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RISK FACTORS

Assess your dog's Lyme disease risk factors.

ASSESS YOUR DOG'S RISK FACTORS


To assess your dog's risk for Lyme disease, a combination of factors should be taken into account, including where you live, your dog's lifestyle, and his overall health. While many dogs are at risk in their own backyards because of where they live, others may have hunting or travel lifestyles that put them at risk. Understanding the risk in your local area is important.

The breed of your dog is not an important risk factor. Big or small, couch potato or hunting dog, any dog can be at risk. Whenever and wherever dogs come in close contact with ticks — usually wildlife areas where mice and deer live — the risk of exposure to Lyme disease is high.

Two risk factors for contracting Lyme disease are:

  1. Exposure to infected ticks.
  2. Vaccination status.

KNOW THE FACTS


  • Studies have shown that most unvaccinated dogs living in endemic areas will eventually test positive for Lyme.2,7
  • Canine Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, particularly if caught early. Your veterinarian will determine the best course of care.
  • Canine Lyme disease is largely preventable by vaccination and by using tick control and frequent tick checks. Remember that Ixodes ticks are small and hard to find in a dog's coat.

If you suspect your dog might be at risk, ask your veterinarian about options for vaccinating your dog for Lyme disease.

ALMOST ALL DOGS SPEND ENOUGH TIME OUTSIDE TO BE EXPOSED TO TICKS


 

HOW DO DOGS GET LYME DISEASE?

  • Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected Ixodes tick, also called the "deer tick."
  • The tick must be infected with a specific bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi for your dog to get Lyme disease.
  • This bacteria is what actually causes canine Lyme disease — the tick is just the transmitter or "vector" for the bacteria.
  • Dogs don't get Lyme disease from other dogs or people.
  • Dogs can get Lyme disease anywhere there are infected ticks, such as wildlife areas or their own backyard.
  • Your dog is at higher risk for getting Lyme disease if he lives in an area with a high incidence of human Lyme disease.

CANINE RISK FACTORS


Learn the facts about how to assess risk by geography and exposure to deer ticks.


PREVENTION


Lyme Disease is largely preventable through tick control and vaccination. Get important details.


CASE STUDIES


Read about real dogs that were diagnosed with Lyme disease.