How to prevent lyme disease in dogs after tick bite – There are many different types of ticks in the United States, some of which can transmit infection. The risk of developing these infections depends on geographic location, time of year, type of tick, and, in the case of Lyme disease, how long the tick is attached to the skin.
While many people are concerned after being bitten by a tick, the risk of contracting a tick-borne infection is fairly small, even if the tick attaches, feeds, and actually carries the infectious agent. Ticks spread infection only after they attach and feed on blood meal from their new host. A tick that is not attached to itself (and therefore has not eaten its blood meal) is not infected. Because deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease typically eat more than 36 hours before spreading spirochetes, even in an area where the disease is common, such as the observed risk of Lyme disease from tick bites, the risk is only 1.2% to 1.4%.
The causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, is dormant in the midgut of ticks. The organism becomes active only after exposure to the warm-blooded meal that enters the tick’s gut. Once active, the organism invades the tick’s salivary glands. When a tick feeds, it needs to excrete excess water through its salivary glands. Thus, the tick literally secretes the organism’s saliva into the wound, thereby transmitting the infection to the host.
If a person is bitten by a deer tick (the tick that carries Lyme disease), a healthcare provider may recommend one of two methods:
Observe and treat for signs or symptoms of infection
● Immediate treatment with prophylactic antibiotics
A blood test for Lyme disease at the time of a tick bite is not useful; even an infected person will test positive about two to six weeks after the outbreak of the infection (after being bitten by a tick).
The history of tick bites largely determines which of these options is chosen. Affected individuals or family members should carefully remove the tick and note its appearance before consulting a physician (Figure 1). Only the tick species Ixodes, also known as the deer tick, causes Lyme disease.
How to Get Rid of Ticks
The proper way to remove a tick is to use fine tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Do not use smoldering matches or cigarettes, nail polish, petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline), liquid soap, or kerosene, as these can irritate the tick and make it act like a syringe to inject bodily fluids into the wound.
Proper lice removal techniques include the following:
● Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible with fine forceps.
● Pull back gently but firmly with steady, even pressure. Do not yank or twist.
● Do not squeeze, squeeze or puncture the tick’s body, as its body fluids may contain microbes that cause infection.
● After removing ticks, wash skin and hands thoroughly with soap and water.
● If any of the ticks’ mouth remains on the skin, they should be ignored; they will expel themselves. Attempting to remove these parts could result in serious skin damage.
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are two tick prevention medications that you can apply topically to your pet to prevent tick bites.
Some tick prevention medications can be toxic to some types of pets, so check with your veterinarian before using them, but for the most part they’re not harmful to larger animals.
Since Lyme disease is one of the most common and serious diseases affecting dogs, pet vaccines can be used to prevent it.
Tall grass, woodland, and bushes are all places where ticks can hide, and if your dog or cat rushes through these areas, ticks can attach to their fur.
A tick usually needs to be attached to an animal for at least 24 hours before it can spread Lyme disease into a pet’s bloodstream through a bite.
For this reason, a thorough tick check when you venture home with your pet (within 24 hours of danger) can help prevent Lyme disease. Ticks can often be found on pets if done correctly, but keep in mind that it can be difficult to find particularly furry pets.
You should carefully examine your pet behind the ears and around the body. Check around the pet’s tail and under the body – don’t leave anything unchecked!
Make sure your pet is free of ticks and you should be fine!
If you find a tick, carefully remove it with tweezers!
If you can remove all infected ticks from your dog or cat within 24 hours of going outside, your pet should be fine!