Think Your Pet Has Lyme Disease? Here’s What To Do

 
Did you know that all Lyme disease is transmitted via tick bite? And while ticks may not be able to jump or fly, they love to crawl around in the grass and shrubs where your pets play. In fact, five of the ten diseases that ticks transmit to humans can also be transmitted to pets. So, if your pet carries an infected tick into your home, you could end up getting bit and even infected with Lyme disease. With the transmission of Lyme disease on the rise, it’s vital to know how to identify and treat it if you suspect your pet is infected. We’ll also share some tips on how you can protect yourself and your pets from getting infected.  

 What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an infectious tick-borne disease caused by the bacteria borrelia burgdorferi. It can be transmitted to both pets and humans through the bite of an infected black-legged tick, also known as a “deer tick.” These ticks are usually no bigger than a poppy seed, which makes them almost impossible to spot. Both dogs and cats can be infected with Lyme disease, but it’s more commonly found in dogs. Once bitten, the bacteria enters the skin, where it eventually makes its way into the bloodstream. From there, if left untreated, the bacteria can spread to the joints, the heart, and even the nervous system.  

Lyme disease is present throughout the United States, but it’s more common in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Northwestern states. While it’s highly unlikely that you would pick up an infected tick walking on a busy city street in one of these areas, you may pick one up if you live or spend time in rural areas. Tallgrass and wooded locations, places your pets probably like to run and play, are the prime hangout for these disease-carrying insects. 

 Related Topics: How to Properly Check and Remove Ticks from Your Pets 

 Symptoms of Lyme Disease 

An infected tick needs to be attached for a minimum of 24-36 hours in order to transmit Lyme disease to your cat or dog. So just because your pet got bit by a tick doesn’t necessarily mean they have been infected with Lyme disease. This is why it’s so important to check your pet for ticks after they have spent time outdoors, especially if they have been in areas that have been identified as prime tick locations. If you routinely check your pet when they come in from outside and identify that they have been bitten, you can still safely remove the tick before any infection enters their body.  

If you suspect that your pet was bitten by a tick and has been infected with Lyme disease, keep an eye out for these symptoms: fever, lethargy, stiff or swollen joints, excessive salivation, decreased appetite, on and off lameness, and reduced energy. If left untreated, symptoms can progress to kidney failure or neurological damage. An untreated infection can also be fatal, so all infections should be taken seriously. In addition, a tick that is left untreated will eventually fall off its original host and can reinfect other pets or family members. 

 What to Do If You Suspect Lyme Disease 

Lyme disease is highly treatable if it’s discovered early enough. So, time is definitely of the essence when it comes to detection. However, problems can arise when a pet that has contracted Lyme disease doesn’t show symptoms. In many cases, obvious signs and symptoms of Lyme disease don’t appear until several months after the initial bite.  

If you discover a tick on your pet or suspect your pet has contracted Lyme disease, call your vet immediately. Your veterinarian will run the proper tests and begin administering antibiotics immediately to fight the disease. For dogs, the two blood tests for diagnosing Lyme disease are called the C6 Test and Quant C6 test. Your vet should be able to perform both. If your pet tests positive for Lyme disease, make sure all the other pets in your household are checked as well. With proper treatment, your pet should be feeling better and return to normal within 3-4 weeks, with few or no long-term effects!  

 Related Topics: What’s in Natural Mosquito Yard Sprays and Do They Really Work? 

 Prevention is Your Best Defense 

Although Lyme disease can be a scary situation for pet owners, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your pets from exposure. The best protection is obviously to avoid getting bitten in the first place. However, pets like to roam and explore, and we can’t keep ourselves or our beloved pets in a bubble. So, the next best thing you can do to protect yourself and your pets is to be vigilant when it comes to ticks. Always examine your pets thoroughly for ticks after they have been outdoors. Try to keep your grass under 6” long. If necessary, mow it consistently so ticks will have a harder time hiding and taking up residence in areas where you and your pets spend time. Also, ticks are attached to areas that are overgrown with shrubs or that have wood or branches on the ground. So, keep any piles of wood you may store for a fireplace as far away from your home as possible. Some topical flea and tick collars, shampoos, and other over-the-counter products can be effective at keeping ticks off your pets for a limited amount of time. Just be sure to check that the label says it’s safe for your pets.  

One of the best ways to protect you, your family, and your pets from ticks this season is to call to Mosquito Joe. We offer another layer of protection against mosquitoes, ticks and flies that will help you stress less and enjoy more of the great outdoors. You can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting your pets and loved ones from ticks and tick-borne illnesses. Don’t forget to ask about our natural insect barrier treatment. 

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Best Ways to Protect Kids and Pets from Ticks This Fall

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The crisp air and the cooler weather bring up many feelings of nostalgia and happiness. However, fall also brings an unwelcome addition: ticks. Ticks are a problem in many areas of the United States and can be a serious public health issue. Knowing how to protect you, your kids, and your pets from these parasites can help you enjoy your autumn months much more.  

In this article, we have laid out how you can protect your family from ticks. By taking some extra precautions, you can be sure that everyone enjoys the fall season and without worrying about dealing with these pests.  

Protect Your Kids 

One of the best ways to protect your kids and yourself from ticks in the fall is to dress appropriately. Ticks can only latch onto bare skin. If you have long sleeves and pants, you don’t have to worry about them getting onto your arms or legs. Tucking your kids’ pant legs into their socks can be a great way to ensure that no ticks get in between the gap on a long hike. Light clothing is also highly recommended if they are going to be walking in an area that could be a habitat for ticks. It is much easier to see insects if they get on light clothes, and the kids won’t accidentally bring them into the house.  

You can also use a natural insect repellent like citronella or peppermint. These essential oils are a great way to keep ticks and other pests away when on a hike. Before anyone comes back into the house, though, always make sure that you do a thorough tick check all over their body to ensure that they are clear.  

Protect Your Pets 

Pets provide a perfect environment for ticks. They have long fur that is easy to hide in and it’s a lot harder to control where they go. Dogs and cats will often walk through tall grass, which is where ticks like to live and hide. This makes them much more likely to pick up one of these parasites. One way to protect your pet from ticks is to keep them away from tall grass, weeds, and any overgrown shrubbery. If they do happen to wander into such areas, check them thoroughly for ticks using a pet comb. Also, perform a close visual inspection before bringing them into the house. 

Check your pets starting at their head. Then, move down their body combing through their fur with your fingers. If you see a tick and it has latched on, don’t try to pull it out right away with your fingers. Use a pair of tweezers and grab it by the body, making sure to completely remove it. Then, place the tick in rubbing alcohol to make sure it is dead.  

Related Topic: How to Reduce Bugs in Your Yard After Heavy Rain 

Protect Your Yard 

You can safeguard your yard from ticks by preparing it in a few different ways. Ticks like to hide in woodpiles, so keep any firewood stock away from areas where pets or kids play. Ticks also live on deer, so if you have deer in your area, it’s a good idea to plant deer-resistant flowers like snapdragons and marigolds.  

Other ways to protect your yard from ticks include keeping your grass mowed and trimmed and removing any fallen leaves from the yard. Being generally wary of any thick vegetation in the fall is a good rule of thumb, and if you keep your kids and pets away from it, they will have a much better chance of staying tick-free throughout the season.  

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Get Professional Tick Prevention 

Following all the steps above is a great start to protecting your family from ticks and the diseases they can potentially carry. The final step to tick prevention is professional help from Mosquito Joe. Our technicians can set up barriers that target shrubbery and other vegetation in your yard and keep these nasty pests away from your kids and pets.  

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Lyme Disease in Pets

Mosquito Joe provides mosquito, tick and flea control treatment to residential and commercial customers across the country. We ensure outside is fun again for our customers’ families and pets by eliminating swatting and scratching. We can all agree that our four-legged friends are near and dear to our hearts so we want to make sure they can enjoy the backyard with their favorite humans without avoiding any health risks or concerns. While we certainly make customers’ yards itch-free with our mosquito barrier treatment, this same service also effectively rids the property of ticks and fleas. This is important for our furry friends as ticks carry Lyme disease, the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States.

Transmitted through tick bites, the disease can be difficult to detect and can cause serious and recurring health problems for our pets. Deer ticks, carriers of Lyme disease, are found in forests or grassy, wooded, marshy areas near rivers, lakes or oceans. People or animals may be bitten by deer ticks during outdoor activities such as hiking, camping or while spending time in their backyards. It’s best to be proactive in preventing infection by taking appropriate measures to prevent tick bites, and for dogs, that means vaccinating against the disease. Always remember to ask your local veterinarians office to establish a monthly treatment program.

How to Prevent Lyme Disease

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “The best way to protect pets from Lyme disease is to take preventive measures to reduce the chance of contracting the disease. Even during the last few weeks of summer, it’s important to remember that pets and people are at greater risk of being infected with Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases such as anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.” Here are a few additional tips to prevent ticks in your backyard:

  • Avoid wooded and tall grassy areas where tick activity is high.
  • Keep your grass cut short and bushes and trees trimmed.
  • Remove wood piles from the home.
  • Move swing sets, sandboxes and other play areas away from wooded areas.
  • Upon returning inside your home after enjoying time outdoors, always check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Wash clothing immediately.
  • Use tick-preventative products – check with your veterinarian to find the right products for your pets.
  • Protect your property with a Mosquito Joe barrier treatment so your furry friends can roam your yard worry-free. Our long-lasting treatment works up to 21 days and protects your family and pets from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

Symptom in Pets

Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can travel to different parts of the body and cause problems in specific organs or locations, such as joints, as well as overall illness. Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy
  • Stiffness, discomfort or pain
  • Swelling of joints

If you see that your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the veterinarian so they can be tested and treated for Lyme disease.

How are Dogs Tested and Treated?

Once you arrive at the veterinarian, you will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health and any symptoms they are having. Your veterinarian will run the necessary tests to determine what illness your pet has.  According to the American Kennel Club, “The two blood tests used for Lyme disease testing are called C6 and Quant C6, which can both be performed by your local veterinarian’s office. The C6 antibodies can be detected three to five weeks after an infected tick bites your pet. The next step would be the Quant C6, along with urinalysis to help determine if antibiotics are necessary.”

If the diagnosis is Lyme disease, your dog will be treated as an outpatient and given antibiotics for at least four weeks.

Did you know that ticks will arrive before mosquitoes and hang around after the mosquitoes are gone? Ticks arrive once ground temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s important to have a plan in place in advance, and to follow through during the fall.  Mosquito Joe ensures families and their pets are protected from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Don’t get ticked off this year – give your local office a call today to get on the schedule.

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Don’t let a tick make you sick | Lyme Disease Awareness Month

With the April showers behind us and May flowers starting to bloom, warm weather is finally here! With warmer weather brings more outdoor activities, as well as the possibility of a tick bite. May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month and Mosquito Joe is joining the fight to protect families and furry friends from this tick-borne illness.

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease was first detected in 1976 in Lyme, Connecticut and most commonly occurs in the Northeast, upper Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions. It is estimated that about 300,000 people are diagnosed each year.  Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.

Signs and Symptoms

Early symptoms of Lyme disease usually begin from 3 to 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick. The most common early stage symptom is a rash where the tick was attached. This rash starts as a small red area that spreads outward to look like a bullseye. One may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, sore and aching muscles and joints, stiff neck, fatigue and swollen glands.

If you experience any of the following symptoms and have had a tick bite, it is important to seek medical attention. Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. Some of these symptoms may include fever, facial paralysis and arthritis.

Treatment

If you develop any of the above symptoms within several weeks of removing a tick, it’s important that you see your healthcare provider. When Lyme disease is diagnosed in the early stages, people usually recover rapidly and completely. In order to be treated, you will be given antibiotics by your healthcare provider, which most commonly are doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime axetil.

However, you can get Lyme disease again if you are bitten by another infected tick, so it is important to protect yourself from tick bites.

mosquito joe lyme disease

Preventing Tick Bites

Although it’s not possible to completely protect yourself from getting a tick bite, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances. Tick activity is higher during the warmer months, but ticks can be out anytime the temperature is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. With the help from Mosquito Joe, you can get ahead of any tick problems you might have this season, while also implementing the following habits:

  • Keep grass short and underbrush thinned at your home.
  • Move wood piles away from the home.
  • Wear light-colored clothes to help you spot ticks easily.
  • Check your body for ticks and shower within two hours of being outdoors.
  • Move swing sets, sandboxes and other play areas to avoid tick bites.
  • Keep pets out of thickly wooded areas where tick activity is high and talk to your veterinarian about tick control options.
  • Let Mosquito Joe be your second line of deference for these intruders by getting a barrier spray that rids your yards for mosquitoes, fleas and ticks.

When you come in from the outdoors, always do a thorough check on yourself, your family and your pets. When doing a tick check, remember that ticks liked places that are warm, so make sure you check the back of your armpits, scalp, back of the neck and behind the ears.

But what if I do get a tick bite?

If you do find a tick on you or your family, there’s no need to panic! The key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but fine-tipped tweezers also work great. Follow the below steps on removing a tick:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this does happen, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to do so, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  4. Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.removal of tick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html

Don’t be ticked off this summer

Let Mosquito Joe be another line of defense against tick-borne illnesses by applying a barrier treatment to your property. A trained and certified technician will treat your yard with an effective solution that eliminates mosquitoes, ticks and fleas for 21 days. As an alternative to our longer-lasting synthetic treatment, our all-natural solution repels mosquitoes immediately. This less-adhesive yet effective option requires treatment on a 14-day cycle.

If you’re still not sure if Mosquito Joe is right for you, give your local MoJo a call or request a free quote online. We are dedicated to making outside fun again for you and your family and our job is not done until you are happy!

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Celebrities Living with Lyme Disease

 

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States. There are over 30,000 cases of the tick-borne illness reported each year. Among those are celebrities we frequently see on TV or on magazine covers; others are sports icons and some are Grammy award winners.

Justin Bieber 

Pop sensation, Justin Bieber, announced his battle with Lyme disease in January 2020. “It’s been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever,” Bieber said. The singer plans to use his voice to create content on YouTube about the chronic illness.

Members of the Hadid Family

Yolanda Hadid, of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame, has been vocal about her battle with Lyme disease. Yolanda has published a book chronicling her experience living with the illness entitled “Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease.” Recently, the former model admitted after nearly a year of remission, her symptoms have returned. At the Global Lyme Alliance, Yolanda said she realizes “the higher purpose of [her] journey is to continue to bring awareness to this awful disease until the change is made.” Her children, Bella and Anwar Hadid, also have the chronic illness.

Shania Twain

The country singer opened up about her struggle with Lyme disease in July 2018, stating she suffered from dysphonia which affected her vocal cords. The disease kept her from touring and even singing. “I never thought I would sing again,” Twain said. Thanks to physical therapy and vocal training, Twain has released a new album and resumed touring.

Alec Baldwin

Nearly 18 years ago, the actor was bitten by an infected tick. The result was numerous bouts of severe Lyme disease symptoms. Because of his struggle, Baldwin is vigilant in checking his children for ticks after they’ve been outdoors. “I want my kids to grow up riding horses and bikes and enjoying themselves every day and not have to spend every day with us going over them with a magnifying glass to make sure they don’t have any ticks on their body or their dogs, but that is part of the lifestyle of where I live,” he said.

Avril Lavigne

In a letter to fans, Lavigne revealed she had been fighting Lyme disease. The singer started The Avril Lavigne Foundation in 2010 to support causes such as Race to Erase MS, Special Olympics, and UNICEF, in addition to Lyme disease. In October 2018, Lavigne joined the Board of Directors for the Global Lyme Alliance. Her most recent album, “Head Above Water,” addresses her battle with the chronic disease. “This is me and my fight. This album tells my story,” Lavigne said.

Kris Kristofferson

Kristofferson’s doctors originally told him his deteriorating memory was due to Alzheimer’s disease. After many years of strenuous testing, it was clear the singer had been misdiagnosed; after a positive test for Lyme disease, his symptoms were correctly identified. With the proper treatment, Kristofferson’s condition improved. A friend said of the iconic artist, “Kris is as sharp as he’s been in the past 20 years because of his treatments.”

Tom Seaver

In 1991, the former New York Mets pitcher was diagnosed with Lyme disease. At the time, “Tom Terrific” lived in Greenwich, CT and spent the majority of his time outdoors, which is how he contracted the illness. The Baseball Hall of Fame member described the disease’s symptoms as “the worst case of the flu every day.”

Prevention is the Best Medicine

The symptoms of those suffering from Lyme disease are different but the cause of the illness is the same: infected ticks. These celebrities give visibility to Lyme disease and advocate for treatment and a cure.

While it’s important to be mindful of ticks when camping and hiking, they can also be found in parks, walking trails, and even our own backyards. Tick prevention can start at home by eliminating places where ticks like to hide. Keep your yard mowed and trees trimmed. If you are in an area where ticks are active, make sure to wear long sleeves and pants and apply a tick repellent with DEET or Permethrin.

Mosquito Joe knows what a pest ticks can be, that’s why we offer tick control as one of our signature services. We target bushes and shrubbery, which helps keep ticks out of your yard and creates a barrier around your property, protecting you against the risk of tick-borne illnesses. Call us today at  or request a free quote on our website.

To learn more about Lyme Disease or other illnesses that are caused by outdoor pests, visit our learning center.


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