Protecting Your Family & Pets from Tick-Borne DiseaseWhen warm weather rolls around, families around the nation need to be aware of tick-borne illnesses and how they can affect not only pets, but people too. One of the greatest misconceptions about tick-borne illnesses is that you would have to spend a lot of time in the wilderness when, in fact, you can become infected in your own backyard. The key to prevention is through knowledge and care.
Lyme disease is a potentially serious ailment that stems from the black-legged deer tick but, despite their title, these carriers aren''t only found on deer. In fact, your dog could unknowingly have been infected or could pass along the tick that could infect an individual or even a family. The best way to know how to prevent this from occurring is to speak with a veterinarian regarding the specific concerns for your area. Although Lyme Disease has been reported in all 50 states, there are other tick-borne illnesses that may also pose a health risk to your pet and your family.
The next step to protecting your family and pet against tick-borne illnesses is to be aware of the symptoms and how to identify them properly. As is the case with many symptoms, one ailment often sounds very similar to another. For this reason alone, certain signs may go overlooked. A loss of appetite, depression, pain in the muscles and/or joints, weight loss, fever are all potential symptoms of a tick-borne illness. If any of these symptoms appear, it''s wise to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis.
If you are a pet owner, make sure that your veterinarian checks your pet for tick-borne illnesses annually. In addition, you can help by checking his/her coat every day for ticks and, if recommended by your vet, use a preventative medicine for your four-legged friend.
By protecting your pet and being aware of your surroundings, you can also help to protect your family from becoming ill. When outdoors, it''s a good idea to wear full-length pants and a long sleeve shirt. If you will be spending a lot of time in the woods, hiking boots can be worn and pants should be tucked inside to prevent infection.
The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional medical advice and/or recommendations surrounding the diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of tick-borne diseases. For additional information on this topic, including questions regarding symptoms or diagnosis, speak with your physician.