May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, which is fitting because flea and tick season has begun! That means ticks are out and about already this year, and you and your pets could contract Lyme.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a serious illness caused by a bacteria that ticks transmit when they bite. The blacklegged tick, or deer tick, most commonly carries Lyme. Our dogs are subject to Lyme when we take them hiking, and we’re subject to the disease as well. Cats, too, can sometimes contract Lyme.
3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Lyme
1. Lyme is difficult to diagnose: Many victims of Lyme have had the experience of being misdiagnosed, or they just assume their symptoms are the result of being too stressed or tired. Lyme symptoms in humans can vary from person to person, and can seem insignificant at first, like fatigue or flu-like symptoms, but can progress to kidney, heart, and nervous system issues if untreated. Lyme symptoms in dogs can also be difficult to recognize.
2. Symptoms can become be very scary: While a rash and a fever are unpleasant, these potential early indicators of Lyme are mild in comparison to kidney, heart, and nervous system issues. Some victims of Lyme have hallucinations, experience memory loss, and have trouble staying focused, to the point where work becomes impossible.
3. In some cases, Lyme disease might become incurable: Sometimes Lyme just won’t go away, even after treatment. People who live with the disease must constantly manage their symptoms.
So What Can I Do?
Be informed and be alert! Stay tuned all month as we cover how Lyme affects dogs, cats, and people, and how you can be better prepared.