Friday, May 10, 2013

Tick Protection

lebanon, nh., Norwich, VT., Hanover, NH. your hometown veterinarian

Today I went to Stonecliff Animal Clinic of NH for my yearly checkup. OK, so if you follow my blog you know I go to the hospital everyday.... but today I got to go in the exam room with my dad, Dr. Kelly. Yearly checkups are important since between each of my yearly visits, I have aged seven human years. A lot can go wrong in that length of time and the quicker you catch it, the better chance you have of living a long, happy life!

My dad looked at my teeth and mouth.... my eyes and ears.... from head to toe he checked me over. I checked out perfect!

I needed some vaccinations, ouch! It really wasn't that bad.... I didn't even notice since he also fed me treats! The big news is there is a new way of protecting us from Lyme Disease. The hospital has just received it's first shipment of the new vaccine that now protects your dog in two different ways. 

The new vaccine contains two isolates of Borrelia Burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease), where previous vaccines only carried one. Why is this important? This makes the vaccine much more effective in killing the bacteria within the tick as well as in the early stages in your pet. That's right, we are basically vaccinating your dog and any tick that bites him!!! For a more in-depth look at Lyme Disease visit VetMedicine and view my previous blog from May 25, 2010.

The downside is the vaccine needs to be boostered 3-4 weeks after the initial injection. After that it is a yearly booster. Why two injections? In order to make sure your dogs immune system is recognizing that new isolate, we re-introduce it one more time to vamp up the protection.

So what if you don't want to booster it? The vaccine will still protect just fine against the first isolate like the old vaccine, it just won't give you the added protection against the newest variable.

Don't forget, the strongest defense against Lyme Disease for your pet is a combination of vaccine and monthly topical products, AND ticks carry more then just Lyme Disease. No vaccine is 100%, and relying on that alone would not be a good decision. Use monthly topicals to prevent Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis, and many more tick-borne diseases.

The CDC has a great overview on the life cycle of the tick, identifying them, and how the disease is transmitted. 

tata for now