A New Glasgow veterinarian is encouraging people in Pictou County to take steps to protect their canine friends from the threat of Lyme disease.
Just last week Katherine Finlayson, owner of East River Animal Hospital said she has had three cases of dogs who tested positive for Lyme disease. Many more dogs have come in with ticks on them.
Of the dogs that tested positive for Lyme, one was from Trenton, one from Arisaig and one from Malagash which shows it is a widespread problem, Finlayson said.
The dogs all had common symptoms associated with pets and Lyme disease including being lethargic, not eating well, a fever and lameness.
“Those clinical signs led us to run the Lyme test,” she explained.
If diagnosed early, dogs can be effectively treated with medication that will help them recover, but untreated it can lead to serious problems including in severe cases, kidney failure.
Pet owners can take steps to prevent this by having their dog vaccinated against Lyme disease. Finlayson is hoping to encourage people to do just that by holding a Lyme clinic at her business on April 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. That day, they will test dogs to make sure they aren’t already infected and then vaccinating them to prevent them from getting the disease.
With the Lyme disease vaccine, the dogs are given a booster shot a month after the initial vaccination and then annually after that. She said it’s an affordable method that can prevent more severe veterinary costs down the road.
While ticks are sometimes found on cats in areas they have trouble cleaning, Finlayson said there has never been a cat that’s tested positive for Lyme disease. There are products that are available to help deter ticks and fleas from infesting both cats and dogs however.
Those who would like to book an appointment for the clinic can call: 902-752-6655.