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  • Writer's pictureCoco

Coco's Chronicle: Unraveling the Mysteries of Lyme Disease

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Woof, hello there! I'm Coco, a playful and curious frenchie. You can follow me on instagram as @_coco_el_frenchie_. When I learned that my parents were thinking of moving to the US, I googled the great dangers I would face there. I learned about predators like coyotes and bears which I had never seen before in my home country (Chile). Now, I've seen a couple of coyotes but they ran away from me. Maybe they weren’t so bad after all.


@_coco_el_frenchie_ in the forest in Valdivia, Chile

I thought those animals looked scary in pictures! but I could have never imagined that my worst enemies would be microbes!! My parents' passion!.


First, my vet warned us about heartworm disease which is transmitted by mosquitoes, Ew! But that wasn’t the only microbe. There is also Lyme disease which is transmitted by ticks. Double ew!! I never had ticks in my life. Until now. It all began one sunny morning when I decided to embark on a thrilling adventure at the Blue Hills Reservation with my hooman family.


As the sun rays bathed us, I set off on an exploration spree. I chased butterflies, played fetch, and rolled around in the grass with unbridled joy. Little did I know that multiple tiny villains awaited its chance to interrupt our fun-filled day.


Quickly, Academic Dad felt a perturbation in the force. He looked at me and I had not only one but five ticks trying to latch on my furry coat!. Unfamiliar with this, and with my dad screams of fear I tilted my head. "What could this be?"



After safely removing the ticks, Dad turned to the all-knowing source of information - the internet. We delved into the world of Lyme disease, seeking answers to questions that played on our minds:


What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to both humans and dogs through the bite of certain infected species of ticks such as the black-legged tick.


The bacteria, called Borrelia burgdorferi, gets into the bloodstream through the tick bite from where it can travel to different parts of the body and cause problems in specific organs or locations, such as joints, as well as overall illness.


Typical symptoms in humans include: fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash at the bite site. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.


In dogs, symptoms include: Fever, loss of appetite, reduced energy, generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain, swelling of joints. The disease can even progress to produce cardiac and neurological problems and kidney failure, which can be fatal.


How do ticks transmit this disease?

We discovered that ticks are stealthy creatures, lurking in tall grass, bushes, and even on other animals. I understood that it was essential to be cautious, especially during our outdoor adventures. My parents decided to arm us with knowledge and a prevention plan:


  • Tick checks: After each outing, now my parents thoroughly examine me, paying close attention to hidden areas like between my toes and ears. It became our ritual, and I found comfort in knowing that my parents cared for my well-being.


  • Use of tick preventatives: We learned about spot-on treatments that can also prevent other dangers like heartworm and fleas. My vet recommended the Simparica Trio. But this is only available with a prescription. We also found tick collars that could shield me from these pesky parasites. I don't mind wearing a stylish tick collar if this means to stay safe and healthy. However, if you don’t like this option, we also found a sonic device and they even have a version for hoomans that like running and being outdoors.


  • And most importantly. I got vaccinated! Sadly, this option doesn’t exist yet for hoomans but I bet it’s being developed. If you’d like to read more about this, you can do it here.

(Please note that some of the products on this page may be an affiliate link. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase within a specific amount of time, we might earn a small commission by affiliate programs for linking products we use or like. This has no cost for you).


But the most heartwarming discovery was the immense love and dedication my family has shown throughout this journey. I realized that our bond wasn't just about playtime; it was about caring for one another, protecting each other from harm's way.


As days turned into weeks, we continued to learn and grow together. Dad and Mom even educated friends and family about Lyme disease and tick prevention, ensuring that all our furry friends had a chance to stay tick-free.


Happy coco without ticks!


Let my story be a reminder that knowledge is a gift worth cherishing. Stay informed and look out for one another.


Until our next adventure, stay pawsome and keep wagging those tails (because I don't have one of those)! Woof and out!


Cheers,


Disclaimer: Information on academic-family.com is provided for informational purposes only. Our site does not intend to be a substitute for advice provided by a licensed physician, veterinarian or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider right away.



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