PREVENTING LYME DISEASE: VACCINE OR ANTIPARASITIC PRODUCT?
Lyme disease has been diagnosed in all provinces across Canada. With its growing prevalence in both humans and pets, it’s now crucial to take all necessary precautions to protect ourselves from this disease.
But which method is better: vaccinating your pet or using an antiparasitic product? Learn more about the 3 parts of an effective protection plan against Lyme disease.
- Check your pets daily for ticks that could have latched on their skin.
- When a tick is found, remove it immediately using the appropriate method.
- Mow your lawn regularly. Pick up branches and rake up the leaves in your yard.
- Block small rodent activity around your house.
2. Get a prescription for a licensed antiparasitic product for ticks
- Because ticks are active as soon as temperatures reach 4°C, it might be necessary to use a prevention treatment throughout the year, depending on where you live. In Quebec, we recommend using a prevention treatment from March until the beginning of winter. It’s not rare to see active ticks as early as March and up until December.
- Products that kill ticks quickly after a bite or prevent them from latching on and feed are preferable.
- Those products normally come as chewable tablets or a liquid to be applied on your pet’s back. They are effective for a month or a 12-week period. Those products are available from your veterinarian.
- One of the latest consensuses reached by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine concerns the importance of controlling ticks, not only to prevent Lyme disease but also the many tick-borne diseases for which there are currently no vaccines.
3. Supplement the protection with a vaccine
- Dogs living in endemic areas (e.g. Montérégie and the Eastern Townships) or travelling to regions where Lyme disease is prevalent (e.g. Maine, Connecticut, and New Hampshire) could benefit from this additional protection.
- In Quebec, nearly 1 in 5 ticks is a Lyme disease carrier. This number is probably higher in endemic areas.
- Several vaccines are now available for dogs and will supplement the protection of an antiparasitic product. Talk about it with your Passionimo veterinary who can help you determine if vaccination is the right choice for your pet.
Remember that your veterinarian can help you to prevent, diagnose, and treat ticks. For more information, please contact the nearest Passionimo veterinary clinic.