Reducing Canine Lyme Disease Through Tick Control

To prevent Lyme disease, canine owners must work at reducing tick populations in and around their yard. It's also important to check your dog daily for ticks and remove them within 24 hours.

Ticks: What and Where They Are

Lyme disease is a bacterium that enters into the blood stream through the bite of an infected deer tick. The bacteria takes at least one full day to pass from the deer tick into the dog, so removing ticks within 24 hours is critical.

With Lyme disease, the bacteria attack joints, the kidneys and the heart. Symptoms include lethargy, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite and fever.

Deer ticks are common in the Northeast. They are found in grass and plants and crawl onto unknowing hosts from there. They burrow their heads into layers of the skin, and then feast on blood. The safest way to remove a tick is to gently pull a tick's body with tweezers and then wait for it to let go.

Preventing Lyme Disease

While you can spray your yard with pesticides, that's just not practical for dog owners. To prevent Lyme disease, canine owners should keep grass mowed.

Diatomaceous earth is the crushed shells of fossilized creatures. The white powder does not harm humans or animals, but it acts like tiny shards of glass to common insect pests. It gets under their exoskeletons, causing punctures that lead to dehydration. Shaking the powder across your grass is a safe, effective way to rid your yard of pests like fleas and ticks.