Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tick Season Is Here. How Much Do You Know About Lyme Disease?

Unfed Tick
How icky does that look? Well, what about this one -
Engorged tick, after feeding.
This is what the tick looks like after having a snack.

With apologies for the images, it is important to know what you're looking for (and avoiding) when it comes to ticks. These insects live in grassy and wooded areas, and they often carry the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which they pick up from small animals on which they feed. If they then decide to attach to and feed on you or your dog, they can pass the bacterium along, causing the infection known as Lyme disease. Lyme disease in dogs can lead to loss of appetite, lethargy, lameness, fever, or even heart, kidney or neurological problems.

As we venture out into nature with our precious pets, with the coming of warmer weather, we do risk coming into contact with these little devils. Bayer Animal Health, makers of K9 Advantix is working to educate dog owners about tick bites and Lyme disease. K9 advantix® is a topical, monthly application that works on contact to kill ticks and fleas on dogs, and protect them from further infestation. The formula has been developed specifically for dogs and reduces the risk of canine vector-borne diseases (CVBD), like Lyme Disease.

According to a recent survey of 1,011 Canadian dog owners, 93 per cent say they would do anything  they could to keep their dog happy and healthy. This includes:
  • 75 per cent buying premium dog food
  • 48 per cent spending on treats and extras for their furry friends
  • Three out of 10 surveyed (31 per cent) identify pet dentistry and professional grooming as important for their dogs
However, when it comes to protecting dogs from Lyme disease:
  • 34 per cent don’t consider Lyme disease a serious threat
  • Only 6 per cent of dog owners recognize the symptoms of this harmful disease
  • Two-thirds (64 per cent) would buy a monthly topical treatment to protect their pets from tick bites if the vet recommended it, yet 56 per cent say the vet never talked about the danger posed by ticks
I have to admit that my vet hasn't talked to us about Lyme disease, although we get the monthly flea and heart worm medications. And I really haven't had this infection on the top of my list of concerns. Apparently with climate change, ticks able to carry Lyme disease have spread across Canada and are now found from coast to coast. These little guys are tiny (just 1-5mm unfed) and attach themselves to feed over an extended period - hours or even days at a time - until engorged. The bites themselves are generally painless and symptom-free, so it's really difficult to identify when your pet has been afflicted.

More about Bayer K9 Advantix II:
• Provides waterproof topical protection against ticks and fleas through a combination of three active ingredients - imidacloprid, pyriproxyfen and permethrin
• Attacks parasites’ nerve cells, paralyzing and killing them on contact
• Kills ticks, including Deer ticks (vector of Lyme disease), Rocky Mountain Wood ticks and American dogticks (vectors of Rocky Mountain spotted fever), Brown dog ticks (vector of Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) and Lone Star ticks (vector of Ehrlichiosis) for up to four weeks with each application
• Kills fleas on dogs within 24 hours and continues to protect for a month

For more information about this treatment, talk to your veterinarian. Let's keep our precious pets safe this summer!

A Giveaway

To help you get out and enjoy the season with your own pup, one lucky Raising My Boys reader will receive a prize pack of goodies for their pooch. This $100 Dog Days of Summer Swag Bag includes:
  • Frisbee
  • Chuckit Pro Ball Launcher 
  • Travel Pet Water Bottle
  • Chuckit! Fetch WheelDog Toy
  • Dog Brush
  • Wing a Ball Rope Dog Toy
  • Pick-Up Bag Dispenser & Bags 
  • Dog Biscuits - BLUE Health Bars 
An active dog is a healthy dog! So get out there and play :)

Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EDT, June 13. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I have received complimentary product, including a K9 Advantix treatment for Maxi, as a thank-you for sharing this post with you. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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