Predictions of Lyme disease cases are especially high this year, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s (CAPC) annual forecast. With the heightened risk of contracting Lyme disease, it is imperative that you protect your pets this summer.

Lyme disease occurs when an infected tick embeds itself in your dog or cat. Because ticks can be carriers of many diseases, including Lyme disease, it is essential to protect your pet against ticks and other parasites with a regular monthly prevention, all year long.

It is important to frequently check your pet for ticks. If you find a tick on your animal, remove the tick as quickly as you can. After you administer a topical flea and tick treatment, don’t bathe your dog immediately. Wait at least two or three days. If your animal is bitten, watch for symptoms of Lyme disease which include fever, lameness, swollen joints, enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, depression and anorexia. While Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from dogs to humans, a high prevalence of Lyme disease in dogs often may mean a higher incidence of Lyme disease in humans.

If you notice these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Our clinics offer walk-in and emergency services and can be reached at: Albia (641.932.3455), Knoxville (641.828.2101), Oskaloosa (641.673.5525) or Ottumwa (641.682.8701).

“With the weather we have had this year, the tick and mosquito population is sure to be larger than normal. Due to that, the risk of Lyme and other diseases, such as heartworms, are higher. There are many ways to prevent the spread of disease in your animals including topical and oral medications as well as sprays and other treatments for your home and yard. The staff at our four vet clinics would be happy to help you select the right preventative for your pet, budget and lifestyle” owner Matthew C. Garver, D.V.M. said.