As a pet owner, you often have to make several important decisions on how to keep your dog healthy and happy. Staying current on their vaccines is one of them.
The Lyme vaccine for dogs is one of the most important vaccinations to consider when it comes to prolonging your dog’s life and preventing them from catching this devastating disease.
In this article, we’re discussing what Lyme Disease really is and how dogs can fall victim to the illness. We'll also share the truth about the Lyme Disease vaccine, how your dog can benefit from it, and the easiest way to get your dog vaccinated.
Finally, we’ll be covering the cost of the Lyme Disease vaccine and how you as a pet owner can afford it.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that spreads from ticks to humans, some domesticated animals, and even certain wild animals. Ticks wait at the tips of low-growing, dense vegetation for a host to walk by. Their bite is what transmits the disease.
An active Lyme Disease infection can cause symptoms like:
- Stiff joints
- Loss of appetite
- Generalized discomfort and pain
Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease?
Unfortunately, many “tick repellents” used on dogs just don’t work well enough. And, like many other mammals, dogs are susceptible to Lyme Disease infection. One element of the disease that makes it even more difficult is that it could take weeks or even months after the bite for the first symptoms to appear.
Research also shows that the illness could be a special risk for certain dog breeds. Some retrievers – like labradors and golden retrievers– have a predisposed risk of kidney failure induced by the bacteria. Dog owners must prioritize vaccination for these breeds.
Does My Dog Need the Lyme Disease Vaccine?
This may be one of the first times you’re hearing about a Lyme Disease vaccine for dogs. The reason for this is that it’s not included in the list of “core” vaccinations for canines (like rabies and distemper). This means that it might not be required for every dog.
Lyme Disease vaccination usually depends on several risks, including your geographic location and lifestyle. The best way to prevent Lyme Disease is with vaccination, especially because many tick repellents simply don’t do the job well enough. Your veterinarian will be the best person to help assess your dog’s risk for Lyme Disease. The Lyme vaccination is mostly recommended for dogs who live in or travel to places where Lyme Disease occurs.
Remember: ticks carrying Lyme Disease have now been detected in 43 states.
Where to Get Your Dog Vaccinated Against Lyme Disease
There are many places to find pet vaccinations, including local humane societies, and mobile clinics. The best place to determine your dog’s risk of Lyme Disease and get them caught up on their vaccines is with a regular veterinarian. These professionals can monitor your pet’s health and help you determine the best way to care for them.
When Is The Best Time to Get Your Dog Vaccinated?
The first dose of the Lyme vaccination for dogs can be given as early as 8-9 weeks old (some manufacturers require you to wait until 12 weeks). A booster dose follows 2-3 weeks after the initial vaccination.
Vaccinated dogs should be boosted annually throughout their life to keep the protection against Lyme Disease current.
How Much Does the Lyme Disease Vaccination Cost?
There are currently four different Lyme Disease vaccines for dogs on the market. The cost varies depending on the vaccine that you’ve chosen for your furry friend and on your location and the prevalence of Lyme Disease. In general, you can expect to pay approximately $20-$40 per dose.
The reason for the cost fluctuation is mainly because of the different types of vaccines that are on the market. There are currently two different ways that Lyme Disease vaccines work to protect dogs.
- Adjuvant Lyme Vaccines: These types of Lyme vaccines contain certain ingredients (adjuvants) to stimulate the immune system and help develop a response against the pathogen. Adjuvants “jump-start” the immune system to help create a more pronounced, and effective, response against Lyme.
- Recombinant Lyme Vaccines: Instead of stimulating the immune system with an adjuvant, recombinant vaccines take advantage of genetic engineering technology. These vaccines utilize a small piece of Lyme’s genetic code to help the body recognize it and trigger an immune response. Recombinant vaccines act most like a natural infection and help develop a longer-lasting immune response.
Side Effects of the Lyme Vaccine
As with any vaccine, the most common side effects you should expect in your dog include:
- Swelling at the injection site
- Mild fever
- General fatigue
This is what an immune response generally looks like, and you can expect the symptoms to go away within a few days. Serious adverse reactions and allergic reactions are rare, but they should be considered if your dog has ever had an allergic response to a vaccine in the past. For the most part, the potential side effects of the vaccine are significantly more mild than contracting Lyme Disease itself.
How to Pay for Your Dog’s Lyme Disease Vaccine
While the Lyme Disease vaccine isn’t enough to break the bank, the costs can add up when you factor in a veterinary visit and vaccination for multiple pets. Finances should never hold you back from giving your dogs the best medical care and protection.
That’s where financial planning comes in.
The Fursure Card is the perfect way for all pet-parents to manage their finances and afford quality care for all their fur-babies. Our rewards debit card for pet parents allows you to save money on vet care by earning points on everyday purchases and supercharged points on pet spend. Simply use your Fursure Card while paying for your dog's vaccine like and earn 5x reward points that can be redeemed toward any and all veterinary care.
Download the Fursure Card (it's free!)
It doesn’t matter if its Lyme vaccination or a critical emergency, Fursure has your back when it comes to protecting your best friend's health.