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Canine Lyme Vaccination Promotion

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What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by a spiral-shaped microscopic organism, or spirochete, called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium lives in the gut of the eastern black-legged tick, also referred to as the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), and can be transmitted when an infected tick feeds on a dog, person, or other mammal. These ticks are extremely small, ranging from the size of a grain of sand to the size of a sesame seed.

Black-legged ticks prefer to hide in shady, moist ground litter, but they can be found above ground, clinging to tall grass, brush, shrubs, and low tree branches. They also inhabit gardens and lawns, particularly at the edges of woodlands and around old stone walls, where deer and white-footed mice, the ticks’ preferred hosts, thrive.


Lyme disease can affect dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. The more time a dog spends outside in areas where ticks are prevalent, the greater the risk! In addition to Lyme disease, dogs are at risk for many other different tick-borne infections.

There are several scary things about Lyme disease:

  • People can also be infected by the same ticks that infect our dogs. If you have found ticks on your dog, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about proper protection. Many products will kill the tick upon bite which also protects you from tick-borne diseases.

  • Ticks are not always easy to spot, and it is almost impossible to identify a tick bite in dogs—especially if your dog has a thick coat. 

  • Symptoms of Lyme disease vary and can be difficult to detect, with warning signs that may not appear until several months after infection.

  • Cats can also carry these indoors if they spend time outdoors.


Lyme disease can affect different organs and systems within the body. The most common symptoms a pet owner might spot are:

  • Recurrent painful joints that lasts 3–4 days, sometimes accompanied by loss of appetite and depression

  • Reluctance to move, or a stiff, painful gait 

  • Swollen joints that are warm to the touch 

  • Leg pain or pain throughout the body 

  • Fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes

Symptoms of Lyme disease may come and go, vary from mild to severe, and mimic other conditions. In many dogs, the signs may not appear for several months after infection. In severe cases, dogs may also develop heart disease, central nervous system disorders, or often-fatal kidney disease.


So, let’s talk about the good news. Tests are now available to accurately diagnose dogs for Lyme and other tick-borne infections. If your veterinarian suspects your pooch may have Lyme disease, they will take a thorough history of your dog’s symptoms and activities and recommend testing your dog for Lyme disease, as well as other common tick-borne infections (via a 4Dx Snap Test). In some cases, dogs can be co-infected with more than one type of tick-borne organism causing canine ehrlichiosis or canine anaplasmosis (the 4Dx Snap Test also tests for these two organisms along with canine Heartworm). Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests based on your dog’s symptoms.


Successful treatment of Lyme disease is dependent upon early detection (via the 4Dx Snap Test) and the severity of your dog’s symptoms. Antibiotic therapy is most commonly prescribed. In general, most dogs respond quickly with appropriate treatment, and symptoms improve in as little as 24–48 hours. Follow-up testing to ensure adequate response to treatment is recommended.


This is where you can help! There are several steps you can take to prevent your dog from getting Lyme or other tick-borne diseases:

  • Use a veterinarian-recommended tick preventive for your dog.

  • Talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease (what this promotion is ALL about!).

  • Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick screening (4Dx Snap Test) each year in the Spring. Since we live in an endemic area for Heartworm disease along with tick-borne diseases this is always recommended.

  • Watch your dog closely for changes in behaviour or appetite, and book an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice these.

  • Check for ticks daily.

If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away to limit infection. Here are some tips for safe and effective tick removal:

  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. 

  • Grasp the tick very close to the skin with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick remover. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. To prevent infection, avoid crushing the tick. After tick removal, clean your dog’s skin with soap and warm water. 

  • Speak with your veterinarian about opportunities to test the tick to see if it is carrying diseases before disposal (keep alive as long as possible by placing in a container with a moist paper towel).

  • If choosing disposal, throw the dead tick away with your household trash or flush it down the toilet. 

  • Never use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish or other products to remove a tick. 

If you feel uncomfortable removing your dog’s tick you may call us immediately after noticing the ticks presence. Most times we can accommodate a quick appointment for one of our Registered Veterinary Technologists or Hospital Assistants to remove the tick for you at no charge. Though, the tick should not be left on your dog for longer than 24 hours to prevent disease transfer.

*THIS Promotion cannot be combined with any other offer/discount. An examination completed by a veterinarian will be required if your dog has not had an exam within the past 12 months. Appointments must be booked and performed by March 31st, 2020 to receive this discount.