Lyme disease is a tick-transmitted disease most prevalent in the northeast, the upper Midwest, and the Pacific seaboard states, but found throughout the U.S. Awareness is important, as dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely than humans to come into contact with disease-carrying ticks. Common symptoms include lameness (especially recurrent), fever, lethargy, and swollen lymph nodes. Ticks must be attached to your dog for 48 hours for him to contract Lyme disease, so daily checks and quick removal dramatically ups your chances of keeping your pooch healthy.
To remove a tick, put on gloves, dab the area with rubbing alcohol, then use a pair of tweezers to grab the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible (if you accidentally leave parts of the tick behind, it can cause serious problems). Pull straight up; don’t twist or jerk the tick. Disinfect the area, wash your hands, and sterilize the tweezers. Monitor the bite site for the next few weeks. If you see redness or swelling, visit your vet right away.