Dear Valued Clients,
In an effort to provide up to date medical care to our patients, Brassfield monitors current and emerging diseases for which out patients would be at risk. To do this, we closely follow several organizations with the ability to track these diseases including the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Two diseases have emerged and are of particularly high importance for our pet population. Here in North Carolina, these include LYME DISEASE and LEPTOSPIROSIS.
LYME DISEASE: This disease is spread by two types of ticks that are prevalent in our region. The CDC reports that Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne disease in the United States. Nearly 19,000 cases were reported in dogs in 2014 and this number continues to increase year to year.
Facts about Lyme Disease:
- The bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) is passed from infected ticks that attach to people and dogs.
- Symptoms of the disease include fever, lethargy, swollen joints, lameness, and anorexia. Some dogs show no symptoms at all, while others can exhibit neurologic symptoms and/or kidney and liver failure.
- The risk of infection can be reduced by vaccination for the disease and vigilant tick control measures using a tick control product.
Facts about Leptospirosis:
- The bacteria is passed from the urine of wildlife (mice, rats, squirrels, opossums, skunks, raccoons, deer, etc.).
- The bacteria can be present in standing water, damp soil, and other places in the environment, and can survive in the environment for a long period of time if the conditions are favorable.
- Dogs and humans can be at risk of infection by coming in contact with the urine of infected animals. Pets are particularly at risk due to nose/mouth to ground contact. The disease does occur in our area and can be difficult to diagnose.
- The disease is preventable in pets through a vaccination program.
The initial vaccination will be given as a series of two doses, three weeks apart and then annually thereafter. Due to increasing risk to our patients, we recommend discussing these vaccines and your dogs risk of exposure at your next visit.
It is a great compliment to us that you are trusting us to care for your pet. Please know that this decision is made with them in mind. We would much rather be proactive and informative than play catch up should your dog become infected. Please contact us for more information or with any questions 336-282-1800.
Doctors and Staff of Brassfield Animal Hospital