Lyme and Reason: Protecting pets from Lyme Disease

Lyme and Reason: Protecting pets from Lyme Disease

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Molly is a 9-year-old dog who lives in Rib Mountain, Wisconsin.

Smart as a whip, she can show off all kinds of moves in her back yard.

But about three weeks ago, she started to limp. Her doggy daddy, Douglas Adams, thought it was a sprain and it would improve. His wife overruled him and they took Molly to the vet.

Turns out it was Lyme Disease. Lameness is a classic symptom and it sometimes moves around.

"One day, they may be limping on a left front leg. A few days later, it's the back right leg and it's just kinda moving all over the place," said Dr. Jaime Gifford from Wausau Animal Hospital.

The Adams did all the right stuff, using measures to prevent Molly from being attacked by ticks. She's proof they're not 100 percent.

But vets say they greatly reduce the risk. There are collars, pills and spot-on products to try to keep the ticks off your dog. You need to choose the best one for you and your hound.

"There are so many different products out there. Talk to your doctor about where are you gonna take them. What are you gonna do? Are they big swimmers? Do they get groomed? The doctors and vet technicians will make a recommendation based on what your pet's lifestyle will be," Gifford said.

And living in the city doesn't lower the risk. The ticks that spread it are on rabbits and squirrels.

Your best bet is a Lyme Disease vaccination. The latest on the market, called Vanguard, is the best, according to Gifford, even if your pet has been exposed to Lyme Disease.

"it will prevent the joint damage from happening and will halt damage so the damage won't get worse," Gifford said.

It and antibiotics worked wonders on Molly.

"Sure enough, a couple days later, she was using her leg again and now she's running around, having a good time," Douglas said.

Read the original version of this article at wsaw.com.