Prevention of canine Lyme disease
Canine Lyme disease is largely preventable through vaccination
One of the most important preventive measures you can take is to have your dog vaccinated for
canine Lyme disease, especially if you live in an endemic or expansion area where the
exposure to canine Lyme disease is great.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Vaccination Guidelines state that
vaccination against canine Lyme disease is recommended for patients at specific risk for
infection due to exposure or lifestyle.
Ask your veterinarian about vaccinating your dog
Your veterinarian has developed a vaccination protocol for canine Lyme disease in his or her
clinic. Depending on the risk factors for your dog, your veterinarian may recommend the
following vaccination protocol.
- Vaccinating before the dog becomes infected provides the best outcome.
- Vaccinate all puppies as part of their puppy shots.
- Vaccinate dogs whose vaccination and disease history is unknown.
- Test for antibodies to see if your dog has ever been exposed to Lyme disease. This test
can be done in the exam room at the same time your dog is being tested for heartworms at
his annual exam. It is highly accurate and you'll get the results in about 10 minutes.
- If the test is positive and your dog has some signs of Lyme disease such as tenderness
or swelling in his legs, a fever, or he seems lethargic, your veterinarian will
determine the appropriate treatment.
- If the test is positive or your dog is NOT showing signs of Lyme disease, it is up to
you and your veterinarian to decide what course of therapy to take. One Lyme vaccine has
been proven safe in dogs testing positive for Lyme infections.
- Vaccinate with safe and effective Lyme vaccines.
Ask your veterinarian about the effectiveness and safety of Lyme vaccines.