If your cats spend any time outside, especially in tall brush, you need to be concerned about Lyme disease. While cats don't usually come down with Lyme disease, it has been known to happen, which is why you need to keep a close eye out for the disease. Not only can your cats catch Lyme disease, they can also carry ticks home that can end up infecting your dogs, as well. Lyme disease can be deadly, especially where your pets are concerned. Here are some things that you need to know about Lyme disease.
Diagnosing the Disease
If your cat has been out wandering, and has developed some unusual symptoms, it's time to start ruling out Lyme disease. This step is particularly important if you live in a region that experiences high rates of Lyme disease infections. Cats tend to have delayed reactions to the disease, which means the symptoms will come on fast. The signs you should be looking for include sudden limping, weakness in one or more legs, fever, lethargy and pain.
Treating the Symptoms
If you've noticed any of the symptoms described above, you should get your cat to the veterinarian as quickly as possible. Depending on the severity of the disease, your vet may need to begin antibiotic treatment for your cat. In addition, if your cat develops other medical conditions such as kidney failure, as a result of the disease, your veterinarian may need to begin additional treatment. In severe cases, your cat may need to be hospitalized until the condition is under control.
Preventing a Return
If your cat has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, it's crucial that you do everything you can to prevent a return. The most important thing you can do is apply an animal-safe insect repellent whenever your cat goes outside during the spring and summer. Unfortunately, Lyme disease vaccinations aren't effective on cats. It's also important that you inspect your cat for ticks whenever they come inside from an afternoon of exploring. Be sure to come through every square inch of fur on your cat, especially behind the ears, inside the ears, and in the armpit area. It's also a good idea to carefully inspect the groin area. These are the areas that are most likely to attract tick activity. If you have dogs, it's also important that you inspect them, as well; even your indoor dogs. Your cat could have inadvertently exposed them to ticks.
Contact a clinic, like Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic, for more help.