Our pets love to be outside, roaming around and they are just as susceptible to tick exposure as humans. They frolic, play, romp and roll in areas prone to tick habitats (the woods and grassy areas) and generally have an overall innocence about the dangerous that await them.
In our prevention talks, pets are one of the five points of prevention practices that we address (Skin, Clothing, PETS, Homes and Yards).
There are many products are available to prevent your pet from coming into contact with ticks and you need know their proper usage and stay atop the dosing times for the most effective protection. These can include oral medications, topical formulas, collars and other permethrin-infused clothing your pet can wear.
I was speaking with a local Maine vet in preparation for this week’s article. She spoke of the following: Oral meds require a prescription and last about 90 days; topical formulas applied directly to pet’s skin (3-4spots) tend to be the least expensive but only last 30days. There is a collar that lasts 8 months and comes with a rebate to make it more affordable. She also informed me that some local vets work with out of town/state vets ~ so if you are a seasonal resident or visitor, you can have your vet call the local vet to get your prescriptions filled locally. Dog Not Gone  is a Maine company that has permethrin-infused reflective vests that come in many sizes for dogs, cats and horses.
Not all preventives are the best choice for every pet, however, and some pets may have adverse reactions to a certain product. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)  advises:
“Parasite protection is not ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Certain factors affect the type and dose of the product that can be used, including the age, species, breed, lifestyle, and health status of your pet, as well as any medications your pet is receiving. Caution is advised when considering flea/tick treatment of very young and very old pets. Use a flea comb on puppies and kittens that are too young for flea/tick products. Some products should not be used on very old pets. Some breeds are sensitive to certain ingredients that can make them extremely ill. Flea and tick preventives and some medications can interfere with each other, resulting in unwanted side effects, toxicities, or even ineffective doses. It’s important that your veterinarian is aware of all your pet’s medications when considering the optimal tick preventive for your pet.”
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There are also vaccines available that can help guard against Lyme and tic-borne diseases. These can involve an initial shot and a booster given several weeks later, with annual vaccination following.
For more information about protecting your pet, visit our website  or talk with your vet if you have questions about the vaccine and the best Lyme prevention protocol for your pet overall.
Paula Jackson Jones is a survivor of late stage neurological Lyme Disease complicated by four co-infections (Babesia, Bartonella, Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever and Erlichiosis) that were misdiagnosed for over 18 months before she connected with a Lyme literate provider ~ she was doctor #24 and she forever changed Paula’s life.
Paula then began a journey that she didn’t understand but quickly learned and discovered that she has a passion for supporting and educating others. In May of 2014, she co-founded and became the President of Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education, which has been a full-time, year-round job for her. She enjoys sharing her personal experiences and what she has learned on this journey with others, afflicted by or looking to prevent tick-borne disease exposure.
She has overcome many hurdles in her lifetime, from domestic violence to addiction to chronic illness and has chosen to use her experiences to help others, revealing her scars, sharing her personal story and showing them that they too can overcome.
She is a dog-loving, optimistic #Lymestrong extrovert who can do anything she puts her mind to and she loves connecting with people! You can learn more about her and her work at: http://lymetimewithpaulajacksonjones.blogspot.com/.