This month we are bringing awareness to not only pet cancer but Lyme disease as well. If you have not been affected, either personally or by association, by Lyme disease you might not even know what it is. But for those who have seen its affects, know the life changing havoc Lyme leaves in its wake.
We’ll be sharing info, facts, our personal story, others experiences, and support all month long to help advocate for Lyme awareness. We've also crafted a very special Lyme collar, matching bracelet, and 4 new Ruff Tags charms all about Lyme!!
Lyme disease is essentially an infection caused by something called a spirochete (a big fancy word for a flexible spirally twisted bacterium) that humans and dogs can contract from the bite of an infected deer tick. This terrible disease can affect and attack any organ in the body including the brain, nervous system, muscles and joints, and even the heart. Lyme is initially confusing and scary for several reasons:
-It is not readily diagnosed.
-The symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases.
-The Infectious Diseases Society of America states that there is no such thing as “chronic Lyme disease”, but anyone with this mysterious and debilitating disease will tell you other wise.
What are the symptoms of Lyme? Lyme disease has been called “The Great Imitator” because the symptoms are easily mistake for those of ALS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Autism to name a few.
Symptoms include: Fatigue, weakness, headache, pack pain, joint and muscle pain, stiff/ sore neck, nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, swollen glands, rash, dizziness, confusion, buzzing sensation in nerves, paralysis, trouble with speaking, thinking, talking, walking, and concentration, trouble breathing, mood swings, and crying spells. Lyme is no joke!
How do you get Lyme disease? People and dogs get Lyme disease from the bite of an infected tick. The longer a tick is attached to the body the longer they feed, which increases the risk of them passing the Lyme bacteria into your bloodstream.
What else carries Lyme disease? Ticks, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and wild animals such as rodents, rabbits, birds, and deer can all carry the spirochete bacteria of Lyme.
Where do ticks live? Ticks live in warm, damp places usually near water grass or brush. This is why it is so important to protect yourself and your pets when hiking, playing, and exploring.
So what do you do? It’s very important to use tick repellent on yourself and your dogs when hiking in tick heavy places. Check yourself and your pets carefully after being out in tick territory. Be sure to check in the nooks and crannys, along the waistband of your pants, and all over on pets paying special attention to their ears, arm pits, and paw pads.
Check here for the correct way to remove a tick.
Now help pass it on and fight the bite! Lyme bites, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Education is key.