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Finally! New PetArmor ™kills fleas/ticks but not the wallet!

June 2, 2011 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
Our erratic weather has stirred up its share of trouble throughout the US creating conditions perfectly suited for ticks – especially the nasty deer tick. And, while it’s always tick season in some part of the country, May, June and July are the height of infestation here in Pennsylvania.

To top it off, Pennsylvania has achieved another coveted title as the number one state in the nation in reported cases of Lyme Disease, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

LYME 101 Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection most people contract from the bite of an infected black-legged (deer) tick. It can be cured through antibiotics if diagnosed in the early stages. However, if left untreated, it can progress into severe arthritis and even a type of meningitis.

NOTE: Not all deer ticks are infected and even an infected tick must stay attached for 24 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease, according to public health officials.

DING! DING! DING! Pets can also get Lyme disease. Thankfully, there are products such as topical insecticides available to protect pets from ticks. To date, some of the best products on the market have been Frontline Plus, K9 Advantix® II, Bio Spot® Defense Spot On® and Revolution (which ALSO includes protection from the equally fearsome Heartworm). But, they are all… well… pricey. So pricey, that a lot of pet owners have a hard time affording the monthly protection.

GOOD NEWS: PetArmor ™ has arrived! The active ingredient in PetArmor™is fipronil (the same as in Frontline®). PetArmor works the same way, providing full-body protection to help keep your pets flea and tick free. PetArmor is just as safe and effective as Frontline® except it’s literally half the price and will be available at major retailers. Just like medications we take, the patent on the amazing ingredient “fipronil” found in these leading brands, has expired allowing other companies to now manufacture equal products for less - just like the genetic equivalent that becomes available to us after the patent on name brand medication has expired. No difference in quality, just a major difference in the cost and savings to the customer.

I CANNOT promote the use of preventative meds for fleas and ticks enough!!!

I’ve had more than one of my rescue Goldens diagnosed with and treated for Lyme’s Disease which they contracted prior to coming into my care and I had to be the one to administer the treatment. All I want to say is you don’t EVER want to have to put your pets through treatment if you don’t have to. The reason, it is a LONG course of treatment and the medication can be hard on your pet’s already infected system.

I often have foster pets coming and going through Hotel Hanna and after speaking with the PetArmor™ Plus folks (because I’m a crazy, over-protective pet mama), I am sold on their credibility and am now a customer. Oakley has been wearing his PetArmor™ for over a month now and is doing great! So is my pocket since PetArmor™ costs HALF what the other name brands cost! THANK YOU, PET ARMOR ™!

Now, not everyone likes to use insecticide-type topical medications on their pets and seek more holistic alternatives. However, if you use the current leading brands, I am happy to introduce you to Pet Armor™. It is currently available at Walmart and Sams Club but check their site often for more locations coming soon.

There is a also new annual vaccine on the market for pets. Ask your vet for more information especially if your pet is exposed to naturally high tick infested areas.

As always, I would like to remind people that those ‘flea collars’ are w-o-r-t-h-l-e-s-s. The only thing they are good for is the trash. Also, the cheap dollar store topical prevention medicine you can get like at the Dollar Store – please don’t waste your money. Worthless. You can sign up on website for news and valuable coupons and “LIKE” them on their Facebook page for additional savings and to help homeless pets just by liking their site.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Treatment for Lyme disease is very straightforward and consists of using either a tetracycline or penicillin-based antibiotic. The two most commonly used are oral doxycycline or amoxicillin. A recent study showed that both antibiotics worked equally well. The antibiotics must be given a minimum of 14 days to 30 days. In some cases, the animal may have to be on the antibiotic for much longer. Many may never completely rid themselves of B. burgdorferi despite treatment. These animals may never show any further signs of the disease. Despite the fact that some animals may develop chronic infections, the vast majority of infected dogs respond rapidly and satisfactorily to doxycycline treatment. In some animals with severe arthritis, pain relievers may also be used in addition to antibiotics. The use of steroids in this disease is definitely contraindicated.

Blood tests are available to assist in the diagnosis of Lyme disease. The standard blood test detects antibodies made by the dog in response to infection with B. burgdorferi. Many dogs show positive test results, but are not actually infected with the disease. These animals have been exposed to the organism, but fought off the infection on their own. These animals will have antibodies to B. burgdorferi but not have the disease. Thus a single positive result means only that the dog was exposed. Only around 10% of the exposed dogs actually contract the infection.

You’ll hear your vet say they want to do a 'C6 antibody test' – which can distinguish between antibodies made as a result of exposure and those produced as a result of vaccination against Lyme disease. This simple test can be run right in a veterinarian's office. As with the other antibody tests, however, the C6 test will not distinguish between exposure to Borrelia and actual infection.

SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE IN DOGS The symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs differ from those in people, and usually occur much later after the tick bite. Dogs do not develop the typical rash or the circular area of redness around the bite like people. Clinical illness in dogs usually occurs 2 to 5 months after a bite from an infected tick.

Cats can develop Lyme disease, but it’s rare. Other domestic animals such as horses have contracted Lyme disease, but it does not appear to be a significant problem. Dogs show several different forms of the disease, but by far, the most common symptoms are a fever of between 103 - 105°, lameness, swelling in the joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Although not common, some dogs have developed severe progressive kidney disease as a sequel to Lyme disease. This severe kidney failure is difficult to treat and may result in death. It is recommended that a dog with a positive Lyme antibody test have additional blood tests and a urinalysis to assess kidney function. Some dogs may also develop heart problems or nervous system disease after being infected with B. burgdorferi.

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