Indianapolis Veterinarians Warn of Uptick in Lyme Disease in Pets

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| Source: Binford Pet Wellness Clinic

INDIANAPOLIS, June 15, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Mike Graves and his fellow Indianapolis veterinarians at Binford Pet Wellness Clinic are warning pet owners to take steps to protect their animal companions against the increasing risk for Lyme disease in pets throughout Indiana. He also warns that bacterial leptospirosis infections are on the rise and that pet owners should take steps to find out if their pets are at risk. Dr. Graves urges pet owners to make sure all of their pets are current on their core vaccinations and remain on the appropriate flea and tick preventative medication throughout the year.

Dr. Graves says, "People think Lyme disease in pets just happens on the East Coast, but it's actually widespread throughout the country. You or your pet can pick up an infected tick in the woods, at the park, and even in your backyard. Spring and summer are the most active months for tick bites, but with the weather being unpredictable, it's good to do tick checks after playing outside, and to keep pets on their flea and tick medication all year long. Prevention is absolutely the best cure for Lyme disease."

According to Dr. Graves, symptoms for Lyme disease may include lameness, stiff joints, breathing difficulties, depression and lack of appetite. In rare cases, he adds, the heart and nervous system can be affected. Dr. Graves advises pet owners to remove ticks immediately by pulling carefully up on the tick's head with tweezers and to seek veterinary care immediately so that antibiotics can be given as soon as possible. Prompt action and administration of these medications greatly improve potential outcomes, he adds, but some pets may never regain full health.

Leptospirosis is another pet health concern spreading into the area, warns Dr. Graves. The bacteria responsible are found in the urine of rodents and other infected animals. According to Dr. Graves, there is a leptospirosis vaccine that can be given to pets that spend a lot of time outdoors (even in urban areas) and around other animals. He says that symptoms of leptospirosis include depression, loss of appetite, lethargy, stomachache, vomiting, and fever. This bacterial infection can ultimately lead to kidney failure, liver failure, and even death. Any pet showing these symptoms should be checked, says Dr. Graves.

Dr. Graves stresses that pet disease awareness and prevention is paramount. "The best thing you can do to keep your pets from getting sick is to keep them updated on their shots and never let flea and tick medications lapse throughout the year. And if your pet starts acting sick, don't assume it isn't serious—go see your veterinarian as soon as possible."

Dr. Mike Graves operates Binford Pet Wellness Center with two other Indianapolis veterinarians. Services offered include preventative veterinary medicine, wellness care, pet surgery, pet dental care, and grooming.

Binford Pet Wellness - 1-888-667-5235