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Protecting your pets from lyme disease

KIMT News 3's Raquel Hellman stops by Rochesterfest's Midday Theme: "The Magic of Pets" to find out how local dog owners keep their canine companions from getting the disease.

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 5:31 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochesterfest is underway. KIMT News 3 is sponsoring the Midday Theme each day at Soldiers Field Park.
Monday's theme was "The Magic of Pets. Several different pet organizations and businesses were there, educating people about training, adopting, or even fostering a pet.

Plenty of people brought their four-legged friends to the "Magic of Pets" event. But when you have your dogs outdoors, they are at risk for Lyme disease.

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, southeastern Minnesota is expected to see a *lower than average prevalance of the tick-borne illness this year. But the prevalance of the disease is higher in central and northern Minnesota, where many people have cabins or take summer vacations. In the northwestern part of the state, there's expected to be a higher than average rate of the disease.

Local pet owner Abby Shepler, who also works at Leashes and Leads, takes steps to protect her dog Gypsy.

"I do checks all the time, as far as making sure I don't see anything on her body, combing through the fur, and making sure there's no weird bumps, lumps or ticks that could get in between the fur," Shepler said.

Here are some recommendations from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals about what you should be doing to protect your pets:

-Talk to your veterinarian to decide whether you should vaccinate your dog and which tick preventative product is right for your dog or cat.

-When possible, try to avoid areas where ticks might be found.

-Once indoors, check for ticks on both yourself and your animals.

-Make sure to check under your pets legs and in and around the ears.

-Keep your lawns and yards well maintained.

-Clear shrubbery next to your home.

If you think your pet has been exposed to the disease, you should get them to the vet as soon as possible for testing.
It's usually able to be successfully treated with antibiotics.

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