A Key Preventive Measure
Canine Lyme disease is largely preventable through comprehensive control programs
Along with your client's efforts in helping to reduce environmental risk factors, a key
preventive measure you can recommend is to vaccinate.
AAHA Vaccination Guidelines state that vaccination against canine Lyme disease is
recommended for patients at specific risk for infection due to exposure or lifestyle.
Develop a canine Lyme disease prevention program in your clinic
A comprehensive canine Lyme disease prevention program in your clinic includes the following
- Test - Perform routine screening tests on all dogs for antibodies to Lyme disease
especially if your clinic is in an endemic or expansion area.
- Examine - Perform a clinical exam and look for signs and symptoms of the disease.
- Probe - Talk to the client to uncover the dog's risk factors for Lyme disease.
- Treat - A positive test along with consistent presenting signs generally warrants a
course of antibiotic treatment to clear the disease. It's up to the veterinarian to
decide whether to treat a positive dog without signs.
- Vaccinate - After treating a positive, symptomatic dog, vaccinate to prevent future
infections. In endemic and expansion canine Lyme disease areas, vaccinate all at-risk
dogs annually, and make a canine Lyme vaccine part of the puppy series.
- Partner - Along with the client, develop an ongoing comprehensive tick-control
Annual wellness exams create good relationships
Staying in touch with clients and their dogs is important in maintaining the relationship, as
well as the best way to provide preventive care for the dog. Implementing an annual,
non-core canine Lyme vaccine into your clinic's protocol helps assure client compliance for
an annual wellness exam.