tick prevention, to help offer your working dog much-deserved protection.

How is Lyme disease transmitted? 

Within only 36 hours, an attached tick carrying the Lyme disease bacterium can transmit the disease to its host.

Can dogs transfer Lyme disease?

Regarding the common question, is Lyme disease in dogs contagious, it is important to report that while the disease is zoonotic, meaning the illness affects both animals and humans, you can rest easy knowing Fido cannot give you or your horse Lyme disease, and vice versa. Lyme disease is transferable only from an infected tick bite.

How common is Lyme disease?

The number of canine Lyme disease cases is increasing, with 359,461 cases confirmed in 2019, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

What are symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs?

Lyme disease can go undetected for as many as five months before signs become recognizable. Signs of Lyme disease in dogs can include swollen joints, decreased activity, loss of appetite, fever and kidney failure. Lyme disease can be fatal; however, it can be prevented.

Where is the disease most prevalent? 

Reported in humans and animals across the country (and across the world), Lyme disease is most prevalent in the southern New England states, eastern Mid-Atlantic states, the upper Midwest -- most notably Wisconsin and Minnesota -- California and Florida.

What are the best prevention methods?

Trusted tick prevention for dogs can help ensure your pet’s protection against ticks and tick-borne diseases. Proven brands of tick collars can detach up to 100 percent of attached ticks on your dog within just 48 hours, and some even offer eight months of protection, repelling and killing both ticks and fleas. There also are effective topical treatments to protect dogs against ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies and more.

If your dog spends extended periods of time outside playing, hunting, herding livestock or working cattle, your veterinarian might recommend a Lyme vaccine for dogs, for their ultimate protection. Remember to check both yourself and your dog for ticks, to prevent both of you from the risk of harmful disease transmission. 

Lyme disease image sourced from Companion Animal Parasite Council.  

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