TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A new trend is making its way to the Wabash Valley that could be harming your pet.
Dr. Beth Brown, a Terre Haute veterinarian says they're seeing more dogs test positive for Lyme Disease and Lyme related sicknesses caused by ticks.
Brown says the trend started near Michigan a few years ago and has made its way to this region.
This means your dogs at home could be exposed to simply being outside. Cats are less likely to get it because they are self-cleaners by nature.
Brown says it can be a sneaky disease to detect because the symptoms to look for can easily be mistaken for a dog aging.
Vets say dogs who are having a hard time getting up and down could be impacted. Exposure to Lyme Disease results in achy joints and a lack of appetite for several days.
If it goes untreated, it can be deadly.
“We have dogs who come in with really high fevers, joints swollen, they can hardly get up and move. Then we have dogs who are a little slow and maybe just off their food. So there can be a range but ultimately Lyme Disease can be fatal if it's not treated appropriately,” said Brown.
The other risk to Lyme Disease is that it affects people too. Brown says if your dog has been exposed, you likely have as well.
Brown says antibiotics for 30 days is the typical treatment, unless more severe. Lyme disease can result in renal and kidney disease if it goes untreated. Treatment is more intense in those cases.
See your local vet for pet treatment.
Click here for treatment and more information on Lyme Disease with humans.
Another trend Brown is seeing is the social perception of pets. This is impacting the way we treat animals.
Brown says 30 years ago, pets were a possession. They'd stay outside on a farm and likely get fed scraps.
Today, pets have evolved into part of the family. They are even considered people’s kids in some cases.
Brown has seen the social perception change over her 20+ years of experience. She says animals are providing more emotional support to people than ever before.
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