Due to the fact that there has not yet been a sustained freeze this season, ticks, including those who might be harboring deadly diseases, are still active. According to several local veterinarians, Lyme disease is “rampant” in the mid-Atlantic states right now.

Is your dog protected?

Here’s what you can do:

  • Apply tick repellent. We recommend using Frontline on your dog every month. Although Frontline will kill fleas for three months, it is only effective against ticks if applied monthly. It is safe for Greyhounds while other products may not be.

  • Check your dog often for tiny deer ticks, which are about the size and color of a poppy seed. Remember to look between toes, inside the ears, and in other places where ticks can hide. A fine-toothed flea comb might be able to catch what you cannot see.

  • Have your dog tested for Lyme Disease. You can have your veterinarian perform the combination Heartworm/Lyme/Ehrlichia test (known as the SNAP test) but remember: while a negative result means your dog does not have either of the 2 tick-borne diseases, a positive result does not necessaily mean your dog has the disease. If you get a positive result, request that your veterinarian perform a Western Blot test to confirm the positive diagnosis. It is bad medicine to give antibiotics without knowing for sure if an animal (or person!) needs them.

  • NEVER allow your veterinarian to give your dog the Lyme vaccine without first making sure your dog isn’t infected. If your dog has Lyme Disease and is then given the vaccine, he or she could suffer a potentially fatal reaction. We do not recommend the Lyme vaccine because some studies have shown it can compromise a dog’s immune system and it provides very limited protection.

  • Be on the lookout for the symptoms of Lyme Disease: stiffness, limping, lethargy, low grade fever. Lyme disease can damage or destroy many of your dog’s vital organs, and can cause neurological damage or even death.

  • For a complete discussion of all tick borne diseases, and ways to control them that are safe for your Greyhound, please see pages 97-99 and 109-115 of Adopting the Racing Greyhound.