Doggie details/parasite talk below, so, be warned.
I took King to the vet today for his monthly Adequan injection; took Gaby along for moral support as well as to have her anal glands expressed. As that was all being settled, I had a talk with the technician. Several weeks ago, I found a dead engorged tick on my dining room floor. Soon after that, King showed some lameness in his right front leg; the lameness resolved after a couple of weeks, and I will say that King had been doing stuff that could lead to muscle pull/injury (like jumping off the deck). But it’s also a symptom of Lyme infection.
Now King has had Lyme in the past, and has been treated. But past infection doesn’t provide protection against reinfection, as it does with some other parasite-borne illnesses. I didn’t want to wait until King’s 6-month checkup in March to find out that he had been reinfected, so I decided to play it safe and have him tested. And because I couldn’t be sure which dog had been bitten by the tick, I had Gaby tested as well.
Good news was that both pups tested negative. King is having a full-blown blood test because his past infection sometimes messes up the standard panel–he usually tests positive no matter what–but odds are good that he’s fine. Much relief in Mudville.
The tech said that this has been the worst year for fleas and ticks that anyone can remember. It’s so bad that they’re recommending applying Frontline Plus every three weeks instead of every four because the strength of the stuff tapers during the last week and ticks can grab hold and feed for several hours before being killed. I applied the pups’ October dose a few weeks ago, so they may be due.
I hate ticks.