Lyme disease in the Lehigh Valley


Lyme disease in the Lehigh Valley

We hear all the time about how bad ticks are and how serious Lyme Disease can be but do you know the facts about Lyme disease in the Lehigh Valley and what it means for your furry family member?

How common is it?

·         According the Companion Animal Parasite Council in 2015: 1 out of 13 dogs tested in Northampton County tested positive and 1 out of the 10 dogs tested in Lehigh County tested positive

·         A new study done by Muhlenberg College 1 in 5 deer ticks carry Lyme disease in the Lehigh Valley

·         According to the PA Department of Health there was a 25% increase in human Lyme disease cases from 2013-2014

What to look for in your dog?

·         Clinical signs only develop in 5-10% of exposed dogs.  Signs usually develop within 2-5 months following exposure.   

·         The most common clinical signs include fever, joint swelling and shifting leg lameness.  In rare cases Lyme disease can affect the kidneys.

How about treatment?

·         Doxycycline is the treatment of choice.  Improvement in clinical signs are usually noted 24-48 hours after starting antibiotics. 

·         Unfortunately organisms may not be completely eliminated from your pet and relapse of infection can occur. 


·         Transmission of the Lyme disease requires 48-50 hours of tick attachment.  Flea and tick preventatives aim to kill the tick before it has a chance to transmit Lyme disease.

·          There is a vaccine that is available for dogs who are at high risk of exposure.