Why Early Spring is the Perfect Time to Vaccinate Against Lyme Disease

Our 2015 Lyme Disease testing data revealed an increasing number of PSVC owners’ dogs have been exposed to Lyme disease – 27%!!

As our regular Newsletter readers know, all of these positive testing dogs don’t have active Lyme Disease, but ALL of them have had a feeding deer tick that transmitted enough Borrelia (Lyme) bacteria to make our screening test positive, and many, many dogs had clinical and sub-clinical Lyme disease and were treated in 2015.

Living in a fenced-in grass yard and not walking through weeds is no longer a prevention to tick exposure and Lyme disease. One of my Point Breeze neighbors living on a small city grass yard, whose Yorkie only goes outside on the end of an extending reel leash developed sub-clinical Lyme disease with very elevated antibody levels and was treated.

Remember, exposure to Lyme disease bacteria does NOT CREATE PROTECTIVE IMMUNITY. According to experts, whenever 20% or more of all dogs in a region have tested positive to any disease, the disease is considered endemic, and it is time to vaccinate the general population against that disease.

EARLY SPRING is the best time to vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease because by the first week of April each year, newly emerging, voraciously hungry ticks are on the prowl for a blood meal.

The plan is to TEST, TREAT IF NECESSARY, and VACCINATE. The first year there is an initial vaccine followed by a booster 3-4 weeks later, then an annual booster thereafter.

Because ticks in Western PA can transmit four other diseases, it is still imperative to apply insect-repelling and quick-killing tick and flea products like Advantix II on Dogs, Frontline Tritak on Cats, or placing an eight month Seresto Collar on either dogs or cats (very cost-effective and recommended).

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.