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Lyme Disease in Dogs 

Over the past 3 years, there has been a significant rise in the number of reported cases of canine Lyme disease in the Estrie and Montérégie regions of Quebec.

Lyme disease is a major concern for dog owners, especially in the Estrie area. What Sherbrooke resident doesn't enjoy walking their dog in grassy and wooded forest areas? We've compiled a list of some pet owners’ frequently asked questions to help you keep your dog safe from ticks and lyme disease:

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks, and can result in fever, joint pain, fatigue, and general discomfort for your pet. In some cases, lyme disease can progress to kidney failure. While treatment is available, Lyme disease is best prevented.

Tips for Preventing Lyme Disease:

  • Vaccination: Because the ticks that carry Lyme disease can be small and difficult to detect on your dog, we strongly recommend protection by annual vaccination against this disease. Remember, the vaccination prevents the disease that is carried by ticks, but does not prevent ticks

  • Topical Tick Prevention Products: Contrary to flea prevention, there are not many products on the market that actually prevent ticks from climbing onto your animal.  Furthermore, many of these products are very toxic to cats.  At the Clinique Veterinaire du Vieux Village, we have a once-a-month topical spot-on product that is highly effective for dogs, to both treat and prevent tick infestations.  We also have a weekly spray-on product that can be used on either dogs or cats.

  • Always check for ticks as soon as you are done with your walk. Don't know what a tick looks like? Click here. Make a point to investigate everyone in the family before returning to the car after a hike. If possible, avoid heavily wooded areas or tall grass when walking your pet

  • Be thorough when looking for ticks: Check in places your pet cannot get at such as the back of the head and neck. Ticks will tend to bury themselves in areas pets cannot reach

  • Remove any ticks you find promptly and dispose of them properly. See below for proper disposal methods

Instructions for Removing a Tick:

  1. If you find a tick on your pet, get a pair of fine-nosed tweezers to remove it. Wash the tweezers with warm, soapy water before and after use. Wash your hands as well
  2. Have someone hold your pet so they do not move away
  3. Grasp the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Do not squeeze the body of the tick! You want the nose, not the body
  4. Pull the tick straight out. You may have to be firm when you pull. This is okay and should not hurt your pet
  5. To kill a tick, put it into a small jar of rubbing alcohol. You can also flush the tick, or run it through the garbage disposal with hot water
  6. Rub the area with rubbing alcohol to kill germs

Recognizing Tick Bites and Symptoms of Lyme Disease:

Tick bites and associated Lyme disease can cause red circular lesions. Tick bites are more often found on the head and neck, rarely on a dog's belly, because ticks usually climb up to the dog's head and neck. However, a dog’s head and neck have more fur, so the bites can be more difficult to see.

Call the Vieux Village Veterinary Clinic right away if you notice the following symptoms:

  • A rash or anything red, blotchy or itchy
  • Circular lesions on te skin
  • Fever
  • Sudden joint lameness
  • Fatigue
  • Not eating