Happy New Year to our Animal Medical Center family! Wishing everyone a year of health and well-being for our families, (including our furry four-legged loved ones).
AMC spotlights the importance and benefits of an Annual Wellness Exam, a vital part of maintaining a healthy, happy, and long life for your pets. Also, for our snowbirds and their outdoor-loving companions, an option to include the new Lyme Disease Vaccine. While effective tick control remains the cornerstone for reducing the risk of all tick-borne diseases, we are now providing vaccinations against Lyme disease to further reduce this risk.
An overview of Wellness Exams:
- Since dogs and cats age faster than their humans and cannot communicate when they are not feeling well, a wellness exam allows your veterinarian valuable insights into the health of your pet
- Older pets and those with medical issues may need to be seen more frequently, and screening tests may be recommended. Screenings can detect disease before symptoms develop, including diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid disease
- Your veterinarian will examine your pet from head to tail to ensure they are healthy and up to date on vaccinations and preventives
- In the long run these annual checkups will save expense and heartache by protecting your pet from preventable diseases and by detecting illness early when it is more treatable.
Ticks, Lyme Disease and the Vaccine:
Recently we’ve seen an increasing number of dogs with exposure to Lyme disease; some of which haven’t travelled outside of our region. This may be common for many of you who have relocated from the Northeast or other endemic areas but this is new to us here in sunny South Carolina.
* What is Lyme disease & why is it affecting us in SC?
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria, Borrellia burgdorferii. Any dog exposed to ticks is at risk, as the ticks transmit the bacteria during feeding. Rural dogs as well as suburban dogs may come into contact with the deer tick.
* How does the vaccine work?
The Lyme vaccine is given as an initial series of 2 vaccines, given 2-4 weeks apart, then as an annual booster. Before starting this series, we test your dog for Lyme disease with the 4DX Heartworm test. This vaccine will not protect a dog who is already positive for the disease.