Prevention of canine Lyme disease
Reduce risk through tick control
Controlling ticks on your dog, and in and around your home, will help reduce the risk factors
for canine Lyme disease. In high Lyme disease areas, be vigilant about these procedures,
because any dog in a Lyme endemic area is at high risk for Lyme disease, particularly if she
has not been vaccinated with a Lyme vaccine.
With dense hair and their love of exploring, as well as being lower to the ground than
humans, dogs are the perfect target for ticks. In fact, dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely
than humans to come in contact with ticks.
Do tick checks
Perform tick checks after your dog has been outside. Even if you have not been away from
home, your dog is still going outside in the yard. In endemic areas, tick checks must be
done daily, within a few hours after being outside.
The Ixodes tick that carries Lyme disease is never larger than the size of an eraser on a No.
2 pencil, even after feeding. Ticks are very small, making them very hard to find during a
tick check which is why tick checks are seldom 100 percent effective. However, the slow
transmission of the bacteria after the initial tick bite creates a window of opportunity for
you to remove ticks before the disease is transmitted.
Treat your dog
Sprays, dips, shampoos, and topical tick control products can help prevent ticks on dogs. Ask
your veterinarian to recommend effective tick treatments for your dog. They can be part of
the mix in preventing ticks on your dog.
Remember, successful tick control must be directed at both the dog and the environment.
Always coordinate prevention efforts and treat the dog and the environment at the same time.
Talk to your veterinarian about a comprehensive tick-borne disease prevention plan.