Taking walks in the summer is one of the best parts of being a dog owner. It’s what we wait for all year round as Canadians, but it can also mean tics and with tics comes Lyme disease. This can be a problem for both humans and dogs alike. Lyme disease is passed by tics to various woodland creatures and can also find it’s way to you and your furry family members.
In the early stages sufferers might develop a rash, sometimes taking the shape of a circle or bulls eye. Later symptoms include fever, headache, jaw pain, light sensitivity and muscle aches. This is an idea of what might be experienced, but Lyme disease is notoriously different to diagnose. The overall symptoms can take a long time to appear or they might strike right away. Because of the wide variations in the disease it is a good idea to see a doctor or vet if any symptoms show up.
So what can you do to prevent this serious infection to you and your pets? As they say an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Knowing the types of places that ticks frequent is a help, but here are some more tips that can help both you and your dog.
Wear light coloured clothing. This vastly improves the visibility of black ticks and you can get rid of them before they even get to your skin.
Stay on the trail. This is a good one for both you and your dog. When on the trail you’re less likely to encounter the types of situations and environments that ticks thrive in.
Do daily checks. A thorough check of both you and your dog is a good idea. If you can’t do this every day, try to do a once over at least a couple times a week. This is especially true if you’ve been walking in new areas or places you know to have ticks.
Use an insect repellent. There are different human repellents on the market, but we recommend Sadie & Mitz products. They work perfectly well for humans, but they can also be used on your dogs. The Take a Hike product is specifically good for avoiding ticks. Outdoor Mist works as an overall bug repellent and is great for both you and your dog.
For more information regarding ticks and Lyme disease, you can take a look at Public Health of Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/phn-asp/2015/lyme-eng.php